Posts Tagged ‘ID’

When you Wound a Finger, How Does the Body Know what Shape to Rebuild?

September 16, 2011

Let’s assume you cut your fingers with a bread knife and there’s a gaping wound. You can just see the skin layers cross-sectioned and maybe even the whiteness of the bone before the red liquid floods it all. What’s amazing is that a few weeks later, your finger will look just like it did before you cut it.

How is this possible you ask, how does the body know? Surely, this is proof that there is some external intelligence, something beyond matter that knows or stores information about matter or at least about the material body and that can steer matter or the body.

Similarly, one might ask: How is the world possible, why is it the way it is, how come everything happens just the way they happen? Surely, this is proof that there is some external intelligence, something beyond matter et cetera et cetera.

The problem with Intelligent Design is that there’s no reason to assume an external intelligence behind a process when the process is self-explanatory. Instead of trying to find a top-down, simplified reason behind everything, we should look at all the details of the complexity that form the whole of the process  bottoms-up.

In the case of the finger, and indeed the growth of a child, we look at all the biochemical processes that form a whole human body.

When a blood vessel is damaged, the endothelium, a layer of cells on the inside of the blood vessel wall, releases a protein that binds collagen. Then blood “platelets bind to collagen with surface collagen-specific glycoprotein Ia/IIa receptors. This adhesion is strengthened further by additional circulating proteins vWF, which forms additional links between the platelets glycoprotein Ib/IX/V and the collagen fibrils,” and the chain reaction started this way leads to clotting. –

“Numbers of monocytes in the wound peak one to one and a half days after the injury occurs.[18] Once they are in the wound site, monocytes mature into macrophages. The spleen contains half the body’s monocytes in reserve ready to be deployed to injured tissue… Stem cells of endothelial cells, originating from parts of uninjured blood vessels, develop pseudopodia and push through the ECM into the wound site to establish new blood vessels.” –

To answer the question, no body knows anything here, the cells just do their jobs. There’s no command centre with a large map of the body on display whence individual cells get their orders and then using compasses they orient themselves to a specific place. Instead the body structure is maintained by having the remaining cells on the edges of the damage build the body back up from the edges inwards. When they  (and by them I mean the copies of them) bump into each other they stop growing, sometimes the process is less than perfect and we end up with scars that all look differently.

Today We Celebrate Midsummer’s Eve

June 19, 2009

Now it’s not Eve in Eden, it’s a pagan festival. We’re celebrating the arrival of the sun. The sun, being the original God in all mythology, is worshipped and to it we sacrifice (eat) herring, unborn chicken and alcohol. Tomorrow is one of the top death days in Swedish traffic, drunk single men aged 18-24 probably being the most common among victims.

Maypole, actually a Midsummerpole, but these two celebrations got mixed up along history.

Maypole, actually a Midsummer pole, but these two celebrations got mixed up along history.

The pole is a penis, with balls to each side, penetrating mother earth.

“It is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated, even if it has been influenced by other countries long ago. The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. One typical dance is the frog dance. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole….The year’s first potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs are also important at this feast, and many drink heavily.” -wikipedia

Strawberries are coincidentally called jordgubbar, “earth-men” in Swedish. No connection to the male pole in the ground though.

Some argue that the pole “was a phallic fertility symbol, meant to impregnate the earth, but as there were no records from those times it cannot be proven, and this idea might just be a modern interpretation of the poles form.” -wiki

Don’t believe everything that is written…

“The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty during his reign from 272 to 231 BC. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Pakistan and India, and represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism.

Although Buddhism and the Buddha are mentioned, the edicts of Ashoka tend to focus on social and moral precepts rather than religious practices. No mention is made of the philosophical dimension of Buddhism, such as the Four Noble Truths or the Eightfold Path. This could possibly be because Ashoka wanted to remain simple in his message to the public, because these notions may have been formalized at a later date, or some combination of the two.

The inscriptions revolve around a few repetitive themes: Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism, the description of his efforts to spread Buddhism, his moral and religious precepts, and his social and animal welfare program.” -wiki

Edict quotes:

“Happiness in this world and the next is difficult to obtain without much love for the Dhamma, much self-examination, much respect, much fear (of evil), and much enthusiasm.”

“One benefits in this world and gains great merit in the next by giving the gift of the Dhamma.”

Dharma is the law of Buddhism, and it’s the ultimate reality, das Ding an Sich, at the same time. The idea that there are universal rules, maybe an intelligent design, at least a reason behind it, a free will or force, an original cause is common to at least all religions and probably most philosophies as well.

Descartes’ worn-out “I think, therefore I am” is a statement of cause and effect. Kant almost trips himself up dwindling through the definitions of categories, concepts, objects in relation to pure, or general, or intuited understanding and the syntheses whose foundations rest on themselves and their relation to the other constructs of the mind.

Sorry about that sentence, I only meant to say that Kant, too, finds reason behind everything.

The people who are against Intelligent Design say that the universe does not need a consciousness to will it into being, while people who are positive to the Big Bang-theory believe that even unconscious, there has to be an ultimate cause behind everything. I would say that no, there doesn’t have to be anything behind everything, “everything” is quite enough without the add-on of a Derridian urtrace, an Urkraft, an ultimate cause.

In our perceived reality everything has a cause, within the constraints of the conception of  time, so if we search the material world for the cause behind every cause we will eventually stagger into, well, nothing, there is no wall, we will continue endlessly, because every cause has it’s cause, there is no ultimate cause.

The idea of a wall is the idea that every object has to have an end, in space, the other basic fundament of the mind Kant mentions together with time. We split things into groups and unique entities by relativity. Either we categorize it according to a similarity and group it, make it an object in a subset, or according to it’s dissimilarities, which is the basic principle of the mind according to Kant; namely unifying the manifold that is everything.

We draw an arbitrary line in the sand and we call everything within soul and everything without the world. But the line is in-discrete and flows in a continuous spectrum. If you cut a finger off, are you still you? If you = your body, then at the loss of a finger, you have diminished. The mind is flexible and adapts to this new circumstance putting the limit along a different line.

Basically, what we do is split the universe into two, an ego and the rest. Buddhists finding Nirvana say they strip themselves of all preconceived layers of the material world, let go of all definitions and let the world unfold as a mono-complex, in which first they see themselves as the one unit, then they turn their gaze around and see instead the rest as a unit. They see the universe as if it was all one whole, which must be a pretty nice sight, much like this artificial image of Kilimanjaro:

Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania, the highest peak in Africa at 5,891.8 metres.

Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania, the highest peak in Africa at 5,891.8 metres.

My idea is that everything is one thing, but then the mind separates it into two, I imagine a blue line around the body, or around a 1-dimensional (not possible) dot in the brain; this blue halo looks like what I imagine a soul would look like. The rest of the universe is also encircled in a blue shiny band. The blue light is imaginary though, it’s a monkey that has defined itself this way. Otherwise we couldn’t separate chairs from haircuts and dogs from giraffes and would be completely useless to bring home dinner. So we draw lines, defining things, starting with separating 1 –> 2, which is logically important and mathematically hilarious.

For practical purposes we can reflect upon our own thoughts, but only memories as self-reflection only studies the past actions and decisions of the body.  We can’t think of future thoughts, because they haven’t happened in time yet. Therefore we define ourselves according to the stable part of our universe, the self, which appear to remain the same despite the world constantly revolving and reshaping before its eyes.

We need a solid basis from which to comprehend reality so that we can walk around and do things in it. We don’t will this though, our self-reflection is involuntary, it starts without us having to will it and it decides our future brain patterns and future actions, based on our previous ones. An ultimate cause, an original force or will of the mind is superfluous, is not needed.

If the universe is random, it must be the way it is among an infinite amount of possibilities, which makes it unique. But just because it is a certain unique way does not require that it was intelligent design. The random nature of the universe would be enough to explain that it is the way it is, because it had to be one way if it must be any way of all ways.

Similarly, everything just is the way it is, without an ultimate cause or reason or will, which means that the world-view in each individual is a result of the fact that if it has to be some way it became this way, which is just as likely as any other way among infinite possibilities. There is no necessity in explaining why life, experience, consciousness, being or whatever we call it, feels the way it does, because there is no ultimate reason behind everything (which is kinda obvious already in the word everything *chuckles*).

The idea that 1=1 is an assumption, and on this assumption we base all of mathematics and physics. The idea of oneness is however a consequence of the mind having separated the world into two 1’s, despite calling it universe (uni means one) and not two-verse (again the hint is in the word, hoho..)

Yeah, so the question begs, what is “the rest”. Well, everything that is part of a person’s world-view forms that ego, so the rest must be everything that has not come into contact with the person, i.e. the unknown. The nature of God is all that which is not in our mind, the blackness without the soul, which we identify ourselves with because God, just like the ego, is a unit of a complex manifold, only God is the other end of the spectrum in which we drew the arbitrary line in the sand of space-time, not because of any particular reason, but because we had to draw it somewhere, or at least, when considering this analogy, one must define reality as a place where you draw imaginary lines, while in actuality it’s just another metaphor for everything, just like the idea of a metaphor is just a metaphor for an in-discrete part of reality. Part, here, being understood as a Ding encircled in a shiny blue coat.

Something funny:

Something not so funny: