Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, August 23, 2018, 13:15 (479 days ago) @ dhw

DHW: 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?

I have answered your question, explicitly, and multiple times elsewhere. No, I do not believe in common descent from a single ancestor. The closest I could come to accepting common descent is from a single prototype for each type, and then variation within that type.

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. ... I assume that if an organism failed to change itself, it would continue to look like itself, and would die looking like itself.

There would, or should, be fossils with new bones that are half-formed, or malformed, that doesn't belong with any subsequently existing species. Obviously, if they failed, whatever species they were changing into would not exist.

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?

DHW: 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.

No, the existence of separate species proves that there are separate species, NOT that they were once the same species. I don't disagree that there ARE separate species, but rather that they were once the SAME species, which there is no observed evidence of.

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.

You have your proofs backwards. We can prove that there are species, that those species do not, and can not, successfully interbreed to produce viable, breed-able offspring of a new species. That is observed. If you want to claim that they can do something we HAVE NOT observed, i.e. speciation, then the burden of proof is on you.

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. […]

DHW: 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.

I would wager that any of the stuff on that list is explainable as (relatively)simple biochemical trigger/response mechanisms. I didn't see anything in that list that seemed to require prior planning or innate self-awareness beyond what might be described as self-preservation at the most basic level.


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.

DHW: 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.

The problem with your proposal is, as we keep saying, that it would either have to happen to two creatures at the exact same time, both of which had to survive, and in a single geographical area, so that there would be a breed-able pair. Remember, species can't interbreed. Could God have done it that way, perhaps, except that there is no evidence that he did it that way. Genetic programming similarity is shared across species separated by geography, time, and vast species boundaries (Like human's and banana's). Please explain how you get that degree of similarity via common descent in a human, cat, chicken, fruit fly, and banana. There is no evolutionary path that will get you there.

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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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