Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, September 04, 2017, 15:02 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

I am once more juxtaposing different posts and threads as they all deal with aspects of evolution.

DAVID (under “footprints on Crete”): I think all God did was open the flood gates of different hominin types for further development. What other family of organisms did this? None! Apes made no changes.
dhw: I agree that the floodgates opened. But I thought your God was always in total control. Why bother with all these different hominin types if his primary purpose was homo sapiens?

Question not answered.

Dhw: I don’t know why you keep harping on about hominins being the only family that changed. If apes all descended from a common ancestor, there are loads of variations. Perhaps you mean that only homos developed into homo sapiens, whereas gibbons only developed into 16 species of gibbon, and none of them are homo sapiens.
DAVID: That is of course what I mean.

So apes did make lots of changes, and at one stage some of the changed apes must have changed into hominins who changed into homos who changed into homo sapiens, while other apes changed into other apes or stayed the same. Pre-gorillas became gorillas, and pre-orang-utans became orang-utans. What is your point? Do you think your God should have changed every other type of ape into homo sapiens? Why didn’t he, if he only wanted homo sapiens? Same question as above. Why all the apes, and why all the hominins?
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DAVID (under “glial cell guidance”): I'm convinced your nebulous hypothesis is just that in our theistic-mode discussion. How do you explain evolution without God present?

My hypothesis could hardly be more concrete: that cells are intelligent, and that cell communities are sufficiently intelligent to innovate (not proven) as well as to adapt (proven). But I have ALWAYS said that it is a hypothesis, and like yourself I will need more evidence before it turns into a belief. How do I explain evolution without God present? Easy. If he exists, he set up the whole mechanism and then let it run autonomously, as with finch beaks and humans, so too with all other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and the environment.

DAVID: (under “glial cell guidance”) Your inventive mechanism proposal would need a human-brain-like ability as you describe above. That implies all the complexity of our brain, not found in current studies of the genome.

It would not imply human-brain-like ability. The human brain is also a collection of cells, and different cells have different functions, all of which are limited. Just as individual ants are limited but the group is able to design whole cities, groups of cells can design what individual cells cannot. I would not expect heart cells to write King Lear, but they can do things that Shakespeare would never have known about. My point is that there are different forms of intelligence with different abilities.

DAVID: Why do you constantly slough aside the point that development of complex changes, as seen in the gaps in evolution, require foresight of the future needs in order to start designing the plans for those changes?

Why do you constantly slough aside the possibility that complex changes may be a RESPONSE to environmental changes, instead of having your God foreseeing or causing every environmental change local and global and preparing organisms before the change takes place?

DAVID (on this thread): There is no disagreement from me that environment change can have major effects: Chicxulub.

Good. An effect comes after the cause. This applies both to local and to global changes. But according to you, every innovation ANTICIPATES environmental change: God changes legs to fins before pre-whales enter the water. So does that mean, for instance, that God created all the new Cambrian species before increasing the oxygen?
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DAVID (on this thread): 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.

I have accepted the possibility of a brain dabble, mainly to please you, but if pressed, I would say that all the different hominins evolved naturally from some form of ape (bipedalism being a natural response to an environment in which it became advantageous to leave the trees). If there was a dabble, it would have been much later in the proceedings, perhaps as an afterthought, but I can just as easily view the human brain as a natural progression too. As regards control, yes, the whole history of life on Earth could be your God’s game, as he shifts the pieces around. You and I could also be his playthings, but we just don’t know it. Or maybe, just maybe, if he exists he allowed us to be free agents. And maybe, just maybe, if he exists, he allowed evolution to take its own course.


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