Divine purposes and methods (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, December 16, 2018, 12:06 (475 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] 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.

Thank you for your “perhaps”. At least now you are clearly accepting the possibility that he didn’t do the pushing. We have always agreed that there was no need for life to evolve beyond bacterial level, and of course multicellularity is more complex than unicellularity. But once that step had been made, how does your drive for complexity invalidate the proposal that legs became fins as an aid to improved survivability in a new environment? See below for more of the same.

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. [...]

DAVID: 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.

No, no, and no again! What is irrational is your insistence that your God changed legs into fins, and extracted teeth and inserted baleens before there was any need for pre-whales to enter the water, or pre-baleen whales to suction-feed and then filter-feed. What is rational is that pre-whales found more food in the water than on the land, and their bodies changed to improve their survivability in the water; and pre-baleen whales’ jaws changed when a changing environment (as proposed in the article) proved more conducive to suction-feeding and then to filter-feeding.

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.

DAVID: 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.

I’m not going to pretend I know why a group of primates took to life on the ground instead of migrating! But at least your “also perfectly feasible” acknowledges the feasibility of my suggestion. We must not forget that your own suggestion is that your God fiddled with the limbs and pelvises of a group of tree-dwellers before telling them to go and live on the ground, even though they were perfectly OK up in their trees.


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 […] 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.

DAVID: 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.

Absolutely not back to the same old point. The point we are discussing here is your insistence that survivability played little or no part in evolution. The Wikipedia article debunks competition as the driving force, but competition is not a synonym for survivability (see above). You yourself say that “humans survive better...with the modifications...” (also above), and do you really think your God taught monarch butterflies to migrate, cuttlefish to camouflage themselves, spiders to spin 50,000 different webs, changed legs into fins etc. for the sake of complexity? Your own illogical hypothesis claims that your God designed them all to provide food so that life could go on. Life going on = survival. So how can you say survivability played little or no role even in your concept of evolution?

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