Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, May 30, 2021, 12:31 (56 days ago) @ David Turell

Fungi helped plants
DAVID: I haven't changed. God designed evolution and simple adaptive changes (epigenetics) allow organisms to independently make small changes by following God's instructions.

dhw: I am not asking you to change. I am asking you what these instructions might consist of, bearing in mind that the organisms act independently of your God, and when he would have issued them.

DAVID: I don't understand your confusion. God designed epigenetic mechanism into organisms. The organisms then use them independently as minor adaptations are required by changes.

For argument’s sake, I’m accepting that your God provided the mechanism enabling organisms to adapt to new conditions. But you keep telling us the organisms obey your God’s instructions. If the God-given mechanism for change is used autonomously, what “instructions” are you talking about? Straight question: Do the cells work out how and when to use the mechanism (= autonomous intelligence) or not?

Ant raids
DAVID: Colony decisions cause individual ants to do their simple response, as many studies have shown. You are equating whole colonies reactions to what the single ant does. God is not in action here.

dhw: […] The point is that the decision-making ants must have autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: You are quibbling. My statement above agrees.

It was not explicit enough for me. Thank you for agreeing explicitly that ants have autonomous intelligence, i.e. they do not have to follow your God’s “instructions”. I hope you will give a similarly direct answer under “Fungi direct plants”.

Neutron stars
DAVID: Why do humans guess at God’s designs before they have the full story?

dhw: You guess that all the weird objects, just like all the bad bacteria and viruses, have some kind of beneficial purpose. Why guess before you have the full story?

DAVID: I'm not guessing. I believe God's intentions are always good. And history re God's 'bad designs' as perceived by humans supports me.

Of course you’re guessing. It’s a belief, not knowledge! Non-bad designs (e.g. the retina) have nothing to do with theodicy, which concerns “bad” in the sense of evil or harmful – as in your fixed belief that your God deliberately designed viruses and bacteria that cause untold suffering. Why do you guess they're beneficial? Why don’t you wait till you have “the full story”?

Clear evidence of common descent
DAVID: The past does show the connections. You are slicing up evolution into segments again.

dhw: Then you force me to go back to your theory of evolution, which argues that all life forms have been specially designed as “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” and their food supply. There is no connection between 99% of the branches of life’s bush and humans. The connection is between all life forms and the bacteria from which they sprouted in their different directions. The branches are not connected with one another!

DAVID: Only in current time. Their ancestors connect them in the past.

This is painful, as we had agreed not to delve into your theory of evolution again. You do not know why your God, whose sole purpose you believe to have been the design of humans plus food supply, should have individually designed millions of extinct life forms, 99% of which were NOT our ancestors and had no connection with us. We agreed to leave it at that.

dhw: The slicing is done by you, because over and over again you emphasize the GAPS, and according to you, your God designs every species DE NOVO!

DAVID: God uses DNA and parts from the past except with the very new Cambrians. And they must have had DNA

dhw: Yes, he uses the same DNA codes, but there is no continuity. A carpenter may use the same wood to create a stool, a garden shed and a toothpick, but that does not mean all of them were designed as part of his goal to design a chalet in the Swiss Alps.
DAVID: No analogy at all. Codes vs. materials?

The analogy concerns continuity! It is absurd to claim that just because all life forms use DNA, all life forms are “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans”. There is no such “continuity”.

dhw: “De novo” automatically means discontinuity!

DAVID: The Cambrian discontinuity requires a continuing designer. You can't have it both ways!

It is you who want it both ways! You claim that evolution is continuous, and then you tell us there are gaps and evolution is discontinuous, with your God inventing species de novo! I suggest that evolution IS continuous, as all species have branched out from earlier species. And I propose that the millions of years of the Cambrian would have sufficed for intelligent cell communities to produce all the new species that appeared in response to changing conditions. And I suggest it is unreasonable to expect a continuous fossil record of every organism’s evolutionary history over the last three thousand million years.

Milky Way
"A new image of this new cosmic masterpiece was made using a giant mosaic of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa."

DAVID: spectacular!!!

It certainly is. Well, there you are, maybe your God likes creating spectacular firework displays!

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