So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Strange Evening Conversations...

Well, a few nights ago my roomie watched the movie "Stealth" and enjoyed it thoroughly with one exception. The way that the plane gained it's "self awareness"; the lightening strike. He pointed out how stupid it was to suggest that an advanced computer could somehow be re-programmed by lightening in such a way that it would result in self awared A.I. If anyone understood even the most BASIC computer concepts, they would have to see how such was impossible. It's a slight bit more likely that it would have been frapped all to gehenna. Either way, we laughed and laughed at how if the movies were true, every time there was a lightening storm somewhere in the world a computer or home appliance or vehicle would gain self awareness. We'd see Lieutenant Commander Data appearing on Oprah in the form of a toaster, or Apple IIGS or Buick Skylark. We laughed at that idea for a while...

But then he made the very clever observation that "in an evolutionary worldview, why would that be unexpected?" And we started talking about that. I mean, a random lightening strike (or other similar event) is supposedly how abiogenesis occured originally with the first cell, right? AND, generating a living, fully functional, self replicating cell from base chemicals is most likely way less likely than advancing an already advanced and complex device, like a computer. I mean, all that's going on in the computer is the changing of programming. With the creation of the original cell, the programming (DNA) would have been randomly generated as part of the process. Then, billions of times over during the evolutionary process, such random mutations have apparently occured again and again, leading to the wide variety of life on earth that we see today.

So why does a USAF figher jet, or an industrial robot, or whatever, aquiring intelligence and sentience from a random lightening strike relegated to the real of science fiction? Why are there no documentaries about such occurances? Why would we not expect such amazing random 'positive mutations'? Apparently, in an evolutionary worldview, such things should be commonplace. So what gives? Hmmm...maybe my 'theistic evolution' friends would have an answer to that one (I'll hold my breath now). Or maybe it has happened lots and all the sentient toasters have a silent agreement with the self-awared copmuters and intelligent Chryslers to never talk around people, much like the animals in the movie Cats and Dogs. Hmmm. I wonder if Herbie has gotten in trouble for breaking the vow of silence yet? Stupid car! Screwing things up for everyone else AGAIN! Well, this 'deep thought' was brought to you by the letter 'S", the letter "C" and the number "2". Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian


Blogger Wade said...

I am not playing the devil's advocate here, nor am I going to be arguing for theistic evolution. In fact, this is a non-opinionated comment, but rather a explanatory comment.

"Apparently, in an evolutionary worldview, such things should be commonplace."

This, it would seem to me, is a mis-conception that the "Christian" world has towards the "science" world. I studied a little bit of evolution during my UofS years, and I don't think they would say that the original occurence of life was a common-place event. The conditions that surrounded that event were in fact (so they'd say) extremely rare, to the point where the chances of it occurring again are almost nil. A special case, to be sure. Further, evolutionary mutations are not commonplace either, nor are they profound. They happen in repsonse to environmental concerns (survival of the fittest), and take several generations to take affect. Not inlike gaining weight and losing weight. None of wake up Boxing day and have all of a sudden ganed 10 pounds because we ate too much. It takes months and years of over-eating to get fat. Conversely, it takes almost as long to lose the fat through proper diet and exercise.

Their is another big misconception that "creationists" having in regards to "evolutionists." That is that they think evolution is saying we came from monkeys. No credible evolutionist would ever say that. They argue that all current-day primates (humans, monkeys, gorillas, etc) are all on an evolutionary ladder, and we are all at the same height. We all evolved from a common ancestor, like homo-habilis. Monkeys are not our evolutionary grandparents, but our siblings, and we each share the same lineage, but have evolved differently.

You can go ahead and tear that aprat now if you choose, but it has always bugged me when creationists take on a subject, but don't really understand what the other side is trying to say. If we are going to be taken seriously, we must be educated in our comments, otherwise we will be continued to be dismissed as naive and obtuse.

Love lots...swade

7:02 AM

Blogger Markio said...

I commented on this in

10:31 AM

Anonymous Wade said...

I commented on Mark's comment on Mark's blog site. It'll be posted once he "aprroves" it. Silly protocols.

2:31 PM

Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Good points Wade. Thanks for bringing some of that up and slapping wrists that need slapping. It is very important to understand that which we critique, lest we reveal out dogmatism in our ignorance. Thanks for the warning there...duely noted.

In a little self defense though, I do understand that SOME of the evolutionary models understand the original abiogenesis to have been a singularity in the timeline...i.e. a one time event that was EXTRAORDINARILY rare, never to happen again.

But I would suggest that you're gravely misinformed to suggest that "evolutionary mutations are not commonplace either, nor are they profound". The very process of macro-evolution demands that evolutionary mutations in fact BE commonplace, at least from a cosmic perspective.

In an evolutionary worldview, organs such as an eye evolved piece by piece, not spontaneously as a whole complete mechanism. (that sounds a LOT too much like creationism for most people) The whole 'survival of the fittest' idea works on micro-evolution and removing the weak and unfit creatures and material from the gene pool, yes. BUT, there is also the NECESSITY for spontaneous positive mutation for species becoming another entirely different species...or family, or genus, or kingdom. I mean, to move from a creature without eyes to a creature with eyes involves injecting NEW genetic material into the DNA. 'Survival of the fittest' tells us that the new creatures WITH eyes survive better than the ones without, but 'survival of the fittest' doesn't even offer a suggestion as to where all the tremendous genetic information for the structure and workings of the eye come from in the first place. That's where spontaneous positive mutation comes in, which suggests that creatures spontaneously somehow generate new genetic material and increase in genetic complexity. For instance, some creature spontaneously evolved a semi-functional retina, which a few generations down the road was joined by a semi-functional optic nerve, which a few generations down the road was joined by a semi-functional iris, etc. until all the components for a fully functional 'modern' eye were in place and the creature FINALLY had a working eye.

Spontaneous positive mutation had to happen for EVERY component of EVERY organ on EVERY creature and plant on the planet. Over the 5 billion+ years that the earth was supposedly around, that would mean hundreds of trillions of mutations occured, and millions upon millions of them were positive and somehow remained in the gene pool. That is a LOT of positive mutations. Like I said, fairly least from a cosmic perspective (one successfully retained positive mutation every 1,000 years or so IS commonplace from a cosmic perspective, and that's only 5 million positive mutations...not even remotely close enough to bring forth the vast amount of diversity of life on earth today.)

As for the monkeys comment, I'm curious as to why you say that? I don't know about you, but I have not heard that in a long time! I'd never say that we evolved from monkeys. I'd say that we evolved from PRIMITIVE monkeys, which evolved from primitive fish or some sort, which evolved from a single, solitary, self replicating primitive cell (which was probably planted here by aliens who evolved somewhere else where evolution was apparently effortless, seeing that it only took them a billion years to become an intergalactic, starfaring race)...if I believed that for a second. Which I don't. Because God told me so. HA! I'm off to bed now! Lata Playas!

12:12 AM

Anonymous cam said...

"Tinman, oh how we want your hard drive."

I feel obligated to comment considering my laughter towards stupid Hollywood plot lines has caused a blog write up and feedback thereof. If only the writers of Stealth had written something like; "The 'Self Aware mode' that was already preprogrammed into the UCAV (Tinman) was accidentally turned on by a lightning strike and so Tinman went on a homicidal ramapage lighting up the sky like nobody's business", then it'd be easier to believe the story. They're always pulling a fast one. Need I mention the RAM in Mr.&Mrs. freaking if! Still, the point remains, Lightning striking metal does not equal the creation of a highly sophisticated piece of software, nor does time, chance, and pressure on a pool of amino acids create people. OH NO, I POURED WATER ON MY MOUSE AND IT'S ATTACKING ME.......CRAP..... FEMPUTER HELP!!!

That said, let me answer all your questions with a question.....


2:08 AM

Blogger The Armchair Theologian said...

Just as the conversation showed a hint of seriousness, enter my favorite commentor, stage left. Well done then!

11:15 PM

Blogger Bill-bot said...

#5 is alive Short Circut

12:54 AM

Blogger Bill-bot said...

Sorry that is supposed to say "#5 is alive - short circuit". hmmm remember that movie? I think it fits nicely into this post.

1:00 AM


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