An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, August 06, 2018, 13:13 (703 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: OK, just to shortcut through having to edit all our conversation here, I'm going to paraphrase.
DHW, you seem to equate not dying with learning. They are not the same thing, not by any stretch. You know this. You know that is NOT what we are discussing, either. Being the lone survivor does not mean you have learned anything, only that you survived.

If an organism, single-cell or multicellular, is faced with a new, life-threatening problem, it has to find a solution or it will not survive. Furthermore, it has to pass the solution on to its descendants. How can you possibly find a solution to a new problem without learning something? This is a process we frequently see in operation today in the form of adaptation: new conditions leading to death or to a change of anatomy (i.e. the cell communities must make some kind of adjustment) or of lifestyle. I equate this with learning. And I also asked you how the immune system would work if the relevant cells didn’t come up with and then remember strategies to deal with new problems. But I acknowledge that the question mark against my hypothesis is whether these self-evident examples of learning can extend so far as to the innovations that are necessary for evolution.

TONY: What's more, that does not leave any room for the kind of complicated pre-planning that your hypothesis requires.

You have ignored the answer I gave last time. My hypothesis attributes most innovations to the cells’ responses to environmental change. Responses, not predictions. I gave you the example of the pre-whale. I do not believe the pre-whale or your God changed legs into fins before it entered the water. I suggest that the changes took place as the pre-whale’s cell communities adapted themselves to life in the water.

TONY: Further, an unpurposed cell community does not equate to the brain, with all of its spatial shape requirements and special tissue type requirements and chemical requirements.

What do you mean by an “unpurposed” cell community? It is a fact that the brain consists of cell communities. My hypothesis is precisely the opposite of “unpurposed”: namely, that they know what they are doing, and that they respond to one another. (In this respect, it makes no difference whether you believe in materialism or dualism.) David and I used the example of the spear. Either the soul or the brain has the new idea of making the weapon. This requires new calculations and new skills, i.e. changes to the brain: maybe additional cells (expansion), new connections (complexification). I see this process as exemplifying purposeful development, as cell communities adjust themselves to cope with or exploit the vast range of ever changing demands and opportunities.

TONY: In short, I think you danced all around those points, but didn't actually address any of them with any legitimate evidence of a singe cell doing the things you claim they can do. And it MUST be at the individual cell level, because to get from point A to wherever you are going with it, you have to start with a single cell. That means no cell communities to act as a data store, even if that were possible.

So do you deny that bacteria (single cells) are able to make changes to themselves in order to adapt to new conditions and are also able to preserve those changes? Yes, it began with single cells, but why do you reject the hypothesis that the combined intelligences of cell communities can take them to points that single cells can’t get to? And why do believe that even though new species came into existence, their cell communities did not store the data that made them into new species? Even if your God created every single organism, he would still have had to put single cells together to make all the multicellular organisms we know of, and the data would still have had to be stored! And if your God could do it, what makes you think your God could not have provided cells with the intelligence to do it themselves?

DAVID: It is all part of following the hyperbole of some scientists who equate intelligent cellular reactions with innate intelligence in single cells. As you point out, no way.

You are insulting the intelligence or possibly even the integrity of those scientists (one of them a Nobel prizewinner) who have made a lifetime study of the subject. Have some respect.

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