Evolution and humans: our feet are special (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, October 11, 2018, 12:25 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am not disputing that organs and organisms must exist before natural selection works on them. I am disputing the argument that your God designed different variations of bipedal feet. It is clear that use is what determines change. Different hominins walked in different ways, and so there were differences in their feet. The article itself proposes the same process: “These cases illustrate a diversity in foot evolution and locomotion, which with time may offer greater contextual clues about the lives of these groups.” The assumption is that the way of life causes the diversity – organs responding to use, not God intervening in anticipation of use. And I would apply this principle to bipedalism itself (along with other changes that had to accompany it) just as I would apply it to whales' fins.

DAVID: Bipedalism requires just one general way of walking or running. Hominins were able to run down prey who literally became to hot to continue. They can't sweat and we can. Remember the article I found has at its basis a Darwinist view of evolution. Part of creating humans had to do with changing many parts. My bold above illustrates our complete gulf of disagreement. Your view: a raparian animal since water is near and waded in it will grow fins by magic. Yes, magical thought.

Any major innovation, not just human, will require “changing many parts”, as the whole body must adjust to flying, life on land, life in the water, life in the trees, life on the ground etc. Adaptation is a proven fact, and it is not done by magic. There are material mechanisms that make the changes, but those we know of are minor. What we don’t know is the potential range or speed of change that these mechanisms are capable of. That is why speciation remains a mystery. Here the hypothesis is that feet will change when organisms use them to walk on two legs because they find it advantageous to do so, and legs will become fins when organisms use them to swim, because they find it advantageous to move from land to water. Why do you consider that more “magical” than an unknown, sourceless, immaterial, eternal mind presumably using its powers of psychokinesis to fiddle (and keep fiddling) with the anatomy of individual hominins and pre-whales in order to prepare them for a descent from the trees or a leap into the water?

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