Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 09, 2021, 15:03 (17 days ago) @ dhw

Cambrian Explosion

dhw: The crucial point was your statement that the new finds show that “there certainly isn’t an abrupt dividing line in evolution”. This removes the great question mark over the Cambrian’s sudden explosion of entirely new species. If there were precursors, 55 million years seems to me to be ample time for further speciation, especially if we embrace the concept of cellular intelligence responding to new conditions and opportunities.

DAVID: The real gap is the new advanced complexities appearing in the Cambrian suddenly.

dhw: I don’t know why you have added “suddenly” when you agree that there is no “abrupt dividing line in evolution”, and you have ignored my point that 55 million years does not constitute “suddenly”, especially if...see above.

The 'suddenly' applies in the Cambrian in terms of complexity. After the initial slope, the next animals are enormously complex compared to the few fossils on the slope.


Cosmology

dhw: I really don’t know why a bang in the centre of the Milky Way 15-20 million years ago “makes us agree that God knows what he is doing”, or what it has to do with creation, since life goes back thousands of millions of years.

DAVID: The issue is the Milky Way evolution starting from 1.8 billion years post Big bang, all in preparation for us starting only six mya.

dhw: You said it was all “necessarily designed for creation”. The article concerns a bang thousands of millions of years after life began! Are you saying that in order for your God to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing humans, it was not only necessary for him to directly design hyenas and weasels, but he also had to set off a bang in the Milky Way 9-14 million years before he could design the first pre-hominins? Curiouser and curiouser.

DAVID: God does what God does. We usually figure out why after more research.

dhw: If God exists, no one will argue with your first sentence. Your second is on a par with Dawkins: “...if there is something that appears to lie beyond the natural world as it is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural.” (The God Delusion, p. 14). You simply hope to embrace it within the divine. And both of you regard yourselves as scientists!

You are ignoring the history of science. After time we usually figure it out. Here I know Dawkins is correct.


Crocodiles

QUOTE: "The rate of their evolution is generally slow, but occasionally they evolve more quickly because the environment has changed. In particular, this new research suggests that their evolution speeds up when the climate is warmer, and that their body size increases.”

dhw: Although this is adaptation and not speciation, it emphasizes the crucial link between cellular change and current conditions. The body size increases in response to the warmer climate – not in anticipation of it!

DAVID: It shows not all species are driven to change. Hominins changed and the environmental evidence is not strong as a reason to arrive at us.

dhw: When conditions change, some species survive intact, some adapt, some die out, and some change into new species. Nobody knows for sure, but there is no reason to suppose that this general pattern did not apply to hominins and humans.

It doesn't explain our unusual brains, and you know it .


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