Natures wonders: bacteria can spear amoebas (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, August 31, 2017, 08:21 (745 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: ...your all-powerful God’s primary purpose was to produce the human brain, and that’s why he preprogrammed or dabbled the higgledy-piggledy bush, so that he would be able to take his time over producing the one thing he really wanted to produce. And you find that logical.
David: Perfectly logical to me, if He wanted to take time for the evolution to evolve. It fits he history.

We all know that evolution has evolved over time. But according to you, your God has always been in total control of evolution, and he had only one prime purpose. So it’s perfectly logical to you that he deliberately designed billions of organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to take time over fulfilling his one prime purpose. Well, let’s just agree to differ on what counts as logic.

DAVID: We have no proof that survivability is a major issue due to population density, as you imply. Density is only an issue since WWII when we are displacing animal habitats.
Dhw: I do not imply population density at all! Where did you get that from?
DAVID: From your statement: " more and more new organisms came on the scene".

"New organisms" refers to variety, not to population density. It’s a fact of evolution that more and more new organisms came on the scene once multicellularity had occurred, and I am suggesting that the variety entailed more and more new ways of surviving.

DAVID: Survival of the fittest is an unproven conjecture.
dhw: So how do you explain extinction, if not through the “conjecture” that extinct organisms were unable to cope with conditions at the time, whereas the survivors did cope?
DAVID: Raup stated extinctions were almost always due to bad luck, not adapting quickly enough.

So it was bad luck that some organisms were not able to adapt quickly enough (= unable to cope with conditions at the time) and were therefore not fit to survive. And those that did adapt quickly enough (i.e. did cope with conditions at the time) were fit to survive. So how does that make fitness to survive an “unproven conjecture”?

DAVID: I agree that major adaptations of the kind you describe are innovations. I use 'adaptation' as minor alterations of existing species, and major 'innovations' as speciation.[…]

dhw: You are confirming the point I keep trying to make: if major adaptations are innovations that lead to speciation, the SAME mechanism may be responsible for minor adaptations AND for innovations. You seem to accept minor adaptations as autonomous (i.e. without your God’s intervention), but you think your God must preprogramme or dabble major adaptations. That is why the dividing line is important. To put it in concrete terms, if finches can autonomously change the size and shape of their beaks, why shouldn’t pre-whales autonomously change the structure of their legs, or monarchs autonomously organize their migration, or weaverbirds autonomously design their own nests? The (perhaps God-given) mechanism I am referring to is, of course, cellular intelligence.

DAVID: The beaks are within a species variation according to recent genetic research and simple epigenetics. Changing a hoofed leg to a flipper is a major reorganization of the anatomy with many muscle and bony changes, well beyond what we know about speciation. All the fossil evidence is of gaps and sudden appearance of major alterations. We do not understand this. You want cells to visualize the outcome and do it all at once. I say the only logical way is by a designing mind arranging for it by careful planning.

You have agreed that major adaptations are innovations, and now you are repeating my examples of minor and major adaptations. The fact that we don’t understand the major alterations is the reason why we look for explanations and offer unproven hypotheses. I have suggested that since both minor adaptations and major adaptations are adaptations, the same mechanism might be responsible for both. You accept autonomy for the one but not for the other. Epigenetics are not “simple”. What do you think is the autonomous mechanism that enables finches to change the form of their beaks in order to cope with their respective environments?


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