dhw: Evolution and humans: Neanderthal lungs larger (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, December 05, 2018, 11:43 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There is no wishful thinking – I am trying to find a logical explanation for innovations. And my hypothesis allows for an external designer to have created the intelligent cell in the first place.

DAVID: And I firmly believe that the simple intelligent responses of cells cannot be extrapolated to grand designs necessary to create newer species.

But please don't tell me that my hypothesis is an "escape" from an external designer. It is an alternative to your firm beliefs, the logic of which you don’t like me to question.

dhw: In my hypothesis the mammal doesn’t imagine anything, just as I do not consciously direct my heart, liver and lungs to do their job. It is the cell communities of which every organ is made that function independently of my conscious intelligence, and we know that organs can adapt to new conditions. I find it easier to imagine cell communities doing this in response to new demands than I do to imagine a universal mind constantly monitoring every organism in all conditions, prophesying what will happen, and by some process of psychokinesis restructuring the various organs (cell communities) in preparation for every environmental change.

DAVID: All this statement does is reaffirm your agnosticism, and have replaced God with a blind faith in cellular intelligence to create new designs.

Once more: God has not been replaced. He remains as the possible inventor of cellular intelligence. I don’t know how often I have to stress that this is a hypothesis and I do not have blind faith in it, but I am surprised that you find your own hypothesis so easy to imagine that you do have blind faith in it.

DAVID: Free will is at a neurological level of thought, not at the physical level of phenotypic change.

dhw: I am not comparing the two processes. I am pointing out that if your God can allow freedom on one level, there is no reason to suppose that he was not willing to allow freedom on another level.

DAVID: It's still apples an oranges. And guesses at what God decides to do.

All our hypotheses are guesses, and you are still missing the point of your God being capable of allowing both freedoms.

DAVID: You are still very influenced by your early readings from Darwin. Simple adaptations, which is all he knew about, will not lead to speciation. I don't accept Darwin's thinking at all except for the concept of common descent in the way I view it as step-by-step by God.

Yes, I am influenced by those aspects of Darwin’s theory that I find convincing, I agree that small adaptations won’t lead to speciation, but I offer the possibility that the same autonomous mechanism (cellular intelligence) which allows for small adaptations might also be capable of major adaptations and innovations. I asked you to tell me where Darwin proposes this hypothesis. If he doesn’t then please stop telling me that my hypothesis is pure Darwinism, and please stop pretending that any mention of Darwin is enough to discredit my arguments!

dhw: You have never left preprogramming and/or dabbling. So now please tell me whether you think the mechanism for minor adaptations, such as some fish adapting to polluted water so that they can remain the same, is autonomous or preprogrammed/dabbled. (A better example than Darwin’s finches.)

DAVID: Adapting to water change can be within the fishes ability to adapt without God helping. We are still at the level of natural adaptability.

Thank you for this straight answer. “Natural adaptability” relies on the cells/cell communities to work out their own way of making changes to themselves. You agree that these changes are not divinely preprogrammed or dabbled but are autonomous responses to new environmental conditions. And yet you discount the possibility that the same autonomous mechanism may, in response to new conditions, be capable of major changes as well as minor, and insist that, for example, legs must be changed to fins before pre-whales enter the water. I don’t ask you to believe my hypothesis, but I’m surprised at your total disbelief.

dhw: No, I do not recognize the need for your God to change legs into fins before pre-whales enter the water, or adjust pelvises before pre-humans descend from the trees, or jaws before pre-baleens start filter-feeding. I find it more logical that these changes occurred as a result of organisms adapting to new environments.

DAVID: Which means you really don't accept the designs you see as requiring a designing mind. For ten years I've presented extraordinary designs, which is what I consider my main contribution here. Designs require planning. Minds plan. Not illogical.

I accept that the extraordinary designs require intelligence and have not come about by chance. I also accept that design is the strongest argument for the existence of your God. However, I do not accept that these designs require planning in advance – as I have made clear in the comment you have responded to. Once more: the (theistic) hypothesis that your God designed the mechanism enabling organisms to adapt autonomously to new conditions encompasses the possibility that the same mechanism is capable of turning legs to fins etc. These changes therefore come about by design and not by chance, but I propose that they come about as responses to new conditions, and not in advance of them. “Not illogical.”

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