The simplest explanation? (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 14:48 (22 days ago)

My thanks as always to David for a collection of very revealing articles (though I must confess I’m having great difficulty keeping up this pace). I‘ve selected a bunch of quotes which I think add up to a nice and simple theory of evolution and much else besides!

QUOTE (under “BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY”): Human cells need to work like well-oiled machines to keep our bodies running as they should. Waste products such as misfolded proteins, damaged cellular components, and carbohydrates get in the way and must be quickly disposed of.

DAVID: A highly sophisticated protection system which could not develop stepwise in evolution. It had to be a designed protection system from the beginning, or life would not have ever survived.

The system had to be there from the beginning, but it would have had to be flexible enough to deal with every form of waste in every organism as evolution developed.

QUOTE (Under: “How Cells know what to do” […] they also found that the delay between the two waves was close to the theoretically predicted optimum for allowing cells to extract maximum information from the waves. (David’s bold)

QUOTE: This mechanism of self-organization is remarkable for allowing robust and spontaneous communication of direction over large distances within cell layers. It demonstrates one way in which coordinated behavior can arise in our bodies helping them to heal and grow.

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals. The bold exhibits exquisite design.

Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

DAVID (Under “Genome and evolvability”): As usual I'm with Shapiro.

Then I wish you would take his theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence a bit more seriously.

QUOTE (under “Biological design”): "Indeed, whatever the difficulty of creating life in the lab, making individual prototypes is not nearly as problematic as making “the machine that makes the machine,” which all reproducing living cells can do. That is, the ability of an organism to reproduce is at least an order of magnitude harder that the ability of an organism to just live."

They should have added the ability to adapt and to evolve into other species. And the “machine that makes the machine” is the crux of the matter, except that with evolution one can go further: the machine is the original life form, the machine that makes the new machine is the intelligent cell, and the machine that made the original life form AND the machine that made the new machine may be your God.

QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.”

And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

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