Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, June 02, 2021, 12:55 (141 days ago) @ David Turell

Fungi helped plants
DAVID: Use of the existing epigenetic mechanism by the organism is independent of God.

dhw: Organisms do not “follow instructions” from God, so how can they possibly do all this without some form of autonomous intelligence?

DAVID: how do you know organisms do not follow genome instructions (I assume from God)

I asked you which part of the adaptation process took place INDEPENDENTLY of your God, and you answered “use of the existing epigenetic mechanism”. You have now totally ignored the beginning of my response: “Use….entails processing information from outside, communication between cell communities, and a final decision on when, where and how to use it.” Those activities require intelligence. Now you are trying to tell me that “use of the existing mechanism” could be dependent on God’s instructions! Please don't backtrack.

The same process of intelligent use would apply to two more examples you have posted today:

Slime mold decisions: remembering food location
QUOTE: “Future research into a slime mold's ability to carry out complex tasks,” he says, “will require an examination of “molecular signaling, material properties and flow patterns of the cellular fluid regulating its behavior.

The ability to carry out complex tasks is normally a sign of some kind of intelligence, and of course this will be manifested through material properties.

Soft-bodied animal: superhard teeth
DAVID: The purpose is to scrape algae off rocks. Why something so hard? I doubt natural chance evolution helped this organism find such a rare mineral.

The quest for means of survival may well entail chance discoveries, but the ability to take advantage of such discoveries through self-adaptation would certainly not be a matter of chance. Unless you think these teeth were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled as part of "the goal of evolving [designing] humans", I suggest they are the product of autonomously intelligent use of an existing epigenetic mechanism (possibly designed by your God).

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! […] 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. […]

DAVID: So, you go back to my God to solve the problem of what we humans presume is ultimately bad.

The subject here is theodicy - i.e. why did your God create evil? How do you discuss your God’s possible nature without mentioning God? Now perhaps you’ll consider the arguments.

Clear evidence of common descent
dhw: 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.

DAVID: Of course evolution is continuous over time as God runs it.

dhw: How can it be continuous if speciation is de novo? Continuity requires common descent, not “de novo” speciation.

DAVID: You make my point: de novo means God designs a big step as He guides evolution by design.

De novo speciation means creating species that have no antecedent. How does that come to mean “continuity” and “common descent”?

dhw: Secondly, you claim that 10 million years is a short time. […] If you think [the new Cambrian species] 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?

DAVID: Again you return to suggesting God gave them inventive capacities. Your God-lite approach.

I am pointing out that cellular intelligence (possibly invented by your God) would make it perfectly feasible for new species to evolve during the vast period of ten million years. I am transferring the rest of this post to “A possible God’s possible purpose and nature”, as that is the place to deal with your term “God-lite”.


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