Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 13:36 (389 days ago) @ dhw

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.

DHW: 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.

No. Not at all, sir, not at all. As a LPL(Living programming language), it does not imply inheritance at all. Two species could be entirely unrelated by anything other than environment and still share coding elements out of necessity. To use your eye example, two creatures having eyes does not imply common descent, but you WOULD expect to see the same type of code used for the same functionality (eyes). I mean, seriously, nowhere, and I do mean nowhere, except in biology, would anyone be dumb or audacious enough to make the claim two things being similar came from a common predecessor explicitly by virtue of similarity.

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.

Why would a failure not 'come into existence'? I mean, in order for it to BE a failure, it must by definition exist. Either by still birth or short life, there would be corpses to become fossils. Let me ask the question in a different way:

Without referencing similarity, what evidence do you possess that speciation ever occurred? Without referencing similarity, what evidence do you possess that indicates common descent?

DHW: 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!

Getting food and such is far, far, far different that "understanding the need for a change and how to best meet that need, understanding oneself enough to know what needs to change at a genetic level, applying that change, and keeping track of which changes didn't work so as not to repeat mistakes. As humans, we can't even make it past the first milestone the vast majority of the time.


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.

DHW 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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We do, but I know others that don't. It's the damnedest thing, really. However, common descent and God are different in that we can observe neither directly as we did the shape of the planet.

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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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