Natures wonders: making spider silk (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 22:30 (2008 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

Dhw: 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.

TONY: And my point is that, if the "culmination of this process", our intelligence, is not capable of reproducing, copying, or even understanding the full extent of even the simplest element of the system, a single cell, then there is no way that the simplest element can be capable of creating the most complex elements from scratch.
I'm easy with my explanation. God did it. I just want to understand why and how so that I can better appreciate the qualities of my creator.

My hypothesis is only concerned with how. New organs can only be formed through new combinations of cells. We don't know how it happens. So let me ask you, as I have asked David, whether you think your God preplanned every single innovation and “wonder” right from the beginning, or created each one separately as he went along. The alternative I have offered (theistic version) is that your God created a mechanism within the cells which enabled them to combine and create new organs and modes of behaviour (the “wonders”) as the changing environment demanded or allowed. You are absolutely right that we cannot reproduce or understand this mechanism, but that is beside the point. If your God exists, he is clearly capable of making it. Would you then grant the possibility that your God created this inventive mechanism, which would explain innovation, the Cambrian, and the vast variety of species that have come and gone?

TONY: Did God create them as adaptive creatures, I certainly think so, but I think that he did so with constraints to prevent them from straying too far beyond their pre-defined range. Hence the reason we don't have a plethora of new creatures popping up every time we turn around. A dog is still a dog is still a dog, no matter what kind of dog it is. Wolves did not become whales and whales did not become wolves, and we did not come from furry poop-flingers.

Once an organism is successful, there is no need for it to change. However, in the course of evolution obviously some have changed, which is why it's important to include what the environment allows as well as what it demands. My point here is that an inventive mechanism can experiment. Single-celled organisms have always been successful, but at some time in the past, some of them must have combined to create multicellularity. Whenever conditions changed (e.g. in the Cambrian), the opportunity as well as the necessity arose for some cell communities within existing organs to innovate: invention through an internal mechanism responding to outside circumstances. Once more, we know that cell communities have formed all the organs, and for those of us who believe evolution happened, that means billions of generations of cell communities have built on the acquired knowledge of earlier generations to come up with increasingly complex combinations. Hence the variety.

TONY: Further, being a Christian, I don't think he did it for pure entertainment. Colossians 1:16 (NLT) "for through him(Christ) God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see--such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world(Laws of Physics, perhaps). Everything was created through him(Christ) and for him(Christ)." It wasn't as entertainment, it was a beautiful gift of love to his Son.

If God exists, we can only speculate on his motives, and I have high respect for your faith in your own speculations.

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