Evolution: a different view with loss of DNA segments (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, January 09, 2019, 12:18 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] the 3.8 byo program allows the organisms to modify their DNA only for adaptations.

dhw: […] are you telling us that your God programmed nothing but minor adaptations…and dabbled every single major innovation?

DAVID: We differ completely in that I am sure design is required for each advanced species.

Please say whether my interpretation of the first remark is correct. I agree that design is required (as opposed to chance), and as you well know, I propose a (possibly God-given) mechanism for autonomous change through intelligent cells/cell communities.

dhw: So let’s be clear what this means: your God preprogrammed or dabbled pre-whale legs to become fins, monarch butterflies to fly thousands of miles north/south, east/west, cuttlefish to camouflage themselves, 50,000 spiders to design different webs etc. etc. - all BEFORE these life forms and millions of others were exposed to the conditions which either necessitated or allowed the changes. He therefore knew about (or even organized) every single environmental change, local and global, before it happened, and did all this so that the different life forms could become more complex and eat each other for 3.5+ billion years before he designed the only thing he wanted to design: you and me.

DAVID: A good summary of my view, if this all refers to speciation.

No, it refers to speciation, econiches, lifestyles and natural wonders (the archer fish is the latest of these:”Perhaps designed by God makes sense”), all of which you claim were specially designed by your God to enable organisms to eat one another etc., as above.

DAVID: You totally miss the point of small groups and large changes in form. To repeat, a small group of hominins evolved very advanced changes in the human form and brain.

dhw: How have I missed the point? That IS the point of my last example!

DAVID: Yes you have. A tiny number of existent hominins made enormous changes to advance the human form and brain in short geologic time. Where did the large number of mutations come from your small group of apes on the ground? At one point it is thought there were only 10,000 pre-sapiens living![...]

dhw: See my bold above for the small group. Did you want me to say "tiny" instead of small? Why do you need a large group to make large mutations?

DAVID: The point is simple: if mutations cause speciation and have to occur by chance, a small of group of hominins with a new generation every 18-20 years is extremely unlikely to have produced the body form and brain changes in the short geological time we know happened.

Why do you keep harping on about chance? We have long since agreed that it was not by chance. Your hypothesis is that God dabbled with pre-human anatomy before the small group left the trees, and you also keep harping on about other apes not having made the changes. I propose that local conditions led to a small group descending from the trees (no need for their brothers and sisters to change) and life on the ground triggered the changes made by their intelligent cell communities to enable them . Nothing to do with chance, and nothing to do with the size of the group, although once more: neither of these hypotheses have been proved.

dhw: […] in some cases evolution will require the jettisoning of previously evolved structures that are no longer suited to the new environment.

DAVID: Same point as Behe. Jettisoning advances evolution.

dhw: There is no advance if sticklebacks lose a fin, or pre-baleen whales lose their teeth! They are simply different forms of stickleback/whale using a different method of survival.

DAVID: Those are not tiny modifications by any means but major designed changes. Of course Behe is on point.

Are you really telling me that freshwater sticklebacks are an advance on ocean sticklebacks, and toothless pre-baleen whales are an advance on whales with teeth, not to mention your claim that such changes were designed to advance complexity and not survivability?

Dhw: One of the problems in our exchanges is that sometimes you say one thing and then later say the opposite. That is why we need these constant clarifications. Under “Genome complexity”, 3 January at 19.03: The question is…whether your God’s “information/instructions used by the cell” means a specific, 3.8 billion-year-old programme for every single change in the history of evolution […] or a mechanism which enables the cell to change itself autonomously…

DAVID: The only issue here is I believe God gave the cells that mechanism.

dhw: What mechanism were you referring to?

DAVID: Same old answer. I don't change. Cells have (per Shapiro) the ability to make small modifications to their activities by editing their DNA, an ability given by God's design. They cannot create their own speciation by design.

So please tell me what mechanism you were referring to when you said the only issue was that you believe God gave the cells “that mechanism”. If you wish to withdraw the statement, then by all means do so, and revert to your 3.8 byo programme (plus dabbling). I am only asking for clarification.

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