Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 03, 2017, 15:56 (51 days ago) @ dhw

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

dhw: With my theist hat on, I am happy to accept that the mechanism for autonomous epigenetic changes may have been given by your God, i.e. that he may have given finches the autonomous means of adapting their beaks without being preprogrammed or dabbled with. So maybe he also gave pre-whales the autonomous means of adapting their legs.

Beak size is a very simple epigenetic change (God given). Leg to flipper involves total form change. Only prior design planning and a designer (God) could do that.


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.

DAVID: 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: But it IS an issue, even if it is not the ONLY issue. You say later: “Whales entering water is an environmental change for them, but not an environmental change for the Earth.” Who says that species change can only happen if the whole Earth changes? Maybe both pre-whales and pre-humans started off in local areas where it became advantageous to enter the water or to descend from the trees. Convergent evolution suggests that local changes can lead to similar solutions in other areas. And a successful new species can spread.

There is no disagreement from me that environment change can have major effects: Chicxulub.


DAVID: All I can say to this mishmash is that Occam did not accept simplicity beyond all recognition. As for the brain, it evolved, a process you accept. All in a scramble to deny God.

dhw: There is no scramble to deny God, since my hypothesis allows for God. Of course I accept that the brain evolved, as did every other organ we can think of, and since I accept that the human brain is a very special instrument, I can even allow for your God doing a dabble. But divine preprogramming or dabbling of the whole history of evolution, including by implication the history of the environment, seems to me to take complexity beyond all reason, especially when there is a simple explanation which – as you have repeatedly acknowledged – fits in perfectly with the history of life.

God, for you, is 'beyond all reason', but if you can accept a brain dabble with bipedalism as part of it, you are accepting God's control over the last 8 million years of human evolution. Why can't all evolution be under the same God controls? Not beyond all reason.


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