Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Sunday, August 08, 2021, 15:36 (75 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Please say whether you accept the following theistic theory: your God gave cells the autonomous ability to recognize and respond to new problems by designing their own solutions.

They follow chemical algorithms accomplish that task.


DAVID: […] That organisms survive does not create speciation.

dhw: Of course their survival does not create anything! The fact that they survive is due to the fact that they have changed in response to new conditions. It is changes in organisms that “create” speciation. And if the reason for those changes is to enable them to survive, then speciation is the result of their trying to improve their chances of survival. It is therefore absurd to claim that improving chances of survival has no connection with speciation.

Pure speculation. Adaptation within species results only in slightly changed original species


Retinal design allows prediction of movement

dhw: […] You argue that your God changes organisms in advance of the need for change. I argue that changes take place in response to current needs. […] Your God may have given them the ability to make such changes – (see the ID thread).

DAVID: Same old view I don't accept, which implies a gradualism in adaptation. The fossil record of giant gaps in form offers you no support. So you'll revert to the wish for missing fossil forms.

dhw: There are two issues here: 1) you claim that retinal design had to be instant. I propose that the different degrees of vision etc. found in different organisms would have developed gradually. 2) Speciation: you claim that your God made all the changes in advance of any need for them (pre-whales were given flippers before they entered the water). I propose that flippers evolved AS A RESULT of them entering the water. Again, it is unreasonable to expect fossils for every single transitional stage.

Yes, you reverted.


Back to theodicy: fixing genome mistakes

dhw: I have no idea why you have included this under “Back to theodicy”. But presumably the implication is that humans are left to undo the harm caused by your God’s designs.

DAVID: Exactly.

dhw: This does not explain why the God you believe in (who is all-powerful and has good intentions) designed the bad bacteria in the first place. That is the essence of the theodicy problem.

And my answer is the human impression of bad bacteria may be a mistaken human impression of bacteria acting in the wrong place. Bacteria started life and are very important in their current roles.


Consciousness and other science mysteries

dhw: It certainly is. I don’t know what the researchers are hoping to prove. If there are no signs of consciousness, it can mean that consciousness dies when the cells die (materialism), or the soul has departed (dualism). If there are signs, either the cells are still producing consciousness, or the soul is still hanging around.

DAVID: Or, the monk's immune systems are controlling the bad GUT bugs from getting out to start decomposition.

dhw: And what do you think would be the purpose of that, since decomposition will take place anyway?

Why should there be a purpose, when it may be a byproduct of lifestyle.


DAVID: On another subject, I have Neil Thomas Taking Leave of Darwin. The first 70 pages are an erudite (and for me boring) recitation of the history and criticisms of Darwin's theory. The only mistake I found was to attribute to Arthur Russel Wallace full support of natural selection, whereas he fully supported God as designer. Now Thomas' reasoning can appear, I hope.

dhw: Huge thanks for following this up. The impression I had from the summary was that we were not going to learn anything new, but I hope I’m wrong or you will have wasted your time.

I've found on page 55, I think, a strong objection to Darwin splitting the subject into two parts and ignored the origin of life to concentrate then on only evolution as if they were not obviously fully connected issues. More later


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