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Sub-Creation and Beltane sheep

Happy feast of Beltane to all you normal pagans!
Safe brunning of struff! (See, phawkwood? I do my part.)

May the old holiday serve as a reminder that one need not drink Liberty Onion Soup (doubleplusgood!merikathink experienced by bktheirregular) to be a patriot, nor celebrate Loyalty Day (reported by azurelunatic and here, me here, and thanatos_kalos here) to be a good American, nor... um... observe May Day to be a goond Durty Commie.

Did I miss anyone? :-D

I'm reminded of that old lao3 fu1 zi3 strip where the main character, an ne'er-do-well Everyman called Lao Fuzi, is seen in the first four panels burning incense to his ancestors, then praying at the shrine of the Buddha, in a Christian chapel, and at an Islamic mosque. Finally he dies and his spirit ascends into heaven. In the last panel, four divine arms reach out and each grab one of his limbs and starts pulling. The expression on his face his one of mingled surprise and alarm. I always thought that one was rather clever and will recommend the last panel as an icon or other graphic for convert_me.

On sub-creation: Now, seeing as it's Beltane, I thought I would conduct a May poll (/me 25p):
How does your belief system of choice (especially the creation tradition of your religion, if any) address the issue of sub-creation? Are created higher Powers (archangels, Valar, a pantheon of lesser gods) responsible for the enactment of the universe in deference to the Supreme Creator, Creatrix, or Creators? Please post here or in convert_me, as I plan to do when I've learned more from you all.




Baaaaaaaa... LJ memesheepdom time:


The 23rd post meme, from many people:

1. Go into your LJ's archives.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions

23rd post: Fri 21 Mar 2003
5th sentence: Ala is the first TEUNC whom I've managed to pull into the LJ Continuum, though you may have noticed teuncy comments from some of the rest.


From borgseawolf (who else?):
What would your Anime life be like? by hearthlight
Name:
Gender:
Your looks:Brooding eyes and a trenchcoat
Your best friend:A sickeningly sweet schoolgirl
Your powers:None, you're utterly normal.
Your beloved:Love is for the weak.
Your occupation:Demon slayer.
Your ending:Tragic...everyone dies.
Created with the ORIGINAL MemeGen!



--
Banazîr

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
phawkwood
May. 1st, 2004 09:52 pm (UTC)
Safe burning? where's the fun in that? I wana put them out, so I say let 'er rip!
banazir
May. 1st, 2004 09:55 pm (UTC)
Wlokay, then...
istari_ala?
deire? wiliqueen? havocthecat?

Yew listening?

--
Banazir
(brun, bebe, brun! cry havoc, even! :-D)
zaimoni
May. 2nd, 2004 01:34 pm (UTC)
[Subcreation]
My spin on this: no data, no belief required. On our level, we are enacting an analog of subcreation. So it isn't like there's no precedent.

I don't think subcreation is either required or precluded by textual Christianity. I do think subcreation is related connotationally to polytheism. My hyperliteral understanding of the NT is that textual Christianity is logically consistent with polytheism. [It does forbid polyworship.] Paul explicitly states this in I Cor. 8:5.
For reference: on creationism vs. evolution, I'm a gap theorist (old Earth, young Adam) who considers Theistic Evolution and Old Earth Creation analytically equivalent on empirical grounds. That means I have no required religious beliefs regarding cosmology, origin of life, etc. — but do have rather bizarre historical opinions regarding the origin of man vis-a-vis human civilization.

The Wilkerson probe has measured that the universe has finite 3-volume...thus, abiogenesis heuristically computationally implies that the "laws of physics" implement some sort of AI search that is substantially faster than random chance. That is, it takes rather extreme metaphysics to avoid computing the existence of a Prime Mover. This claim is susceptible to rigorization by computational analysis of genomes in conjunction with a suitably augmented information theory.
gondhir
May. 2nd, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC)
The Wilkerson probe has measured that the universe has finite 3-volume...thus, abiogenesis heuristically computationally implies that the "laws of physics" implement some sort of AI search that is substantially faster than random chance. That is, it takes rather extreme metaphysics to avoid computing the existence of a Prime Mover. This claim is susceptible to rigorization by computational analysis of genomes in conjunction with a suitably augmented information theory
Um... is that just a complicated way of saying "the chances of life arising from non-life on its own are so low that there must be a god of some type"?
zaimoni
May. 2nd, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC)
I like the complicated way because it clearly separates me from innumerate young-earth-creationists.

(Who I have serious theological problems with. "Let every man be a liar that God may speak the truth". While I can think of a mathematical formalism that allows objects with inferrable distances beyond "creation time zero" to appear to us, I feel that a God/gods that actually used that formalism would be "lying" to us in some way.)

For a volume of space-time equivalent to the visible universe, the eyeball calculation of the "random chance" probability is bounded above by something near 10-303 with current [~2000AD/CE] data. [Note: This requires making assumptions about how the Hubble law should affect the calculation. I stuck with conventional-paradigm assumptions, even though my understanding of GR gives me some doubts.]

The primary assumption is that a biological virus is a lower bound in "specification" for a nonredundant true self-replicator. The beauty of the Wilkerson data is that it explicitly measures that "space is compact" — which immediately mathematically implies finite 3-volume for all space-slices, and empirically implies a relatively small multiplier of the 3-volume of the visible universe.

Keep in mind that once you have Von-Neumann life, you are working in abstract-DNA-realm. [Von Neumann formally reinvented DNA in 1948; DNA was experimentally observed in 1953.] That means genetic algorithms govern evolutionary processes, not a straight random search. While formally "almost all" problems are slower under genetic algorithms than random research, we can assume (for purposes of analysis) that "life" is faster with GA's than pure random search in the absence of a Theory of Everything.
banazir
May. 2nd, 2004 07:30 pm (UTC)
Wow...
I'm confuzzled.

Good job! :-P

Seriously, please carry on; this is fascinating.
I may not agree, but it's an interesting line of cosmological thought. "Early intervention", as it were.
So, you don't subscribe to 7-day literalism, then?

--
Banazir
zaimoni
May. 2nd, 2004 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow...
I do not agree with 7-day literalism as propounded by young-earth-creationists. I do believe a hyperliteral reading of Genesis 1:2-2:4 (the first creation account, after the "gap" between Gen. 1:1 and Gen 1:2) describes a geocentric-literal 7 days of creation of the Garden of Eden. This has nothing to do with the age of the Earth, etc. which is telegraphically summarized in Genesis 1:1. I would not be able to adhere to this interpretation if current medical science did not suggest how to stop physical aging completely. The medical science in question is entirely post-1980.

Consider The Wrath of Khan. What's so difficult for an approximiately omnipotent being to take 7 days for a Garden of Eden when we can science-fantasize 10 minutes for an entire planet?

I know that I'm out-of-sync with the Church Fathers (and by extension, John Calvin who extensively depended on the Church Fathers for interpreting the Bible) on this.

A combination of medical and geological considerations make me particularly inclined to look to the aftermath of the Messinian Salinity Crisis for guidance of where the Garden of Eden should be looked for: one mile or so under sea level. [This is also fun when dealing with the Nile river. At the first iteration, the Eonile cut a canyon 1.5 km — and ended in a waterfall at least as high falling into the desert below. Two Niles ago, that canyon was almost entirely filled at a sedimentation rate 10,000 times current.]

In particular, it's remarkably difficult to get hard information on when the last Mediterranean sea dehydration-refilling was. At least one secular geology department (UK) infers at least sixteen such cycles simply from the 2km of salt deposits in places under the Mediterranean seafloor.

I've shelved a French attempt to use O18/O16 ratios to count the cyclings as confounded by the ice age effects on O18/O16. (Recorded in SPECMAP. I'd like this reference work to help out with my frozen "hard palæomagnetism" project.)
gondhir
May. 2nd, 2004 07:44 pm (UTC)
The primary assumption is that a biological virus is a lower bound in "specification" for a nonredundant true self-replicator.
This is one of my main problems with the general "life is too unlikely" argument. There is no reason why "life as we know it" couldn't have evolved from an earlier, unknown self-replicating chemical. Just because we don't know of such a precursor doesn't mean that it can't exist. It wouldn't have to have been very GOOD at it because it had no competition. However, as more efficient forms of "life" evolved, the older ones would have gone extinct.

My other, and more fundamental, problem with it is that no one has any idea how life could have been created from non-life. You can't just ASSUME that a bunch of particals "just happened" to stick together into a DNA molecule one day. There could very well have been other processes occuring that we have no idea about because they happened 4 billion or so years ago and left no fossil evidence that we can recognize.
zaimoni
May. 2nd, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)
You don't have to assume that the particles "just happened" to stick together into DNA. In fact, I'm not — that we're in DNA/RNA is a historical artifact. There are extreme computational advantages to using a 2-d or 3-d environment for the initial abiogenesis process; DNA/RNA is linear.

My point is that we can take the infimum of the (well-defined) information content of all recorded biological viruses, which is almost certainly less than that of any true cellular organism. Furthermore, the physical length of the smallest viruses is very close to the physical size of the smallest DOS computer viruses -- and we can also take the infimum of the information content of those, so we have an automatic test bed for whether the theoretical program "works". Once the information content computation is successfully disconnected from the encoding choice [R&D, not done yet], we have an objective way for estimating the minimal complexity of life.

Our low-level DNA/RNA metabolism can be speculatively interpreted as a reduction from a six-nucleic-acid code: the thymine/uracil duality between DNA and RNA, and the metabolic reduction of both of the purine bases guanine and adenosine to inosine before phosphorlysis to hypoxanthine (and subsequent oxidation to xanthine, then uric acid, by two applications of the hydrogen peroxide-generating enzyme xanthine oxidase) suggests that a six-base DNA code using all of adenosine, cytosine, guanine, inosine, thymine, and uracil is reasonable.

As for "no one has any idea how life could have been created from non-life": may I commend how_life_began to your attention? Even though it's not a terribly active community, it was created specifically to log interesting research in this direction.
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