Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:28 (317 days ago) @ David Turell

Magic embryology

dhw: […] Hippos managed perfectly well as they were. Pre-whales must have needed to change (it is not unreasonable to assume that at the time, water offered them better prospects of survival than land). How does that come to mean that God must have operated on their legs before they entered the water?

DAVID: Since I believe God speciates, He decided they were OK as waders.

Obviously they were OK as waders, since they survived OK as waders. So what was the point of mentioning them? Pre-whales probably would not have survived on land, and that is why they entered the water. How does that come to mean that your God must have operated to change their legs into flippers before they did so?

Snakes repel their own venom

DAVID: The problem is only with the snakes who are protected from their own poison. We have venus trap plants who are protected from their own digestive enzymes […] etc. This exists all throughout biology. It requires simultaneous development, therefore design.

I’m not arguing against design. Cellular intelligence could do the designing. Why do you constantly ignore my questions? I repeat: do you believe that organisms autonomously develop antidotes in response to the threat posed by external poisons, or do you believe your God either preprogrammed the antidotes or stepped in to do a dabble? I’ll come onto internal threats when I get your answer.

Darwin scientists find useless evolution

DAVID: What happened to perfect natural selection which always makes the right choices?

dhw: 1) If the molecules are useless, why did your God design them? 2) If they make terrible mistakes, why did your God design useless molecules to make terrible mistakes? 3) The article says that the molecules do not create any disadvantage, in which case there is no need for natural selection to get rid of them (an argument that Darwinists could also apply to junk DNA). 4) If it turns out that the molecules are useful after all, this will support the principle of natural selection. There is therefore nothing in the article that contradicts Darwinian evolution, but if the molecules are useless, they raise awkward questions for creationists like yourself.

DAVID: I don't need to reply to your assertions God doesn't know what He is doing. Unexplained as yet is enough response.

That is not my assertion! You claim that your God designed useless molecules, as if somehow this made a mockery of Darwinian evolution. (Same problem with RNA folding.) It doesn’t. It makes a mockery of your interpretation of evolution and your God’s role in it. The fact that you have no idea how to explain your interpretation hardly justifies your attack on Darwinian evolution, let alone your absurd claim that I’m suggesting God doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s YOUR theory about what God does that requires and fails to get an explanation from you.

Balance of Nature

DAVID: Most ecosystems are important but happen accidently. […]

dhw: […] Your acknowledgement that they happen accidentally fits in with the apparently higgledy-piggledy coming and going that constitutes the history of life. This suggests that if there is such a being as God, he deliberately set up a system which would result in ever changing ecosystems and life forms without any specific plan.

DAVID: The issue is they have a specific God-given design with top predators for food supply.

No problem. The problem arises when you try to make out that every ecosystem in life’s history was geared to a single purpose. I shan’t repeat what you think that was.

Neanderthal birth canal differs

DAVID: ...if true why did our birth canal get so difficult in birthing? Their brains actually were bigger in size. But it appears our brains were more intelligent. There must be reason we do not yet know.

dhw: It’s always interesting to hear a dualist talk of the brain as the source of intelligence - it’s a good thing you accepted my materialism/dualism compromise! [...]

DAVID: I agreed to your compromise. My dualist soul uses my very intelligent brain.

That was not my compromise! You agree that “consciousness is an emergent product of the living brain”. A “soul” without consciousness or intelligence could hardly use anything! The compromise is that what we might call our immaterial self is an emergent product of the brain (materialism) but it is possible that the product itself may survive the death of its source, as an independent entity (NDEs – dualism). I note that the original question and the subject of Neanderthal intelligence have been dropped.

Genome complexity: plants swap organelles, DNA intact

QUOTE: "[…] Hertle points out that once a mosaic cell in a graft callus starts to produce roots, shoots and flowers, it could give rise to a new species or subspecies, especially if cell walls open wide enough to admit nuclear genomes."

DAVID: I can easily see this as a God-designed method for plant evolution and new species creation.

And I can easily see it as a method whereby intelligent cells (possibly God-designed) are able to produce new species or subspecies.

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