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

by dhw, Monday, March 18, 2019, 10:14 (186 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Bacteria don't do anything with future use of the genome. They only have access to what they are programmed to use. Whenever advances in speciation occur, it is due to activation of a portion of the genome for that advance.

dhw: You still haven’t told us how bacteria could have passed on billions of programmes for evolution if they only had access to their own.

DAVID: If there was pre-programming in DNA, bacteria carried all the DNA for the future, but only used chapter one. With each future speciation, the next chapter appeared either spontaneously activated or thru God stepping in.

So although bacteria remained bacteria, and only used their own programme for future adaptation and problem solving, they contained and passed on programmes for every single life form, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life. And subsequent cell communities carried all these programmes, spontaneously switched on their own special programme, and then passed the other millions of programmes on to another cell community which spontaneously switched on its own special programme and so on. Or God stepped in and switched on the programme for whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration, weaverbird’s nest etc., because they had to provide food until he could switch on the programme for the brain of H. sapiens. Don’t you find this just a little far-fetched?

DAVID: Yes, God designs parts, but then H. habilis jumps to H. erectus with all those parts which have now been designed for change in place. You have tried to introduce itty-bitty where it does not exist. You know full well all major speciation introduces gaps!

dhw: Of course there are gaps. But if your always-in-control God’s one and only purpose was to design the brain of Homo sapiens, and he designed a succession of mini and less mini brains before designing the maxi brain, that is itty-bitty design. Ditto all the other bits and pieces passed on from hominins to humans to H. sapiens.

DAVID: Neat try to minimize gaps. Totally false. The jumps from Lucy phenotype to habilis phenotype were huge. And then there is the Cambrian gap, totally unexplained.

Your focus on gaps is a neat try to sidestep the issue of why a God in total control would specially design a succession of jumping brains in itty-bitty steps instead of specially designing the only brain he wanted to design. We have dealt with gaps and the Cambrian over and over again. Nobody knows the answer: you suggest divine preprogramming or dabbling; I suggest intelligent cells responding to the demands and opportunities arising from new conditions.

dhw: So when you told me I was quoting a “tiny list” of scientists, you actually meant the majority of scientists, and it is your scientists who constitute the tiny list. But I’m happy with your odds of 50/50. I’m just unhappy with your claim that science supports you.

DAVID: I am allowed to interpret the scientific findings as I see them and the support my views.

Of course. But the majority of scientists apparently disagree with you, so please don’t make out that “my” supporters only constitute a “tiny list”.

DAVID: All of this is automatic activity as the cell produces its products. A complex going factory. Huge article, hard to compress.

dhw: […] I keep pointing out that most cellular activity has to be automatic if a particular system is to survive intact, and intelligence will only be applied (a) when the system first comes into existence, and (b) when there are new conditions, e.g. new problems to be solved or new opportunities to be exploited. In my hypothesis, that is when cross talk and communication – essential elements of intelligent cooperation – precede intelligent decision-making, which in turn produces more automatic activity as new instructions are implemented. [David’s bold]

DAVID: […] And what I can see is that you are describing the exact need for design and a designer. Our only experiences always show is that such complex systems require design and a designer.

dhw: And my proposal is that cell communities are the designers who design the design. But the cell communities themselves may have been designed by your God.

DAVID: And I maintain automatic cells don't have the ability to design. There are only unproven theories about speciation. I accept God in control.

As we keep agreeing, all theories about speciation are unproven. Both your theory and my proposal require design, and my proposal does not exclude the participation of your God. Meanwhile, I stand by the statements you bolded. Focusing on automatic behaviour is no response to the question of how that behaviour was first generated and of how cells solve problems and exploit new conditions.

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