Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by dhw, Monday, May 29, 2017, 14:07 (1163 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You at claiming that bacteria invented these pathways we see along the way. They survived 3.8 billion years ago on a chaotic Earth. Did they invent them then with an already intelligent ability? Not without God's help.

I have made no such claim. I wrote that the potential solutions to all the different problems must already be there, but as opposed to your God preprogramming every single one of them into the first living cells and leaving it to sheer luck for some bacteria to switch on the right programme, some of them may have worked out the right solution for themselves, using what I have always said is their possibly God-given intelligence.

DAVID (re a spinal change): A bit of complexity, no real improvement.
dhw: What do you mean by no “real” improvement? Even a slight improvement is an improvement.
DAVID: Real speciation. 'Minor initial adaptation' implies only that. No obvious major advance. Improvement is not as important as complexity.

You said your God deliberately introduced a spinal change which was of no immediate advantage but was part of his preparation for a full spinal change a few million years later. Of no immediate advantage then changed to “no real improvement”, not to “no real speciation”. An improvement is an improvement. I don’t know why you think complexity without any purpose is “more important” than complexity for the sake of improvement. Using your favourite example of the whale, more important for what? My suggestion is below:

dhw: I join you in seeing no good reason why your God would specially design the changes, and take so long to perfect them, especially when all he wanted to do was produce humans. An obvious good reason for the changes might be that there was more food in the water than on the land, and so pre-whales adapted to life in the water, improving their adaptations stage by stage. But for some reason, you won't even consider that.
DAVID: Your just-so story ignores the required huge changes. Not worth the trouble.

Why is survival or a better life a just-so story? How would you describe a story that runs: God made huge changes over several million years to enable whales to live in the water, but he had no conceivable reason for doing so except complexity for the sake of complexity?

DAVID: On the other hand I see the current end of evolution resulting in the most complex invention of all from evolution, the human brain. Viewed this way, as evolution driven by a complexification drive, makes the whole of evolution understandably logical. The whales are simply a complexification branch of the bush gone wild. Improvement not always needed.
dhw: This is a very promising line of thought. There is, of course, no logic to the argument that your God’s aim was to produce the human brain and so evolution went wild and resulted in billions of purposeless complexifications. But you have reiterated over and over again that your God is in charge, in which case how could evolution run wild unless he WANTED it to run wild? Hence the higgledy-piggledy bush as organisms did their own thing, as opposed to his specially designing every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder. We are making remarkable progress.

You have at long last embarked on a line of thinking that revolutionizes your previous hypotheses and puts them directly in line with my own as an “understandably logical” explanation of the higgledy-piggledy bush, and yet you have made no comment.

dhw: I have always used the twin concepts of survival and improvement as driving forces, and neither of them depends on competition, though of course it may be one factor. Cooperation is an equally powerful one.
DAVID: Your just-so stories smell of Darwin, I'm sorry to say. I'm attacking your improvement theory. I've always thought complexity was more important. It's in my first book.

I don’t know why you keep referring to Darwin, or why you consider the drive for survival and/or improvement/complexity, competition and/or cooperation a smelly “just-so” story. See above for complexity versus improvement.

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