Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, September 07, 2017, 10:52 (743 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have said nothing illogical. God does what He wants.
dhw: So your always-in-control God’s method of fulfilling his primary purpose (the human brain) was to produce a bush. My human logic suggests that a primary purpose would normally be fulfilled as directly as possible, but although you can’t explain why he created all these different hominins, not to mention the whales and the rest of the bush, you happen to know that God’s logic is different from human logic, and so you are not prepared to consider the possibility that the bush itself might have been his primary purpose.
DAVID: The amazing human brain is His obvious purpose. Bushiness is the unavoidable history.

God wanted to produce the human brain, and so he could not avoid producing dinosaurs, whales, monarch butterflies and the weaverbird’s nest. I understand why you think God’s logic is different from ours.
DAVID: Your answer again ignores the concept of foresight and planning to arrange for new advances or adaptations.
dhw: I am not ignoring it. I am disputing it. My whole hypothesis is based on intelligent organisms RESPONDING to new challenges and/or opportunities, instead of your God preprogramming them in advance or dabbling with them. The response comes AFTER the challenge/new opportunity.
DAVID: You have again ignored the need for foresight and planning. How do intelligent organisms accomplish major adaptive changes without those mental processes? I'm not discussing the adaptive level of finch beaks. Of course the required change might be a challenge or opportunity. The impetus is not the point!

Taking your favourite example of the whale, here’s how:

PRE-WHALE: Dammit, there ain’t no food around here. Wonder what’s in the water. (Wades out to sea.) Wowee, look at all them thar fishes. (Gobbles his fill and returns to land.) I reckon we’d be a darn sight better off livin’ in the water than starvin’ out here. I’m goin’ back in again.

PRE-WHALE CELL COMMUNITIES (exchanging messages): Looks like we’m in for a big change here. It ain’t workin’ too good for you leggy folk. We need ter get you more like what them fishy folk have – y’know, them finny, flippy things. Means makin’ quite a few adjustments, but hey, we c’n do it. Dammit, if them thar finches c’n change the shape o’ their beaks, we c’n change the shape of our legs. So let’s do it…

(They do it. Repeat the dialogue for noses/blowholes, and all the other changes.)

Contrast this with the Turell scenario:

PRE-WHALE: What the heck’s happenin’ to me? Why is my legs turnin’ into flippers? Jumpin’ Jiminy, I’d better go live in the water.
(Repeat the dialogue for noses/blowholes and all the other changes, apart from the last line, as pre-whale may already have gone to live in the water…except that all the other changes are supposed to have been planned in advance as well and not as a result of his entering the water. Pre-whale to improvise last line until scenario is clarified.)

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