Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, January 18, 2021, 09:02 (196 days ago) @ David Turell

Magic embryology

DAVID: In our discussions, I've come to realize that future change must account for future needs which in advance may not be apparent.Thus God has to do direct design at those times when the new needs are extremely complicated, as in the whale series. Your theory seems as if organisms make it up as time goes along instead of precise designs for complex new needs. (dhw's bold)

dhw: Not instead of! Precise designs for complex new needs is exactly what I am proposing, and even in your vague description above, you have your God RESPONDING to new needs: he has to do direct design “when the new needs are extremely complicated”! […]

DAVID: You are back to imagining giant designing ability by cell committees. I can't buy it.

And you are back to dodging the issue here, which is your claim that evolutionary innovations are made in advance of the new conditions they have to cope with, though you yourself also have your God RESPONDING (as bolded above) to new needs.

Snakes repel their own venom

DAVID: The vaccines are a way of learning how to repel the virus without getting killed in the process. And they are not internal toxins the snakes constantly make and must make defenses for simultaneously. you example is apples and oranges.

dhw: They are not just internal toxins. Read the article:

"Even more bizarrely and wonderfully, this appeared to be a trait that was picked up in many different snakes in a case of convergent evolution – where species develop a shared trait that has nothing to do with their genetic ancestry.
“'We have shown that it has evolved independently on 10 separate occasions,” says Fry. “Eight times within different snakes that are prey for venomous snakes, and two times in venomous snakes as a form of resistance to their own venom.'”
The same process is used as a defence against threats from inside and outside. It’s common sense anyway that problems precede solutions, and I really don’t know why you think history tells us that the process is reversed (whales) or, at best, synchronized to originate simultaneously (snakes). If life forms don’t adapt to changing conditions or find ways of countering threats to their existence, they disappear, and that means RESPONSE to new needs.

DAVID: Your response is off point. My discussion concerned only on how a poison containing plant or animal developed a toxin against others and an antidote for itself, and it seems to me it must be simultaneous.

Why do you ignore the rest of the article? You seem now to be agreeing that plants and animals which develop antidotes to poisons from outside follow the obvious pattern of problem first, solution second, but if plants and animals develop antidotes to their own poisons, they apparently develop problem and solution simultaneously. I suggest that the first type will carry on dying until the antidote is found. Why should that not apply to the second category?

DAVID: That implies only design works. It is not, which came first chicken or egg. This actually exists in us. Our stomach acid has a pH of one, an extreme acid to dissolve food, but our stomach lining handles it without problems. How did that develop?

There is no need to change the example. Of course only design works. Whether the design is done by your God or by the organisms themselves makes no difference to the process: it goes against all reason to argue as you do that solutions either precede the problems they are meant to solve (whales) or they originate simultaneously (snakes).

Darwin scientists find useless evolution

QUOTES: This is known as constructive neutral evolution (CNE). A molecular mechanism may evolve even though it provides no benefit just because it also provides no disadvantage – it simply happens because of biochemical quirk. (dhw's bold)
"At a small scale, there’s no “thought” of adaptation, there’s simply change based on chemistry and physics. At a higher, population scale, we can’t see these hidden complexities, so it all seems like adaptation. Quite simply, molecules are not intelligently evolved. (David's bold)
"Constructive neutral evolution is a beautiful theory that highlights exactly how complex evolution is, and that it goes well beyond “survival of the fittest”. Sometimes, things just uselessly evolve."

DAVID: What happened to perfect natural selection which always makes the right choices? And note molecules are not intelligent, because they make these terrible mistakes!

Ts, ts, what terrible mistakes has your God designed now? (But the article says "no disadvantage".) I really have no idea what all this is supposed to prove. You devote article after article telling us there is no such thing as junk DNA, because your God has designed everything with a purpose, and now you pick on apparently useless molecules as if somehow they prove your point. Maybe one day scientists will say these molecules are not useless, and you will claim that proves God is at work, and Darwinists will say this supports natural selection; as it stands, you should be flummoxed by your God designing something useless, but a Darwinist can say that so long as the molecules do no harm, there is no reason for them to disappear, as with junk DNA, which – if there is such a thing – is still here.


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