Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, June 12, 2021, 09:31 (423 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The only way you can reject my complaint is by providing a logical reason why your God, whose only purpose you insist was to design humans plus lunch, should first have designed millions of life forms etc, 99% of which had no connection with humans or their lunch

DAVID: My God chose to evolve us from bacteria is a reasonable belief based on lots of evidence.

That we evolved from bacteria is a reasonable belief accepted by all evolutionists. You simply black out the rest of your bolded theory in your constant game of dodge, dodge, dodge.

Clear evidence of common descent
dhw: Common descent means that every life form (apart from the very first) is descended from a preceding life form. De novo creation means that life forms were created from scratch – i.e. without any precedent. Please clarify which of them you believe in.

DAVID: You can't split the problem. God's management of evolution creates a common descent as He manages the various developments from stage to stage. Your 'common descent' implies a natural chance process, and you have expressed much doubt about chance mutations as the cause...

More dodging. My common descent does not imply a natural chance process, as I propose that organisms intelligently adapt to or exploit new conditions. Your theory is not confined to “various developments from stage to stage”. You have your God individually designing every single life form (not to mention econiche, lifestyle, natural wonder etc.), 99% of which have no connection with the stage by stage development of humans. Once more: do you believe that every life form (apart from the first) is descended from a previous life form, or every life form was created from scratch (de novo)?

Horizontal gene transfer
DAVID: Nothing is conclusive but it certainly fits my notion of God dabbling.

dhw: Indeed, even the tiniest of changes fits your notion of your God dabbling. If you wished, you could claim that every word you write on this forum fits your notion of your God dabbling. After all, who can tell the difference between autonomous intelligence and God-guided intelligence? Meanwhile, these mechanisms also fit my notion of a free-for-all.

DAVID: Tell me how you get the amazing human brain by free-for-all evolution?

In the same way as you get amazing hearts, lungs,sexual organs, eyes, ears, legs and hands….By cells (whether God-designed or not) cooperating to find different ways of coping with or exploiting different conditions. The human brain is indeed amazing, but it was not a de novo creation. It developed from the brains of our antecedents, and you yourself have made great play of the fact that its superiority entails an initial increase in size and an increased capacity for complexification of its cells.

Controls over cell division
dhw: even a believer like yourself has no way of knowing whether the intelligence required for such design is that of the cells themselves (possibly designed originally by your God) or that of your God doing his divine programming/ dabbling. You have repeatedly offered odds of 50/50.

DAVID: Your cell intelligence theory is an extrapolation of what we observe from the outside of cells as cells react and process biochemical reactions so intelligently.


DAVID: The 50/50 is honest odds, but that doesn't mean I have any reason to accept your stretched interpretation that they actually have any form of innate intelligence that is capable of creating new evolutionary designs. It takes years of complex research just to understand just one simple biochemical step, as I constantly show here.

So far no amount of complex research has succeeded in identifying the cause of intelligence (which entails some form of consciousness) human or non-human. One theory is that there is a God who invented it. The same applies to the mystery of speciation. I’m quite happy with your acceptance of 50/50 odds. In the context of evolution, that should put you in the same position of neutrality as my own in the context of God’s existence.

vagus nerve interoception
DAVID: Part of our conscious awareness is the way we sense our bodily functions primarily through the vagus nerve, one of 12 cranial nerves that connect directly to the brain for interpretation. We are the only organism that can make those interpretations.

Clearly the brains of rats also sense bodily functions through the vagus nerve. Neither you nor Tallon-Baudry have a clue how we come to be conscious of our brain’s ability to sense bodily functions!

Ingenious research tricks

Using fluorescence to depict cells and their functions:

DAVID: Cell intelligence (dhw theory) can't create this. Only a highly-advanced designing mind can.

I’m not proposing that the cell’s intelligence created the way in which it functions! The research (vividly) reveals the mechanisms. It can’t reveal the intelligence that controls the mechanisms, any more than it can reveal your God’s 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for all its transformations.

Genome complexity
DAVID: Just now far this process is naturally used is not yet known. But re-writing DNA is shown to be possible. James Shapiro is applauding.

I don’t understand the technicalities, but if cells can rewrite their own DNA, I will join in the applause.

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