An Alternative to Evolution: pt 2 (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, July 09, 2018, 12:26 (160 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are correct to limit the concept of cellular intelligence. All that is observed is the cells are programmed to act intelligently in their own interest and living activity, nothing more.

Dhw: Yes, it is a hypothesis, no more observable than the hypothesis that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder. But at least the basic premise of intelligence IS observable, through the manner in which organisms adapt, and the manner in which single cells (bacteria) are able to solve new problems.

DAVID: I still disagree. All that is seen is cells react with intelligent responses, which could be programmed.

“Could be” programmed. And “could be” the product of autonomous intelligence. 50/50. That’s good enough for the hypothesis to be taken seriously.

dhw: 3 “Mutations are deleterious.” If you take the word “mutation” to mean change, there is no avoiding the fact that every innovation is a mutation. Once more you are rigidly focused on chance, but if changes were designed (e.g. by your God, or by intelligent cell communities) they would not be deleterious. And Natural Selection simply preserves those that are advantageous. Again, no reason for rejecting evolution.
DAVID: Natural selection is a nebulous tautology, to which you keep scurrying back, to use your terms. Certainly there is natural competition but that does not provide for speciation.
dhw: Of course it doesn’t, and I didn’t say it did! It is non-creative and “simply preserves those [innovations] that are advantageous.” Please stop erecting straw men.
DAVID: Not a straw man. We don't know that it preserves anything. It is circular reasoning.

I keep agreeing that it is circular reasoning, but that is not a reason for rejecting the theory of evolution! Not worth arguing about.

dhw: 7 Endosymbiosis: I don’t understand how two separate organisms can combine into one without each providing new information for the other, but perhaps I’d best leave this to the experts.
DAVID: No new information is added to the total information in living organisms.
dhw: I don’t understand what you and Tony mean by "information", so let me extend the discussion beyond endosymbiosis to ALL organisms Once there was no such thing as organisms with brain, sexual reproduction, liver. So when they first appeared, did they add nothing new to the information available to their predecessors?
DAVID: It is stated that all mutations remove genetic information.

That is not an answer to my question. (See also below)

DAVID: Cells cannot invent without a sense of purpose to understand what is required to be new in the process of development. You are granting the cells the ability of foresight!
dhw: We know that cells can react to different environments by making changes to themselves. And I am suggesting (it’s a hypothesis) that their reactions may even extend to finding new ways of using environmental change to their advantage through changes that go beyond simple adaptation. Not so much foresight as inventiveness, not predicting the changes to their living conditions, but reacting to them inventively – just as we humans do.
DAVID: This again is the itty-bitty steps of Darwinism.

We have long since agreed that Darin’s gradualism and rejection of saltations is wrong (and so did some of his contemporaries). That does not invalidate the theory of common descent. Nor does it invalidate my hypothesis.

dhw: 9 ..You say my hypothesis that organisms themselves may be capable of changing functions advantageously requires proof that the level of available genetic information had INCREASED, was NEW, and NOVEL. I’m afraid you’ll have to explain this to me.I assume you accept that bacteria, trilobites, etc. preceded humans. Are you saying that there has been no increase in genetic information? Nothing new?
DAVID: Mutations generally destroy existing information, which is why I say God programmed everything into the beginning of life. When He dabbled it was not to increase information.
dhw: Firstly, mutation in the sense of “change” doesn’t destroy existing “information” but in my interpretation of the word adds to it when it actually works. But once again I don’t understand your use of “information”.
DAVID: See above. Mutations remove information that once existed in the genome, according to the experts.

You keep harping on about information and sticking rigidly to the specialized use of the word mutation. That is understandable, but you can hardly deny that evolution involves change (another meaning of the word mutation). Please answer the question I asked above: did the first brain not add “information” to that which existed in brainless organisms?

And just to clarify, with regard to your own use of “mutations”, although I am as opposed as you are to the random form being a driving force of evolution, it is worth noting that they are not all harmful and some may be beneficial
https://genetics.thetech.org/about-genetics/mutations-and-disease

QUOTE: Few mutations are bad for you. In fact, some mutations can be beneficial. Over time, genetic mutations create genetic diversity, which keeps populations healthy. Many mutations have no effect at all. These are called silent mutations.
But the mutations we hear about most often are the ones that cause disease.


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