Natural Wonders & Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 08:58 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (re geese flying over Everest):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.

DAVID: Your problem is you don't understand the distinction between minor adaptation as in the geese and major structural and physiological changes as in the whales requiring major design changes.

Your problem is you don’t seem to register what I write. I have actually stated that the changes to the geese are minor (now bolded), and I keep repeating that we do not know if intelligent cells are capable of major changes – it is a theory. And you have totally ignored the problem of distinguishing between adaptation and innovation. Legs turning into flippers is clearly a case of adaptation, and the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations. These adaptations, however, are so major that they result in new species.

DAVID: (Under "New ediacaran fossils") I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Agree. Environment can allow, but not cause.

Not just allow. Organisms must change their structures in order to cope with environmental changes, which therefore become the trigger for adaptation and innovation. But of course the mechanism for adaptation and innovation must already be in place, which is where your God comes in: all changes preprogrammed, or dabbled, or the result of autonomous (possibly God-given) intelligence?

DAVID: (under "sea snake") […] I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

You say “a” as opposed to “the” final goal. Good. Now apparently your God desired to evolve (by which you mean specially design) ALL of life’s bush. Until now, H. sapiens has been his one and only goal, and he “had to” design the rest of the bush to keep life going, because he had decided not to start fulfilling his only goal for 3.X billion years. “Desire”, of course, is a humanization by your standards, but do please tell us why you think your God “desired” to specially design all of life’s bush, since apparently you now think his purpose was not just to keep life going until he could fulfil THE goal of designing H. sapiens.

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