Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 09:07 (287 days ago) @ David Turell

Cambrian Explosion

DAVID: I don't see how cellular intelligence adds anything when the subsequent gap in complexity is so large. From Dawkins: " With regard to the sudden explosion of new body plans in the Cambrian, even Richard Dawkins admitted, "It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history.'"

dhw: Maybe he wrote that before the new discoveries of pre-Cambrian links.In any case, it does not invalidate my argument. See below for the difference cellular intelligence makes.

DAVID: its an old quote.

Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

DAVID: And: the pervasive patterns of natural history are analogous to the historical patterns found in modern technologies: new designs appear suddenly followed by variations on the pre-existing themes. […] It is only logical that the far, far more advanced nanotechnologies found in biology are also examples of progressive creation.

dhw: Of course it’s progressive creation! Evolution is the history of innovations and variations on pre-existing themes! Nobody can explain the innovations, which is why we theorize. 55 million years is a huge expanse of time. But regardless of time, some of us doubt that random mutations would explain the complexities. Cellular intelligence, responding to the demands and opportunities arising out of new conditions, makes all the difference by eliminating chance as the driving force. But it's a theory, not a proven fact.

DAVID: I'd love proof of how speciation happens.

So would we all. But until we have it, we can only theorize, and some theories are more logical than others. For instance, we both agree that random mutations are unlikely designers.

Cosmology

dhw: There is a huge difference between a prophecy and a belief! And there is an equally huge difference between “eventually science will figure it out” and “eventually science will confirm my belief that there is/isn’t a God”. Both of you claim that science is already the basis of your diametrically opposed conclusions! In your case, you also prophesy that science will vindicate your theory concerning how and why your God created life. You and Dawkins can both believe what you like, but your respective utterances of faith have nothing to do with science.

DAVID: Science offers the only evidence we have. Remember!

dhw: That is what I would say to you and Dawkins. Your faith that science will confirm your respective beliefs is totally unscientific. One should wait till science has provided the evidence before shouting down those who do not share your faith.

DAVID: We have to theorize from the facts we have, and never invent our own facts.

I doubt if anyone would disagree. What does that have to do with you and Dawkins both hoping that science will one day support your unscientific faith in your diametrically opposed interpretation of the facts we know?

Crocodiles

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: Only in known species adaptations. You haven't explained speciation.

dhw: That is what I have just said (bolded)! But both processes involve cellular change, and since we KNOW that cell communities respond to environmental change, it is perfectly feasible that speciation followed the same pattern. What evidence do you have that cell communities change IN ANTICIPATION of changing conditions?

DAVID: Cell committee adaptations do not explain the gaps of phenotype and physiology in evolutionary speciation.

I have acknowledged that twice now (bolded). Nobody has a proven theory to explain the innovations that lead to speciation. But the fact that cells restructure themselves in order to adapt at least tells us that they have the ability to restructure themselves. Now please answer my question: what evidence do you have that cell communities change IN ANTICIPATION of changing conditions?

DAVID: Yes we theorize and our brains are not explained by environmental drive. The apes proved that long ago.

dhw: I'd hoped you would not re-open the “brain expansion” thread. We've been over this umpteen times. It is perfectly feasible that local conditions made it necessary or advantageous for particular groups of apes to descend from the trees. It is perfectly feasible that a change of environment would have resulted in changes to the brain, as it learned to solve new problems. We KNOW that the brain changes when it accomplishes new tasks. Remember?

DAVID: Thank you for the just-so stories. Our special brain has that ability to adapt. The ape brain is so simple it doesn't need it.

I am not disputing the superiority of our brains. Why “just-so”? Nobody knows how or why humans diverged from apes. What I have written makes perfect sense, as we know that life forms respond to changing conditions either by adapting or by dying, and we know that the brain changes in RESPONSE to new conditions We’ve been over all this umpteen times. I don’t know why you want to repeat the arguments.


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