Unanswered questions (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 13:31 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What is not clear in the statement? ID folks believe God designed every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry.

dhw: But they clearly do not share your belief that your God specially designed every single life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, for the sole purpose that the life forms should go on eating one another until he could specially design the only thing he wanted to design, which was us. Why do you always try to gloss over those beliefs which you know you can’t explain because they don’t make sense?

DAVID: Irreducible complexity is the basis of ID thought. A designer is required for every advance. ID discussions always imply God without saying so. My thoughts are an extrapolation of their theories.

Of course they imply God. But I asked if anyone supported your belief that “every mechanism in biology and its biochemistry” means a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for every single undabbled advance? If they don’t specify your extrapolation, then I might just as well claim support for my theistic hypothesis that your God designed cellular intelligence.

dhw: I consider it far, far, far more likely that need is what changes the physical apparatus in the first place: legs turn into flippers in response to organisms entering the water; bipedalism evolves in response to our ancestors leaving the trees; the larynx, epiglottis etc. change in response to the need for new sounds. They do not change BEFORE there is a need for change. But once the physical apparatus has changed, then of course its use will entail further evolution. What you call “plasticity” is what I would apply to all the cell communities: they are capable of making changes to themselves in order to meet new requirements.

DAVID: We have always disagreed about the ability of cells to create according to perceived needs. I categorically state they do not have that capacity. Cells DO NOT have the capacity to perceive.

That depends on your definition of “perceive”. We know that cells are sensitive to their environment, respond to it, communicate with other cells, and make decisions, all of which might be regarded as attributes of intelligent perception. What we don’t know is the extent to which they can innovate. But the categorical denial of their ability to perceive would, I suspect, put you very much at odds with many of your fellow scientists, no matter how forcefully you state your personal opinion.

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