Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, January 16, 2021, 10:35 (580 days ago) @ David Turell

Magic embryology

DAVID: Or, as probable, they follow instructions in their genomes.

dhw: Of course they follow instructions in their genomes! You always jump in when systems are established. The mystery of speciation is what causes established systems (and hence "instructions") to change. That is the subject of our theories. Over and over again, you produce articles which suggest that the cell communities interact with the environment. I propose that when this changes, the interaction may take one of three paths: each particular combination of cell communities may die, may adapt, or may innovate. Successful adaptations/innovations (the new “instructions”) will be passed on and repeated through the genome, and the cycle repeats itself millions of times through millions of years and millions of combinations from bacteria to every species that ever lived, including us. That is evolution!

DAVID: The only evolution you have enthusiastically described is adaptations of simple changes in existing species. No explanation of speciation which involves the addition of massive amounts of new information in new DNA. My source is God.

I really don’t know how often you want me to acknowledge that nobody knows the cause of speciation. But adaptation gives us a clue, and you have not responded to my all-important point that the instructions in the genome are those that have been established when life forms have changed their structures – either through simple adaptations, complex adaptations or innovations. This process would have applied even if 3.8 billion years ago your God had provided the first cells with programmes for every innovation, life form, lifestyle, strategy, natural wonder etc., or had stepped in personally to dabble every one. Of course there are “instructions in the genome”. But my theistic alternative to your one-by-one preprogramming and dabbling theories is that your God gave cells the intelligence to work out their own instructions and to pass them on.

Snakes repel their own venom

DAVID: The obvious issue is timing of the development. What must happen is the toxin and the antidote mechanism both must be evolved simultaneously or snakes will commit suicide. Only a planned design fits this event. Never by chance.

dhw: Of course not by chance. However, yet you jump in when the system is established. It doesn’t occur to you that initially snakes may well have “committed suicide”, and so an antidote had to be developed in order to stop this from happening. It is the same natural process that we are so desperately striving to accelerate in order to counter the Covid threat. Cells respond to threats. If they don’t, they die.

DAVID: The only way by your system is bit by bit improvement, which his impossible when the toxins kill!!!

Once again you miss the point, although it is staring you in the face even now. What do you think our scientists are trying to do to counter the murderous Covid-19? Let me spell it out for you. They are trying to accelerate the process by which cells develop a defence against new threats. In Nature, whole species may be wiped out (99% of life forms have disappeared), or alternatively there will be survivors which eventually find a solution. Bacteria are the most obvious example. We can kill them by the million, but they always bounce back. First the threat, then the response.

Plants repel their own toxins

DAVID: No answer to the problem. If toxins kill how do the dead invent an antidote? You back to just-so dreaming. The quote denies your theory.

As above, if the survivors do not find an antidote, the species disappears. You seem to think that in a pandemic everybody dies! So long as there are survivors, there is a chance that they will find an antidote. We are currently using the same process that has existed in Nature since life began. Or do you think that life and evolution began with H. sapiens? First the problem, then the solution (we hope).

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