autonomy v. automaticity (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, March 26, 2018, 12:49 (512 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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?

DAVID: 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.

So your God gave bacteria and viruses the ability to control their own evolution. How does that mean he could not have given their descendants the same ability?

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

I know you haven’t thought freewheeling was allowed. And that is why you can’t make up your mind if God is or is not in control, you can’t understand the eight stages of whale or why he had to design the weaverbird’s nest but not other nests, and why, if he started out with the intention of producing the human brain, he needed to spend 3.x billion years specially designing billions of innovations, lifestyles and natural wonders, 99% of which have disappeared. As you have now accepted freewheeling for bacteria and viruses and non-weaverbirds, why don’t you just consider freewheeling for the whole higgledy-piggledy bush (though allowing for the occasional dabble)?


DAVID: This article shows how bacteria play a major role in the entire process of evolution to produce multicellular animals:

QUOTE: “The influence of microbes is even inscribed on our genome: More than a third of human genes have their origins in bacteria. These and other new findings will soon fundamentally alter our understanding of life […]
"So in the end, maybe animals really aren’t all that special. After all, they’d be nothing without their microbial friends

DAVID’s comment: Bacteria came first, survived easily and appear to be one of the major controlling mechanisms in the advance of evolution. I think God controls through the activities bacteria. I only presented the concluding paragraphs.

Thank you for this important article, which appears to confirm Margulis’s emphasis on symbiotic cooperation as a key to evolution. (Margulis believed in cellular intelligence.) The pattern is becoming ever clearer: all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities which cooperate, and they do so in a vast variety of ways. It is the cells that “control” evolution. It is perfectly reasonable to ask how such a mechanism originated, and to argue that its complexity is such that it must have been designed. It is also perfectly reasonable to argue that once it existed, the mechanism led to the higgledy-piggledy bush of different species coming and going in response to changing conditions. Freewheeling bacteria engendered freewheeling multicellularity. So maybe you can now think of God allowing freewheeling?

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