Big brain evolution: our special gene is identified (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 18:00 (34 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No, God gave bacteria alternate pathways and the ability to switch pathways when necessary depending on nutrients available. Intelligent instructions.

dhw: We're not talking about available nutrients, but about the antibiotics that kill millions of bacteria which you say have been given instructions to solve the new problem. Alternative pathways = multiple choice. So did millions of dead bacteria NOT have God’s instructions, or did they automatically choose the wrong ones, while their mates automatically chose the right ones?

Research indicates some bacteria can pick up resistance by lateral transfer of genes, or by minor alteration of their metabolism to different pathways. Poll the bacteria who lived and those who died to answer your provocative query.


dhw: Since when did you accept the beliefs of scientists because they are sure they are right? Ah well, good news for Shapiro and Dawkins.

DAVID: Good for you. You admit to skepticism when the scientists take a position that attacks your pet theories.

dhw: I ask for open-mindedness, whereas you actively believe scientists when they seem to support you, as above, and you are sceptical when they don’t, as with Shapiro & Co. You have fixed beliefs, and I offer alternative hypotheses.

To suit your fixed hypotheses.


dhw: Small population is irrelevant, since the mutations must take place in individuals. Your scientists’ conclusions are based on two individuals from 13 generations of one family over 200 years of stable conditions - a speck of sand in the “hourglass” of 6-8 million years and three to four hundred thousand generations of apes, hominins and hominids living in ever changing conditions, especially if the beneficial mutations are not by chance but are coordinated by intelligent, cooperating cell communities.

Of course individual mutations in a small number population. How many mutations can happen in a small number of people? And designed by cell committees as bigger heads demand bigger pelvic outlets in different individuals in the birth process.

DAVID: Less marked change in conditions requires the appearance of chance lucky coordinated multiple mutations or design for the change. I'll pick design every time.


dhw: So will I. You harp on about chance mutations as the only alternative to design […] My alternative is that intelligent cell communities (possibly God-designed) do their own designing. Nothing to do with chance. Again: why do you think an intelligent response to local conditions is less likely than your God fiddling with some apes’ pelvises before making them leave their happy home?

DAVID: Your usual response of cell committees figuring out how to make a human. Ha!

dhw: Why ha? You also believe in common descent, so you believe in a gradual accumulation of innovations over 3.5+ thousand million years of evolution from single cells to ALL the different life forms before apes, hominins, hominids and homos.

I don't believe in gradual accumulation of small changes. That is Darwinism which you can't seem to leave behind. Note the Giraffe gap or the Cambrian! I think God creates species de novo in an evolving order.


dhw: I asked you what you meant by semi-autonomous, and your only answer was “within prescribed limits”. Apart from environment and restricted capabilities, what other limits are you thinking of? Either cells/cell communities autonomously process info intelligently and make their own decisions (within prescribed limits described above), or they merely follow instructions and are automatons. But the invitation remains open: what do you mean by semi-autonomy?

DAVID: Absolute limits in phenotype and physiology alterations so exactly the needed advance in evolution is obtained.

dhw: This = restricted capabilities. I can accept that organisms have evolved to meet the needs imposed by (or to exploit the opportunities offered by) a changing environment. Now please tell me which half of the process is autonomous.

Minor adaptations within current species, nothing more. See arrival of species thru God as stated above.


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