Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, February 28, 2021, 09:22 (279 days ago) @ David Turell

Extreme extremophiles

DAVID: Survival is a foundation stone in your Darwin approach. I don't think it is a proven concept at all. Survival of the fittest is circular reasoning. Sounds good. Very weak.

dhw: I have just said that it is a truism, and I agree that it is circular reasoning, If you do not agree that organisms adapt in order to survive, please tell us what other reason you think they have for adapting.

DAVID: Life (your preferred, living forms) has the built in ability from God to adapt. We agree. God has seen to it that life/living forms can always adapt to survive and maintain a living population. That is different nuanced position that you avoid answering.

I’m glad we agree that, if we assume God exists, he gave life forms the ability to change their structure so that they could survive. 99% of them failed to do so. I don’t know why you expect me to share your faith that your God always knew that 1% would survive, and therefore life would go on, but of course in your case we have a God who directly designs every life form anyway, and so he could always step in and perform operations on the latest batch of survivors to ensure that they did survive and that they then diversified. Darwinian survival clearly plays a key role in your interpretation of evolution.

Dualism (Swinburne)

DAVID: I pick and choose with Swinburne. My statement above stands.

dhw: And your statement above confirms that in direct contrast to Swinburne, you believe that what happens in your brain affects what happens in your conscious life (“creates a sick consciousness”). Why don’t you just say you agree with me, as you did on the “theodicy” thread?

DAVID: I agreed with you. What else do you want?

You didn’t – you merely stood by your statement. Thank you for now agreeing with me that Swinburne was wrong. :-)

How algae find light

DAVID: We both know organisms can make minor adaptation. I don't follow your imagined theories.

dhw: Why “imagined”? If my theories are “imagined”, so are they all, including your own. If, as you agree, your God gave organisms the autonomous ability to make “minor” decisions, why do you consider it to be beyond your God’s powers to enable them to make “major” decisions?

DAVID: We will always disagree as to God's role in major design changes. God designs/runs evolution.

Again, you merely reiterate your beliefs instead of explaining to me why you find my alternatives impossible or illogical. You have now explicitly agreed that your God has enabled life forms to autonomously change their structures in order to survive in changing conditions. So why is it inconceivable that the same mechanism might be used to autonomously change structures in order to find new ways of surviving in changing conditions?

cetaceans get much less cancer

dhw: […] I am left wondering why, if humans were his only purpose, [your God] would design special cancer protection for cetaceans and not for us. In fact, it makes me wonder whether we were not his only purpose, or whether he actually didn’t design special cancer protection, but like most other individual characteristics of individual species, this feature was simply the result of decisions taken by the cell communities of different life forms as they sought to improve their chances of survival.

DAVID: You just can't help attacking Adler and me. Your cell committees (note, it's my term) are trained by God to adapt in minor ways.

dhw: He popped in to give cetaceans courses on how to prevent cancer? All because their immunity was essential to his pursuit of his one and only goal, which was to directly design us? I am not attacking Adler. You have told us repeatedly that he does not deal with your theory of evolution.

DAVID: Adler and I agree humans were the goal of evolution. Adler never go into the nuts and bolts of biochemistry.

The theory that your God directly designed every species, natural wonder etc. in the history of life as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” has nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of biochemistry. The biochemistry would remain the same if your God designed every change or gave organisms the power to design their own changes. In any case, it makes no difference whether Adler believes in your personal theory or not. I am discussing all this with you, not with Adler.


dhw: […] what is wrong with trying to save a species? If those that we are damaging deserve our efforts to preserve them, why shouldn’t we try to preserve other species as well?

DAVID: I would spend time and money only on stopping human damage. Natural extinctions should be ignored.

Well, I’m a softie. But I’m not consistent in my thinking. I would like to see the complete extinction of the bad bacteria and viruses you think your God directly created, but I’m all in favour of preserving the nice guys!

Are kookie theories justified?

QUOTE: "The ‘best explanation’ is then based on a choice between purely metaphysical constructs, without reference to empirical evidence, based on the application of a probability theory that can be readily engineered to suit personal prejudices. (David’s bold)

A lovely article, very well suited to the AgnosticWeb! Thank you.

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