Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Monday, April 22, 2019, 09:22 (65 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The fact that for a comparatively short period of life’s history there has been no major speciation (by which I mean totally new life forms, as opposed to variations within existing species) does not answer any of our questions. I don’t know what Behe means by adaptation benefiting an existing attribute. Examples of organisms adapting to pollution, or changing colour or patterns to camouflage themselves in new environments, or bacteria finding means to counter new threats to their existence, all require some form of restructuring in order to preserve the species. The ability to make the changes already exists, but they only occur when the environment changes. If all he means is that adaptation helps to preserve the species as it is, he is stating the obvious. Or do you think he is supporting your belief in a pre-existing, 3.8-billion-year old-computer programme with solutions for every problem that has arisen/will arise throughout the history of life?

DAVID: "My belief" is not a belief but a logical way that God might have controlled evolution.

Thank you for reminding me that you do not actually believe in your hypothesis of a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for the whole of life. I can’t say I blame you. I accept, however, that it is a logical way for your God to have controlled evolution. What is not logical is that you consider this to have been a logical way for your God to have fulfilled what you believe to have been his one and only purpose to create H. sapiens. That is why you have no idea why he would have chosen such a method.

DAVID: Our current period of no new species is the constant pattern of evolution, long periods of stasis followed by bursts of new forms, as in the Cambrian explosion, totally denying Darwin's step- by-step theory. In all of history, species last for very long periods before disappearing, most often by sudden environmental disasters as in Chixculub/dinosaurs.

That was the point of my first sentence, and it answers none of our unanswered questions. I don’t know why you constantly refer to the acknowledged weaknesses in Darwin’s theory. Darwin did not pretend to have all the answers to all the unanswered questions. You and I agree that evolution in the form of common descent happened. The disagreements are over HOW it happened, and nobody can tell us.

DAVID: Another denial of Darwin is convergent evolution:
"Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species."

Same again. You seem to think that by rubbishing certain aspects of Darwin’s theory, you are somehow answering the unanswered questions!

DAVID: All of this supports my concept of an early controlling program genetically controlling development with underlying patterns to be followed.

It supports the concept of genetically controlled development harnessed to environmental conditions, and obviously common descent is sure to follow patterns laid down by earlier forms that evolve into new forms. It offers no support whatsoever to the concept of a divine 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single bacterial action, evolutionary innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life past, present and future.

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