Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by dhw, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 13:33 (933 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I suggest some of them [bacteria] work out how to do it because they are cleverer than the others.
DAVID: You are ignoring my point that the alternate pathways already exist. It is just a matter of the lucky ones switching them on.

As I wrote on Saturday, "all adaptation and innovation must entail 'alternative pathways'”. Whatever measures and countermeasures are taken must already exist potentially, but that does not mean that 3.8 billion years ago the first cells were loaded with programmes for every single measure and countermeasure, leaving it to Lady Luck whether today’s bacteria would accidentally switch on the right one. I have offered an alternative above.

DAVID: My point in referring to tiny steps is my repeated idea that only chance (tiny steps) or design fit the evolution story [etc.]
You need not remind me after our nine years of discussion that the choice is between chance and design, or that certain changes suggest saltation. You dismiss my cellular intelligence hypothesis because there is not enough evidence. I pointed out that the same applied to your hypothesis of a 3.8-billion-year-old programme, and that is why we HYPOTHESIZE.

DAVID: You have not mentioned my entry from yesterday about intrinsic hominin spine changes from 3.3 million years ago which are an obvious preparation for fully upright posture: Monday, May 22, 2017, 20:43. These changes are certainly a speciation change, which offers no immediate environmental advantage, since the change is only a step in a process, but a major complex phenotypic change, allowing eventual bipedalism. The spinal advances allowed humans to change environment, while apes stayed in their accustomed range. Speciation first, environment second. But I agree environment can drive adaptations of existing species.

You have also agreed that environmental change can initiate speciation. We have no idea what triggered this particular change, or whether it offered an improvement. Improvement is not an absolute, and a small advantage can still be improved on. (Each stage of whale evolution must have improved its aquatic lifestyle.) What on earth would have been the point anyway of your God changing Salem’s spine if it was of no immediate advantage? He popped down to Ethiopia, did a dabble, and said: “Go forth with your new spine, Salem & Co. It won’t be of any use to you now, but in the future I shall improve it still further, so that in a few million years’ time it will allow bipedalism and I shall achieve my one and only purpose, which is upright homo sapiens.” Truly your God works in mysterious ways his purpose to achieve.

dhw: It is not "known" and has not been "demonstrated" anywhere at any time by anyone that God exists, let alone that God planned every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of evolution, let alone that he did so for the sole purpose of producing humans.
DAVID: It requires analysis and the recognition of the need for design. Then faith can appear.

You said you “prefer to follow what is known and demonstrated”. I am merely pointing out that absolutely nothing in your hypothesis is known or demonstrated.


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