autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 25, 2018, 15:12 (262 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: What I have suggested is that guidance might entail some freedom of design within the evolutionary changes organisms adapt. It was not meant to imply tight rigid controls over every move. As I said before, the evidence does not give me an exact conclusion, which is why I used the dabble concept. What I see is humans appearing for no good environmental challange reason.

dhw: We are talking about bad bacteria and viruses. You don’t know whether God’s creation of bad bacteria and viruses shows loss of control, but “He maintained full guidance”, which now means partial guidance. So either he lost control, or he deliberately left “freedom of design” so that bad bacteria and viruses could design themselves. And if he could give that freedom to bacteria and viruses, or he lost control and they went and did their own thing, why not the same with other organisms as well?

Bacteria and viruses are the ultimate survivors. They were there at the start of life and obviously were given the ability to survive against all odds in any wild environment the early Earth was going through, including the initial Early bombardment period. Think extremophiles. Later life does not have that innate capacity of survival given by God to the early forms so life could survive and evolve into us.


DAVID: Mindless robots are rigidly programmed. Bird brains are conscious and can work out solutions that become instincts like cup nests.

dhw: Thank you. Organisms that have the autonomous ability to work out solutions is the very core of my hypothesis concerning how the higgledy-piggledy bush of life has evolved. […] No more agonizing over whether he was/wasn’t in control, or how the heck we can link knotty nests and bad viruses to the production of the human brain, or why it took him 3.x billion years to produce the only thing he really wanted to produce. Three hearty cheers for the conscious, intelligent, decision-making, solution-providing, autonomous bird brain!

DAVID: All of which does not explain the complex designs in the biochemistry of life which I constantly put on display here, and for which you have no answer. Where does the underlying information come from? Not thin air. Enjoy your pipe dream. It doesn't fit the evidence of design.

dhw: With your comments on bad bacteria and viruses and bird brains, you have offered your support to the answer I keep giving you: namely, that organisms may have “freedom of design”. And my answer has ALWAYS offered the possibility that your God designed the mechanism which gave them that freedom: namely, the autonomous intelligence which you are now prepared to grant to bacteria and viruses and birds other than the weaver.

I've always agreed that God might have given an inventive mechanism, but I've never thought it was allowed to be freewheeling.


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