Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 15, 2018, 14:44 (574 days ago) @ dhw

I have shifted this from “Introducing the brain” as this thread is more appropriate.

DAVID: Flippers and legs are very different and require different muscle attachments for differing motions. Flippers flap. Try that with a leg! The marked change is the issue, not the complexity.

dhw: Thank you. Of course fins and legs are different, and of course they serve different functions, but your original point was that all these changes were part of the advance to complexity. My point is that legs did not change into fins for the sake of complexity, but for the sake of coping with a new environment in order to improve chances of survival.

As usual you skip the obvious. Evolution produced complexity beyond bacteria when it was obviously not necessary. Bacteria to humans is increased complexity, nothing more. You are right, entering water required more complexity and more intricate design. Perhaps teh designer did the pushing into water

DAVID: Extinctions are bad luck is the point. Jumping into water did not help survival, but endangered it without enormous phenotypic and physiologic changes. Looking for a purposeful explanation ( since God is purposeful) it must be diversity for econiche food supply. From the proper theistic standpoint, it is the most logical explanation.

dhw: ... You simply refuse to acknowledge the possibility that environmental change may pose a threat to existing organisms, and if they survive, it can only be because their bodies change. I really can’t see why you think the most logical explanation of the baleen whale’s evolution, for example, is that your God extracted its ancestor’s teeth to force it to suction feed when it didn’t need to, and then a few million years later inserted baleens to make it filter-feed when it didn’t need to, and he did this so that it would provide food to keep life going until he could design H. sapiens.

As usual you note that whale evolution as irrational, which is exactly why I brought it up initially. A totally irrational unnatural series of changes. Requires a designer.

DAVID: You can toss around the word irrationality all you want, but the point is not what you want it to be. Humans would have survived if they stayed as apes and didn't gain all the attributes they have. Survival therefore is not The Issue.

dhw: You claim that survival had little or no role to play in evolution. As regards humans, it is perfectly feasible that a particular group of primates came under threat from local conditions and their survival depended on their adaptation to life on the ground. Other apes in other locations were able to stay in the trees – hence the evolutionary split.

It is also perfectly feasible to simple migrate as an ape to a better spot. Wildebeests migrate every year in Africa, the cradle of human life.


QUOTE: "Interpreted as a theory of species survival, the theory that the fittest species survive is undermined by evidence that while direct competition is observed between individuals, populations and species, there is little evidence that competition has been the driving force in the evolution of large groups such as, for example, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.

dhw: The article is devoted entirely to debunking the theory that competition has been the driving force. Firstly, you have clearly forgotten Margulis’s emphasis on cooperation as a major driving force. Secondly, competition is not a synonym for survivability! Survival depends on the ability to cope with existing environmental conditions. Herbivores do not compete with carnivores to find food – each organism finds its own source, which is why you quite rightly point out that econiches are delicately balanced. If sources die out, the econiche loses its balance and is replaced by another. (But of course that does not mean that your God specially designed every econiche for the sake of providing food until he could specially design us.) Please forget your obsession with Darwin and remember that you are discussing these issues with me. Finally, it is clearly absurd to say that “humans survive better than any other animal on earth with the modifications as they came out of the trees” and then argue that evolutionary change has little or nothing to do with survivability.

Back to the same old point: why evolve from bacteria, if bacterial life didn't need to? Pure survival without a need to become more complex. Survival did not push complexity. A designer did.

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