Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 12:58 (819 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All organisms “naturally” strive to survive, and I don't know what authority you have for assuming that the quest for improvement is unnatural.
DAVID: Bacteria were/are perfectly happy for 3.6 billion years. Why the improvement/advance? There is no natural answer.

A natural answer: Single cells merged (perhaps by luck) and found that the merger led to some kind of improvement. So some single cells went on being single cells, but others went on merging and cooperating. In the course of time, cell communities went on creating improvement after improvement. And now here we are! (NB It may be your God who gave cells/cell communities the intelligence to know what is good for them, and to know how to make use of new opportunities.)

dhw: Research has not explained innovation, so how can you possibly make such a claim?
DAVID: 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.

Thank you for telling me that I may be right and I am right: research has NOT found that new structures can be created without adding new “information”. But please note that in my hypothesis, I also use adaptation as a possible pointer to an autonomous inventive mechanism: unless you believe that your God preprogrammes or directs every single adaptation, that ability requires some kind of autonomous intelligence.

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? […] 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.
DAVID: 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.

Totally accepted, but why is that the only response you can make? You still haven't told us how some of the guys managed to work out ways to resist the new invention of antibiotics. Once more: do you really believe that your God preprogrammed the ancestors of those guys 3.8 billion years before antibiotics were invented, or personally intervened to give them a quick lesson?

dhw: I mean facts concerning a particular subject. The information needed for evolution will entail facts from outside and inside the organism. Information is information, whether external or internal. […] 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.” […] 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.”
DAVID: As I've discussed above, The only evidence we have is from adaptations which do not show additional information.

How does a bacterium adapt in order to create resistance to a new invention without “additional information”? (Please define information if you disagree with what I wrote above.)

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. […] 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.

DAVID: 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.

And how right you are to be coy. Once again, you talk about “all the info”. Do genetic studies of adaptations "suggest" that every environmental change (= external information) and every innovation (e.g. the internal information on how to create a kidney) and every natural wonder (e.g. the information on how a weaverbird should build its nest) was preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago? If it doesn't, there is no way you can claim that science suggests that “all the info could have been present at the beginning.”


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