Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, May 16, 2021, 09:07 (459 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I use continuity: God created life and controlled evolution. Theorizing separately can avoid God, your preferred approach.

I also use continuity: past evolution was a continuous process of life branching out into different life forms, 99% of which had no connection with humans. And I have offered you a variety of theories that include your God (e.g. experimenting, having new ideas etc.). “Controlled evolution” is one of your fixed beliefs, whereas I offer one theory which has him creating a free-for-all. Please stop pretending that my theistic alternatives avoid God.

DAVID: My God would control events by careful design, which from the demonstrated complexity of biochemistry is required.

Your God could just as well have carefully designed the complexities of the cell so that it would be able to make its own designs. “Freedom” is not alien to your God: you actually have him designing our brain with its free will, and cells that are free to go wrong.

DAVID: Inventing an inventive mechanism to do the designing is second-hand, cumbersome and very unlikely as a solution, used by a logical form of God.

Do you regard your free will as second-hand (whatever that means) and cumbersome? What "solution" to what problem are you talking about? You were once sure that he watches life on Earth with interest. If his problem was to find something interesting to watch, a free-for-all would be a great solution.

New forms require new genes
dhw: […] you haven’t explained why he would have specially designed all the Cambrian forms that went extinct after the “Explosion” […]

DAVID: The Cambrian forms, as the first complex animals are our ancestors. 99% extinction is a reasonable part of the process, but you continue an illogical, unreasonable complaint.

Have you really traced a line from ALL the Cambrian life forms to us? Amazing! What “process”? How can it be logical and reasonable for your God to specially design the 99% of life forms that had no connection with humans or their food supply, as part of the “process” of designing the only life form he wanted to design, which was humans (plus food supply)?

The obstetric dilemma
DAVID: Instant solutions don't happen. […]

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: God speciates. The change to the pelvic outlet and the bigger brain could be simultaneous in appearance of a new species under His design. You are the only one assuming 'over time' for adaptations to correct problems.

I had no idea that I was all alone in the world with my belief that effect follows cause, solutions are responses to problems, and this automatically entails a time sequence. Even you agreed that “instant solutions” don’t happen, and now you’re telling us that problems and solutions are instant!

Using gestures
DAVID: All humans can communicate this way:

QUOTE: "When people don’t share a language, they quickly resort to using their hands, rather than their voices. […] “If gesture is good enough for language,” says Aleksandra Ćwiek, a linguistics Ph.D. student at the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, “why the hell do we talk?”

Like all our fellow organisms, we use every means at our disposal to communicate. I suggest that we humans talk because we have a helluva lot to communicate, and so although other animals also use their voices, we have developed an almost infinitely greater variety of sounds because we have an almost infinitely greater number of things to communicate. And that is why gestures are not enough, and grunts and roars and howls and chatter have evolved into human language.
I am now applying for a grant to further my research into why all life forms communicate by using their means of communication. I know you will support me.

Subterranean extremophiles
QUOTES: "humans need 21 per cent oxygen in our atmosphere to be able to breathe. Nematodes can make do indefinitely with only 0.5 per cent oxygen, and many species can survive extended periods with less or no oxygen at all. (DAVID’S bold)

"[…] over a long period of time some organisms might have adapted to even more extreme conditions deeper in the subsurface..."

DAVID: Note my bold. Oxygen is only needed by complex life forms. Living forms can be anywhere.

I don’t know why you bolded this. “Living forms can be anywhere” suggests to me one mighty free-for-all, as cells and cell communities of all kinds adapt themselves to all kinds of conditions in their efforts to survive. How all of them could be “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans” is quite beyond me.

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