Evolution: whale teeth and baleens; another article (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, December 08, 2018, 09:55 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This discussion suggests that baleens came from hair follicle genes. How did they get to work from within the jaw?

dhw: And this discussion also suggests that the whole process took place in response to environmental change, as opposed to your theory that your God preprogrammes or dabbles change in advance of environmental change. Two hypotheses for you: 1) your God took away the teeth of pre-baleen whales, told them to go away and suction feed, and then a few million years later dabbled with all of them to insert baleens, because all this was essential to keep life going until he could produce humans; 2) pre-baleen whales took to suction feeding in response to the changing ocean environment and so they didn’t need their teeth, which then disappeared, and a few million years later the cell communities used their (possibly God-given) intelligence to adapt existing structures to improve the whale’s method of feeding.

DAVID: Of course a Darwin-based article will present your line of reasoning, which always avoids the need for design engineering.

dhw: Sorry, but “Darwin-based” is no defence of hypothesis 1). My line of reasoning never avoids the need for “design engineering”. Its theistic version simply offers the possibility that your God gave cells/cell communities the ability to do their own designing – not in anticipation of changing conditions but in response to them.

DAVID: Why you constantly think God would give up control of one of His projects puzzles me. We can make up anything about God we want, but our only clues about God's thoughts are the results of His works, and then working backwards in our reasoning. I certainly don't reason like you do.

You tell me I always avoid the need for design engineering, I explain that I never ignore it, and so you switch back to the question of control, which has already been dealt with umpteen times! Ah well, round we go. Yes indeed, we work backwards from the results, which are millions and millions of life forms, econiches etc. etc. extant and extinct. You reason that your God’s motive for this diversity was to provide food to keep life going. And you then reason that his sole purpose for doing so was to produce H. sapiens, so that we would think about him and he could have a relationship with us, although he is always in full control and you simply don’t know why he chose this roundabout method of achieving his sole purpose. Why would he want to give up control? Perhaps because – as you have often said – he is hidden but watches us with interest, and it is more interesting to watch the unpredictable than to watch everything do precisely what you have prearranged for it to do. (But he can still dabble if he wants to.) This reading of God’s mind is an alternative to your own, as described above, and – to anticipate the next leap backwards – is no more “humanizing” than your own.


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