Natures wonders: making spider silk (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, August 24, 2014, 17:16 (2003 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained
edited by dhw, Sunday, August 24, 2014, 18:27

TONY: When I listen to you two going back and forth, it always makes me smile.... then it makes me scratch my head at the things that aren't being discussed.
With all of this "intelligent cell" talk and "innovation from cell communities", has the scope of what you are saying really ever been considered?

DAVID: This is the dhw approach, not mine. Look at all of my discussions refuting him.
TONY: You talk about developing a kidney, an eye, or a limb as if it were something trivial to design and implement. I would remind you that you are essentially talking about single celled organisms developing technology that humans don't even understand, much less have the capacity to duplicate.So either you are saying that single-celled organisms are more intelligent than humans...or your theory holds no water
DAVID: I've tried to tell him how complex the liver and kidney are. Cells with some degree of intelligent information to operate by, cannot come up with a kidney plan.

Until a week ago, David was adamant that the only possible explanations for all the amazingly complex innovations and Nature's Wonders were programmes planted by God in the first living cells, to be implemented through billions of generations and organisms, or God dabbling (= creationism). I have suggested an alternative: that the inventive power lies within living cells/cell communities. Suddenly David has embraced this idea, but insists on somehow separating the inventive mechanism from the cells. My argument is that the inventive mechanism (perhaps invented by your God, but that's another issue) is within the cells/cell communities just as the brain is within the body (Albrecht-Buehler equates the cell's “brain” with the centrosome). David's is that the mechanism is within the genome (which is part of the cell/cell communities). I see no difference.

The basis of this discussion, though, is that David and I believe evolution happened - i.e. that all living forms descended from earlier living forms. The enormous complexity of all organs and Nature's Wonders is not, in our view, explicable by Darwin's random mutations. If your God did not preprogramme every single one from the word go and did not create them separately, the mechanism for invention has to be present in the cells. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago under “Cell Memories"(before David's conversion from preprogramming and dabbling: “the theist can then argue that only God could have designed such an inventively, cooperatively intelligent mechanism, and the atheist can argue that it came about by chance.” Perhaps, David, you would explain the difference, in terms of how evolution works, between my proposed inventively, cooperatively intelligent mechanism situated in the cells/cell communities (that may have been created by your God) and the mechanism you are proposing.

Your argument, Tony, that single-celled organisms must then be more intelligent than humans misses the point that we ourselves, with all our intelligence, are a mass of cell communities, each one of which (if you believe evolution happened) is the result of billions of years of development, with each cell community the result of earlier developments in cell communities. Of course an individual cell is not as “intelligent” as a community of cells, and the more combinations you have, the greater the variety of intelligences. Perhaps ours is the culmination of this process. The whole point of my hypothesis is that the intelligent, inventive, cooperative mechanism within cells/cell communities can account not only for the complexity but also for the variety, the Cambrian, and the higglepiggledy comings and goings in the history of evolution. Theistic evolution, as I see it, therefore means God created a mechanism which enables cells/cell communities to do their own inventing, adjusting to or exploiting changes in the environment, without God interfering or preplanning. (Much more entertaining for him I'd have thought). Perhaps you would let us know your alternative explanation.

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