Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 13:26 (222 days ago) @ David Turell

POSSUMS

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

dhw: 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?

DAVID: You do understand the question. We humans can communicate and quickly educate ourselves for new activities. How do possums do it? Show and tell involves being killed. You have no answer. And that applies to birds migrating, ants activities or termites air conditioning mounds for that matter. God handles it by giving instructions.

What do you mean by “show and kill”? The strategy worked, and so it was passed on. Migrating birds and mound-building termites found routes to warmer territories and building methods which worked, and so they passed them on. Every strategy must have started somewhere and at some time, and all organisms – not just humans – have the ability to communicate and learn. Pretty soon you will have your God popping in to give tutorials to every individual possum, bird and ant.

New proteins

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.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: I presented the article only to point out the difficulty for natural evolution to find new necessary proteins. They had valid results with Darwinian interpretations.

If you are now saying that they did indeed find useless proteins, perhaps it might raise the question why your God would have created useless proteins. The question is not answered by your complaint that useless proteins would support Darwin’s theory of random mutations!

Talbott and Shapiro

DAVID: 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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: All Shapiro says is bacteria can modify their DNA. The rest is pure theory that you have blown up into something else as fact.

I have not blown it up into fact! Yes, it is a theory, but you keep pretending that Shapiro does not say what he says, although I keep repeating the quotes: “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation.” “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions”.

Fingerprints

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You still favor all natural developments to explain evolution. I have God as the designer.

I am proposing that evolutionary developments must have come into existence for a reason (namely to improve chances of survival), and that – theistic version – your God would have designed the mechanisms that enabled organisms to do their own designing instead of him preprogramming or dabbling every single development. You keep using “natural” in order to pretend that this theory does not allow for a designing God. Please stop it. A God who designs an autonomous mechanism is just as much a designing God as a God who designs every individual product of the mechanism.


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