Miscellany: gaps in evolution (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 11:31 (227 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The “explosion” began approx. 540 million years ago. That is one helluva long time by any standards, and the fact that ANY fossils have survived is itself amazing. It lasted for up to 25 million years, but even if the productive period was “only”, say, 10 million years, that is also one helluva long time.

DAVID: To answer, our friend Gunter Bechly is back:

dhw: Bechly is a devout Catholic who followed a similar course to yourself, David, in so far as the complexities of life converted him to the theory of intelligent design. It would appear, though, that he has never contemplated the possibility of cellular intelligence (possibly God’s invention) as a replacement for Darwin’s random mutations.

QUOTE: In all groups of organisms, in all regions of the Earth, and over all periods of Earth history, new groups and new body plans appear abruptly in the fossil record, mostly without any potential precursors in the older layers."

dhw: He’s hit the nail on the head. Perhaps species appear abruptly in the fossil record because, surprise, surprise, we can hardly expect a complete record of every stage of every life form to have been preserved over the thousands of millions of years of life’s history. Please explain why you think such a record ought to exist.

DAVID: Geology has advanced far beyond Darwin. Edicaran and Cambrian layers in China have nothing in between. Nothing is missing. The gap in fossil forms is enormous. Simply fronds to animals with eyes, legs, organ systems.

Bechly tells us that the “gaps” occur everywhere and cover all times. Fossils are being found all the time, and each one is a sensation. Please explain why you think there should be a complete fossil record of the history of all organs and all species.

QUOTE: "However, very well preserved fossils do exist from earlier periods, and it is now generally accepted that the Cambrian explosion was real."

dhw: He spends a lot of time arguing that the Cambrian Explosion was real. I am not disputing that. What I do dispute is the extraordinary statement that 10 million years is a “little period”. It may be little in terms of the age of the planet, but it is a huge expanse of time.

DAVID: It is not the lapse of time. The intermediate fossils simply do not exist. Proved over the past 40 years in China.

There is no possible way of proving that fossils don’t exist, but even if they don’t, that doesn’t prove the organisms themselves didn’t exist. Again, please explain why you think they should exist.

dhw: Please explain why you think 10 million years is not long enough for innovations to be designed by intelligent cells combining their intelligences to restructure themselves under new conditions.

DAVID: It is clear from China, no intermediate forms exist. Keep wishing.

Dealt with above. This is a different question.

dhw: You have not offered me a single quote yet in which your scientists discount the possibility of cellular intelligence providing the designs guiding the process of evolution.

DAVID: I follow the new research carefully. No one discusses your theory in any way. That cells look intelligent is old news. Your speciation theory is your invention.

You resolutely “forget” the Shapiro quotes from your own book: “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully….They posses sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities…they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics…Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions” etc. This is not my invention, and Bechly hasn’t even considered it. It is the theory itself you should focus on, not how many people discuss it.

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