Natures wonders: making spider silk (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, August 18, 2014, 20:57 (1943 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ...the idea that God programmed the very first cells to pass on intricate plans for spider silk, fire ant rafting, eyes, kidneys plus zillions of other “Nature's Wonders” and innovations, all to be implemented billions of years later after billions of other programmes had been implemented, seems to me to require a great deal more faith than the idea that he invented a mechanism that would do its own inventing as and when conditions demanded or allowed

DAVID: Your latter suggestion makes more sense. He used a self-inventing mechanism is a great idea. Your help in proposing a most reasonable explanation for a God-guided evolution process is much appreciated.

dhw: Your alternative, of course, is your God dabbling - i.e. inserting new programmes as he goes along - but that's a problem too, because you are an evolutionist and not a Creationist.

DAVID: Yes, I believe in theistic evolution, but that really falls under the umbrella of a form of Creationism. And yes, dabbling has always bothered me. I like your self-inventing built into the mechanism.

Phew! Your approval of the idea, however, has to bring us back to the fact that all organisms are composed of cells. We have no idea what the mechanism is or how it works, but it has to be within the cells, and if they were not preprogrammed for each innovation right from the beginning of life, each invention can only be the result of their ongoing cooperation with one another. You are, of course, free to say that such an inventive mechanism could only have been designed by your God, since it must be immeasurably too complex to have assembled itself by chance. An atheist would still insist it was a lucky break, but at least he or she would no longer have to rely on a zillion more lucky breaks in the form of random mutations. My concern, though, in these posts has been to find a solution to the problem of innovation in evolution, as exemplified by the Cambrian Explosion. Maybe this is the best so far.


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