Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, May 15, 2021, 12:54 (459 days ago) @ David Turell

Elephant seals
DAVID: The complex physiological requirements for these female seals not breathing for 1.5 hours, little sleep when most mammals require much more, raises the issue as to how these animals might have naturally evolved? I suspect it is one of God's designs for a special ecosystem.

dhw: As always, […] I would suggest that these animals evolved through the possibly God-given invention of the flexible, intelligent cell, which responds to new needs and/or opportunities presented by changing conditions. What I cannot understand in your own arguments – you may have heard this before – is why you think your God would have specially designed vast numbers of special ecosystems in the past that had no connection with humans, although you insist that they were all “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”.

DAVID: Answered today in "balance of nature" and "biological complexity" entries.

You had already demolished your answer by telling us that past ecosystems were for the past, and that extinct life has no role in current time.

DAVID: Where did your "cellular intelligence" naturally come from?

dhw: You know perfectly well that I have always said that it may have come from your God. The theory does not deal with the origin (Chapter One of life) but with the mechanisms that drive evolution (Chapter Two).

DAVID: Like Darwin, your hero, you won't combine the two, because it creates impossible questions if you accept the continuity, which obviously exists. Two always follows one and is fully dependent upon it. Your favorite theory magically appears after the beginning. How convenient.

Of course the continuity exists, but both chapters deal with the unknown and so we can only theorize about both! Not knowing the cause is no reason to doubt the effect. The effect (Chapter Two) here is evolution – an ever changing bush of life. You theorize, illogically, that your God caused it by specially designing every branch as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”, though 99% of the branches had no connection with humans. I offer a THEISTIC alternative theory: your God (if he exists) may have caused evolution by specially designing the mechanism whereby every branch was the result of intelligent organisms restructuring themselves in accordance with changing conditions. The "continuity" is covered, so why did you ask where my “cellular intelligence” came from? I guess it's another of your attempts to dodge the illogicality of your Chapter Two theory.

New forms require new genes
DAVID: But in the beginning of the Cambrian many new forms appeared de novo and lasted 56 million years, not your supposition.

dhw: Thank you for your correction. According to several websites, what you call the beginning (the Cambrian Explosion) lasted 13-25 million years. Please substitute that figure for the 56 above. The argument is still the same. Apparently a lot of the new species actually went extinct during the remaining millions of years. Makes you wonder why your God would have designed them in the first place, and in what way they could have been “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”

DAVID: The gap still calls for a designer.

The gap still calls for a complete record of every stage of every life form that ever lived. The designer (if he exists) could have designed the intelligence that enabled all life forms to design themselves, and you haven’t explained why he would have specially designed all the Cambrian forms that went extinct after the “Explosion” as “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”, although they had no connection with humans.

The obstetric dilemma
DAVID: Instant solutions don't happen. Each new species follows a gap in time with no intermediates. remember Gould's comments about all the gaps.

dhw: Our heading is the “obstetric dilemma”, and according to you, instant solutions do happen! I thought this was the nub of your theory – that your God specially designed the pelvis in anticipation of the problem, and it was an instant success. I am the one proposing solutions over time, with many Lucy-mothers dying in childbirth before the expanded pelvis became the norm. Please stick to the subject.

DAVID: That is my subject. 'Over time' is your waffle.

You said instant solutions don’t happen, but you believe your God provided an instant solution by redesigning the pelvis before the big brained foetuses even existed. “Over time” is used in contrast to “instant”. Please explain what appears to be a complete contradiction in your argument.

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