Innovation and Speciation: pre-planning (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, May 30, 2014, 20:16 (1270 days ago) @ David Turell

I'm combining this thread with the one on ants, as the arguments concerning pre-planning and the intelligent cell are now overlapping.

dhw: I don't expect proof (which I know does not exist), but am simply asking why you prefer your very exact "antedating" and "pre-planning" interpretation of evolution to other equally "purposeful" but less restricted alternatives.
DAVID: But I don't see the entire bush as purposeful, but large parts are. If we arrived against all odds, then there had to be directionalty, as I have always stated. And lots of the bush provide the balance we see in nature as things eat things. We introduce the wrong animal or plant and look what happens.

So the sea anemone's nervous system was pre-planned to be passed through billions of organisms to give us humans a nervous system. How about, say, bloodsucking, malaria-carrying mosquitoes? No use to us and didn't provide any new organs for us to inherit. An accident? Separate creation? Or the product of an inventive mechanism functioning independently of God's pre-planning? The teleological alternatives to your "pre-planning", "antedating the need" scenario were God experimenting to find the formula for humans (oops, a mosquito!), or letting intelligent cell communities do their own thing (ugh, a mosquito!) until a few hundred thousand years ago he thought of creating the most weird and wonderful creature of all, which is you. Oh, all right then, me! No problem explaining the mosquito with either of these theistic scenarios. So once more, why do you prefer preplanning and antedating the need (sea anemone's nervous system), which leaves us with The Unsolved Mystery of the Mosquito?

Dhw (under "Ant colony"): If innovations don't work, they won't survive. "Punctuated equilibrium" suggests sudden bursts of activity, and clearly the Cambrian Explosion was one ... but "sudden" is a relative term. The period lasted for about 50 million years, which allows for quite a few generations! Either the cell communities cooperated to invent these new organs within the given time frame, or you are going to have reject evolution and revert to special creation, or to your God pre-programming every single innovation in the first few forms of life, to be passed down through billions of generations of billions of species.

DAVID: But you are ignoring the abrupt appearance of whole animals with whole previously absent organ systems. Yes these appearances covered 50 million years, but with no antecedents for any of them!

So were they specially created, or pre-programmed in the first few forms of life, or did the intelligent mechanism which your God may have created respond to unprecedented changes in the environment, over a 50 million year period, with an unprecedented burst of inventiveness?

Dhw: Once the organ has been invented, the cells will certainly follow the established patterns, just as ants do, but I have specified the cell communities that innovate. This takes us back to my comment above. Are you arguing for special creation, or for the very first forms of life being preprogrammed with billions of innovations to be passed down etc.?
DAVID: Your specification is not God's. I have no idea how God did it. I just know the simple fact that evolution produced us with no obvious natural reason for that invention.

But you HAVE specified how your God did it: according to you he pre-planned all the organs necessary for humans. It's your very specific interpretation of evolution, focusing on the human "line" and "no-idea"-ing the rest, that I'm questioning and to which I'm offering alternatives.


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