Natures wonders:fly traps (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, March 22, 2013, 13:05 (2433 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: And now, David, it's your turn to tell us a just-so story.

DAVID: And I have just shown why I do not believe in just-so stories. Kipling was the master and his tongue was in his cheek!

"To be great is to be misunderstood" (Emerson), though "to be misunderstood is not to be great" (dhw). You asked for a just-so story, and with tongue-bulging cheek I gave you six of the best, rattling through some of the world's great theories, with a sideswipe at your anthropocentrism as an added bonus. But if a man understandeth not cricket, how shall he understand British irony?
We must, then, be serious:

DAVID: The real point is that DNA is programmed to experiment and create natures wonders as I have demonstrated on this website for many years. In my estimation God has been sitting back watching all of this and proud of His invention, since humans appeared just as He knew they would at some point. Now that is the real just-so story.

Let us delve: you said in the same post that "God's purpose was to produce inventive life. Flycatching was a by-product". He certainly succeeded, though I'm a little surprised to hear that in contrast to your earlier refusal to anthropomorphise him, you now have him proudly enjoying the entertainment. Apart from pride, I wonder what other human emotions you'll allow him to feel as he gazes at the astonishingly rich, beautiful, kindly, cruel, destructive and selfish products of his invention.

Be that as it may, I like your latest scenario, because it's clear that since God's purpose was "inventive life", he left the course of evolution in the "hands" of his intelligent invention ... apparently preprogrammed to experiment and take its own decisions (much like us humans, then!). In other words, he did not preprogramme "by-products" like flycatchers, trilobites, dinosaurs, dodos or duck-billed platypuses, but sat back watching while the intelligent genome produced its own inventions, some of which survived, and some of which perished. Why he should have predicted the eventual arrival of humans is not at all clear from your just-so story. Perhaps he used Dawkins-like reasoning: given enough combinations, eventually you are bound to come up with the right one. Alternatively, since we are now playing the game of reading God's mind, he hadn't got a clue where it would lead (after all, who likes a show with a predictable outcome?), and so like flycatchers, humans were a "by-product" ... though no doubt providing the best entertainment of all. What is clear from the above is that humans were not planned either. This scenario fits in well with evolution's higgledy-piggledy bush, and of all the God hypotheses, it seems to me the most plausible.


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