Evolution and humans: our feet are special (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, October 13, 2018, 11:54 (3 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The innovations that MUSt appear from a desired new use require complex designs to achieve those changes. Only a designer mind fits the requirement for the necessary complex new designs.

dhw: My apologies in advance for all the repetitions, but they are the only way I can respond to your own repetition. Millions of designer minds also fit the requirement, just as we see with ants building whole cities and devising complex social institutions. Every bird, fish, animal (including ourselves) is a colony whose cells and cell communities cooperate to create the whole. (See my earlier post on “emergence”).

DAVID: The whole is not created by cooperating cells. What a gross mistake in analysis! The whole is created by a wondrous DNA embryology system, a code unmatched by our feeble attempts at software coding which creates those cooperating cells in a homeostatic mechanism of life. You are looking at finished products, not how they are developed.

I am saying that they are developed through the cooperation of cells. You’re talking as if DNA were somehow separate from the cells! You can hardly deny that your whole body consists of cooperating communities of cells. How do you think your preprogramming or dabbling God changes organisms (through innovations) if he doesn’t do it through changing the structures of the cell communities and the way in which they cooperate?

dhw: …We know for a fact that the cell communities make minor changes to themselves. But it is possible that some adaptations may lead to major anatomical changes involving the whole body (e.g. for life on the ground or life in the water).

DAVID: A giant leap of faith. The gap between minor adaptations of an existing species and the major gaps in the whale species as a example make this wishful thinking. Speciation requires major design changes not adaptations. Your point is pure Darwin once again.

You are simply repeating my own reservations, and I have only said it is possible. Yes, it requires a leap of faith to believe it, which is why I offer it as a hypotheses, not a belief, but it is hardly more “giant” than (a) the leap of faith required to believe in your God, and (b) the leap of faith required to believe in the scenario you describe below.

dhw: We simply do not know the extent to which the cells can innovate.

DAVID: Yes we do. Minor adaptations are all we ever see or can create in lab experiments of gene change research using CRISPR.

So you think research is now over, do you? Although amazingly you expect research one day to discover the divine, now 4.1-billion-year old (it suddenly got older) computer programme that led to speciation.

dhw: …here is the choice between two forms of theistic “magic”: 1) your God devises a 3.8-billion-year old computer programme for every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder that he does not personally create, using his powers of psychokinesis to rearrange the cell communities of the individual organisms he wishes to prepare for conditions which haven’t yet arisen. 2) Your God invents autonomous mechanisms which enable some organisms to drive evolution through their own adaptations and innovations, generally in response to changing conditions. So once again, please explain why you consider 2) to be more “magical” than 1).

DAVID: You've ignored the possibilities for God's control: 1) a 4.1 byo basic program for total innovation control on auto pilot; 2) God watches, steps in to adjust (dabble); 3) God gives the organisms an inventive mechanism with specific guidelines, another form of auto pilot; 4) a Tony-like approach of constant creation of more and more complex organisms.

I haven’t ignored them. You’ve just quoted them (now in bold) and repeated them. And the alternative to constant creation by a computer programme, and/or dabbling, and/or an inventive mechanism which is automatic and not autonomous, is constant creation by an inventive mechanism which is not automatic but is autonomous.

DAVID: All are equally God-possible, one not better than the others.

But you have completely ignored my own hypothesis, and have not explained why you think yours are less “magical” than mine – the question I asked you on Thursday.

DAVID: You constantly insist on exact guesses, which underlies your agnostic bent for proof, when logic and then faith are necessary.

And there was you, moaning that belief in the logic of an autonomous inventive mechanism required a giant leap of faith! I do not insist on anything. I propose a hypothesis to explain how evolution works and which seems to me considerably more logical than your own, which has your God preprogramming or dabbling billions of life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders extant and extinct just because he wants minds to “try and understand how God did it”.

DAVID: You admit to the complexity of the life designs on exhibit, but then deny it requires a designing mind for such intricate results. At least you admit such a mind is possible as you balance on your uncomfortable fence.

Yes, I admit it is possible, so you can hardly say I deny it, but I offer you an alternative (still theistic) way in which that mind might have engineered the complexity of life so that evolution could proceed. Once more, why is my way more “magical” than your way? (See also the next post)


Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum