Back to David's theory of evolution: God's error corrections (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, August 31, 2020, 12:59 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

I have shifted this from the Talbott thread, which we can now close.

dhw: If God designed a system which produces errors, he produced errors even though he didn’t want to.

DAVID: What a twisted line of thought. The errors are in His system, but that [doesn’t] mean He caused them. Errors are accidents of function. If another car runs into yours is that your fault?

dhw: Silly analogy. If someone designs a car with "errors" that make it break down, whose fault is it?

DAVID: Still confused. I described an accidental happening, not design, which you avoided answering. No one designs a car with errors, but they are discovered and corrected by recalls. God's editing system shows He knew molecules would make errors by mistake. Those mistakes are not God's fault. The molecules are under precise instructions to follow. And they do the vast majority of time.

Please drop your silly car analogy. Cars are designed. If errors happen accidentally, this means the designer did not know there would be errors, and so yes indeed the car has to be recalled. And the designer should be sacked. If your God gave molecules the freedom to disobey his instructions, perhaps a better analogy would be human free will: God issued his commandments, but it was up to humans to obey them or not. However, this analogy – absolving God from responsibility for any “errors” – means that he deliberately relinquished control over his molecules (i.e. “errors” were part of his plan). Since death was “required”, disease-causing errors were essential, but if some nasty molecules had the freedom to find ways of killing us, other molecules had the freedom to find ways of fighting the nasty molecules. (Hence the ever evolving immune system, and human ingenuity in finding cures.) But even if they succeeded, your God had built in death from old age. Isn’t this a better analogy, and a more respectful one for your God, who in your version has lost control, tries to regain it but sometimes fails?

dhw: …Single cells do indeed contain a miraculous amount of information, but codes for the whole of life's history minus the dabbles seems to me to be going a bit too far.

DAVID: The DNA coding system with four bases, including some substitution carries far more information than the two base 0,1 system we use.

I don’t know how this makes it more feasible that the original DNA could have contained programmes for every single undabbled life form, econiche, natural wonder etc. in life’s history.

DAVID: The original DNA also contained an amazing editing system you keep ignoring, and then denigrating as really useless.

dhw: […] the fact that I have focused on the disease-causing errors that initially caused you so much trouble (and incidentally provided you with your career) does not mean that I regard the body’s miraculous network of properly functioning cells as “really useless”. Please stop jumping to silly conclusions.

DAVID: I was only responding to our comments that had no basis. Recognizing the error problem is settled in my mind thanks to your criticisms that were on the mark.
Thank you for acknowledging that my criticisms were on the mark. No thanks for telling me that I regard the wonders of DNA as “really useless”, or for glossing over the fact that having opened this thread with the problem of explaining “errors”, your solution is to think only of the successes.

dhw: the fact that we can observe how modern organisms adapt to new conditions, as opposed to changing before new conditions arise, suggests to me that legs adapting to life in the water is a more likely explanation for the evolution of fins than your God stepping in and doing an operation on a group of pre-whales before telling them to go swim.

DAVID: We still differ about God. I have Him in charge of every advance in evolution.

So you believe he operated on a group of pre-whales to change their legs into fins before they entered the water. I understand.

dhw: You said that this form of immunity had to be designed simultaneously into the first appearance of each new species. I don’t see why. Do you disagree that new organisms will have inherited certain forms of immunity from their ancestors, and do you disagree that immunity is an on-going process as cells react to new threats?

DAVID: You have carefully avoided the issue of disease protection in the first versions of life. I would suggest bacteria and viruses were present as God started life. He did not make all them peaceful. Bacteria eat bacteria and viruses attack bacteria. In my view for evolution to advance forms had to survive attacks and disease. Since God allowed the problems He had to give favored organisms ways of defending themselves. You are correct: the defense mechanisms are carried through from the first organisms by purposeful design.

There is no careful avoidance! I completely accept what you say about the behaviour and role of bacteria and viruses! But I was responding to your claim that a particular form of immunity had to be designed into the first appearance of each new species. Thank you for now agreeing that this is inaccurate, defence mechanisms can be inherited from preceding species, and immunity is an on-going process.


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