Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, August 01, 2021, 11:16 (83 days ago) @ David Turell

Death is built in
DAVID: We don't know that adaptations for survival drive evolution!!!!! Pure Darwinist unproven theory that survival of the fittest drives evolution.

dhw: Even you have accepted that your God designed adaptations, innovations, strategies, lifestyles etc. in order to improve organisms’ chances of survival. Since you claim to believe in common descent (except when you don’t), how then can you possibly argue that the adaptations and innovations which your God preprogrammes or dabbles and which lead to speciation (one life form changing into another) have no connection with the quest for survival? You don’t need to use the word “drive”. The purpose of the changes is survival, and the mechanism that implements the changes may be your God, and may be cellular intelligence (perhaps God-given). You and I have rejected Darwin’s random mutations.

DAVID: This is a non-answer. I also know life has survival mechanisms. I reject 'survival of the fittest' drives/advances evolution. How do you see evolution advanced?

Evolution advances when organisms find new ways to improve their chances of survival. Just like the adaptations we know of – when organisms (cell communities) make changes to themselves in order to retain their identity when faced with new conditions (e.g. fish coping with polluted waters) – more complex changes are also engineered by the cells when required (e.g. legs changing into flippers). In all cases, the purpose of the changes is survival. What you call the “drive” is the need for change to enable survival, and the changes are what “advance” evolution.

Immunity system complexity
DAVID: God's immunity instructions allow all of us to learn how to fight new infections from birth!!! mRNA covid vaccine shows it.

dhw: WHAT instructions? Here is my theistic proposal: God has given cells the ABILITY to solve problems. God has NOT given cells the SOLUTIONS to all the problems. Do you agree?

DAVID: Word play. The instructions tell the cells how to recognize new invaders and then manufacture appropriate antibodies to fit onto the invading molecules to inactivate them. Of course God gave them this ability.

An ability is not the same as instructions. You have the ability to design your own house. God has not given you instructions on how to design your house. If you now agree that your God has given cells the autonomous ability to design appropriate antibodies, but does not give them instructions on how to construct each and every antibody, we can shake hands and duly apply the same distinction to evolution itself: cells have the autonomous ability to do their own designing. You believe that God gave them this ability, and I accept that possibility.

New extremophiles
dhw: Same as above. God has given cells the ability to solve problems. God has NOT given cells the solutions to all the problems. Do you agree?

DAVID: Of course, unless you backtrack as before. God gives the cells the ability to have the proper responses.

You will have to tell me where I have backtracked, since this is the proposal I have been putting forward for years (if we presume that your God exists). Thank you anyway for confirming your agreement that your God does NOT provide solutions in advance, but has only provided the ability to find solutions. In the hope that you will not “backtrack”, may I point out to you that the ABILITY to solve problems requires autonomous intelligence and does not depend on being giving precise instructions on how to solve every individual problem.

Caterpillar memory
DAVID: Wow!!! Memories carried to the butterfly form in the discs of genome. That wasn't designed by chance. Chance could not have logically developed metamorphosis. Only a designer.

dhw: I echo your wow, but for the life of me I cannot see why your God, whose only purpose was to design humans and their food, would have preprogrammed or personally dabbled this extraordinary – but obviously efficient – process of metamorphosis. It looks to me like living proof that all forms of life find their own special ways of surviving in a great-free-for-all possibly set in motion by a designer who gave them the means to do their own designing.

DAVID: At least you note the need for design from teh beginning.

Yes, of course. And you have agreed that cells/cell communities have the ABILITY to do their own designing. And I’m sure you will agree that this particular natural wonder is geared to the survival of the butterfly, and I’m sure you would rather I didn’t ask why God had to design this process of metamorphosis in order to design humans and their food.

Larvae use virus for immunity
dhw: Another wonderful example of the gigantic free-for-all, as all life forms struggle to find their own ways of survival. It’s half the story of evolution – the other half being cooperation for exactly the same purpose of survival. And yet some people can’t see the connection between evolution and the quest for survival.

DAVID: Survival is not the way speciation happens. Survival is simply live and let live. That is the true 'survival of the fittest' meaning.

The NEED for survival entails finding new ways of coping with changing conditions, and the new ways result in the anatomical changes that constitute speciation. See my post on ID.


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