Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, August 15, 2014, 09:11 (2052 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Simon Conway Morris establishes a clear link between the changes in the environment, the arrival of new species, and the extinction of the hitherto flourishing rangeomorph. The implication is unmistakable: new conditions lead to new modes of survival, and existing organisms must either adapt, innovate, or perish. Now consider the explanations on offer, the last three of which advocate intelligent design:

1) Darwin's random mutations, which we both reject. (But we do NOT reject natural selection, because that simply decides which changes will or won't survive).
2) Your God preprogrammed both the changes in the environment and the innovations right from the beginning of life. (= Automatized evolution)
3) Your God stepped in to change the environment and to implant all the innovations. (= Creationism)
4) The environment changed, and some organisms were able to change their structure in order to survive in and/or exploit the new conditions. (= Evolution)

In 2), since you insist that the innovations were all part of your God's “intricate planning”, and since they depend on environmental change, I am assuming the environmental changes must have been incorporated into his plans.
In 3), I am assuming that your God's plans were not at the mercy of environmental changes outside his control
In 4), the source of the ability of organisms to change is unknown, but it may be your God.

DAVID: It is a huge gap with complex organs and organisms appearing out of no serously complex ancestor. You reject chance mutations in (1). 2,3, & 4 all seem to lead to God. Are you no longer an agnostic?

2) and 3) are explicitly your own God hypotheses; 4) may or may not lead to God. It is a hypothesis which explains innovation without defining a first cause (see below).

DAVID: Point to a scientifically acceptable way to explain the gap. The answer is no one can. All the ancestors are very simple, and Darwin's hope that the fossil gap would be filled is shrinking away year by year. The gap is real. Face it. The only conclusion is design.

Since no-one can explain the gap, all hypotheses are open to question. 4) is a hypothesis that allows for the evolution of a designing intelligence or intelligences without God, although it does not exclude God. Its explanation of the Cambrian is intelligent design, but the intelligence that did the designing does not have to be the single, eternal, universal, planning, preprogramming or dabbling mind which you call God. (See also the spider silk thread.)

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