Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 13:05 (366 days ago) @ dhw

TONY: That tiny bit of code simply said, as long as some condition(i being with the span of two values) is true, do something. For example, as long as a creature is feeling threatened, engage the sympathetic nervous system for fight-or-flight, or as long as food is abundant, have more babies.

DHW: Again please forgive my ignorance, but are you referring to the "tiny bit of code" you gave us (which I didn't understand at all) or to the code that Karen Lloyd was explaining? Or to both? Her argument was that the common features in her code demonstrated common descent. I am only asking for brief clarification, not trying to make a point.

The italicized bit refers to my code example, the bit after that refers to how similar genetic code could be used across species to achieve similar purposes.


TONY: Interpretation of data is largely dependent upon cognitive bias. I don't claim that this bias is necessarily mistaken, but it is always present.

DHW: This is certainly true whenever anyone chooses to believe one option in relation to a subject on which there is no universal consensus as to what is true and what is false.

There has never been, nor will there ever likely be, a universal consensus about ANYTHING.

TONY: DHW claims a third option, that he doesn't know and so refuses to choose, but that is not really the case. By his arguments, he has clearly made a choice and there is likely no evidence short of divine explanation which would convince him otherwise, as evidenced by our repeated and well documented attempts to show all the evidence AGAINST cellular intelligence and common descent on the scale he discusses.

DHW: Hold on, hold on! This is far too general. I can’t decide whether there is or is not a God, and so I can’t choose. I don’t know whether cellular intelligence can extend so far as to produce the innovations necessary for evolution, and so I offer it only as a hypothesis; I defend it as a logical explanation of what I see as life’s higgledy-piggledy history of comings and goings, particularly in the light of David’s theories. I HAVE made a choice concerning common descent (yes), random mutations (no).

Cellular 'intelligence' is pretty much limited to physical triggers and perhaps some miniscule 'thought' in terms of getting food and such. Call it a 95/5 ratio of physical reactions to intelligent choice.


TONY: Personally, I believe in a creator God, reject mainstream evolution and common descent, but acknowledge the role of epigenetics, inheritance, and variation within a single species type, citing the commonality of genetic language as a prime illustration of how designers design! In short, a bear will always be a bear, and never anything but a bear, but it may be one of any number of bear variations. […]

DHW; It’s important to note that common descent does not exclude your God (as Darwin himself emphasized). You can claim he began by creating the simplest forms (single cells), personally put them together to make multicellular forms, and personally organized them into all the different species. You still have common descent from those first forms. Or you can claim that he set up a mechanism whereby they did their own organizing. You believe he created a mechanism that enabled species to diverge into variants. Why won't you consider the possibility that the same mechanism enabled early forms of life to diverge into species?

I discount common decent based on both what we do and do not observe. The lack of transitional fossils, the lack of ongoing speciation, the lack of failed speciation fossils, and the way that 'common descent' as measured by genetics has no coherency.

TONY: 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.

Delighted to see you embracing the concept of bacterial intelligence, as opposed to David’s belief that they are mindless machines. (I seek points of agreement as well as points of disagreement!) Your reference to our not being the greatest of his creations is presumably derived from the Bible, which I take to be the basis of your own “cognitive bias” in relation to all these discussions. ;-)

Even without referring to the bible, I see the Earth as an organism as sorts, and it certainly exhibits the characteristics of one. Referring to the bible, there would be other layers of creation that we are not directly privy to.

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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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