Genome complexity: what genes do and don't do (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, March 11, 2019, 11:15 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Bacteria carry their program and ones for the future they cannot use for themselves but is passed on to allow multicellular forms to arrive.

dhw: Thank you. So now we have the first bacteria carrying programmes for every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future, and somehow knowing which programme is for them alone. I wonder what happened next. Did they squiggle through history unknowingly passing the dinosaur programme and nothing but the dinosaur programme to pre-dinosaur cells, cuttlefish and camouflage programme to pre-cuttlefish cells, weaverbird and nest programme to pre-weaverbird cells, and hominin and pelvis programme to pre-hominin cells? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to discover what programmes they are still carrying for life in, say, a thousand million years’ time! Of course you think evolution is over, but hey, you never know.

DAVID: Great response, very funny at that! It is either that or dabbling.

I’m glad you agree that your vision of bacteria unknowingly dishing out programmes to pre-dinosaurs, pre-cuttlefish, pre-weaverbirds and pre-hominins is so ridiculous as to be funny. So out goes your preprogramming hypothesis. But I disagree that this leaves nothing but dabbling, i.e. your in-full-control God separately designing every life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, although apparently he actually wanted to design just one life form. (I find that pretty funny too.) A theistic alternative is your God specially designing a mechanism whereby cells and cell communities use the intelligence he has given them to do their own designing.

DAVID: It can't itty -bitty Darwin steps. They don't exist. Mind the gaps! They need a designer.

Itty-bitty steps are not an alternative to preprogramming and dabbling, so please don’t change the subject. And besides, you never responded when I pointed out to you that your accounts of big toe design, pelvis design, and mini-to maxi brain design constitute itty-bitty steps on the way to H. sapiens. In my hypothesis, the cells/cell communities are the designers – and one can present a very logical case that the complexities of such designers are too great to have arisen by chance, and so they in turn "need a designer”. The issue here is not the existence of God but the mechanics of evolution.

DAVID: And for both of us, you are right. There is a future in research: more and more complexity of controls and designs that naturalism cannot ever explain.

So you have no reason whatsoever to assume that future research will reveal that only large organisms are intelligent, and small organisms are automatons.

DAVID: As research proceeds, more and more automaticity is described.

dhw: And yet we have just been discussing two articles which tell us that more and more scientists believe cells are intelligent and create instructions on the hoof, de novo. Could your view be the result of confirmation/conclusion bias?

DAVID: What 'more and more' scientists. You keep quoting your tiny list.

dhw: On Monday 25 February you gave us an extended version of the article with which you opened this thread. QUOTE (my bold): “So it has been dawning on us is that there is no prior plan or blueprint for development: Instructions are created on the hoof, far more intelligently than is possible from dumb DNA. That is why today’s molecular biologists are reporting “cognitive resources” in cells; “bio-information intelligence”; “cell intelligence”; “metabolic memory”; and “cell knowledge”—all terms appearing in recent literature. “Do cells think?” is the title of a 2007 paper in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. On the other hand the assumed developmental “program” coded in a genotype has never been described.”

dhw: Sounds like more and more scientists to me.

DAVID: 90% of scientists are atheists. What interpretation did you expect? Remember the chances are still either/or.

You asked me what “more and more” scientists, and I have told you! So now you do a complete volte face and tell us that 90% of scientists reject your automaticity but let’s not listen to them because they are atheists! In any case, just like the theory of evolution, the proposal that cells/cell communities are intelligent does not in any way exclude your God, since nobody knows the origin of life or of the mechanisms that have led to evolution.


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