Natures wonders: Cellular intelligence derailed? (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 20:48 (2098 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Woese, whom you recommended so highly, speculates on the evolution of the cell: It is NOT a machine, evolution is a bumpy road with unpredictable outcomes, we have yet to fathom how the novelty of the proteinaceous cell was generated, but the cell evolved from many starting points through a shotgun strategy, as opposed to a rifle. Where in all this is there an organizing plan? Why don't Margulis, Shapiro, Albrecht-Buehler & Co tell us about God's plans, instead of insisting that cells are "intelligent" in their own right?

You are lining up atheists against me. they have their interpretation, I have mine.

DAVID: How do cells recognize what is good for the community? That is an amorphous suggestion. Tell me how it works.

dhw: Are you saying your own cells don't recognize what is good for your body? If there was no such recognition, organisms would not survive! How does it work? Tell me how any form of intelligence works. You know as well as I do that we have no answer.

The cells are automatically controlled to give proper reactions to changing stimuli in our bodies. Kidneys would lose their function otherwise.

Dhw [to Tony]: I'd have thought cancerous cells might represent the sort of "dissent" you're talking about. Would you argue that your God preprogrammed such "dissent"? After all, according to you and David, cells are automatons obeying his instructions.
DAVID: No, cancer cells manage to escape the tight controls that supervise the constant turn over of living cells. [...] The escape can be due to virus, to irritation, and even to faulting genes that allow it. not preprogramming.

dhw: So the cancer cells are not preprogrammed to "dissent"? And yet when cells resist viruses and outside irritants, or adapt to new dangers, they have been preprogrammed by your God to do so. It's only when they fail to resist or adapt that the hypothesis of God's preprogramming sort of falls by the wayside. In other words, he preprogrammes whatever works, but whatever doesn't work is just...well...bad luck?

Read David Raup's book on "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad luck?", and he answers bad luck!

dhw: Here's a different hypothesis: evolution is a history of constant improvisation and experimentation, as intelligent cells and cell communities respond in a vast variety of ways to ever changing challenges from the world in which they live ... adapting, innovating, creating new lifestyles and strategies. Many of them fail, and organisms therefore come and go via the process we know as Natural Selection. Theistic slant: God created the intelligent cell.

There is not time enough for your improvisation theory, and your theistic slant should read: God put intelligent information in the cells to allow them to adapt as conditions changed. Just a tiny variation of how cells act intelligently.

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