Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 13:01 (186 days ago) @ David Turell

Darwin scientists find useless evolution

dhw: If cells know the rules and break them, clearly he designed the cells in such a way that they would know the rules and be free to break them!

DAVID: Mistaken folding or bad reactions are pure mistakes, not willful mischief, as you distort biochemistry.

dhw: There is no distortion of biochemistry. We are dealing with the same “mistakes”, but please note that we have now diverged from the article we began with, which dealt with a useless but harmless molecular mechanism, and are back on the subject of theodicy. I am challenging the claim that a design with “errors” is a good design […]…

DAVID: I still challenge this as a distortion of the understanding of function of living biochemistry that forms life. You recognize the high speed needed, with trillions of reaction occurring constantly. In the soup the molecules either react properly to exactitude of action but being free in the soup, means free to make a mistake so they are really free to react improperly. In my opinion. It cannot be rigidly correct 100% of the time. Life requires the high speed in a soup. God cannot do it better, and that doesn't make Him a bad designer as you like to imply. This is the best that can be done. And 3.8 by's prove the point. We are here despite all your worry about the errors. Not as bad as your view.

The article which started this discussion was about a harmless molecular structure that served no purpose and so you thought it negated Darwinian natural selection. (See the heading.) When I challenged your conclusion, you switched the subject to high speed molecules and “mistakes”, and referred me to our discussion on “God’s error corrections”. This in turn leads to theodicy – and we are no longer talking about the odd blip. The problem is the major blips: i.e. diseases and their causes, and in the wider framework, why your God would have deliberately (as you think) designed the bad cells, bacteria, viruses etc. and everything else which we humans consider to be “bad”. Our next exchange follows on from this:

Repairing DNA breaks

DAVID: We still see that mistakes can happen when molecules are acting and BIR is not a perfect solution. Perhaps perfection is impossible even with God in charge of possible designs.

dhw: Perhaps your God did not seek perfection.

DAVID: I think He couldn't.

Interesting that your God is incapable of designing what he wants, tries hard to make up for it (but often fails), and yet you always moan that my hypothesis of a God who designs exactly what he wants (namely the free-for-all which has produced the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution) makes him seem “weak”.

DAVID (under “Controlling rate of RNAs”): I accept the fact without a moan, He cannot create something that lives with no molecular mistakes. Bothers you more than me.

But don’t you think a God who designs what he wants to design is less weak than a God who can’t design what he wants to design, and tries hard but often in vain to correct the “errors”?

Plants control carbon cycle

dhw: You harp on about humans upsetting the balance of Nature, on which we both agree. But you also agree that the balance of Nature has constantly shifted throughout life’s history, with catastrophe after catastrophe. So do you think all these pre-human catastrophes (plus less dramatic local changes) were directly designed by your God to destroy most of the life forms you think he had directly designed up to then? Or do you think the catastrophes (plus less dramatic local events) might have been the result of a specially designed system of random environmental changes requiring new responses from the life forms exposed to them? The question is of major importance in the light of your theory of evolution.

DAVID: I think God is in control of the original design of the overall weather pattern systems. My entries into 'privileged planet' show that.

You drew our attention to catastrophes and to humans upsetting the balance of Nature. This raises the interesting question of whether your God deliberately designed catastrophes and indeed all the environmental changes, global and local, that have accompanied (and I suggest also triggered) both extinctions and the arrival of new species. I’m not sure what you mean by “overall weather patterns”, so perhaps you could be more precise. Do you think he controls/controlled all the environmental changes, global and local, that accompanied (triggered) evolutionary changes, or do you think he set up a system through which environmental changes were/are left to chance?


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