Statistics

Emergence Cannot Explain Intelligence — Planetary Or Otherwise

Let’s have a look at the peer-reviewed paper “Intelligence as a planetary scale process” by Adam Frank, David Grinspsoon and Sara Walker, in the International Journal of Astrobiology.

We might loosely call planetary intelligence the scientific Gaia hypothesis. Here’s how they open:

Conventionally, intelligence is seen as a property of individuals. However, it can also be a property of collectives. Examples include collective-decision-making by social insects, slime mould navigating mazes, and even intelligent behaviour of individual cells and viruses which are themselves a collective of chemical processes.

Convention is right, and the examples are wrong. Mould has no intelligence in any sense beyond following an algorithm, as it were (and only in an analogical sense), just as Conway’s Game of Life is an algorithm that produces interesting patterns that it takes intelligence to grasp.

Insects, too, do not act as a group, but individually. Same with humans. Many men often act the same, or similarly, especially in crowds and panics, as we all have had extensive experience with. But each insect and each human acts in accord with their own single capabilities. The results of these individual actions, and whatever interesting patterns their collective behavior evinces, cannot be construed as “intelligence.” Intelligence must be directed. “Emergent” patterns are not.

Every beast and flower remakes its environment in a way most conducive to it, even if these modifications of the world are nothing more than a plant or beast being here instead of being there. Actions are endless. Ants burrow, and so do men. The land is reshaped No one would would say the ants’ or men’s tunnels are intelligence, though. Except, perhaps, for our authors.

They agree that “most astrobiologists do not” share this eccentricity and do not “view intelligence as a property of the biosphere, from which a ‘Technosphere’ might emerge as an evolutionary stage of global intelligence.”

They are interested in this Technosphere because of the search for extraterrestial intelligence (SETI), given the plausible conditional premise that if other intelligences exist they might leave traces that can be found by us.

I have read scores these papers over the years, and, like this one, they are cast in the form of a scientific pep rally, listing reason after reason why SETI might not be in vain. Well, and they might be right that ET is out there signaling to us, or leaving telltale traces. But after half a century of searching and nothing turning up, you’d think ardor would cool. Not yet.

Anyway, it is a trivial truth that if an organism changes an environment, the environment changes the organism right back. The two go together; they are inseparable. There are necessarily feedbacks, negative and positive, which are time and location dependent—which, incidentally, is why it is to difficult knowing what causes what. That these trivial truths are so is certainly not a discovery of any kind, as it has always been plain. Men cannot live in just their skins at the bottom of the ocean, fish can. Et cetera.

So what is “planetary intelligence”? “[A]n emergent, collective property of the subsystems comprising the biosphere, that in turn induces new modes of behaviour on individual parts (e.g. organisms).”

A gopher digs a hole in a prairie and the coyote has to take a different path. This path “emerges.” The path itself is not intelligence. Neither, then, is the interstate highway system intelligence—though it was created by intelligences.

You can’t get intelligence by making more roads, or how those roads interconnect with rivers. Just as you can’t have intelligence “emerge” from an abacus by adding beads—or by sliding the beads faster.

There is no difficulty in using “emergence” as a metaphor, but it is no kind of explanation at all. It is mere hand waving. What causes intelligence? Emergence. What is emergence? That which causes intelligence. How does emergence work? It emerges. (See the abacus example.)

That makes sentences like this screwy: “While our current, early-Anthropocene phase displays key features of a planetary intelligence, e.g. an emergent CAS composed of multi-layered networks of semantic information flows, it appears to lack the critical characteristic of autopoietic self-maintenance.”

Just when will our planet become self aware? When it emerges, or when emergence kicks in. And when will this happen? When our planet becomes self aware. Our authors go a little farther: “We make no absolute claims at this point as to the underlying cognitive nature of species that could create a planetary intelligence, but a minimal criterion might be that they should be social.”

Why social? Hey, why not?

Again, no one disputes that intelligences causes interesting things to occur, things that can’t be measured, mapped, noticed, maybe even seen from great distances, in the case of SETI. But in no cases are these interesting things “intelligence.”

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Categories: Statistics

49 replies »

  1. Emergence Cannot Explain Intelligence

    Never mind intelligence, they should study where the Stupid comes from.

  2. What is astrobiology?

    ”NASA took a new direction in 1995 by defining a science program that also was a novel experiment in research that bridges and connects many disciplines. Politics, science, personalities and serendipity all contributed to the creation and success of what is now called astrobiology as a field of inquiry.

    It’s a grift.

  3. ‘Emergent’ properties. Water is wet, though none of its constituent molecules are. A human being is intelligent though none of his constituent organs are. Some causea are ‘holistic,’ i.e., top-down rather than bottom up. It seems your authors may have rediscovered Formal Causes. The Stagirite gets the last laugh.

  4. Never mind, I know where the Stupid came from — the Big Stupid Bang. You see, in the beginning there was Nothing, and Nothing went Bang, then the Big Stupid filled the universe.

    I’m sure the Stagirite explained all this.

  5. “It is mere hand waving. What causes intelligence? Emergence. What is emergence? That which causes intelligence. How does emergence work? It emerges.”

    Oh, yeah?!

    Well then, all we need to do is add “evolutionary” and the whole thing is automatically kosher!

    A la: “…an evolutionary stage of global intelligence.”

    Voila! Stick “evolutionary” in there, and now it’s good and sciencey!

    Take that, Logic and Reason!

    Evolutionary biology, “…evolutionary anthropology, cultural evolution, human biology, evolutionary medicine, anthropological genetics, phylogenetics, paleoanthropology and evolutionary approaches to psychology, cognition, language, economics, archaeology, primatology, politics and anything else that can be considered to be part of the evolutionary human sciences…”etc., etc., etc.

  6. “Convention is right, and the examples are wrong.”

    Yes, but you’ll never get tenure by writing something like that.

    Quite seriously, that’s part of the problem. People can’t attract attention by saying things that everyone already knows. And it’s more interesting to make outrageous claims. Those two incentives account for a lot of nonsense.

  7. YOS, no, the stalagmites get the last laugh
    emergence is another name for an effect or an outcome which is considered otherwise abstract.
    like Wet
    chord
    spongecakiness
    sticky
    stinky
    slimey
    fluffy
    glitter
    sweet
    YOSiness which is another word for essence of YOS

  8. I meant harmony, not chord.
    ‘accord’ is a word used in fragrance which also must come under the same category
    of effects being called ’emergence’.
    Do they catalogue effects like they list causes?

  9. But each insect and each human acts in accord with their own single capabilities.
     
    This argument mixes causes; causes of action and outcomes for the same.

    Reality:
    There are two things, or more than one linear thing, happening at the same time. Consider the frequency of vibration on the millennium wobbly bridge in London. The known effect, to engineers, that happens with all large structures and which can lead to catastrophic failure.
    Each individual is acting in accordance with their own body function but there is resonance. The resonance is the ‘emergent property.’
    Yet humans can and do take joint actions:
    How about:
    Tug of war,
    choirs,
    traffic jam waves on a motorway,
    internet blog comment box cascades
    The great escape
    Mexican waves
    Some of the above is consciously generated.
    who knows about the bees?

  10. Chopped comment:
    Insects, too, do not act as a group, but individually.
    Same with humans.

     
    That is not true, clearly bees? They are each individually functioning units but they do emit ‘pheromones’ which cause others to take action. Whether that is conscious or not is irrelevant, here, presumably.

    Many men often act the same, or similarly, especially in crowds and
    panics, as we all have had extensive experience with.

    No, I would argue that they give up their ability to think they are responsible, or stopped caring, not the sam thing as what happens physically. Without their action the emergence can’t happen.
    crowd crushing is another example of joint actions summating to cause bad outcomes.
     
    Better to think of good outcomes from good actions, less ambiguity,
    Which reminds me, I found this on the internet the other day, let’s see.

  11. “There are some people who see the Borg as a goal to be reached.”

    Yancey Ward–we call them “woke”.

  12. Sooo . . . that’s the argument against emergence, that there’s no unequivocal evidence for it, and that it defies common sense? True enough. But I am unconvinced, and as a engineer, it’s fun to think about, the idea that you can get more out of your design than you put into it. (And if thinking about it actually does take you to somewhere useful, it will likely be way off in left field, something totally unexpected.)

    Having said that, “planetary intelligence” is a bridge too far for even a day-dreaming engineer like me. Sounds like a cool plot device for a Star Trek episode, though (well, ok, as long as Weasley Flusher isn’t involved).

  13. There appears to be no intelligence in Conservative Inc.

    Sean Hannity teaming-up with Sean Penn to support The Ukraine.

    And then there is this:

    Last night I ran an errand for The Bride and as I drove to the store I tuned in “The Great One” Mark Levin at 1290 AM radio in Wellington, Florida.

    This is not a joke- he spent time favorably comparing Zelenskyy and Winston Churchill; No, not Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill.

  14. Intelligence has an existential condition, namely understanding, and for the latter there is not even a philosophy (like e.g. logic) let alone intercultural methods (except perhaps the usual Darwinian coercion).

  15. @WMB – I think you are painting yourself into a corner where you don’t want to be, by over-generalizing the argument. It is – I would say – a mainstream Catholic theological position that groups of individual entities Can have intelligence, which is usually explained in terms of the power of angels/ archangels etc.

    I wholly agree that ’emergence’ is essentially nonsense – metaphysical assertion pretending to be science; but that groups Can (under some circumstances, by whatever model or explanation) have a group-teleology is – I would say – an essential assumption for Christians.

    I argued this for biology in my last published paper before I retired from science – which is pretty long and heavy going, but the fruits of three decades of experiencing and thinking on the matter (for what that’s worth!):

    https://thewinnower.com/papers/3497-a-teleological-metaphysics-for-biology-hierarchical-purposive-conscious-governing-entities-direct-evolutionary-processes

  16. Bruce,

    Thanks And, true enough, but the groups still operate by their individuals.

  17. Bruce g is right:
    Moving to spiritual matters:
    The power of prayer is another example.
    “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.”
    Pretence of knowledge is ugly

  18. @Bruce,
    I am a trained chemist, studied biology as a minor; and did practical application of those over my life’s work time. I long ago came to the conclusions you state. God *must* exist by logical necessity. Everything else, to me, flows from that. I, a sinner, am yet made in God’s image. I have some of His qualities. I, being a sinner, acknowledge Him, and His Son who is my redeemer, and His Holy Spirit.

  19. Many falsely claim that Christ is in the midst of them even when they are not members of His Church which makes the statement absurd, not comforting, for Jesus is not in the midst of those who are against Him (He who is not with me is against me).

    The great commentary of Cornelius a Lapide is apt here;

    There am I, &c., i.e., there I stand, and co-operate, and guide their desires and prayers, and fulfil them. I am in the midst of them, as the Holy Ghost is in the midst of the Father and the Son, as it were the love and bond of both. S. Hilary gives the reason, “Because He who is peace and love will make his dwelling-place with good and peaceful dispositions.” And Origen says, we often fail to be heard of God, because we disagree among ourselves, and he gives the cause. As in music, unless there be harmony and concord between the sounds, the hearer is not gratified. So is it with the Church; unless there be agreement, God does not delight in it, nor listen to its voice.”

    Some writers, arguing from the major to the minor, prove, not inaptly, the authority of Councils. For the declaration is a general one, and has proportionally greater force as respects Councils, than as regards other things. For if Christ be in the midst of two, much more must He be in the midst of the whole Church, gathered together in His Name, and represented by the Prelates and Bishops. For Councils are properly gathered together in the Name of Christ, i.e., by His authority, that they may increase and propagate His faith and glory. Wherefore when they ask in the Name of Christ that they may not err in faith, that they may reform the manners of the faithful, that they may have the assistance of the Holy Spirit, they certainly obtain these things. This is especially true of Œcumenical Councils, but it is applicable to Provincial Councils also, when they are legitimately constituted, and approved by the Pope.

    Jesus is not in the midst of those who refuse to be members of His Church but such absurdities are the haughty claims of those who reject Jesus and His commandments.

  20. Mick, many claim a lot of false tings., like you, but those who know the truth when they see it, when they hear it, take great comfort from that.
     
    There’s not a whole lot you can do about it bleat on about the one true church.
    The One True Church is invisible, it has no walls, no steeple, no fancy gilded paintings, although they are marvellous to look at. You know this is true
     
    He also said this:
    Matthew chapter 11 last verses
    28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  21. Sounds Briggs here pulled out a vague article that unnecessarily complicates things with its language as he rightly points out.

    I think of “intelligence”more as a feature of a conscious being like a human being or animal that can think or articulate to a certain degree. Of course, animal intelligence is lower in its ability than human intelligence for obvious reasons.

    When there is a case in which several things or living beings operate in a cooperative manner like cars moving on the road or ants building an ant hill, etc. I think that’s more descriptive of a group of things acting in an “intelligent manner” or an ordered manner rather than a collection altogether having “intelligence”. Of course, our universe is intelligently designed so it’s no wonder you’ll find that things in nature will act in intelligent, purposeful manners.

  22. Bobcat,
    Thank you, I only worked that out after reading the Borg comment above, had to confer, not an expert.
    (glad you think animals have intelligence, too).

    It may be that there is more than one kind of effect happening in group prayer at the same time. So, whatever consciousness actually is, may still only be part of what happens. (that’s my guess)
    The Spirit, humans only have touches with. If The Word is to be believed, then God knows that we do not know what Spirit we are made of. He told us as much, more than once, so I trust that.
    The Spirit of truth is in everybody, I believe, hmm, maybe most.

  23. Title:
    Emergence Cannot Explain Intelligence — Planetary Or Otherwise
    Because ‘emergence’ is still just a place holder / attract noun , like so many others in philosophy?
    So emergence doesn’t explain anything, it barely even describes.

  24. Mark 9 38-41:
    38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

    39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

  25. If Emergence Cannot Explain Intelligence, how do we explain the intelligence of individual animals (including Man)? How is individual intelligence different from the “intelligence” of crowds or swarms?

  26. One of the very best takes on “intelligence” ever:

    “Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!”

    “The what?” said Richard.

    “The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a …”

    “Yes,” said Richard, “there was also the small matter of gravity.”

    “Gravity,” said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, “yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered.” … “You see?” he said dropping his cigarette butt, “They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.”

    ? Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

  27. Yes Joy. Everybody from Calvin to Hobbs knows that Jesus established an invisible church and that invisible church He commissioned to teach in His name and He established the invisible Papacy and an invisible Hierarchy with invisible sacraments and He said if you do not hear this invisible church you are a visible publican and that invisible church wrote every singe word of the New Testament you routinely corrupt the meaning of and that invisible church has convened more than a few ecumenical councils where an invisible church took decisions and formally established teachings you sometimes accept in part.

    Joy, why even pretend you are a christian when you clearly are not?

  28. gareth, isn’t it just the ability not to follow the crowd?
    Just given your question
    That is the very essence of individuation. I believe that is one of the sings of maturity.
    Hence those on twitter do not evince this quality terribly much…as a rule of thumb..

  29. Mick, calm down
    I have corrupted nothing and you have nothing to fear, if you tell the truth
    If you know what Jesus Christ did, you have nothing to fear. Nor anything to be angry about
    with regards Spiritual matters that impinge on you.
     
    It’s one of the ways to tell you’ve got something wrong.
    That you want God in a box, is just one of the problems you’ve got. Along with several hundred others, for your number is quite small, in total, but like other fundamentalists, you make a lot of noise.
     
    As I said to others who made the same accusation, if you’ve already made up your mind then what can I say that’s going to alter anything if it were even necessary? Since I don’t require your approval as. a valid member of the invisible Church of Christ which exists in the human heart and not in a building, then your frustration at me is unwarranted and a waste of your time

  30. Joy I am calm and secure in my faith. My response to you is really intended for the benefit of others who have also swallowed the lies of Luther, Jean Cauvin, Zwingli, Knox etc etc

    Outside of a few of the truths originally taught by the Catholic Church that you accept, you are autocephalic , you are a public publican who rejects Jesus and His Commandments but of course it is a duty of a christian who has received the Sacrament of Confirmation to oppose the lies and errors of heretics like your own self.

    The claim I want God in a box is a silly charge I expect protestants to make because.. invisible. It is about the only thing a member of an “invisible” church can think of to say to one who is a member of the Church Jesus established and built on a rock.

    Was Matthias also invisible when he was chosen to take Judas’ invisible apostolic ministry?

    Your apophaticism is an abscission from Divine Revelation but as long as you have the authority over Christ, let it rip 🙂

    Adios for now

  31. Thanks, Matt, for a fine piece. I’m reminded of Humpty Dumpty’s comment (“Alice through the Looking-Glass”)

    “When I use a word it means exactly what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”

  32. Your apophaticism is an abscission from Divine Revelation but as long as you have the authority over Christ, let it rip
    I don’t object to or claim to have authority over Christ, this is your claim.
    I object to your claims about Christ. About the True Church, not Christ’s commandments, which were clear enough. If I did so, I would have no difficulty whatsoever in saying so
     
    You also seem to have swallowed an ecclesiastical dictionary/. What did Jesus say about the Pharisees? Did they accuse Jesus of being possessed? How much difference did the truth make to those Pharisees?

  33. Well Joy, glad you like my comment!

    I figured if you can train a dog to sit or stay for a while by command then, yes, certain animals have a degree of intelligence. I used to have a cat that would actually jump up on the door and try to touch the door nob everytime it wanted to exit a room with a closed door. I guess the cat, after observing people twisting the knobs while entering or exiting a room, it figured that if she could somehow touch or play with the door knob the door just might open.

    I’m not going to get into all these more serious discussions today since I have too many things to do. But I thought I just mention that for the fun of it.

  34. No worries Bobcat, neither was my responses up top supposed to be ‘serious’, at least you have. a sense of humour.

    Cats and dogs being just two more important things in life than worrying about studies that show, or don’t, as the case may be. Tea…being another
    Cheers!

  35. “Emergence” is only a concept that applies for those who do not know/believe that human beings are spiritual beings who occupy mortal bodies and continue to live after the body dies. Read Genesis.

  36. 1] And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, [2] And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. [3] And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus; and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. [4] And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [5] Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

    Protestants deny that Jesus is the Church but this is the proof that He is. The bible never teaches that there is an invisible church.

    Further, the protestant progenitors claim of Faith alone is a repudiation of Jesus and all He established- Visible Hierarchy, Holy Sacrificed of the Mass, Sacraments etc

    Malachias For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. [12] And you have profaned it in that you say: The table of the Lord is defiled: and that which is laid thereupon is contemptible with the fire that devoureth it. [13] And you have said: Behold of our labour, and you puffed it away, saith the Lord of hosts, and you brought in of rapine the lame, and the sick, and brought in an offering: shall I accept it at your hands, saith the Lord? [14] Cursed is the deceitful man that hath in his flock a male, and making a vow offereth in sacrifice that which is feeble to the Lord: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the Gentiles.

    [11] “A clean oblation”: Viz., the precious body and blood of Christ in the eucharistic sacrifice.

    Oblation

    http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/s?q=oblation&b=drb

    Because Malachias so clearly prophesies about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass th eprotestnat revolutionaries had to edit his prophecy to cloak the truth

    1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

    Fake scripture.

    https://www.churchfathers.org/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

  37. Mould has no intelligence in any sense beyond following an algorithm

    Begging the question fallacy. Prove that intelligence isn’t just following an algorithm.

    Just as you can’t have intelligence “emerge” from an abacus by adding beads

    Just as you can’t have wetness emerge from water molecules by adding more molecules. Oh, wait…

    There is no difficulty in using “emergence” as a metaphor, but it is no kind of explanation at all. It is mere hand waving.

    There is no difficulty in using ‘God’ as a metaphor, but it is no kind of explanation at all. It is mere hand waving – but far more so than emergence. It hasn’t been demonstrated that God exists, so that needs to be done first before God can be an explanation for anything. Even then, how can God’s intelligence be explained? ‘God just happens to have this very highly specified intelligence for no reason’ isn’t much of an explanation.

  38. Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque,

    Sean Hannity teaming-up with Sean Penn to support The Ukraine.

    Imagine taking the side of unarmed civilians being bombed out of their homes by a fascist. Whatever next!

    Everybody from Calvin to Hobbs knows that Jesus established an invisible church

    It was invisible for 250,000+ years before JC turned up, and nearly invisible for 300 years after. Even then, it would quite possibly have fizzled-out if not for various historical accidents, such as being adopted by the Roman empire and forced on everyone.

    that invisible church wrote every singe word of the New Testament

    LOL Writing your own material always helps.

  39. It was invisible for 250,000+ years before JC turned up, and nearly invisible for 300 years after. Even then, it would quite possibly have fizzled-out if not for various historical accidents, such as being adopted by the Roman empire and forced on eG
     
    Invisible Church comes from references Jesus made about the difference between a physical temple and the true heart of a person.
    God Is ‘invisible’. His affects aren’t necessarily. Jesus Christ’s true church exists in human hearts that are transfigured by the knowledge of his presence or God’s Holy Spirit. How often does that happen?
    The New Testament was written by
    members of the invisible Church who, as humans: knew, met and experienced Jesus Christ, the man, and by Paul, after he experienced an encounter which (he truly believed) was God, as he had been persecuting worshippers of Jesus Christ…aka not so invisible members of the church. How invisible was Steven to Paul? Not enough, evidently.
    There’s no need to invoke ‘invisible church’ for matters physical. It does a disservice to history and the truth.
    Some New Testament was written by Mark, who knew Peter, who did not directly write a Gospel. Some names are unidentified as to who they were with regards to Jesus, but John, Matthew, Peter, Paul and probably one of the James’s, as authors, all had close encounters with Jesus.
    The invisible church is often invoked when excusing activities of the physical organisation of human beings who are still rightly bound by codes of conduct here on earth. It doesn’t do God’s truth any service to excuse members of the physical church simply because an invisible one lives.
    It’s just one of the dangers with powerful organisations that they tend towards cheating and tyranny. Jesus had something to say about the money changers, about those who valued the church ‘rules’ over compassion, of healing a leper.

  40. The emphasis wasn’t mine, it was the invisible codes.
    It was invisible for 250,000+ years before JC turned up, and nearly invisible for 300 years after. Even then, it would quite possibly have fizzled-out if not for various historical accidents, such as being adopted by the Roman empire and forced on eG
     
    Invisible Church comes from references Jesus made about the difference between a physical temple and the true heart of a person.
    God Is ‘invisible’. His affects aren’t necessarily. Jesus Christ’s true church exists in human hearts that are transfigured by the knowledge of his presence or God’s Holy Spirit. How often does that happen?
     
    The New Testament was written by members of the invisible Church who, as humans: knew, met and experienced Jesus Christ, the man, and by Paul, after he experienced an encounter which (he truly believed) was God, as he had been persecuting worshippers of Jesus Christ…aka not so invisible members of the church. How invisible was Steven to Paul? Not enough, evidently.
     
    There’s no need to invoke ‘invisible church’ for matters physical. It does a disservice to history and the truth.
    Some New Testament was written by Mark, who knew Peter, who did not directly write a Gospel. Some names are unidentified as to who they were with regards to Jesus, but John, Matthew, Peter, Paul and probably one of the James’s, as authors, all had close encounters with Jesus.
     
    The invisible church is often invoked when excusing activities of the physical organisation of human beings who are still rightly bound by codes of conduct here on earth. It doesn’t do God’s truth any service to excuse members of the physical church simply because an invisible one lives.
    It’s just one of the dangers with powerful organisations that they tend towards cheating and tyranny. Jesus had something to say about the money changers, about those who valued the church ‘rules’ over compassion, of healing a leper.

  41. Joy. Jesus instituted His invisible Church (Matt 16:18) Chose His invisible Apostle (Jn 15:16) Jesus gave his invisible apostles their Mission (20:21) He gave this invisible church the power to speak in His name (Lk 10:16) etc etc

    Joy show me the money (quotes) that Jesus s established an invisible Church.

    You can’t.

    O, and the Church that decided which texts would be included in the New Testament which ones would be excluded is a visible Church and part of the decision was whether or not the text had been read at Mass

    No, Joy. Don’t bother…

  42. There is no controversy here, even though you try to imply there is. About what is visible and what is invisible.
    Nor, funnily enough, about what invisible is and what visible is and what invisible isn’t and what invisible is

    we agree and you answer your own questions.
    Where do you believe the controversy lies?
    It’s certainly not on the verses you quote, it’s your interpretation of what happens next

    no Joy don’t bother…
    Maybe there’s nothing to see in your quotes that people don’t already know.
    His apostles weren’t invisible, what is written is not invisible, bricks and mortar aren’t invisible, Jesus wasn’t invisible, God IS but he appears as an “angel of the Lord” in the old testament and in other ways to people even today, through the Holy Spirit, so the explanation goes but we don’t know, nobody does.
    Many people today see ‘the man in white’. Muslims have been seeing him too, and following him who they call Yeshua. They give up their faith in Islam according to the Rev Andrew White. People shouldn’t be surprised.
    Peter’s influence was in the Gospel of Mark, if you want his take on the detail, look there.

  43. Perhaps you think I didn’t show the apostle Peter enough attention?
    Here’s what protestants think about the Apostles
     
    There’s nothing in this that isn’t already ‘settled’ by pretty well all and I see no reason to say otherwise, but you seem to think there’s something to see here. They are called “the patristic fathers”
     
    Divine Revelation is something which is not only given to One. Perhaps you disagree there…but I don’t care
    Why should I be left to guess what’s up?
    Listen in plain English:
    https://youtu.be/tUeZOF5w-xw

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