Explaining natural wonders: bacterial intelligence (Animals)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, 15:23 (966 days ago) @ David Turell

Unfortunately, this thread has been twisting and turning all over the place, and so it is not surprising that you have lost track. Here are quotes from different posts to establish the sequence:

DAVID: You are ignoring my point that the alternate pathways already exist. It is just a matter of the lucky ones switching them on. (My bold)

dhw: 1) so please tell me if the following is a correct reading of your hypothesis: A) 3.8 billion years ago, your God preprogrammed some bacteria to create diseases. B) Humans (presumably not preprogrammed) use existing materials to kill the bacteria that create those diseases. C) 3.8 billion years ago your God preprogrammed some bacteria to use existing “pathways” to combat current human use of existing materials that kill bacteria.

DAVID: I take exception to the wording of A. God did not purposefully design disease bacteria. The disease they cause are a result of their natural lifestyle taking them to the wrong place for them to live. This is accidental. (My bold)

Dhw: So although 3.8 billion years ago your God deliberately preprogrammed some bacteria to combat current human use of materials to kill them, he didn’t know they were going to create the circumstances in which they would need to be preprogrammed to combat current human use of materials to kill them.

DAVID: There are many examples of bacteria fighting bacteria with antibiotic weapons.
DAVID's comment: It stands to reason these chemical warfare antibiotics go back to the beginning of life. Beta lactamase is the chemical enzyme that fights penicillin and its relatives. It is not intelligence, it is the weapons they have at their command.

I am not disputing the history of bacterial warfare, and although eventually this discussion does link up with bacterial intelligence, the dispute here is over my suggestion that your God preprogrammed bacteria to create disease. You responded that disease was accidental. This therefore raises the vital question of your God’s control. You appear to be saying God didn’t know bacteria would cause disease (it was accidental), and yet he inserted programmes (“alternative pathways”) that some lucky bacteria accidentally switch on today in order to counter the programmes humans design to counter the diseases. I must confess, I rather like your theory that God leaves all these things to luck and accident, but that creates huge problems for your other theory that God is always in control.


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