An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 11:21 (142 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

dhw: I don’t like to break in on this happy biblical accord, but I'm feeling lonely. David, would you please confirm that you believe in common descent, and reject the bible’s separate creation of each species, including man.

DAVID: I agree in an overall view that single cells were the start of life and subsequent steps became more and more complex until humans arrived. I don't reject the separate creation Bible theory, since I also think God stepped into the process continuously or at various points (dabbling). None of me is on your picket fence.

There is a huge difference between continuous dabbling and dabbling at various points. Continuous means without a break. Even preprogramming then goes out of the window, and we are left with your belief that every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder was personally dabbled by your God. Goodbye to evolution. “At various points” does allow for evolution, but leaves the amount wide open. And yet you are not on a picket fence.

Let’s try a simple question. Do you think humans and apes have a common ancestor?

dhw: Throughout this discussion, you have both tried to conflate evolution with the way evolution may have proceeded. There is only one way to define common descent:

Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor. There is "massive"[1] evidence of common descent of all life on Earth from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).[1][2]In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA, by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

dhw: Tony rejects this, but you accept it. And it makes no difference to the meaning of the term common descent whether God designed it or not.

TONY: This is the part I have a problem with: ALL LIFE from ONE LUCA. There are too many problems with that concept for me to accept it.

(I sympathize. There are too many problems with the concept of a sourceless, conscious, universal mind for me to accept it.) In the context of evolution, Darwin’s theory which you so detest is that all life is descended from a few forms or one, and we do not know how the original few forms or one came into being. If, as you pointed out, “life can only come from life”, you can hardly deny the logic.

TONY: David’s version is certainly a possibility, primarily because it accounts for the addition of new information when needed to account for things that simply were not needed in previous iterations of life.

In the theistic version of my own hypothesis, I also allow for occasional dabbling, but absolutely not for continuous dabbling. I do not believe for one moment that your God dabbled every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder, let alone every change in climate and environment that is so closely linked to the vast variety of life forms. In the agnostic version of my hypothesis, it is the cells themselves that work out all the different ways of coping with or exploiting environmental change. “Agnostic” because I leave open the question of their origin. And if an atheist were participating in this discussion, I would firstly point to the complexity argument regarding not only the origin of the first cells but also the progression of evolution from single cells to ants and dogs and whales and humans. And if he/she acknowledged that belief in random mutations required a massive dose of faith, I would point out that the ONLY atheistic alternative would then be the intelligence of cells.

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