Biological complexity: managing cellular oxygen levels (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, October 10, 2019, 10:28 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: And I am pointing out that every form of adaptation must have had a beginning. Our own body is the consequence of millions of years in which cells and cell communities have had to adapt to millions of new situations. Now that each one is established, of course the reactions happen at once, and I agree that they are the product of intelligent design (and propose that the perhaps God-given intelligence of cells is the designing force). I do not agree that every adaptation must have been designed all at once, and never by hunt or peck. You have missed the point that even now we see organisms dying until the cells eventually find a way of adjusting their balance to the demands of the conditions.

DAVID: And you do not understand biochemical cascades, which are a series of specific reactions that must interlock from the beginning. I'll remind you of blood clotting, 20 or so factors and tight control so teh whole body doesn't clot.

You can go through every single process of adaptation you like, including managing oxygen levels, cascades of chemicals, blood clotting, magic embryology, brain neuron clusters, immune and blood systems etc., but you still can’t escape the fact that all of them must have had a beginning, and the process we now observe may be the successful resolution of problems that killed off generations of organisms. NOBODY KNOWS how these processes evolved, but the proposal that a divine being preprogrammed every single one of them 3.8 billion years ago in the first cells, or suddenly popped in to dabble them, does not seem to me any less fanciful than the idea that the cells themselves had the perhaps God-given power to work out their own solutions as and when needed.

Under “Natural wonders”:
DAVID: this sort of avoidance activity suggest that the insect somehow knows the future consequences of its egg deposition. How do insects anticipate the future? I doubt they do and are programmed in this way to protect the larvae.

dhw: As usual, you forget the fact that all these strategies and wonders must have had a beginning! No matter how the strategy first arose, it worked, and from then on, the species followed the successful pattern. No anticipation of the future required, other than the knowledge that larvae must be protected from predators, and this has proved to be a good way to do it. But if you think your God specially designed this particular programme 3.8 billion years ago as part of his having to cover the time he’d decided to wait before he fulfilled his one and only purpose of specially designing H. sapiens, so be it.(David’s bold)

DAVID: So now you have insects anticipating the future!!! That requires concepts in consciousness. So be it.

Do you honestly believe that organisms are not aware of dangers and do not learn from experience and do not take precautions? Of course this knowledge and these actions require “concepts in consciousness”. That is why even you admit that our fellow animals are conscious. That does not mean they consciously analyse their own behaviour, write books about their findings, compose symphonies or philosophize about how they got here in the first place. Their form of consciousness is vastly less advanced than our own. But it is sufficient for them to maximise their own chances of survival, and that means taking steps to protect themselves against future dangers already known from past experience.

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