A Quote & Synopsis of my Views on ‘Free Will’

“Free will is defined as the belief that there is a component to biological behavior that is something more than the unavoidable consequences of genetic and environmental history of the individual and the possible stochastic laws of nature” (i.e., the laws of physics and chemistry)

Anthony Cashmore

That is, there is something that you can do that violates naturalism and the laws of physics and chemistry. Which is making free decisions, one can not simply obviate the laws that predominate reality, this is the bone of my contention and why I reject the very notion of free will. We live in a universe that is determined at bottom by fundamental particles, so to say you as an individual can intervene and induce the system via your own will is absurd. We are animals constituted of baryonic matter whose actions are determined by the laws of physics and chemistry, our environment and the stochastic nature of reality promulgated by quantum indeterminacy. Continue reading

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Thoughts on The Prospects of ‘Designer Babies’

There isn’t any single gene for any particular talent; psychological traits are distributed across thousands of genes (about 5% of your DNA codes for proteins that determine genes) each with a diminutive effect, (not to mention the noncoding sequences, about 95% of DNA, that influence gene expression and regulation) and many with deleterious side effects. For example, if one wanted to enhance their child’s intelligence there could certainly be the possibility of increasing their risk of getting cancer.

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The very prospect of designer babies is not something to be concerned about. Even with optimum gene editing technology (such as CRISPER) the augmentation of cerebral attributes will very well have a cascade effect that will lead to a myriad of detrimental compounding consequences. Making the prospects of ‘designer babies’, functionally and operationally improbable. Not to mention, the publics pathological attitude of being risk adverse to such dubious behavior, especially with their offspring.

Happy Darwin Day

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

More Thoughts​ on Scientific Certainty

“Science, unlike what religion purports (and fails) to do, cannot tell us what is absolutely true, it can only tell us with certainty what is false. What is subsequently left after scientific inquiry is a resultant that has an exponentially high degree of certainty and probability of being true. Once one has eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must have a greater statistical likelihood of being closer to the truth than we once were. And as we inch closer to the truth, through reliance on rational thought backed by empirical evidence and objective investigation, we can throw away antiquated notions of the past to the dustpan of history.”

-Zed

What Is Love, And Should It Be Something Steric​ or More Nebulous In Nature

I recently wrote an article on the book, and newly released movie Call Me by Your Name and had an epiphany after reading it on how I perceived the relationship between the two protagonists. As I was reading it never clicked for me that the two were gay or bisexual, all I saw where two humans who were deeply in love with one another. The word gay wasn’t even mentioned in the book nor the motion picture; they weren’t designated with a specific label by me, not until I gave it some thought after I had already finished the book.

This got me thinking about labels and definitions and how we should use them in defining things. Love, for example, is an intangible force with a very physical and indeed tangible origin, that can be linked back to the firing of neurons, release of neurotransmitters, electrochemical gradient formations, and other neurophysiological processes. But what use is there in deriving particular labels for the bases of love, what use is there for labeling some love as straight and another as gay? How does it make things more comprehensible? I don’t know the answer to these questions, and I don’t really think they have coherent answers to them. We humans have an innate urge to categorize things in steric boxes within our minds, to help make sense of the world. Continue reading

Favorite Quote of The Week

“We did not ask for this room or this music. We were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty. We have been given pain to be astounded by joy. We have been given life to deny death. We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.”

― Stephen King, 11/22/63

Recent Thoughts​ on Scientific Certainty

“Science is a process that produces a testable body of knowledge that is open to rejection or confirmation, and the first rule to this endeavor is not to fool yourself because you are the easiest person to fool. So while science can’t disprove an unprovable and unfalsifiable hypothesis (that being god), it can, however, render it so preposterously improbable that anybody who still takes it to be viable has a serious problem on their hands.”

-Zed