Natures wonders: making spider silk (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, August 15, 2014, 14:25 (2157 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: DHW, your cellular intelligence lacks the scope to be able to plan creation. It might serve to plan small changes within its individual unit (body) but it can not account for the organization within the universe as a whole. You can't separate one from the other when trying to discuss "the big picture".

Thank you for joining in. I was hoping you would. Throughout this whole discussion I've been trying to offer an explanation of "Nature's Wonders" and innovation in evolution. “The big picture”, or “the organization within the universe as a whole”, is what we have discussed under “A Panpsychist Hypothesis” (beginning on June 14).

As you've probably missed the dozens of posts on the various threads, let me summarize. My starting point is my belief in common descent, i.e. that all organisms except the very first have descended from earlier living organisms. If there's an unbroken line, the innovations that have produced the new organs can only have taken place within existing organisms. Nobody knows how. Neither David nor I can believe that Darwin's random mutations are the answer. David offers two explanations: his God either dabbled or preprogrammed all the wonders and changes right from the beginning. I‘m proposing another hypothesis: the cellular communities of which all organisms consist were themselves responsible for the wonders and innovations that were made either necessary or possible by major changes in the environment (e.g. during the Cambrian). Researchers have shown that cells are sentient, communicative, intelligent beings, although their intelligence, like their methods of communication, must be very different from our own. What we do not know is just how far their sentient, communicative intelligence can take them. David dismisses the idea that cell communities could combine their intelligences to create something as complex as spider silk, let alone a kidney, and sticks to divine preprogramming or dabbling. I prefer to keep an open mind.

And so to your point. My hypothesis (it is not a belief) leaves open the question of whether God exists as organizer of the universe, because it makes no attempt to explain how cells/cell communities might have acquired their inventive intelligence in the first place (if they actually have it). A theist can say only God could have designed such a mechanism, and an atheist can say it happened by chance. This discussion is about the evolutionary process, and the wider implications for the big picture have been discussed elsewhere. Let us by all means go back to the panpsychist theme, but I'd be very interested to know whether your own version of God might allow the possibility of his inventing a mechanism that gave cells an autonomous ability to work out their own wonders and innovations.

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