Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 02, 2017, 15:20 (49 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: This is why I question the significance of competition for survival as a major factor.

dhw: You questioned the concept of “survival of the fittest”. This is not just a matter of competition. Once again you seem to be equating survival with population density and totally ignoring every other environmental factor that threatens life.

I don't think population density is an issue. It is something you seemed to mention and I questioned. Darwinists have math models regarding reproductivity as another issue. We've discussed Raup and environment causing extinctions. Survival of the fittest is a tautology.

dhw: We have had this discussion many times before, but it’s worth repeating since so much else depends on it. After much ado, you agreed some time ago that environmental factors play a major role in evolution. Minor adaptations clearly take place as a RESPONSE to environmental change. There is no visualizing of the future form, and no design planning in advance. You continue to ignore my question concerning the mechanism that makes this possible - i.e. do you think your God dabbled or preprogrammed the changes in the beaks of finches, or did their cell communities accomplish these autonomously?

Not so. I have stated that finch beak changes are epigenetic adaptations, a mechanism given by God.

dhw: We agree that innovation is far more complex, and that nobody can explain it. Where we do not agree is on the likeliest order of events. You have your God planning major adaptations (innovations) in advance of environmental change, whereas I have my organisms responding to environmental change.

Environmental change is only one issue. There is no evidence that humans left trees because of major climate changes. Preparatory anatomic changes for bipedalism started 23 million years ago!

dhw: Your version requires your God’s advance knowledge of every environmental change that entails innovation, which suggests that he has preprogrammed or manipulated the environment (local and global) as well as the structures of all the creatures that survive the changes. (We’d better leave out the great non sequitur of all this being done for the sake of the human brain!) The complications are enormous, whereas the scenario of life forms RESPONDING to environmental change, either by dying or by adapting or by producing useful new organs to exploit the changes requires only one premise: that they do the designing themselves with an intelligence which your God may have given them in the first place. We know they respond on a minor scale. Perhaps they also respond on a major scale. It’s a hypothesis, but Occam would be delighted with such a simple solution to the mystery.

All I can say to this mishmash is that Occam did not accept simplicity beyond all recognition. Whales entering water is an environmental change for them, but not an environmental change for the Earth. As for the brain, it evolved, a process you accept. All in a scramble to deny God.


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