Natural Wonders & Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, September 06, 2019, 10:32 (387 days ago)

Under "Geese fly over Everest":

“'The bar-heads have done that migration for millions of years before the Himalayas were as tall as they are now, and the birds have been pushed as the mountains have moved up to go higher and higher,” says coauthor Julia York [...]

DAVID: this certainly could have been a slow adaptation through epigenetics as mountains rose.

Precisely. It provides evidence that the cell communities of which all organisms are composed are able to make changes to themselves in response to changing conditions. Do you believe that your God preprogrammed or dabbled these particular changes in advance, or do you believe that the ability to make these particular changes is autonomous (and in the theistic version, designed by your God)? They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.

Under "New ediacaran fossils"

"Some Ediacaran organisms have been recognized as animals despite their peculiar anatomy, which suggests that animal life began millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

DAVID: Certainly this animal is an early 'real animal', compared to the weird Ediacaran forms that might be animals. It is nowhere as complex as Cambrian species despite efforts of the author to close the Cambrian Explosion gap. I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

Transitional forms are precisely what would close the gap. And a major change to environmental conditions (e.g. a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen) may have resulted in a sudden burst of innovation among all existing “transitional” forms. The suggestion, then, is that new species did not appear from nowhere, but the process of innovation was accelerated (not started) by environmental change.

Under "sea snake"

QUOTE: H. cyanocinctus has managed to evolve a respiratory system that works in much the same way as gills, despite the vast evolutionary distance between these two groups of species. Truly, these snakes are indeed creatures of the sea."

DAVID: Same problem as with whales. Why bother to change environments when it complicates physiology so much?

dhw: So what is your answer? Did your God preprogramme or dabble the snake’s respiratory system because if he hadn’t, he would not have been able to cover the time he had decided to take before designing the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens? The snake has survived, so maybe, like the pre-whale, its local environment made marine life more desirable than life on land and so its cell communities adapted accordingly.

DAVID: I don't have an answer other than to propose God helped with the newly required designs for aquatic life. For example how did the snake handle the extra salt? Like the whales? There is more to jumping into salt water, with the new physiological requirements. I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

Why “helped” with designs? Do you think he popped in to give these creatures a poke and a prod as their cell communities struggled to obey the sea-snake-respiratory-system-instructions you seriously believe he had implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago? Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.

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