Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Friday, February 05, 2021, 15:22 (559 days ago) @ dhw

spiders lasso, lift huge prey

DAVID: They certainly know how to use their webs. The usual debate will be how much did God help? He designed their ability to spin steel-like webs but this may be their own learned adaptation.

dhw: I don’t know if this is the usual debate, but I’ll join in. What do you mean by “he designed their ability”? Do you mean he gave them the intelligence to work out how to design webs, or do you mean that as part of his goal of evolving humans and their food supply, he popped in to give spiders courses in web-spinning, or he operated on pre-web-spinning spiders to give them their web-spinning apparatus, or 3.8 billion years ago he provided the first cells with programmes not just for the evolution of spiders but also for their web-spinning ability?

DAVID: Of course, I meant God designed their steel-like web making. Whether they stumbled accidently on hoisting heavy prey is a definite possibility. Spiders don't usually do this so it is difficult for me to assume God taught a special class to this isolated group. I think they accidently stumbled into it and it worked and became an instinct. I am convinced many instinctual activities developed just that way. We train dogs by repetition and then they react as if instinctual. Observation and memory may teach these special spiders.

dhw: So your God preprogrammed spiders and webmaking 3.8 billion years ago, or stepped in to perform the necessary operations on pre-spiders. Just making sure I've understood. I agree, though, that many of the natural wonders you like to attribute to your God’s direct design could be the result of organisms accidentally stumbling on useful additions to their means of survival, and I would propose that when confronted with problems, they also use their intelligence to solve them. In both cases, the advantages will survive and become instinctual.

I agree. I view the strong webs as God's gift to spiders

Fin to limb genes

QUOTE: These results reveal that the ability to form limb-like structures was present in the common ancestor of tetrapods and teleost fishes and has been retained in a latent state which can be activated by genetic changes. (David’s bold)

DAVID: This is a beautiful example of my theory that God had preplanning in His coding of early DNA.

dhw: This is the mechanism for all kinds of changes. If God exists, I would agree that he endowed “early DNA” with the ability to form all kinds of structures, and I have no objection to your calling this “preplanning” – it is the blueprint for diversification. It does not, however, mean that your God preplanned every new life form, econiche, natural wonder etc., or that he turned fins into limbs or limbs into fins before the particular life form changed its environment, or that every life form, econiche, natural wonder etc. was “part of the goal of evolving humans”. I would say this article is a “beautiful example” of my theory that the mechanism for evolution was present in the earliest cells (possibly God’s design), and resulted in speciation as and when cell communities used it to adapt to or exploit new conditions.

Our views are not that different. Yours: God might have; mine: God did it.

plate tectonics

QUOTES: Collins readily admits that there was a fair bit of guesswork involved in producing the model – which is why it’s never been done before.

“No one’s put their neck out enough to get it cut off by trying to produce these models – because everything on them is controversial,” he explains. “For every interpretation of every rock in the middle of Africa or whatever, somebody else will have a different age, or think it was formed in a different tectonic setting.”

This model is very much a first step, Collins says, “but you’ve got to start somewhere”.

dhw: It is indeed fascinating, but these quotes are a delightful caveat!


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