Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by dhw, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 11:34 (960 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Stop twisting my words. Antibiotics are a natural material. We have discovered and used them. Bacteria have survived without difficulty even though they are present, and they do that because they have alternative pathways to use if they are attacked. Since bacteria are representatives of the earliest life, we should conclude they came with those defense mechanisms.

According to your hypothesis, 3.8 billion years ago your God preprogrammed some bacteria to switch on the correct alternative pathways (= defense mechanisms) to combat current human use of materials to kill them. If he preprogrammed them, did he do so without knowing that they would create the circumstances in which they would need to be preprogrammed to switch on the correct pathway to combat current human use of materials to kill them?

dhw: ...why does it make no sense to argue that bacteria might use their (possibly God-given) intelligence to solve problems, as opposed to the equally unproven 1)?
DAVID: I fully accept that God gave bacteria alternative metabolic pathways which they can

Tantalisingly unfinished, but I suspect it won’t answer my question. So I’ll try again. Why does it make no sense for God to give bacteria the intelligence to solve their problems?

DAVID: I'm simply exploring newly thought of possibilities. Humans are always the goal. Complexity has always been the evolutionary drive. Creating complexity beautifully explains those darn whales.
dhw: You are exploring the possibility that I have been hammering away at year after year: that all the species, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct may NOT be related to the one and only purpose of creating humans. The rich diversity of life, with all its comings and goings, may be a purpose in itself – the result of your God’s "exuberance", and a source of pleasure to him.
DAVID: Diversity can be another side purpose for that pleases humans also.

I’m not sure how humans can be pleased to see the 99% of species they never knew. But it’s still a great step forward that you are prepared to consider various side purposes now. This means that the production of humans was not the sole purpose, and everything was not related to that one purpose.

DAVID: Everybody munching out is simply a reference to the abundant energy supply for life to continue and for evolution to advance, if it needs to. Chicxulub shows the power of environmental change over predation. I think evolution is over. And I reject cell committees thinking things out.

So you don’t think competition may determine the success or failure of species and hence the course of evolution, and you don’t think your God organized the cooperativeness of cells without which no organism can change or even function – and that includes you. However, let us not get distracted from our latest developments: God may not have geared the whole of evolution to the production of humans, and evolution advanced because organisms have an in-built (perhaps God-given) drive for improvement or complexity, which…according to me…enables them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by environmental change, whereas according to you God likes to transform them before the environment changes.

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