Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Thursday, March 11, 2021, 09:38 (268 days ago) @ David Turell

Your gut has a big brain

dhw: I would have thought they communicated because they had something to tell one another. I view the theory that your God gave them the ABILITY to do so as a possibility. Could this be what you mean? Or do you mean that every single communication was programmed 3.8 billion years ago?

DAVID: I know cells can communicate with God-given mechanisms that occur today without new design or help.

dhw: The basis of the whole theory of cellular intelligence is that cells act autonomously. If they can communicate without new design or help, then (theistic version) the mechanisms your God gave them has made them autonomous.

DAVID: We agree. They are autonomous following God's instructions.

That is not an agreement. Nothing can be autonomous if it is following instructions! If cells act without new design or help, they are using the old design, which (theistic version) is the mechanism they were given by your God to enable them to communicate and act without new design or help.


QUOTE: The relationship between the Hawaiian bobtail squid and the bioluminescent bacteria living in its light organ has been studied for decades as a model of symbiosis.

DAVID: I wonder how this cooperation happened. All organisms are born with some general immunity. For this cooperation to come about the immunity has to be stopped. It appears designed to me.

dhw: Of course it’s designed. The whole of life depends on symbiotic relationships, as cells learn to cooperate in different ways. However, I find it difficult to imagine that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first cells with a programme for the bobtail squid and the bioluminescent bacteria to help one another, or that he popped in to give them a special course, or indeed that this example of symbiosis was “a part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans”. Perhaps you might consider the possibility that these organisms design their own form of symbiosis, using their perhaps God-given intelligence?

DAVID: I know what you find hard to imagine. Getting two organism together in a symbiotic relationship requires a cooperation between both in which they conceptualize the future benefits. Not likely. God designs the pairing.

You seem to be obsessed with the concept of conceptualization and planning for the future. Maybe the relationship develops from a chance encounter, and both parties are intelligent enough to recognize the mutual benefit. Nobody knows for sure, but the three theories outlined above (planned 3.8 billion years ago, directly dabbled, all part of the goal of evolving humans) seem to me less likely than intelligent recognition of the benefits of cooperation.

ID explained: are cells intelligent

DAVID: Since we are on the outside of cells our answer is a 50/50 probability as to which interpretation is correct, that is, primary intelligent activity or following intelligent instructions?. All ID folks side with the latter. (dhw's bold)

dhw: I wonder how many ID folks subscribe to these two explanations [“intelligent instructions” from 3.8 billion years ago or divine dabbling] of what looks like intelligent behaviour.

DAVID: ID doesn't discuss how God works His designs. God is not mentioned, only the need for a designer.

dhw: And so ID folks do NOT side with your theory that your God issued instructions 3.8 billion years ago, or keeps popping in to give courses.

DAVID: I've always told you they don't.

Just clarifying: ID folks do not support your theory that cells obey instructions issued by God 3.8 billion years ago, or by means of direct dabbling. In fact, I seem to remember you saying that they liked Shapiro’s ideas, which of course favour design by intelligent cells (which in turn could have been designed by your God). As a matter of interest, do they explicitly reject this theory?


QUOTE: These bacteria need light to survive, but even small amounts of oxygen can damage their delicate photosynthetic equipment. So they must develop ways to minimize the damage when the bacterium does encounter oxygen.
'What's interesting about this result is that we are seeing the protein turn the vibronic coupling on and off in response to environmental changes in the cell," said Jake Higgins, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and the lead author of the paper. "The protein uses the quantum effect to protect the organism from oxidative damage." (David’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. There is no way this could develop stepwise by chance. Why? The produced oxygen is too dangerous, if not controlled from the beginning. Try to deny the designer in this case. This is the best evidence for God, as designer, I've ever found.

You always assume that when confronted with a new problem, bacteria immediately come up with the solution. But we know that when confronted with new problems, bacteria die by the billion before eventually they find a solution. Not by chance, but as the article says: “they must develop ways to minimize the damage”.

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