Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, May 08, 2021, 13:50 (166 days ago) @ David Turell

BATS
DAVID: Your problem is there are no predecessors.

That is why I asked if you expected to find fossils of every single stage of every single life form over the last 3.8 billion years. Why do you think my bat theory is impossible?

Biological complexity:
dhw: [..] If cells were free to fail, this suggests they were also free to succeed.

DAVID: I'm discussing molecular failure, and you jump to cell failure. Why?

Because molecules are part of the cell, and if molecules fail, cells may fail, and this may cause the diseases you say your God tried to prevent with backups which also fail. Why have you ignored my bolded comment?

NEW FORMS REQUIRE NEW INFORMATION
dhw: The usual muddle produced by the word “information”. […] Transposons are segments of DNA that can move around and cause mutations which may result in new structures (“genetic novelty”). Not pure Darwin, because mutation is not synonymous with randomness. Agreed?

DAVID: It is still a shuffling of genetic information. transposons may be God's way of introducing new information.

Call it what you like. I say transposons cause mutations (not random) which may result in genetic novelty, which is the sine qua non of evolution.

Bacteriophages weird genome
DAVID: […] Note all the articles I have presented about how we screwed up beautifully operating ecosystems.

dhw: That is why I’m surprised at your refusal to take climate change seriously.

DAVID: Will you read the current info foreign to you if I send you a major skeptic website populated by scientists?

Scientists disagree amongst themselves about the scale of the threat, and I’m in no position to judge. But I do know we have “screwed up beautifully operating ecosystems”, the glaciers are melting, city dwellers especially are dying because of pollution, and it sounds like a good idea for us to reduce these dangers by reducing their causes.

Seals
DAVID: […] God designs all advances in evolution. The article infers random Darwinian mutations to make the new aquatic species.

Your usual statement of belief in the guise of fact. Please pinpoint any passage in the article that infers random mutations.

The obstetric dilemma
DAVID: […] the mother's pelvis bony outlet had to enlarge at the same time a bigger brained fetus appeared. And this also involves the Dad's DNA input […] Our evolution had to be guided by a designing mind, God, as our bigger brain kept evolving bigger and bigger. […]

Even now, birth is a painful process. As always, I find it hard to believe that your God dabbled simultaneously with brains, pelvises and sperms, and still messed it up to the extent that “Lucy may have needed a midwife to give birth, due to the shape of her pelvis.” I find it more likely that as the brain grew, the pelvic cells tried to adapt to accommodate the new size.

Big Bang theory survives
DAVID: The Big Bang still survives over all others

We are still left with the question of what preceded the Big Bang. If you believe there was nothing before it, you can say goodbye to your God theory, and you will have to believe that something can come out of nothing, which requires a mighty leap of faith.

Plants sense what’s happening
DAVID: But the scientists do not accept plant consciousness.

I doubt if anybody equates plant “consciousness” with human consciousness, and I suggest that “intelligence” is less misleading. (See below.) “The” scientists is wrong. Please substitute “some”. (See below.)

QUOTES: In the 1970s and 80s, a rift opened which still divides plant scientists to this day.

In recent years, however, there’s been a resurgence of investigation into the idea that plants are intelligent in ways we’ve historically overlooked.

Plants don’t have that part of intelligence that we call emotional intelligence,” Van Volkenburgh says. (She still keeps an open mind, though: “Who knows? We could be missing it.”)

If she keeps an open mind, why can’t you?

DAVID: Using terms that apply to humans confuses the issue as usual. Plants are sentient but not conscious in our sense of the word.

There is only confusion if you try to equate plant intelligence with human consciousness (i.e. self-awareness). If plants are sentient. can work out solutions and communicate with other plants, I’d say that = a form of intelligence.

Huge new function
DAVID: In the biochemistry of life God designed a system that is easily altered. Just change a proteins fold and results in a different function appear.

I like the “huge” in your heading. It fits in well with my proposal that cells are capable of autonomously making major changes to themselves using a perhaps God-given mechanism for self-modification.


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