David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, February 06, 2020, 14:45 (232 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: As is quite clear, I am not sure God has precise control over ongoing environmental and cosmological individual events in ongoing processes […]

dhw: It's quite clear that it's not clear. […] According to you, your God either preprogrammed the first cells with answers to all the problems bacteria would face for the rest of time, and with all the innovations that would lead to new species, or he continually dabbled. You describe him as “knowing exactly what He wants and sees to it it happens”. Evolution is the history of ever changing life forms that cope or fail to cope with ever changing environments. You cannot separate the one from the other.

DAVID: Your view of evolution is not mine if this is your complete view. Evolution is a progressively complexifing process which loses less complex forms along the way. 99% are gone, and that had purpose, not your negative connotation. I've separated nothing. You fail to see the purpose, as you recognize human uniqueness and then downgrade its philosophical importance in understanding what our evolution implies.

I asked you whether you thought your God controlled all the environmental changes which are inseparable from evolutionary changes in organisms. You clearly haven’t thought this through. Your answer has nothing to do with my question. I don’t know why you think dinosaurs, which didn’t survive, were less complex than ants and mice and butterflies, which are here now. The only “purpose” you have attributed to the 99% is that they covered the time your God had decided to spend before fulfilling his one and only purpose of producing H. sapiens (they were an “interim goal”). I do not see how our evolution implies this, especially if as you say, your God always knew what he wanted and could get what he wanted by any means he wanted.

dhw: In the case of bacteria, how could your God possibly preprogramme solutions to every problem if he did not know the problems in advance?

DAVID: Bacteria, as living-on-their-own organisms, have only a few responses they need and God would easily know them as I do and have enumerated in the past, all fully discussed.

Bacteria, as you well know, have found ways of coping with a colossal variety of different environments, and even in their relations with humans have found a vast variety of ways of using us (to their and our benefit), or of waging war on us, or of defeating our best efforts to destroy them. Apparently all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago by a God who, “as is quite clear” may not even have known what changes bacteria would have been confronted by.

dhw: The same applies to all the innovations and major adaptations which you insist preceded the relevant changes in the environment. Why are you so afraid of facing up to this question and to other questions related to your highly personal theory of evolution? And if your own brilliant mind is incapable of finding any logical answers to them, why are you so afraid of alternatives that do provide logical answers?

DAVID: As I've written, when an organism can do a new series of processes, as a whole body movement or as the most complicated new physiology (whales) they must have all the facilities in place to start with.

But the whale underwent different stages in its process of adapting to marine life. It took millions of years. Did your God preprogramme all of these, or come along at intervals to do a dabble? And why do you think all these different stages of whale were necessary “interim goals” to cover the time until he started designing the ancestors of the only animal he actually wanted to design (H. sapiens)?

DAVID: Your Darwinian approach to evolution, although you doubt chance changes, still expect necessary design issues to be left to the organisms themselves as if they can foretell the new challenges.

No, no, no, they do not FORETELL new challenges, they RESPOND to them. This has nothing to do with Darwin, who believed in random mutations. Please stop pretending that my hypothesis involves crystal-ball gazing, and please stop muddying the waters with your obsessive hatred of Darwin.

DAVID: Four-legged mammals jump in the water and arrange for a change? And produce the gaps in design of body and new physiology. Totally illogical thinking.

They don’t arrange for a change. When you indulge in a new activity you don’t tell your cells to change their structure. You try to perform the action, and they respond by making the changes to themselves. (See the examples of the illiterate women, taxi drivers, musicians.) They don’t “produce gaps”! They adjust existing structures to perform new activities. We KNOW this happens with adaptation, but what we don’t know is whether it also happened long ago with speciation, which nobody has ever witnessed.

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