Natures wonders: repairing broken bird feathers (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, June 03, 2018, 09:23 (111 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: [...] And I’ll have to ask if you don’t think it would be simpler (one up for Occam) and more in keeping with the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution if he gave organisms the autonomous intelligence either to work out their own methods of adapting and innovating or to disappear. Do you really want to go through that every time?

DAVID: Now you have God as Occam's follower. It is logically easier for God to do it Himself than invent a mechanism so the organisms do it. Keeping them simple, rather than more complex.

I don’t follow your logic in claiming that a single invention (autonomous intelligence) is logically less “easy” than billions of personal interventions and specially devised computer programmes to be passed down through thousands of millions of years to produce knotty nests and self-healing feathers and fishy camouflage and parasitic wasps and navigating butterflies, and all of them – extant and extinct – designed to keep life going until your God could produce the brain of Homo sapiens.

The same autonomous intelligence argument applies to the arching palate and dropping larynx under “complex speech”.

DAVID: The Bible for me is the book : "The Ape That Spoke" by John McCrone, in which he describes the massive changes in anatomy and all the muscles involved to produced today's clipped speech of words at high speed. How many mutations do you think are needed to drop the larynx and invent the epiglottis at the same time to provide the necessary prevention for choking? Both changes occurred simultaneously in the fossil found, not a chance occurrence. I've described all this in the past.

I have not said it was a chance occurrence, and I am not denying the complexity of the changes. You will certainly not deny that all the changes require the cooperation of the cell communities involved. So just as with the self-healing feathers and the cuttlefish’s camouflage, you say the cooperation had to be preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or personally dabbled. I suggest that the cooperation was engineered by the intelligent cell communities themselves (and their intelligence may have been invented by your God).

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