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Brain Secretions and Gravity

Why is thought, being a secretion of the brain, more wonderful than gravity, a property of matter? It is our arrogance, it is our admiration of ourselves…
— Charles Darwin, age 29, in his notebook

This is an incredible comment. It is difficult to understand how anyone with a brain could not observe that thought produces such things as symphonies, literature and mathematics, while gravity just makes things fall down and holds planets in their orbits.

Furthermore, thought does not secrete like insulin from a pancreas, it is willed (at least that’s what I do, and I assume others do as well).

Darwin was far more simpleminded, naive, and superficial in his thinking than I realized. I already knew that he was simpleminded, naive, and superficial in his thinking when he ignored the obvious evidence of design in nature, in favor of his “random variation and natural selection can turn microscopic bugs into Mozart, given enough time” thesis.

How this patently absurd idea could have completely taken over the intellectual elite is still a mystery to me, when all the evidence of modern science contradicts it. The only conclusion I can reach is that they are desperately trying to deny the obvious, because they hate the light.

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27 Responses to Brain Secretions and Gravity

  1. Gil,

    How this patently absurd idea could have completely taken over the intellectual elite is still a mystery to me, when all the evidence of modern science contradicts it. The only conclusion I can reach is that they are desperately trying to deny the obvious, because they hate the light.

    According to the “intellectual elite” the evidence of modern science supports it, rather than contradicts it. Has it occurred to you that scientists are more qualified to judge the evidence than you, an amateur?

  2. That is an A-number one argument, Gil. One that we all should remember. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    William J. Murray

    Personally, I don’t think that all humans have free will, simply because the evidence doesn’t support it.

  4. 4
    William J. Murray

    IOW, some or many do have free will, but some or many obviously do not, if they’re going to make the incoherent argument that they do not have free will, and spew irrationalities as if they make sense and rebut cogent arguments.

  5. Hello Gil,
    In the interest of balance: Gravity makes mountains and valleys, forests and flowers, rivers and oceans, birds and bees, sunsets and meteors. Thought produces hatred and bigotry, murder and rapine, ignorance and intolerance, postmodernism and fascism.

    What is this “light” about which you speak?

    Michael

  6. Origin of man now proved. –Metaphysics must flourish. –He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke. ~ Charles Darwin

    But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? ~ Charles Darwin

    If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. ~ J.B.S. Haldane

    Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism. ~ Alvin Plantinga

  7. while gravity just makes things fall down and holds planets in their orbits.

    Yeah, stupid boring gravity! Who needs the sparkling rings of Saturn, or the life-giving hydrostatic equilibrium of the Sun, or the delicate silken arms of the Andromeda galaxy when we’ve got symphonies like “Baby Elephant Walk” and “Sk8r Boi”*.

    *Secret Confession: I actually like Sk8r Boi

  8. Given the naturalism Darwin’s theory is built on, thought is indeed just a secretion of the brain. What else could it be? What reason is there to believe that the physical/chemical properties of one particular lump of matter is in any way more “wonderful” than any other?

    On the other hand, there certainly seems to have been a gap in Darwin’s case between theory and practice. He wrote about his thoughts at length; he communicated them; he wanted others to understand them; he defended them when attacked. Was he this passionate about all his secretions? Why was he not able to live consistently with his assumptions about the world?

    If it were me, I would not be comfortable with a gap of this magnitude, but maybe I’ve got it wrong: maybe most who subscribe to Darwin’s world view have figured out a way to live consistently with the knowledge that their thoughts are just chemistry. But I have yet to meet one.

  9. maybe most who subscribe to Darwin’s world view have figured out a way to live consistently with the knowledge that their thoughts are just chemistry. But I have yet to meet one.

    So how would one live consistently with the knowledge that thoughts are just chemistry?

  10. hrun0815,

    So how would one live consistently with the knowledge that thoughts are just chemistry?

    It’s impossible, for it removes all truth, and so the statement that “all thoughts are just chemistry”, which is itself a truth statement, is removed too. The reason it’s hard to even fathom such a conception is that it is wrong, and our mind knows better than to reduce itself to less than itself.

  11. It’s impossible, for it removes all truth, and so the statement that “all thoughts are just chemistry”, which is itself a truth statement, is removed too.

    Well, that makes things easy then. You apparently have shown that physicalism or materialism is impossible. I wonder what all those philosophers are still arguing about.

    The reason it’s hard to even fathom such a conception is that it is wrong, and our mind knows better than to reduce itself to less than itself.

    Yet again, it appears you stumbled on a truth unknown to many. It appears to me that the conception that “all thoughts are just chemistry” is actually not hard to fathom at all to many people. Do you know something that all those materialists don’t?

    Sarcasm aside, this is clearly not what SteveB had in mind. SteveB seemed to imply that people who believe that thoughts are just chemistry would have to live a certain way in order to be consistent. I simply would like to know what that would entail.

  12. Has it occurred to you that scientists are more qualified to judge the evidence than you, an amateur?

    Dear Monastyrski,

    I am a professional scientist, not an amateur, with the relevant, demonstrable credentials concerning the issue at hand: information systems and information processing, on which living systems are demonstrably and fundamentally based.

    It is evolutionary biologists who lack the requisite scientific credentials to evaluate their own theory with rigor. They demonstrate with consistency a pathetic, virtually nonexistent understanding of the underlying problem, and that is the origin of biological information.

    These clowns are not scientists. They don’t ask even the most fundamental, relevant questions, and when confronted with them, they just invoke the usual Darwinian mantra: “Random errors filtered by natural selection explains it all. Anyone who doesn’t believe this is stupid and wants to destroy science.”

  13. I am a professional scientist, not an amateur, with the relevant, demonstrable credentials concerning the issue at handDoes this mean your Hirsch factor is >1?

  14. Here, here. All through engineering school and my professional career, I never really thought of myself as a scientist. But, since I use the scientific method. I guess I can be one.

  15. With all due respect Gil, coding simulations does not a scientist make. Evolutionary models (e.g. population genetics) are often mathematically quite sophisticated, far beyond your credentials I believe.

  16. Maybe you should post one of your simulations, Gil, so Monastryrski can plainly see your skill. I for one would like to see one.

  17. My aerospace guidance, navigation and control software, as well as my transient, nonlinear, dynamic finite-element analysis sims belong to my employer and I am not at liberty to release them. This is all cutting edge R&D stuff, and certainly qualifies as science, especially when compared to making up unsubstantiated stories, which is what much of evolutionary “science” consists of.

    However, you can check this out:

    http://www.WorldChampionshipCheckers.com

    It is ~65,000 lines of C code and won a silver medal at the First International Computer Olympiad (a competition for AI programs).

    All of the stuff mentioned above is mathematically quite sophisticated, and evolutionary models are certainly not far beyond my credentials.

  18. It is all well and good that you are adept at computer models. Being qualified in ‘information processing’ (computer models) and such is certainly very impressive, and were I in the market for input on a computer model you would be high on my list of people to ask. But I have a feeling that you would not consider, say, a biologist that also writes computer code as having sufficient ‘credentials’ to criticize one of your models, so I am unsure why a biologist should accept your credentials as qualifying you as an authority on evolution.

    Further, writing computer code/models is no more the job of a ‘scientist’ than is being an electronics technician is despite earning a degree called a ‘bachelor of science in electronics engineering’.

    Instead of trying to argue via extrapolated and/or embellished credentials, wouldn’t it be nice if anti-naturalists could rely on the strenght of their arguments? Unless, of course, THAT is the problem?

  19. derwood,
    You seem quite self-assured that evolution has solid evidence that can withstand scrutiny, and as such I invite you to present your strongest piece of evidence to see if it can truly bear against the empirical evidence we can overwhelmingly present against it. If it stands I promise you I will become a atheist troll on UD and disparage the stellar credentials of Gil as you have done. Deal?

  20. “……..he ignored the obvious evidence of design in nature, in favor of his “random variation and natural selection can turn microscopic bugs into Mozart, given enough time” thesis.”

    Your objection might be valid if we were all instilled with Mozart’s genius. But that hasn’t turned out to be the case, has it?

  21. derwood:
    I have a feeling that you would not consider, say, a biologist that also writes computer code as having sufficient ‘credentials’ to criticize one of your models…

    I would certainly welcome such a challenge, because all of my computer sims have been verified through empirical testing (FEA in the shop, AI in international competition, and GN&C through empirical testing at Yuma Proving Ground, where our systems hit the target after having been released from C-130s at 17,000 feet MSL.)

    I am thoroughly familiar with “biological” evolutionary computational algorithms, and they are all a Himalayan pile of BS concerning their relevance to the real world of biology. They are transparently designed and rigged from the outset to produce results that comport with a conclusion that was reached in advance.

    They have nothing to do with biological reality, and cannot be tested as to their validity, as my computer sims can, and have been.

    The bottom line is the following: Anyone who claims that computer simulations have any relevance to biological evolution is not just peddling bullshit, he’s giving snake-oil salesmen a good name.

  22. GN&C through empirical testing at Yuma Proving Ground, where our systems hit the target after having been released from C-130s at 17,000 feet MSL

    Do you mean the computer was broken after that?

  23. derwood:
    I have a feeling that you would not consider, say, a biologist that also writes computer code as having sufficient ‘credentials’ to criticize one of your models…

    *****
    I would certainly welcome such a challenge, because all of my computer sims have been verified through empirical testing (FEA in the shop, AI in international competition, and GN&C through empirical testing at Yuma Proving Ground, where our systems hit the target after having been released from C-130s at 17,000 feet MSL.)

    And so you, having sufficient experience and knowledge and producing these amazing computer models, would then be able to tell is an amateur with no real experience in making such things were just spouting off. You would be able to tell whether or not the person knew their stuff. I agree.

    I am thoroughly familiar with “biological” evolutionary computational algorithms, and they are all a Himalayan pile of BS concerning their relevance to the real world of biology.

    You may be familiar with the algorithms, but are you sufficiently familair with the biology? See, that is sort of my point.

    They are transparently designed and rigged from the outset to produce results that comport with a conclusion that was reached in advance.

    I see. So why not just look at actual evidence and see how it fits with the results? I, for example, would love to see “Mendel’s Accountant” run a sim with a starting population of 4 breeding pairs. But it is my understanding that it cannot handle a population of less than 1000. Interesting rigging.

    They have nothing to do with biological reality, and cannot be tested as to their validity, as my computer sims can, and have been.

    Such as?

    The bottom line is the following: Anyone who claims that computer simulations have any relevance to biological evolution is not just peddling bullshit, he’s giving snake-oil salesmen a good name.

    And I should take the word of a non-biologist, anti-evolutionist on that, right?

    Got it.

  24. bornagain77 misrepresents me as follows:

    You seem quite self-assured that evolution has solid evidence that can withstand scrutiny,

    My only comment here was on Gil’s extrapolation of his supposed credentials into an area wherein he has none.

    and as such I invite you to present your strongest piece of evidence to see if it can truly bear against the empirical evidence we can overwhelmingly present against it.

    I’ve never seen any empirical evidence presented that supports creationism or ID. I have seen the usual supposed ‘problems’ for evolution and the requisite claims of victory thereafter, but never any actual positive empirical support. Perhaps you are the first person to be able to do this?

    If it stands I promise you I will become a atheist troll on UD and disparage the stellar credentials of Gil as you have done. Deal?

    Ah, so I am an athest troll because I fail to see how Gil, whom you apparently see as a hero of some sort, whose ‘credentials’ are in computer model making, give him some sort of uber-authority on all things biology-related.

    I doubt that I or anyone could prresent anything that could ever change your mind, so please stop being disingenuous.

  25. derwood, Please stop with the self-justification (world’s smallest violin playing just for you) and just present your evidence!

    As far as falsifying ID,,, simple evolve a flagellum!

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Bacterial Flagella – A Paradigm for Design – Scott Minnich – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N949Ysm0KTY

  26. 26

    bornagain77 at 25,

    “As far as falsifying ID,,, simple evolve a flagellum!”

    Without assuming some restrictions on the nature of the intelligent designer, this is not a falsifiable test. Interference from an omnipotent, immaterial entity would be undetectable and hence could not be excluded as an explanation for any observation.

    Please try again — I’d love to see a falsifiable, testable prediction based on ID.

  27. Bornagain IDist,
    And were a flagellum evolved in a lab, it would, doubtless, be considered evidence for ID. I’ve seen this game played before, way back in ’76. Randy Wysong wrote a book called The Creation Controversey, in which he declared that life had in fact been created in a lab (apparently, he knew something nobody else did) but he claimed it was really evidence for Creation, since “KNOW-HOW” (caps in original) was added.

    But I wonder – which flagellum did you have in mind (there is more than one kind, you know)?

    As for evidence for evolution, I’ve always been fond of molecular phylogenetics. I know that some in the ID camp are giddy to toss out ‘anomalies’ and accusations of investigator bias as ‘proof’ that the methods are unreliable, but in my experience, such accusations are wildly embellished (I recently read that Wells chickened out of a challenge to test his claim re: investigator bias) and according to Kuhn, a few anomalies are never sufficient to overturn a theory.

    Other than exasperated claims that ‘evolution can’t explain THIS!’, I do wonder what sort of ‘empirical evidence’ you will marshall…

    I will say that I do not often post here or even read this site often, so do not interpret a lack of prompt reply as my running off.

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