On the supersoul

6 03 2019

I have a habit of trying to read books outside of my expertise and interest, and the above talk is on the book that I just finished reading: Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. The octopus and the cuttlefish in particular seem to exhibit evidence of consciousness and recognition, often with mischievous and self-interested ends. Humans have reported octopuses trying to escape from aquariums, exhibiting hostile behavior, and swimming next to divers in a pattern of recognition. They seem to demonstrated levels of consciousness only present in “higher mammals.”

Some interesting tidbits from the book is that octopuses seem to see with their skin and, in spite of having advanced intelligence for their habitat, they live only about two years. The author then has to explain why animals that have this level of intelligence live so shortly. The hypothesis is that animals in general have to “front end” all of their vital energies, which explains why we get old. We have to have all of our strength and health early to reproduce the species as much as possible. Otherwise, especially in the wild, if we had to wait to be strong and attractive at the end of our life, we could be killed or or suffer an accident before we reach our full potential.

Such inherent intelligence also reminds me of the book, Gifts of the Crow, also about an animal with an “abnormal” level of intelligence. Crows have been known to go out of their way to sabotage cars and get resources in creative ways. The problem then becomes: Are we seeing ourselves in a universe that is dead and hostile to us, personifying the inhuman? Or is our intelligence part of a larger intelligence that works in us but not exclusively?

God and the Light Bulb

28 03 2008


Listening to Catholic radio today, I caught the tail-end of a program on G.K. Chesterton. As usual, I was really interested in the program in order to mine it for the one line zingers that Chesterton is infamous for. One such zinger was his saying that science could no more tell you what to think than the telephone can tell you what to say, or something to that affect. I can concede that Chesterton very much had his finger to the pulse of the throbbing pains of modernity, though I have never found his prose very pleasing.
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“Intelligent Design”

25 02 2008


A Failure of the Christian Imagination

With the advent of Catholic radio here in the Bay Area, I have become a Catholic radio junkie. Not that I listen to it all the time. But when confronted while driving with the options of listening to the classical music station (overly commercialized for the most part), public radio (one of the things white people like), the Mexican station (I don’t like my people that much), and the hip-hop station (no comment), I would much rather be edified than entertained. And Catholic radio is edifying, even if it is not my particular onda, as they say in Spanish. It is nice to hear people talk about the Faith in such an enthusiastic manner, and I have to say it helps us to remember God in our lives so full of noise and distraction. Read the rest of this entry »