Natures wonders: Subsea Microorganisms Long Life (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, August 26, 2018, 08:42 (477 days ago) @ David Turell

TONY: Further, now you are not simply suggesting that microbes in a SINGLE organism create internal changes, but that they somehow communicate those changes to others of their kind WITHOUT reproduction (because speciation makes them incompatible).

DAVID: Horizontal gene transfer allows for modifications of attributes, but not new species. Tony makes a good point.

Tony was talking about single organisms communicating changes to others of their kind. I am pointing out that communities subjected to the same environmental conditions will make the same changes. Multiple pre-whales, male and female, would have entered the water, and so multiple pre-whales would have developed fins from legs – not just one passing its genes onto its neighbours. But nobody knows how speciation took place. Horizontal gene transfer may well have been an important factor.

TONY: […] There is a grand design, of which we know only a minuscule fraction. Life has been used in furtherance of that design. The weather patterns are part of this design. They do need to be managed, but not micromanaged. […] Could he manipulate it himself, yes, but I do not think he does it directly the majority of the time.

dhw: With my theist hat on, I also allow for sporadic divine dabbling. But David believes all innovations were preprogrammed or dabbled IN ADVANCE of environmental change. His pre-whales were given fins before they entered the water. Therefore either David's God has a crystal ball or he organizes EVERY environmental change.

DAVID: My view is God developed seal-, sea lion-. and walrus-like forms of the whale series where the animals ere comfortable in both environments. Nothing else feels logical.

We know these animals are comfortable in both environments. All you’re saying is that your God did it. We are talking about your belief that your God changed organisms BEFORE the environment changed (which requires a crystal ball or total control of the environment) – as opposed to the suggestion that environmental change triggered organismal change.

dhw: […] giant changes are the unsolved mystery, which you suggest is solved by a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history, or by your God getting all the pre-whales to lie on the shore while he turns their legs into fins, and then presumably diving into the water himself to make additional changes he never thought of in the first place.

DAVID: Your views of God are not of a God who knows what He is doing. […]

Not my view, but one implication of YOUR view, as above. What makes you think that a God who deliberately created a mechanism for autonomous evolution did not know what he was doing? Even you admit that it fits in with the ever changing history of life on Earth.

DAVID: Since He has purpose in His complex designs, He also has the foresight to make good designs, which only a planning brain can do.

dhw: If he exists, I’m sure he has purpose in his complex designs, and I’m sure he has foresight and a planning brain. That doesn’t mean he has to follow the preprogramming/dabbling routine you have designed for him (as above), which demands either prior knowledge or personal manipulation of every environmental change that is accompanied by speciation.

DAVID: And why not have an unlimited God in what He knows and what He plans. You view Him as with human limitations!

Another of your straw men. In the past you have imposed limitations on him with your uncertainty as to the degree of control he exerts over the environment. The hypothesis I have proposed imposes no limitations whatsoever. Creating an evolutionary free-for-all is no different from creating free will – that would have been his choice, though of course he could intervene if he wished to.


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