Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 12:07 (58 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: For you it is out of the question that at some point in history, possums, migrating birds and ants might have worked out strategies to improve their chances of survival, and these successful strategies eventually became standard behaviour, having been passed on through generations of possums, birds and ants.

DAVID: How do possums communicate to each other their individual experimental 'playing dead' successful events to cover new species instincts?

I don’t understand your question. Possums don’t cover the instincts of ants and migrating birds! Every new species develops its own strategies! And successful strategies are passed on to succeeding generations. Why is this so difficult to understand?

New proteins

dhw: I am in no position to challenge the researchers’ claim that there were vast numbers of useless proteins. If there were, then the question would be why – if your God designed the useful protein – he also designed so many useless proteins.

DAVID: God doesn't produce useless proteins. It is a Darwinian theoretical assumption in the article as I interpreted it, as they believe in chance evolution. Chance formation of useless proteins are discarded by natural selection.

dhw: There is no problem with the proposal that useless proteins would be discarded by natural selection, but please tell us what reasons you have for rejecting the researchers’ claim that there were large numbers of useless proteins. If their claim is true, and if your God doesn’t produce useless proteins, then maybe your God didn’t produce them directly but they arose out of his invention of a free-rein system which also produced harmful bacteria and viruses and nasty diseases.

DAVID: Don't you realize the so-called useless proteins do not exist in our time? There are none now. The article is theory based on evolution by chance mutation. 'Junk' DNA is disappearing with new research.

I can’t take sides on this because I have no knowledge of the field, but how do you know that their experiments were invalid? You are prejudging their findings because you don’t believe your God could possibly have produced anything useless. And yet, amazingly, you do believe that your God could deliberately design bad bugs and viruses, and that he could inadvertently design a system containing fatal errors which he would try (sometimes in vain) to correct.

Talbott and Shapiro

dhw: I don’t think Shapiro sets out to explain origins. As I understand it, his theory explains how evolution works – not through random mutations and not through your God personally programming or dabbling every innovation, strategy, lifestyle etc., but through the intelligence of cells. If, as you tell us, Shapiro is a practising Jew, then presumably he would believe that God is the inventor of the intelligent cell – but I suspect that he is wise enough to separate his scientific work from his personal beliefs.

DAVID: Not from me. Known fact: Shapiro was president of his Temple. He never has discussed God's role as a practicing scientist. For Shapiro bacteria modify DNA with purpose, source of purposeful activity is a black box to Shapiro, which is what I implied above.

I don’t know how he could become president of his Temple without being a practising Jew, but it doesn’t matter. That’s why I suggested that he was wise enough to separate his scientific work from his personal beliefs. Meanwhile, please stop trying to restrict his evolutionary theory to bacteria modifying DNA when I keep reproducing from your own book the quotes in which he explicitly says that cells are cognitive entities that produce evolutionary novelties. This theory concerns Chapter 2 in life’s history, and like Darwin he obviously steers clear of discussing origins.


QUOTE: "Scientists have suspected that our circular, winding fingerprints might have evolved to improve our ability to grip objects by creating better friction, says Jarocka. But she says others have suggested they might contribute to our “very refined sense of touch”.

DAVID: We do not know when fingerprints appeared on our evolution. We are now learning their usefulness. Is this another 'stasis problem' appearing long before we developed fine use like violin playing? I would think so. Another special attribute in advance designed by God.

We do not know when or why fingerprints appeared, but it not a “stasis” problem. I do not for one moment believe that your God would have designed them so that later on we would be able to play the violin etc. If he exists and did design them, or if they were the product of the relevant cell communities, I would suggest that the reason might have been “to improve our ability to grip objects”, or some other situation in which a “refined sense of touch” gave us an extra advantage in coping with whatever tasks we wished to accomplish at that time.

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