An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, July 22, 2018, 08:59 (719 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Think! No fence. If God guided every step in evolving humans, evolution occurred with common descent.

A few days ago I asked if you believed your God dabbled with existing life forms or created them from scratch. You replied: “I believe God designed the Cambrian Explosion. Is that scratchiness enough?” And you went on to say: “I still think common descent is the proper theory, with God dabbling at points like the Cambrian Explosion.” I assumed these references to “scratchiness” and “dabbling” meant that he created the Cambrian species from scratch. This seems to be confirmed by your statement above that you do not reject the separate creation theory – the exact opposite of common descent – and even think your God might have “stepped into the process continuously”. Or maybe only “at various points”. So you believe in common descent but you don’t reject the separate creation theory, which may have been continuous, and you are not sitting on the fence.

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: And my question to you is where/how do intelligent cells find the new information to use for complex advances in evolving organisms. And if the information is already present (as in pre-programmed) how do they know how to omit some and rearranged other parts of it, all of which requires foresight as to what is required in the future living form. Lets use whales ass an example of the changes required.

According to one of your theories, your God provided the first living cells with programmes for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life (apart from those he dabbled). How did subsequent organisms “know how to omit” the millions of irrelevant programmes? Do we now have your God continuously dabbling to switch off 99.999% of the programmes installed?

In answer to your question, we know for a fact that some organisms are able to make changes to themselves in order to cope with changes in the environment. They do not anticipate – they react. I do not believe for one second that pre-whales looked into the future and prepared themselves for life in the water. I believe that all the changes would have taken place after they entered the water, and all the different stages represented improvements as they accustomed themselves to life in the water. Perhaps you would explain to us why your God prepared them in advance, and then kept on making changes until they reached their current form. Incompetence? Experimenting? The same question would apply to your theory that all he really wanted to produce was Homo sapiens, so why bother with all the other homos and hominins? Incompetence? Experimenting? And why bother with eight stages of whale if all he wanted was us?

More generally, I have agreed over and over again that there is no proof that cell communities are capable of major innovations. It is a hypothesis, like the existence of a God who individually preprogrammed or dabbled every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.

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