Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, July 14, 2016, 12:19 (1097 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The nest is a major issue because it epitomizes the lack of logic in your evolutionary scenario. Your insistence that the bird is incapable of designing it leaves you floundering to explain why your God would do the designing.
DAVID: I'm not floundering. If it appears too complex for a bird to design, why not expect God to help? You and I have two very different views of God. I think He can do anything He wants. As in my other answer to you today, I assume God takes an active role in his creation.

It only appears “too complex” if you do not believe organisms have the intelligence to work out their own designs, strategies and lifestyles for themselves. You flounder in your attempts to explain why God, whose purpose was to create homo sapiens, should take all the trouble to design a particular nest. Of course God can do anything you or I think he wants to do. Giving the weaverbird enough intelligence to design its own nest gets rid of your impossible task of explaining why God should create millions of such natural wonders when his aim is to produce homo sapiens.

dhw: If organisms are incapable of intelligent design, your God has to do it all. Your more recent theory - “God's liking of complexity and creating patterns of complexity” - echoes the anthropomorphic view you dismissed when I suggested that he might enjoy watching the unpredictable products of an autonomous inventive mechanism.

DAVID: Yes, God might have to do it all. And always working backward from what we observe, God must like complexity.

Working backward from what we observe, there is a free-for-all, and God is capable of creating an autonomous mechanism that would produce such a free-for-all, and God may well like watching such a mechanism doing its own thing.

dhw: That's fine with me, but it has no connection with the claim that God set out to produce homo sapiens!
DAVID: Again working backward from what we see happening, humans are here, descended from unchanged apes, and we see no requirement from the pressures of environmental challenges to change apes. Why us unless pushed by some force? Try asking why, not how which is your favored approach.

Working backwards, there was no requirement from the environmental pressures to change single-celled organisms to multicelled organisms, and there was no pressure to produce the weaverbird's nest, or the duck-billed platypus. And I keep asking WHY your God needed to produce all these things if his aim was to produce homo sapiens. By all means cling to the specialness of humans (who might have been “dabbled”), but don't insist that this has any connection with the higgledy-piggledy bush that preceded and still accompanies the existence of humans. Try asking WHY God had to design the weaverbird's nest rather than giving such organisms the intelligence to do their own designing.

dhw: An organism only adapts if there is new external information that needs to be processed and adjusted to internally. This does not mean loss of information, though it might mean jettisoning information that is no longer required.
DAVID: Advances in evolution result from loss of genetic information. That is an accepted fact. Externally experienced stress information received by the organisms is not the same information.

It is not an accepted fact. You have said yourself that the only evidence concerns adaptation, not innovation, and you have agreed that advances in evolution depend on innovation. See below for “loss of information”.

David's comment: this is a more complex organism than an amoeba, so we can say that evolution generally produces complexity, but at times information can be reduced and an intact complex organism can still be produced. We are still facing the confusion around speciation, and we can see loss of information can still be very productive. it is a confusing area of research.
dhw: A very far cry from speciation occurring “solely from a loss of information, which means all the info needed for evolution was present from the beginning.” There is no evidence that loss of information is even a contributory factor to speciation, let alone being the sole cause, and so there is no support for the claim that all the info for evolution (which you have avoided defining) was present from the beginning.
DAVID: I repeat, loss of genetic information can advance a new adaptation

Can advance a new adaptation” is a million miles away from speciation occurring “solely from a loss of information, which means all the info needed for evolution was present from the beginning.” (My bold) If an organism adapts, the “genetic information” may have to change, and change “can” (your verb) entail loss as well as gain. I have asked you to define “the information for evolution”: as I see it, the information needed for evolution relates to external conditions and the internal means of processing the external information and changing the structure of the organism accordingly. Any such change “can” result in both loss and gain. Neither of these is the CAUSE of advances: they are both the result of the process of change.

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