Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, March 19, 2021, 12:37 (260 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We don’t know precisely how any form of behaviour gets relayed to the whole species until it becomes the norm, but your explanation seems unnecessarily cumbersome. Maybe Pete Possum was the great inventor of the strategy. When it worked, Pete went home and told his family and all his mates, and they told their families and all their mates, and all the families and all the mates passed it on, and over the course of a few generations, lots and lots of possums knew about it and passed it on.

DAVID: Wow: possums talk!!! My point is exactly about communication, and possums don't speak. It must be spread by exact example. Thank you for an obvious non-answer.

This is getting more and more absurd. All life forms have means of communication – how else could they survive? By coincidence, an article in yesterday’s Times: “Whales schooled one another in how to avoid harpoons”. The researchers concluded that “whales learnt new behaviours…that must have been rapidly shared….It does suggest that there is a capacity for social learning on a much larger scale than anticipated…” You have presented us with hundreds of examples of communication, even between cells, and yet you still seem to think that communication is confined to humans.

dhw: Pretty soon you will have your God popping in to give tutorials to every individual possum, bird and ant.

DAVID: Remember the weaverbirds!!!

dhw: I can hardly forget them. Same idea: Willie Weaverbird invented a new nest-building technique, and passed on his knotty knowledge to family and friends etc., as above.

DAVID Same non-answer. The first weaver who invented the knots has to show them to the next bird. The nests provide survival. With your view of very slow spread how did that happen?

It’s not a non-answer. Every invention and strategy has to start somewhere. That doesn’t mean the rest of the species died before Willie came up with his invention! We have no idea how fast improvements can spread, but once you realize that organisms actually communicate with one another, you may join the whale researchers in discovering that “there is a capacity for social learning on a much larger scale than anticipated”. Your blinkered view of communications reminds me of Shapiro’s complaint about “large organisms chauvinism”. Our fellow animals do not have to speak English or any other human language in order to pass on information.

New proteins
DAVID: You miss the point. Their study with computer simulation found probable useless proteins. This is just like junk DNA proving the randomness of Darwin chance mutations driving evolution.

dhw: What IS your point? If their findings are correct, then there were useless proteins. There is certainly no point in complaining that their research supports Darwin. If it does, then, it’s up to you to find an explanation that doesn’t support Darwin!

DAVID: I fully doubt their invented ancient useless proteins ever existed! Their whole position is based on belief those invented proteins really existed.

So now you are questioning their research, which a moment ago “found probably useless proteins”. Either they did or they didn’t. I’m in no position to judge. If they did find them, you have a problem which for some reason you blame on Darwin. If they didn’t find them, there is nothing to discuss except the integrity or competence of the researchers. Please ensure that your comments do not lead to a prosecution for libel!

QUOTE: These findings provide insights into basic modes of evolution. […] pleiotropy could provide one solution to the riddle of how evolution could achieve the many co-dependent changes needed to form an animal as extreme as a giraffe." (David’s bold)

DAVID: The bold above describes the problem perfectly. How so many complex physiological changes so coordinated appear so quickly? Of course, the authors think a Darwin style gene did the job all by itself like an octopus with all its arms in action. How did a naturally occurring chance set of mutations find the perfect gene? It is much easier for me to propose the designer did it.

dhw: Alternatively (theistic version), your God gave cell communities the intelligence to cooperate in changing structures. The process of “pleiotropy” fits in very neatly with this theory.

DAVID: It does.

Thank you. It is always heartening to have you agreeing that my theory fits in with the facts!

DAVID: Mind-blowing complexity. Not presented for full understanding but a glimpse into the intricate dance of these molecules. Only design fits.

And I must return the above compliment. The complexity of the cell, of which you have given us so many examples, should make even the most hardened atheist question his/her faith in chance as its creator.

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