Horizontal gene transfer: does influence evolution (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 16:50 (162 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: No question horizontal gene transfer is a major contributor to the course of evolution.

dhw: And so we begin the process with cells cooperating in order to enhance their chances of survival. Between us we have come up with three separate theories as to how this cooperation has led to evolution: 1) David’s God preprogrammed every single new combination of cells; 2) David’s God personally manipulated each new combination as and when he felt like it (dabbling); 3) (theistic version) David’s God designed the cells with the intelligence to work out their own ways of cooperating. This particular article uses interesting language: “unbridled zeal”, “excellent strategy”, “are concerned with”, “a chance to advance itself…it will not hesitate”. Sounds like (3) to me!

DAVID: Or the 'intelligence of cells' is the programmed information from God. 1,2, and 3 may all be the same.

dhw: I don’t know why you have to bring in the term “information”, when the alternatives are already perfectly clear. There is no way divine preprogramming (fixed beforehand), divine dabbling (fixed on the spot) and autonomous cooperation (fixed by the cells themselves) could possibly be the same.

DAVID: You have always resented the concept of information contained in DNA. Of course it is information. That is what codes contain, and 1,2 and 3 are an exchange or development of new information, instructions.

dhw: You are simply saying that if cellular intelligence (3) was in fact information provided by God (1) or (2), it would be the same as (1) or (2). You are juggling with the term “information” to blur the distinction between an autonomous mechanism that uses information and a mechanism which is preprogrammed with the information that enables it to use information according to an existing programme of information. This is a silly game. There is no way an autonomous mechanism can be the same as a preprogrammed mechanism or a mechanism that is directly dabbled with by the hand of your God.

My thought is I don't think God would permit your autonomous mechanism

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