Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, July 15, 2016, 12:43 (1158 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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. DAVID: I'm not floundering, I repeat. I feel my theory that microcosms of environmental balance provide the energy for evolutionary processes to advance is right on, and complexity in design appears to be God's choice. Original life had a 'drive to complexity' written in. Very obvious to me from the evidence.

No disagreement here. Life and evolution cannot proceed without food. If God exists, he would have created the original mechanism that has led from comparatively simple to complex. But this does not explain why he needed to design the weaverbird's nest in order to fulfil his purpose of producing homo sapiens. See below as regards your various dislocated arguments.

dhw: 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.
DAVID: I agree that is all possible with the dabble theory in action. We still get to the endpoint, humans. God watches and makes sure the course corrections are made if needed.

All I ask is that you acknowledge the possibility that the inventive mechanism is autonomous, and so it is possible that God DID give the weaverbird the intelligence to design its own nest. Thank you. Humans as an endpoint is a separate issue, and in my theistic version of the hypothesis, I have accepted the dabble theory.

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? dhw: 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.

DAVID: Exactly!!! But all those odd things happened. Not required, so there must be an underlying drive for complexity for complexity's sake.

You keep switching your focus from humans as God's purpose to complexity for its own sake. Yes, the evolutionary mechanism, whatever may be its nature and source, entails a drive from simple to complex, which explains the existence of every single multicellular creature that ever lived: there was no requirement for ANY of them, so there is no point in saying there was no requirement for humans as if that supported your anthropocentric interpretation of evolution.

DAVID: Advances in evolution result from loss of genetic information. That is an accepted fact
dhw: 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.
DAVID: But is accepted for mutational changes for adaptations. Since this is the only change mechanism we know, it may well be a part of speciation.

“It may well be a part of…” is not the same as an “accepted fact”.

dhw: “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 etc., etc.
DAVID: The problem in your discussion is that the only advances we see are adaptations in existing species…

In the context of your claims re speciation, that is your problem, not mine.

DAVID …and each time genes are removed!

You wrote: “…we can say that evolution generally produces complexity, but at times information can be reduced and an intact complex organism can still be produced.” Please tell us which is true: “each time” or “at times”.

DAVID: Removal of genes in DNA is removal of information. Stimuli from the environment are forms of external information. Only coding in DNA can respond with epigenetic methylation or gene removal, and that is all internal to the organism.

I find it perfectly logical that if conditions change, any adaptation will entail internal incorporation of and adjustment to the new external information, and so what would be the point of retaining the old, out-of-date internal information? I find it perfectly conceivable that the same process might occur when there is innovation (essential for speciation) - there have to be gains for the organism to perpetuate the new structure, but there may well be losses as parts of the old structure become redundant. This would be the RESULT of the changes, and not the cause.

You still have no evidence whatsoever for your claim that speciation may occur “solely from a loss of information, which means all the info needed for evolution was present from the beginning,” (my bold) and you still haven't explained what you mean by “all the info”. External info is info, and some of the new internal info required for innovation may eventually become old info that can be discarded when organisms need to adapt.

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