Horizontal gene transfer: does influence evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 09:55 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: It certainly is amazing. You assume your God had to specially preprogramme this midge (= provide adaptive instructions for this particular situation) in order to keep life going so that he could eventually design H. sapiens. If he exists, I would be more inclined to believe that he equipped cells with the intelligence to find ways of adapting to all kinds of conditions. Not much point in inventing life if he didn’t give organisms the means of surviving! Even you have suggested that your God may have given cells the ability to make minor epigenetic changes to themselves, so I wonder where you draw the borderline between major and minor.

DAVID: As before: minor is simple alterations, while major involves body design changes and/or complex physiological changes.

I’m just checking the extent to which you think your God did it, as opposed to the organism did it. Here we have him specially preprogramming the Antarctic midge (he provided “adaptive instructions”) to survive in extreme conditions so that it would provide food to keep life going until he could design the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens.

Dhw (under “Hybridisation”): This is a cop-out. All the varieties of cichlid are still cichlid. The real mystery is how different species in the broader sense of the word can have evolved from common ancestors: how come there are insects, fish, animals, birds, all descended from the first single cells with which life began? “Combinatorial speciation” is no different from Margulis’s emphasis on cooperation. Even you agree that cell communities combine or cooperate autonomously to create minor changes, and the question is whether they can also do the same to create major changes. But you refuse to accept this possibility.

DAVID: Because it involves the major use of mentally planned complex designs.

Yes, you refuse to accept the possibility that microorganisms are capable of mental activity. It’s not just major designs you discount. Your God has to preprogramme or dabble every bacterial response to every situation in the history of life past, present and future, and he even has to engineer midge adaptation. Billions of programmes and dabbles, all for the sole purpose of covering the time before he specially designed H. sapiens.


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