Pointy eggs and whales (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 11:56 (709 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

dhw: I would suggest that it is the environmental input (the steep slope) that determines the egg shape. Now please tell us how the birds come up with their pointy eggs. Did your God preprogramme them to do it, do a dabble, or install a mechanism enabling organisms to adapt autonomously to their environment?

DAVID: My answer is God helped.

No different from God dabbled. With a magic wooj wooj from on high, or did he summon all the birds to assemble and then fiddled with their cloacae?

TONY: It would most likely need to be something OTHER than the steep slope. […] If all cliff dwellers do not produce pointy eggs, the trigger must be something else.

Interesting, but now please tell us your own theory: Did your God preprogramme them to do it, do a dabble, or install a mechanism enabling organisms to adapt autonomously to their environment?

dhw: I have offered an explanation of whale development, and you do not accept it. So please tell us how YOU account for the eight stages, if not by one of the two methods I've mentioned.

DAVID: There is no answer.

There is no answer. But you reject my hypothesis.

DAVID: Your just-so story implies gradual changes. The fossil story shows us giant gaps in form. Either the gaps are true or the fossils for your story are not available. Available current evidence is on my side.

There is no answer, but does available evidence really support your claim that 3.8 billion years ago your God preprogrammed eight stages of whalehood, or that he dabbled with all the pre-whales before they entered the water, and then over millions of years did seven more dabbles with all the intermediate whales to produce modern forms of whale? I suspect most current researchers would be flabbergasted to hear what they are supporting.

DHW (to Tony): […] you asked me to show you “something that can be repeated in a lab, step-wise”, and to show you the evidence “by reproducing the process. That is science.” Let me repeat: NOBODY KNOWS HOW SPECIATION TOOK PLACE. We only have theories.

TONY: No one knows because it has never been observed. Hence the hard rejection. It currently stands as a fairy tale from start to finish. Secondly, I claim that the observed gaps denote gaps; the observed sudden appearance of species fully formed.

Nobody has ever observed the sudden appearance of a species fully formed! There are gaps. That’s it. Your confirmation bias tells you that the gaps denote species appearing from nowhere, specially created by your God. Evolutionists’ confirmation bias tells them that these are due to the rarity of fossils. Your theory is no more scientific than theirs.

TONY: The observed complexity and increase in genetic information implies design and intelligence. It is an inference based on the observed evidence. […]

I am not disputing – and never have disputed – the argument for design, which is one of two reasons why I as an agnostic do not reject the hypothesis of a God (the other being certain psychic phenomena). The current discussion between us is over common descent, not over the existence of your God.

DAVID: I think the conserved genes are God's primary blueprint.

DHW: And conserved genes can be taken as evidence of common descent, not as a prior assumption. I have proposed that if God exists, cellular intelligence is his “primary blueprint”.

TONY: That is logically incorrect. First, even the name 'conserved genes' starts with the assumption of common decent. If that assumption were not in place, the more appropriate term would be 'genetic similarity'.

If, say, 90% of chimp genes are the same as human genes, why is it illogical to propose that they share a common ancestor?

TONY: I understand your hypothesis is cellular intelligence, I have simply not seen enough evidence to support the level of intelligence you ascribe to cells. If such evidence comes to light, then I would certainly consider that it was perhaps the method God used.

DAVID: Cellular intelligence is pure theory, not proven. Cells have no means of thinking.

I don’t know how often I have to repeat that it is a hypothesis precisely because although we have plenty of evidence that cells behave intelligently, we don’t know how far that intelligence can go in terms of innovation. NOBODY can explain speciation. Cells do not have brains. David, your constant insistence that thought depends on the brain is based on the materialism you reject elsewhere, and on your assumption that microorganisms do not have some kind of brain equivalent.

DAVID: The so-called cell intelligence is based on definite evidence of what can be seen as logical responses of cells to stimuli. These responses can obviously be planned and automatic. They are shown to be a series of molecular reactions.

As with all our fellow creatures (e.g. the parrots you tell us about on another thread), we judge intelligence by behaviour. Behaviour always entails molecular reactions of some kind, as these are what enable organisms – including ourselves – to demonstrate intelligence!

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