Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Monday, May 31, 2021, 11:23 (435 days ago) @ David Turell

Fungi helped plants
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.

dhw: ... 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?

DAVID: Placing methyl ions epigenetically in the DNA must follow instructions.

So let’s try to get a straight answer by using a different approach. Please tell us which part of the adaptation process takes place INDEPENDENTLY of your God.

Ant raids
dhw: Thank you for agreeing explicitly that ants have autonomous intelligence, i.e. they do not have to follow your God’s “instructions”.

DAVID: I would assume the ants have leader types who make choices of action and the others automatically follow.

I assume the same. Just like us humans, in fact. And so now we have ants with autonomous intelligence, performing all their natural wonders independently of your God. This could be the beginning of a quiet revolution...

Neutron stars
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.

dhw: 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”?

DAVID: Your view of God's 'bad actions' is a guess also. The history of such judgements is that with enough research they turn out wrong judgements of Gods action.

I do not regard it as a “guess” that there are viruses and bacteria which cause untold suffering, and the fact that the retina has proved to be a good design will not help me to understand how the untold suffering of millions might one day turn out to be “good”. But while you cling rigidly to the hope that somehow research will prove that your God not only designed all these bacteria and viruses, but also that they are beneficial to all those who have suffered and/or died, I am prepared to consider other “guesses”. In this case, that your God did NOT design the “bad” bacteria and viruses, but designed a mechanism whereby all organisms (just like ants) had the freedom to devise their own means of survival. Why must I wait for research before offering this possibility as a counter to your own guess?

Clear evidence of common descent
dhw: […] 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.

DAVID: So the enormous gap evidenced by the initial Cambrian organisms appearing over just 10 million years (previously presented here) doesn't bother you but plagued Darwin and also the current Darwinist's research to destroy the gap without any helpful results. Just your wishful thinking. Sacks of cells were so bright they invented the Trilobites with eyes, nerve cells and several different organ systems.

Firstly, you continue to contradict yourself by claiming that evolution is a continuous process but has gaps and your God invented all species de novo. Secondly, you claim that 10 million years is a short time. Sapiens has been around for approx 315,000 years – and in the last 70,000 years (and especially the last few thousand of these) has transformed the world. What has enabled these astonishing changes? Our intelligence. And where does this intelligence come from? All organisms are made up of cells. Ants are intelligent: they too can build cities. Some scientists are convinced that bacteria (single cells) are also intelligent. So yes indeed, sacks of cells over the vast period of ten million years could quite conceivably have invented new forms – not “de novo”, but based on earlier inventions, just as we humans build on the inventions of our predecessors. For example, the eye would not have been designed “de novo". Darwin: “How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated….” But he suspected that “nerves sensitive to touch may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound”. If you think they were all designed “de novo” within ten million years by an outside inventive intelligence (your God), why do you reject outright the possibility that the same God might have given his invention (cells) the intelligence to do its own designing and development of its own designs within the same vast period?

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