Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Monday, August 20, 2018, 17:48 (548 days ago) @ David Turell

Tony: Step-wise is precisely what the bible describes, but not only for life, for all of creation, which is precisely what we see. As far as step-wise creation of life, I see it as necessary for the conditioning of the planet for further development.

Each stage of life coincided not only with what the environment could support, but also in what the animals could provide the environment. From mats of microbes that slowly broke down igneous rocks into soil and reconditioned the atmosphere to support larger life by increasing O2 levels, to the fish that that re-balanced microbial mats and the larger marine and bird life that fed on the fish. The biosphere was created in very discrete, very balanced stages, and at the end of each stage the Earth was brought to a new state of homeostasis, followed by a changing of the guard in terms of animal life. The old guard's task performed, they were simply allowed to die off in their time, slowly fading into the twilight of a Earth that was no longer a home suitable for them. The new guard started their new tasks, driving the planet to a new form of homeostasis over long epochs.

What I don't see happening, are mistakes. I see no genetic goofs in the fossil record, like "Oh shit, I'm a whale-dog-catapus!" Despite sharing huge portions of genetic programming, each block of code functions precisely as it need to for that particular organism in there environment. No oops, no evolution.

David: You reflect some of the current Darwin view of environment and living organism interaction, what I look at as balance of nature:

"Today, the tension between active and passive mechanism is still evident, for example, in evolutionary biology. While evolutionary theorists reject creationism, of course, concepts such as adaptation and fitness are in fact grounded in a passive-mechanist view of living structures. That view has traditionally banned any talk of evolutionary agency within living organisms, and instead ascribed their forms and structures to forces acting from outside them.

"At the same time, evolutionary theory retains an important inheritance from the active mechanist tradition; indeed, active mechanist ideas seem currently to be in the ascendant. Recent work on ‘niche construction’ for example attends to the ways that organisms can shape their environments, which in turn shape them through natural selection. Meanwhile, research in epigenetics examines how organisms can transform in response to their environments in heritable ways. Rather than being purely passive recipients of environmental pressures, organisms are active and self-transforming, according to current research. (my bold)

"According to these scientists, life is still fundamentally mechanistic – in the sense that it is made of mechanical parts and forces, with no spirits or supernatural puppeteers to make it go. But if living things are machines, they are looking more and more like responsive and disquiet ones, in a perpetual state of flux and restlessness."

I don't particularly buy into a fully mechanistic view of life. I see too much personality in animals to buy that entirely. I do not think that animals are on the same level of intelligence that we are, but I do not think they are mindless machines either. We are to them as they are to bacteria, in terms of intelligence, and obviously the creator would be many orders of magnitude greater than we are. After all, we are not, supposedly, the greatest of his creations; not by far. Everything exists at scale and has a limited vantage point from which to perceive creation.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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