Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, July 24, 2021, 06:48 (381 days ago) @ David Turell

Immunity system complexity
DAVID: My entries in immunity show the cells are programmed to respond to new infections, with general antibodies and the ability to create new ones.

dhw: So is this the 3.8-billion-year-old programme, or is it the one personally delivered by God whenever there’s a problem? Your entries show that cells respond. Your entries do not show that cells are following a list of instructions laid out for them by your God. Known infections were once new infections, and so the antibodies will already have been produced, whereas new infections will require the production of new antibodies, as you say. It is an ongoing process of cellular RESPONSE to new situations – the same, I suggest, as for evolution itself.

DAVID: And my retort is God created those cells to know how to respond to new infections. […]

I don’t have a problem with this – they would “know how to respond” can simply mean they have the intelligence to work out solutions as each new problem arises. It’s when you talk of them being programmed 3.8 billion years ago with every solution, or being given instructions (God pops in whenever there’s a new problem) that my credulity is stretched.

DAVID: […] this describes how specialized T cells create special ligands, receptor molecular receivers of foreign molecules, which increases the ability to sense invaders and respond. (dhw's bold)

dhw: This is interesting too, since it supports the (obvious) proposal that cells constantly RESPOND to new conditions, as opposed to your theory of anticipation.

DAVID: They are designed/coded to respond this way. They are coded to respond to new events.

Perhaps you could be a little more specific about the meaning of “coded” and “programmed”. As above, is this the 3.8-billion-year-old code/programme for every single new problem/solution/development in the history of life? Or God planting instructions whenever there’s a new problem? Cells are “designed to respond” could mean they have been given the intelligence with which to work out their responses. That’s fine with me, but it's totally the opposite of your theory that they have been given the individual solutions to every individual problem in advance.

Specific organs protection:
dhw: Our own disagreements are not over random mutations but over your insistence that every single innovation and modification in every organism is directly designed by your God as part of his one and only goal of designing humans, as opposed to - theistic theory – his having given the cells the ability to do their own designing.

DAVID: The cells do not have the capacity to create new species!!

Stated with your usual authority, as if you knew that for some reason your God could not or would not provide cells with the intelligence to join together in communities and produce increasingly complex designs, building on the designs of their predecessors (= common descent, which you sometimes believe in and sometimes don’t).

Theistic evolution vs Darwinism [...]
dhw: The heading is a travesty in itself. Darwin – himself an agnostic - explicitly wrote that he “saw no good reason why the views given in this book (Origin) should shock the religious feelings of anyone.” […] Darwinism allows for theistic evolution! He said so, and he should know!.

DAVID: Your Darwin love is obvious. Should I bring up his racism again?

Why don’t you stick to the subject? Darwinism is not against theism. What has racism got to do with it? This slur was discredited in great detail long ago, when you last used it to try and justify your hatred of Darwin. See my post: Busting the myth of Darwin's "racism" (Evolution) Thursday, December 05, 2019, which ended:
"This humanist plea for sympathies to extend to the men of all nations and races, and indeed to all sentient beings, could scarcely be clearer."
You replied:
DAVID: That is certainly convincing material of Darwin's true thoughts. It seems the Nazis misused his book, which I have not read. But the each of us has not the time to read everything. Thank you.

dhw: You stated that agnostics and atheists were leaving, and I have asked for clarification, since such a statement could imply that atheists and agnostics are now abandoning Darwin’s whole theory, and also that they are turning to God.

DAVID: The evidence is some are turning to ID. I view your personal research as incomplete without reading some ID info.

I have long ago accepted the argument for intelligent design, and you may recall that you yourself put the case in your two books, which I have read and admired. It is perfectly possible to accept the logic of the ID argument without rejecting common descent and without becoming a theist.

Microglial repair mechanism
QUOTE: "Rather than simply cleaning up debris, the microglia began forming pouches. These pouches didn't swallow up damaged material, as many immune cells do. Instead, they began tending to swollen dendrites—the branches of nerve cells that transmit nerve impulses. They weren't removing, the scientists realized; they appeared to be healing."

One might compare these cell communities to ant colonies, as all the individuals go about their business, contributing their particular form of intelligence to the functioning of the whole community.

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