Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, May 02, 2021, 12:29 (270 days ago) @ David Turell

We change ecosystems
DAVID: The importance of ecosystems cannot be overemphasized. Living organisms naturally form cooperative systems and our overall dominance upsets them with plant systems, animal systems or combinations. We have severely affected the Earth's evolution.

dhw: We are in agreement. But this leaves me surprised at your sceptical attitude concerning climate change, much of which is due to human activity (let’s forget about the bacterial contribution). I wonder if your God is watching with interest to see how far our specialness will lead us along the path of destruction and self-destruction! :-(

DAVID: Your climate confusion leads you to think we humans are powerful enough to control it. ;-)

What “climate confusion”? Are you now telling us that the climate is not changing, or that any changes are not liable to cause huge damage to our ecosystems? If it’s true that the main cause is human activity, then of course we should be powerful enough to control it. The question then is whether certain powerful human institutions are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

Tadpoles and the hypothalamus
DAVID: Since present stages of evolution are all based on past designs, this study of the earliest forms leading to what is contained in our present brains is not surprising. God pre-plans His stages.

dhw: As always I appreciate these articles. And as always, you can’t resist a final, authoritative statement. OK, my turn. God experiments. God learns as he goes along. God enjoys creating different forms for their own sake. Cell communities hard at work inventing their own ways of improving their chances of survival. Let’s have some good old agnostic balance…

DAVID: God gave the cells some degree of adaptation, but intelligent cells don't speciate, God does.

Your usual statement of opinion as if it were fact. That is why I have listed various alternative possibilities.

dhw: Can you see anything in the known history of life that contradicts this theory?

DAVID: We disagree. God ran evolution directly. not secondhand, to produce the current bush.

dhw: I asked you if there was anything in the known history of life that contradicts my theory. “I disagree” plus reiteration of your own fixed belief is not an answer.

DAVID: You simply dragged in your old tired cell intelligence theory, so I disagreed.

And so instead you dragged in your old tired theory that God designed every species. I have painstakingly pointed out the illogicality of your old tired theory. Now please point out any illogicality in the various theories referred to above, bearing in mind that in the past you have acknowledged that they are all logical.

Brain and body sizes
dhw: In other words, the brain did not get bigger BECAUSE Mr Man roasted the deer he had killed with his spear, and (David’s theory) it did not get bigger because God gave it new cells so that afterwards it could think of inventing spears and using fire. It got bigger, just as it now complexifies, by RESPONDING TO NEW REQUIREMENTS. Can you find any logical flaws in this argument and its conclusion?

DAVID: The only adaptations we know about are quite simple species alterations.

True. But since nobody knows the cause of speciation, it is not illogical to propose that the same mechanism for adaptation could also have brought about innovation. There are many borderline cases, such as pre-whale legs turning into flippers, which even make it difficult to determine the extent to which speciation is the result of adaptation or innovation.

DAVID: You want our sapiens brain to appear because of new natural requirements creating a new species.

I don’t “want” anything. I am searching for logical explanations. I find it perfectly feasible that both speciation in general and the human brain in particular could be the result of organisms responding to new requirements.

DAVID: So you accept material naturalism with no basis in fact, opposed to my approach as I use the facts of design complexity to propose a designing mind.

Another of your gigantic non sequiturs! I have never queried the facts of complexity, or your argument that this requires design! And if by “material naturalism” you mean atheism, you should know by now that I am an agnostic. The theory I have offered here to explain the evolution of species and of the human brain allows for God as the designer of the mechanism that has made evolution possible. But instead of your control freak who individually designs not only every life form, but every lifestyle and every natural wonder, even stepping in to give courses to weaverbirds on how to build their nests, I propose a God who has given life forms the wherewith all to do their own designing.

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