Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, March 12, 2021, 08:03 (568 days ago) @ David Turell

Your gut has a big brain

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Autonomous actions can be from following onboard instructions.

An autonomous being is free to control itself. It does not follow instructions, just as – in your own words - it does not require “new design or help”. Please stop playing with language.


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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: How does one encounter cause millions of symbiosis arrangements in various species?

Not one encounter! Millions of encounters, whether by chance or by intention. Where do you get ONE encounter from?

ID explained: are cells intelligent

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.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: They find Shapiro as producing evidence of design.

Fair enough. But if they don’t mention God, and they don’t mention your anthropocentric theory of evolution, and they don't oppose Shapiro's theory of cellular intelligence, it seems that although you say “All ID folk side with the latter” (i.e. cells follow your God’s intelligent instructions), in fact the only common point between you and them is that they and you believe in intelligent design.


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.[…]

DAVID: […] 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.

dhw: 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 million before eventually they find a solution. Not by chance, but as the article says: “they must develop ways to minimize the damage”.

DAVID: God sees to it they minimize damage because God designs the various complex parts of photosynthesis. Concentration of oxygen requires protective mechanism present at the same time. Simultaneous development required. Only design works.

Yes, the protection only works when the protective mechanism is in place. That doesn’t mean millions of bacteria didn’t die before the protective mechanism came into place. The article says “they must develop ways to minimize the damage when the bacterium does encounter oxygen.” This suggests that the protective mechanism only developed in response to the fatal encounter with oxygen. Same problem for bacteria as when they have to respond to new antibacterial medications.

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