Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 11:07 (681 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

I’ve juxtaposed parts of your post in order to keep the themes together.

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.

TONY: 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.

Thank you. As I see it, this fits in with common descent (and with natural selection). Whatever combination of cells is useful gets passed on: e.g. the eye does not have to be reinvented for each new species. It will simply undergo variations in accordance with the needs or opportunities created by the environment. The same principle would apply to speciation, except that the variations lead to more radical changes. You can say your God used the same basic design, but it’s still common descent.

TONY: 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.

If a similar genetic code is found across species “to achieve similar purposes”, how can you say there is no genetic coherency? There are some transitional fossils (e.g. horses, whales, humans) but you are right, there is no continuous line of fossils containing every single modification between species and their ancestors, and I don’t know if we can expect one. Nor do I know how a “failure” would produce a fossil since by definition it would never come into existence. Nor do I know how the lack of ongoing speciation disproves common descent. But do you or do you not believe that life began with single cells, and that all subsequent life consists of different cell combinations? For me that is a key issue in our quest to understand the mystery of speciation.

DHW: 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.

TONY: 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.

Most organisms devote most of their thought to “getting food and such”, and they use their intelligence to enhance their chances of survival. No ratio involved. I gave you examples of bacterial intelligence on Saturday 11 August at 9.23 under “An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon”, but you do not seem to have seen it.

Earlier you wrote: 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.

Of course I agree that the level and the nature of their intelligence are not comparable to ours. But our intelligence is often fully stretched when we try to outwit them!

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.

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

True. I’ll have to modify that to a general consensus. Of course even that can change but, for instance, it is now generally accepted that the Earth is not flat and it goes round the sun. I think most of us today would agree, and so we don’t bother about the data and have no cognitive bias. We accept it as a fact.

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