Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 05, 2017, 13:32 (49 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I thought your God was always in total control. Why bother with all these different hominin types if his primary purpose was homo sapiens?
DAVID: The history of evolution is it always produces bushes of organisms. Must be His method. Your human logic is not His.

We know the history, and I’m pleased to see you acknowledge the illogicality of your interpretation. I therefore wonder why you are not prepared to accept the possibility that God’s logic might be the same as ours, and it is your interpretation that is wrong.
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dhw: 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: Your same answer. Where did cellular intelligence come from if God did not do it? An inorganic universe creating intelligence on its own is beyond my belief.

If your God set up the autonomous mechanism, then your God set up the autonomous mechanism. The subject here is the existence of the autonomous mechanism (as opposed to a divine 3.8-billion-year computer programme or divine dabbling), and not the existence of God.

DAVID: 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.
dhw: 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.
DAVID: You are understating the complexity of the organization of the brain. The individual neurons might have specific duties, but they also have plasticity to adapt to new tasks in an multitude of new ways.

Of course they do. One of their functions is to adapt to new tasks!

dhw: […] My point is that there are different forms of intelligence with different abilities.
DAVID: Your nebulous point is based on what Shapiro finds in bacteria. It is a giant jump to cell committees speciating.

Nothing nebulous, and yes it is based on what a number of scientists have found in cells (hardly a reason for rejecting it), and yes it is a giant jump – just as it is a giant jump from the complexity of life to a sourceless, eternal, infinite, conscious being that creates universes and micro-organisms but keeps itself hidden. Both are hypotheses for which there is no conclusive evidence.

dhw: 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: Of course the change must be a response, but you still ignoring the necessity for foresight and planning to solve the new problems, not possible at a cellular level.

Cells solve new problems all the time. (But see the proviso below.) Adaptation to new conditions is a proven process, and I find it difficult to believe that bacteria have prior knowledge of new problems and plan the responses in advance. I find it equally difficult to believe that your God provided them with a computer programme to cover every possible new problem, or that he pops down to give them instructions.

DAVID: Your house was built by a plan, not thrown together. The same with new organisms, planning and design required either by your cell committees or by God.

We are not talking about a house. We are talking about responses to a changing environment. See above. But always with the proviso that major innovations are a mystery, and my hypothesis is an unproven extension of an existing mechanism.

DAVID (on this thread): There is no disagreement from me that environment change can have major effects: Chicxulub.
dhw: 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?
DAVID: Twisting my approach. I just presented Chicxulub as a prime example of change requiring adaptation. We don't know if Whales had flippers on land, like sea lions or seals, but perhaps that is a change God used to put whales in water. Only whales came directly from land animals. As for the Cambrian the evidence is oxygen came first to support it, the explosion second.

Why is this a twist? You are acknowledging that environmental change can precede organismal change. Previously you have insisted that your God prepared whales for life in the water. I’m delighted that you are now acknowledging the possibility that the changes took place after whales entered the water, and I would suggest that this order of events is the norm. No foresight, no planning, but organisms (which consist of cell communities) responding to challenges and opportunities.


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