Explaining natural wonders; addendum (Animals)

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 29, 2016, 00:47 (573 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Shapiro tells us that bacteria are sentient, cognitive, intelligent beings. That means they deliberately rewrite their DNA to develop new ways of reaction.

DAVID: I am with Shapiro until he introduces the word 'cognitive' which implies thought. 'Sentient' is correct. Bacteria receive stimuli and recognize them and respond.

You then had second thoughts:

DAVID: I accept his word cognitive as cognition, the ability to receive knowledge and learn it so as to act on it, which action I will only accept as automatic molecular reactions. The only inventive ability of cells is their mechanism to modify DNA and therefore the action of their genes. You and I agree on this last point.

Not a second thought. I'm still stating automatism in the first sentence. It is how I interpret Shapiro to fit my conclusions.

dhw: Once more, though, we must distinguish between intelligent innovation (the autonomous, cognitive, inventive ability to create change) and automatic behaviour once an innovation is established. That is another fudge to be avoided.

Not fudge, just my way of interpreting his research conclusions.

David's comment (under “virus”): How did this develop through evolution? First, the targeted animals had to evolve. Then the virus attacked, but also first had to evolve at some point in time. Just how did the virus learn, after entering the skin, to find lymph nodes by traveling the blood vessels, and then suppress the immunity by invading the specific immunity cells to stop them. Again smells of saltation. Did God do this? dhw's take will be the viruses did it themselves.

And your second thoughts:
I've given a suggestion for development. How to analyze for an answer? By definition their lifestyle dictates viruses had to appear after life started. Did God start them? Why? Is it a mistake He could not control?

dhw: You obviously realized the awful implications of your theory that God might have preprogrammed or dabbled in order to ensure that the virus could go about its murderous business. Your questions are well worth asking! At least my anticipated answer (they did it themselves) gets you out of such awkward questions. God giving evolution a free rein sounds a lot more convincing to me than God programming or teaching viruses to kill things in order to create a balance of life in order to provide food in order to keep life going in order to pave the way for humans, presumably then in order to set humans the problem of how to deal with the viruses God specially trained to kill them.

In my first book I included this in the problem of evil events (theodicy), and concluded that God gave humans the ability to learn how to fight viruses. He was not creating the Garden of Eden but allowing challenges for us to solve, since we had the brains for it.

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