Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, August 23, 2018, 12:19 (455 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

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.

TONY: 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.

First of all, NOBODY understands how life and speciation occurred, and that is why we continue to search for explanations. Secondly, “descent” entails looking backwards, not across. Would anyone be "dumb or audacious enough" to make the claim that new organisms spring from nowhere, as opposed to springing from existing organisms? You have not answered the crucial question I asked later in my post: “do you or do you not believe that life began with single cells, and that all subsequent life consists of different cell combinations?” If you do accept it, then it follows on logically that similarities all through the ever changing succession of species have been INHERITED from earlier forms of life, and have survived because they are useful, i.e. “you would expect to see the same type of code used for the same functionality”.

Dhw: 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.

Tony: 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.

You have picked on just one of the answers I gave to your list of objections. I have no idea what a failure would look like, but I assume that if an organism failed to change itself, it would continue to look like itself, and would die looking like itself.

TONY: 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?

1) If we accept that species are different life forms that cannot interbreed (the definition you offer elsewhere), the evidence that speciation occurred is that there are different life forms that cannot interbreed.

2) Similarity IS the evidential basis, but if you can supply evidence that the earliest life forms were NOT microorganisms and that organisms can spring from nowhere as opposed to springing from earlier organisms, then I will reconsider my belief in 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.

TONY: 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. […]

Amazingly, you have just described precisely what bacteria are able to do, as you will see from the list of examples I gave you on Saturday 11 August under “An Alternative to Evolution: Expounded Upon”, which you appear to have missed.

DAVID (referring to Tony’s comment above): A beautifully expressed paragraph which describes the need for foresight and planning before a complexly changed organism can arrive! No itty-bitty steps, suggested by the dhw proposal, exist in the fossil record.

I keep repeating that in my proposal evolution progresses through responses to environmental changes – e.g. the pre-whale entered the water before its legs changed to fins – as opposed to divine dabbling or preprogramming in advance of environmental changes - e.g. pre-whales lying on the shore while your God changes their legs to fins. Your proposal also raises the never answered question of the extent to which your God controls the environment.

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