Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, March 13, 2021, 13:22 (524 days ago) @ David Turell

Your gut has a big brain

DAVID: Autonomous actions can be from following onboard instructions.

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

I hope your silence indicates that you now agree that if cells communicate without new design or help, they are autonomous and do not follow instructions.


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

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

DAVID: Does each encounter organism explain the process to other organisms to create the automatic process that appears. You want some sort of communication . I say God makes the arrangements.

Successful strategies are passed on to other members of the species and to their descendants, and of course there is communication. Even bacteria communicate. What “arrangements” are you talking about? Does your God go round explaining the process to every organism involved in every form of symbiosis?


dhw: 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.

DAVID: If they all died from oxygen poisoning, nothing would develop as protection.

But obviously they didn’t all die, just as they don’t all die when we discover a new means of killing them! The survivors develop the protection.

DAVID: God has to design the mechanism and the protective processes all at once. You want natural mechanisms and keep hoping they appear naturally.

Please stop putting the word “natural” into my mouth. I am not hoping but am putting forward a theory, which (theistic version) is that your God endowed bacteria with the intelligence to design their own protective processes. The difference between this and your own theory is that you have your God designing, planning, overseeing absolutely everything that every organism ever does in order to protect itself. I propose that he has given them the means to do it themselves.


DAVID: We all know what hibernation looks like. Maybe they'll find out how it works. If it is their DNA as a special code, how did that happen? How did they learn to hibernate? Or did God adjust their code?

Since the only two methods for “code-adjusting” that you have offered us are a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or direct dabbling (all part of the goal of designing humans), may I suggest that perhaps (theistic version) your God gave to all cells/cell communities the intelligence to adapt themselves to the conditions in which they live. Just a suggestion. :-)

New proteins

QUOTE: The vast majority of these de novo proteins are useless, or even slightly deleterious, as they can interfere with existing proteins in the cell. Such new proteins are quickly lost again after several generations, as organisms carrying the new gene encoding the protein have impaired survival or reproduction. However, a select few de novo proteins prove to have beneficial functions. These proteins integrate into the molecular components of cells and eventually, after millions of years of minor modifications, become indispensable.

DAVID: Fascinating, because it is a Darwinian attempt to explain how useful proteins appear by chance. They assume it takes many chance attempts over millions of years. They used computer simulations based on Darwin theories. What it doesn't explain is how the requirement for two simultaneously necessary proteins would appear together. I'm still with God as the designer.

As always, you seem to think that the word Darwinian automatically disqualifies any theory and any observation. Are you challenging the researchers’ findings that the majority of these proteins are useless, but some prove to be beneficial? Are you sure the researchers are lying? Incompetent? Just supposing they are right, what might be the theistic explanation? God experimenting, perhaps? Or God creating a system whereby an infinite number of combinations produces an infinite variety of cell communities? As far as I know, your only objection to either of these “guesses” is that they do not fit in with your own guess that God knows everything in advance and always wants to maintain total control over evolution. This is why you continually enmesh yourself in a theory of evolution that defies all logic: method not matching purpose, agreeing that survival is the purpose of adaptation but insisting that survival plays no part in evolution, and getting your God to directly design “bad” bacteria and viruses for some unknown “good” reason.

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