Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 11:44 (50 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I used 'I admit' as an introductory colloquial phase to a discussion of mountain and molehills of evolutionary adaptations. The only independent-of-God decisions by organisms are the decision to activate/use God's instructions in DNA.

I pointed out that the independence you had agreed to (organisms use the mechanisms for adaptation independently) did not mean obeying instructions, and I asked if you agreed that processing information, intercommunication and decision-making were signs of intelligence. Your reply made no sense: “I admit if one looks at all 3.8 billion years of God’s evolution mountains as in the Cambrian Explosion, which, by the way, bothered Darwin more than you.” I hoped you were admitting that 3.8 billion years’ worth of instructions was going a bit far, and that the information processing, communication and decision-making needed for the independent use you had agreed to meant independent intelligence.

dhw: What I oppose, in case you’ve forgotten, is the claim that your God individually preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation, lifestyle, natural wonder etc. in the history of life – and all of them were “part of the goal of evolving [= specially designing] humans.”[/b]

DAVID: I never forget that illogical position. If God created the universe and life, why shouldn't He be allowed to run evolution? Your God is god-like now and then.

If God exists, he can do what he likes. That doesn't mean his one purpose was to design H. sapiens, and therefore he designed millions of organisms “de novo”, 99% of which had no connection with H. sapiens. Dodge, dodge, dodge!

Clear evidence of common descent
dhw: You continually talk about the gaps between species (there is no fossil record), and try to use them as evidence that only God could have designed the new organs/organisms. “De novo” entails a jump, not a continuation!

DAVID: I'll repeat. Your argument is support for God, Who is required to jump the gaps.

It's not my argument! It's you who claim that because there is no fossil record of every stage of every organism, God must have created species “de novo”. That means you believe evolution was NOT a continuous process of common descent.

DAVID: […] Bronto is now the lizards and lizard-like organisms that fill a portion of the eco-systems that feed other existing organisms. God ("the same maker") supplies the continuity. I do not accept Darwin's common descent, I accept Gould's.

dhw: I didn’t know Gould was a proponent of Creationism, and he certainly didn’t know it either. All organisms either feed on or are fed on by other organisms. That does not mean that all organisms were specially designed by your God as part of his one and only goal to produce humans.

DAVID: Relax, it is fact Gould made much of the gaps.

His point was that evolution is not slow and steady but proceeds in fits and starts. How does this come to mean that your God created all species “de novo” in order to design you and me?

Differing star nurseries
QUOTE: "[…] these stellar nurseries do not all look and act the same. In fact, they're as diverse as the people, homes, neighborhoods and regions that make up our own world.

DAVID: this will only add to dhw's confusion as to why God created this universe, which is not uniform everywhere. We still don't have many answers about the mysteries we observe. The simplest approach is to accept God's doings and then figure out why.

Hardly my “confusion” if you can’t understand it yourself. Of course the simplest approach if you can’t find a logical explanation is to cling to your rigid beliefs. Let me know when you’ve figured out why, and then I’ll stop questioning your rigid beliefs.

Blood clotting
QUOTE: The workhorses to stem bleeding are platelets -- tiny 2-micrometer cells in the blood in charge of making the initial plug.

DAVID: My question is how did unguided evolution invent such a critical but totally controlled process?

Every innovation would have required continuous solving of new problems. The common thread in this process is cells finding the solutions. You claim they were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or alternatively your God was always there to deliver new instructions when needed. A theistic alternative is that he gave cells the wherewithal to figure out their own solutions.

Survival of the fittest
QUOTE: Oftentimes, the most reproductively successful species and individuals are the ones who cooperate, who are the friendliest.

Back we go to Lynn Margulis, who not only championed the cause of cooperation as the leading force in evolutionary progress, but was also a devout believer in cellular intelligence.

QUOTE: "'Survival of the fittest" […is…] not meant to refer to 'Hunger Games'-style ruthless competition, only to an organism's ability to thrive and reproduce in a specific environment."

DAVID: Good explanation of its limits, but it still a surviving tautology even with those limits.

Yes, it’s an important point, and all credit to Darwin for NOT having invented the term, which has so often been abused.

In view of all our continued disagreements, I’d like to restore the balance by once again saying how much I appreciate your posting these articles. They are now the true lifeblood of our forum.


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