Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, July 18, 2016, 15:43 (581 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I don't think you'll disagree that eyes and brains are an improvement over eyelessness and brainlessness, and I see evolution as a history of improvements and their variations. All organisms “naturally” strive to survive, and I don't know what authority you have for assuming that the quest for improvement is unnatural.

Bacteria were/are perfectly happy for 3.6 billion years. Why the improvement/advance? There is no natural answer.

dhw: Research has not explained innovation, so how can you possibly make such a claim? Every invention by definition produces something that never existed before. In my view, if X and Y are existing information and nobody has ever combined the two before, XY = new information. And if a kidney never existed before, the inventor of the kidney has created new information.

We need to backtrack. The research does not cover kidneys, only the structural changes of adaptations which do not show additional information, but often subtraction. You may be correct about a kidney invention, which is my God dabble. You are right. We may not be able to extrapolate from adaptation to innovation from current research, but adaptation is all we have to look at so far.

dhw; According to your expert, Bobby picked up ready-made resistance genes from Billy, because he didn't have them himself. How did Billy get them? According to you, 3.8 billion years ago, God gave the first cells a vast number of “available functions” and “methods” to pass on to Billy, who would activate them when humans invented antibiotics - or God popped in to supply Billy with the necessary "information". Unfortunately, this particular function/method didn't make it through to poor old Bobby, so he had to get it from Billy. Do you really believe that? My alternative: Billy used his (God-given?) intelligence to work out how to resist the new invention, and he passed the info on to Bobby.

My only response is to repeat that antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria alter a metabolic activity with another route they have. Some of the guys don't have that alternative and pick up resistance by horizontal transfer, all current science.

dhw: So firstly, if all the information needed for evolution was present from the beginning, then every environmental change in the history of life on earth was present from the beginning. Believe that if you will. Secondly, you quite rightly say: “Does DNA supply plans to run life? Yes. That set of plans is information.” Also “an architect's plans are information”. And under “brain complexity” you give another example: instructions on how to make insulin. Agreed. Whatever causes an organ or organism to “run” is internal information. But if an organism produces a new organ, it will logically require new information to enable the organ to run. You even recognize this yourself: “Yes innovation seems to require new plans (information)…but we don't know how speciation occurs.”

As I've discussed above, The only evidence we have is from adaptations which do not show additional information. We do not know how genes exert their controls. It is therefore possible that recombination of existing genes may produce the new information required for a kidney.

dhw: Why “seems to”? Our ignorance about the “how” does not mean that innovation does NOT require new information! Your answer is: “It is possible that all the info was there from the beginning. If added, how did that happen? That is why my God has to dabble.” But strangely, in your post below, you have suddenly become very coy about how it might happen:

DAVID: Not knowing how speciation occurs, I cannot comment on how information might be added.

dhw: Until now, you have always “commented” that information is added (= innovation) by God's 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme or dabbling. I suggest that it may be supplied by the autonomous intelligence of the organisms themselves. However, at least you now concede that all the information needed for evolution may NOT have been present from the beginning. And of course there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that it was.

My 'coyness' was due to the fact I was trying to comment only from a scientific standpoint. My theistic viewpoint you know well. Either all the info was present from the beginning or God adds it. Genetic studies of adaptations suggests all the info could have been present in the beginning. No more.

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