Natures wonders: ant care for the sick protects well ants (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, April 09, 2018, 11:41 (45 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We have no evidence of gradual adaptation leading to speciation. All we see in the fossil record is the gaps of saltation.

dhw: Agreed, and that I why it is a hypothesis and not a fact, though my hypothesis also explains saltations. Once again, we do not know how far cellular flexibility and intelligence may extend. And once again, we do not have evidence of a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme for every natural wonder in life’s history, but that doesn’t stop you from actually believing your hypothesis and rejecting mine.

DAVID: The problem for me is your hypothesis does not fit the facts we know. The gaps are the problem because the next addition of a species requires enormous changes in form and function, as shown, for example, in the whale series. I see design as the only plausible answer. Your hypothesis requires that the organisms do their own designing and change in one fell swoop. I see that as totally impossible. And while you propose your idea you admit the evidence for design keeps you agnostic. If design catches your attention to such a degree, why can't you accept a designing mind in action?

You are conflating two separate issues. The first issue is how evolution works. If we accept common descent, we accept that every species has developed out of existing species, right back to the first form(s) of life. This means that the first form(s) of life must have contained the mechanism to engender all the changes. You insist that the mechanism was a divine computer programme for every single change, apart from those which your God engineered with a personal dabble. I suggest that the mechanism was an autonomous intelligence plus an in-built flexibility that would allow for all the changes, and I acknowledge the possibility that this mechanism was designed by your God. The different interpretations of how evolution work therefore have nothing whatsoever to do with my agnosticism (the second issue being the existence of God). I am extremely sceptical about your computer programme for every non-dabbled change and about your insistence that all changes were somehow geared to the production of the human brain. You are extremely sceptical about the ability of a possibly God-given intelligence to design the major changes required for speciation. I am less sceptical than you about the latter, but recognize that the evidence so far is restricted to minor changes (adaptations), which is why my explanation remains a hypothesis. You remain wedded to your own hypothesis, occasionally agree that much of it leads to sheer illogicality, and excuse that by claiming that your God’s logic is different from ours.

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