Natures wonders: bacteria can spear amoebas (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, August 27, 2017, 10:48 (235 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God may have allowed them to enter the water by modifying their bodies.

dhw: You have not said why, but I like the tentativeness of your “may have”. I suggest they “may have” entered the water for a good reason, and their bodies underwent modifications as a result of them entering the water and finding that life there was an improvement compared to life on the land (e.g. perhaps there was plenty of food there, whereas food was short on the land).

DAVID: It is easier to migrate on land to find food than change body form to totally live in water. There is no way to avoid that fact. The whales are a major reason why I state that evolution pursued complexity for complexity's sake.

But according to you it is not “evolution” that pursues anything. It is God, because according to you it is God who engineers all the changes. So now you have God pursuing complexity for complexity’s sake. At least that makes a change from God designing every organism for the sake of keeping life going until he can design the human brain. You admit that you don’t understand the history of the whale. The fact that it would have been “easier” to migrate on land doesn’t mean pre-whales should have migrated on land. Clearly their migration to water was successful. And so they stayed in the water, and step by step they changed their body form to make the migration even more successful. Why is that so difficult to believe?

DAVID: Polar bears live in the water and eat there, but they have not been modified. We see two different examples of following the food. I still don't understand whales.

dhw: I would suggest that lots of modifications, lifestyles and natural wonders are examples of “following the food”, and I’m glad you now see the reasonableness of whales doing the same. Polar bears don’t live in the water. They hunt in the water and then go back to the land/ice, and that works perfectly well for them, as they can obviously find enough food that way. But they have been modified to the extent that both their bodies and their way of life are adapted to the cold. Do you think your God meddled with their fur and feet and fat before “allowing” them to live in such an environment? None of this means that the whale’s modifications were NOT geared to improvements. Nor does it mean that your God made all the modifications BEFORE the organisms could follow the food.

DAVID: It seems reasonable to assume that polar bears epigenetically adapted to their environment. They can and do breed with brown bears, as many hybrids have been seen, so they are not genetically much different. Whales exhibit enormous physiologic an phenotypic changes that are much more than epigenetic adaptation.

I am not saying bear modifications were as great as whale modifications. I am simply pointing out that both species underwent modifications in accordance with the demands of their new environment. Neither you nor I know where the borderline exists between adaptation and innovation. Nor do we understand the mechanism that enables organisms to adapt/innovate. Your belief is that God preprogrammes or dabbles everything. My hypothesis is that the mechanism (possibly God-given) is autonomous, for whales as for bears, for major as for minor "modifications". And we agree to disagree.


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