Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Sun Oct 04 2009 - 17:12:57 EDT


It being Sunday afternoon, I make and attempt to clean house.

Apparently, I missed an email that you sent that, at least in part,
explains what I am asking.

It seems that JP&MB argue that there are too many connections in the
brain for the genome to fully account for brain structure.

In my grand naivete, this seems to me to be not quite right.

We could make similar statements regarding the other billions of cells in
our bodies.

What is required is not a rule or specific instruction for every cell in
our body, but a rule or set of contextual rules that specify how cells
develop. How this is related to the genome is a mystery to me since th
genome appears to only be basically a protein or amino acid factory. I
don't understand how the genome (which is just DNA as I understand it)
comes to develop skin, liver, heart, bone, or brain. It seems that a
super set of rules are required. Maybe others can explain it.

That's enough pennies.


On Sun, 4
Oct 2009, Bill Powers wrote:

> David:
> I didn't realize that JP&MB claim that the mind "doesn't map onto the human
> genome."
> What exactly does that mean? What do they mean by mind? Do they mean that
> the "mind" is not genetically encoded? Or that the mind is not physically
> determinative.
> What evidence do they present for this view?
> If we take supervenience to be what they are saying, it would mean that the
> mind (or mental) depends upon the physical (brain), but it is not uniquely
> determined by it. So a given physical state would entail some given mental
> state, but a given mental state is not uniquely mapped to a given physical
> state. There is a many to one mapping from the physical to the mental.
> I've never found this very useful.
> bill
> On Sun, 4 Oct 2009, David Clounch wrote:
>> Murray,
>> Seems to me you have roughly described speciation in general. This is why
>> it
>> puzzled me so much when someone asserted here that there wasn't a first
>> human. There is always a first organism.
>> Of course the subject is the biological half of humanness which ignores the
>> other essential part of humanness, the mind. It completely ignores the
>> mind. This is why JP&MB are so fascinating in that they assert the
>> mental
>> world of humans does not map onto a genome.
>> One can hypothesize that the first B, having a mind, related to the other
>> B,
>> and ignored all A's thereafter because they weren't capable of that
>> relationship. They might have moved away and lost the ability to
>> interbreed
>> rather quickly.
>> I think it is more interesting to worry about the question of if the genome
>> doesn't produce the mind (because the mind is vastly more complex than the
>> information the genome contains) then why do fetuses grow human minds and
>> not alien minds?
>> I don't see where anybody has ruled out God stitching us together in the
>> womb. Literally. Not biologically though. Mentally. Scripture says He
>> stitches us together in the womb, but it might not have been talking about
>> biological stitching.
>> This raises the issue of supervenience, or "do minds supervene on material
>> objects?"
>> I don't see a contradiction between biological evolution and the idea that
>> God fabricated the mind of Adam and thereafter had a relationship with
>> Adam. The mental evolution isn't biological and unlike the biological may
>> not be explainable in terms of natural processes. Even if it were to turn
>> out that biological evolution is itself is indeed explainable in terms of
>> natural processes.
>> Thanks,
>> Dave C
>>> Now it should be obvious that there certainly will, at some point, be a
>>> first B - HOWEVER, probability distributions being what they are, the
>>> likelihood is that the offspring of that B will be an A.
>>> So, if one traces a particular line of descent then one would, I imagine,
>>> see something like;
>>> A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-B-A-A-A-A-B-A-B-A-A-B-B-B-A-B-B-B-B-A-A-B-B-B-B-B-B-A-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B
>>> i.e. as time passes one sees an increasing prevalence of individuals who
>>> have the requisite amount of X to be considered properly human.
>>> So, yes, one CAN pick a "first human" BUT I don't think it follows that
>>> this individual marks THE transition
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Received on Sun Oct 4 17:13:48 2009

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