Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, April 12, 2021, 11:43 (26 days ago) @ David Turell

Survival
DAVID: No!!! Survival does not drive evolution. chance doesn't. God does with new designs.

dhw: Not survival but the quest for survival. And even if your God designed all the innovations, his purpose in doing so was to enable organisms to survive. So would you agree that if he exists, your God’s design of innovations was driven by his desire to ensure that some organisms would fulfil the quest for survival?

DAVID: Twisted. Survival must be guaranteed in each step for evolution to continue.

Survival of what must be guaranteed? Obviously evolution can’t continue if every single life form is dead. Is that what you mean? Even if it is, how can you say that the purpose of each and every new design is to guarantee survival but the purpose of each and every life form is not to fulfil the quest for survival?

Information
DAVID: Your usual persistent confusion. Life runs by using information which is interpreted by God's nerve cells.

dhw: We are coming closer together, now that you have stopped referring to coded information, instructional information, coded information in the DNA etc., and defending the absurd headline “Information as the source of life”. And they are not God’s nerve cells but our nerve cells which God may have created (though you told us above that coded information made nerve cells!), and we don’t need the word “information” to explain what we mean by interpretation or by nerve cells. In fact it's all a whole lot clearer when you stop shoving the word "information" into every sentence that explains how life works.

DAVID: But information is used to operate life.

Nice and vague, but that’s fine, so long as you don’t go on to tell us that one sort of information is made by another sort of information and used by another sort of information to operate life.

comb jellies
DAVID: […] This is an odd branch, not really compatible with common descent.

dhw: And I can’t help wondering why you might believe your God specially designed them “as part of the goal of evolving humans”.

DAVID: Just a needed part of an ecosystem.

All organisms are part of ecosystems. That does not mean that all organisms and all ecosystems are “part of the goal of evolving humans”.

Cambrian
QUOTE: What they found is truly mind-blowing. The window of time between the latest appearance date (LAD) of the alien Ediacaran biota and the first appearance date (FAD) of the complex Cambrian biota was only 410,000 years. You read that correctly, just 410 thousand years! This is not an educated guess but based on very precise radiometric U-Pb dating with an error margin of only plus-minus 200 thousand years.

DAVID: whatever the Ediacarans were, they were extremely simple. The Cambrians were full-blown animals with organ systems. This short Cambrian gap destroys Darwin's theoretical gradual approach in viewing how evolution worked. Designer required.

dhw: 410,000 years based on a very precise dating method with an error margin of only 50%. This is a remarkable definition of precise! Folk keep saying what a short time this is. I would suggest that half a million years (let’s compromise) is ample time for intelligent beings (cell communities) to adapt to and exploit new conditions by developing new organs. I agree that design is required, but (theistic version) I see no reason why your God should be incapable of designing a mechanism capable of achieving this within the thousands of generations of organisms born in half a million years. Do you?

DAVID: You've skipped over the gap in complexity, and it is a short time when the whole history of evolution is reviewed. Of course God did it.

I haven’t skipped over it. I’m saying I don’t see why thousands of generations of intelligent organisms (with God as the possible source of their intelligence) should not be able to develop the new organs required or made possible by new conditions. Do you think your God is incapable of inventing cellular intelligence?

Monkey ‘talk’

DAVID: Newly discovered monkey call meanings with a predator nearby:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2274135-female-monkeys-call-to-males-when-they-see...

DAVID: Not at all surprising. Even very early erectus 'language' was much more nuanced than that.

Of course it’s not surprising. What is surprising is that anyone should even think that any life form could exist without having some form of communication, and that anyone should even think that our ancestors did not use sounds to convey meanings which would eventually develop into our own modern languages.


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