Natural Wonders & Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 10:28 (4 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We differ widely in view: Any alteration of foot to flipper requires major design changes and from air to water exquisite physiologic changes. These are not adaptations, but major alterations of form and biochemistry.

dhw: An alteration is not an innovation. Of course all the changes were adaptations to life in the water, and I keep saying they were major. […] That is why I say the borderline between adaptation and innovation is not clear, and the mechanism which we know can produce minor alterations MAY (it’s a theory) also have been responsible for the major alterations that lead to speciation. […]

DAVID: I view your so-called alterations as major innovations , in example of the foot to flipper case. A wrist and an ankle are quite different, same bones, different shapes and muscle attachments, and very different motions as a result. But I agree the word alteration means innovation. My difference is the need for design at minor and major levels is quite different.

The word alteration does NOT mean innovation! Innovation is something new, whereas alteration means changing something that already exists. But sometimes it is difficult to draw a borderline between the two. The whale is a much clearer example than wrist and ankle, since we have a direct environmental link. Legs turned into flippers, as a means of adaptation from land life to water life. This, plus all the other adaptations, led to speciation. Of course there is a difference between major and minor adaptations, and you have conceded that minor “epigenetic” changes may be autonomous. My proposal is that the same autonomous mechanism may have been responsible for major adaptations/innovations. Your fixed beliefs will not allow for such a possibility. That’s it.

DAVID: How you overemphasize the concept of 'goal', giving my God only one supreme purpose and thereby distorting my theory that He chose to use an evolution method, just as history tells us, as I assume God created our reality.

dhw: What have I distorted? If he exists, and common descent is true, then of course he used evolution to produce all species and all realities. That is not the part of your theory that is in dispute! It is you who overemphasize the concept of ‘goal’ by constantly harping on about human specialness as being his one and only purpose! See below.

DAVID: Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.

I keep accepting our specialness! But that does not mean your God set out with the one and only purpose of designing us, had decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing the rest of the evolutionary bush, as you repeat below.

dhw: […] please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life.

DAVID: Of course God wanted the bush. It was an absolute requirement to cover the time the whole process took. But I won't leave the concept that we are so special we were His goal. Certainly God knew what was required.

So you are confirming the above, and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose!

DAVID: And I still won't guess at His reasoning, much as you like to do it. Pure guessing if the Biblical writings are ignored.

It’s not that you won’t guess at his reasoning. You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” (See also under “Unanswered questions”): If you can’t see any logic behind this fixed belief of yours, maybe it’s just possible that the whole bush, including humans, was designed (or was given the means to design itself) to satisfy his wants/desires, as you suggested earlier on this thread!


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