Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Monday, August 16, 2021, 18:32 (361 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The cell's autonomous ability comes from following the instructions algorithms to recognize foreign protein invasion and neutralize it, just as your stomach handled the curry independently of your consciousness, and autonomously.

dhw: Why have you ignored what I wrote yesterday? “Of course many actions are automatic – it’s only when things go wrong or new problems arise that autonomous intelligence is required.” There is a world of difference between the established, automatic actions of properly functioning digestive processes and the intelligence needed to recognize new problems, process new information, and create new solutions.

The automatic editing mechanisms are automatic to correct mistakes as much as possible. We have had long discussions about their imperfections. I fully reject the idea that cells can think and invent solutions on their own. They have generally effective instructions to follow.

The role of survival in evolution

DAVID: […] Flippers are required for water survival and a fruitful life in a new environment.

dhw: So you agree that your God gave them flippers to improve their chances of survival in the water, and yet such anatomical changes which lead to speciation apparently have nothing to do with improving chances of survival!

Usual distortion: viewing it from God's viewpoint, each stage of evolution must survive until God is ready to prepare the next advanced speciation.

Retinal design allows prediction of movement
dhw: I am not disputing the fact that ID means intelligent design, and if that leads to belief in God, so be it. I have asked you specifically whether ID-ers believe that the differences in degrees of vision etc. were all designed at once. […] And do they all agree with you that your God operated on all the ancestors of every species to change their anatomies before there was any need for change?

DAVID: Don't go off on tangents. Irreducible complexity is an underlying basic concept requiring design. To answer your wonder, they believe in stepwise evolution with design covering the huge gaps.

dhw: The tangents are yours, since you refuse to answer my questions! Of course irreducible complexity is an underlying basic requiring design. Now tell me if your ID-ers believe that your God designed every degree of vision etc. all at once. And of course they believe in stepwise evolution with gaps. Now tell me if they believe that your God preprogrammed or personally dabbled all the individual anatomical changes that constitute speciation BEFORE any of them were required.

You force me to repeat the obvious. Irreducible complexity means all-at-once design for all advances. This means God speciates: in the whale series design first, new stage prepared for its new environment.

Back to theodicy: fixing genome mistakes
dhw: How can an all-powerful, always-in-control God with good intentions lose control of the organisms he designed, and even fail to find remedies to prevent or cure the appalling suffering caused by his loss of control?

DAVID: God is not a puppeteer. We've discussed high-speed cellular reactions and possible errors and we see God inserted editing mechanisms. The living metabolism must depend on the giant protein molecules behaving properly. 99.9999% correct is a pretty good result. Look at your age and mine, and we made it this far with the errors happening. That is a firmly acceptable result, isn't it?

dhw: Once again, you are trying to solve the problem of “evil” by telling us how wonderful everything is. Since we are taking “bad” bacteria and viruses and other forms of disease as our examples, I really cannot believe that as a retired doctor you are unaware of the appalling suffering caused by the bacteria and viruses and malfunctioning bodies in humans all over the world, the vast majority of whom do not live to your age or mine. Why, in your eyes, is their suffering a firmly acceptable result of your God’s deliberate designs (“bad” bacteria and viruses) or lack of control (his “editing mechanisms” frequently fail)?

I've given all the answers you need previously. You look at third world populations and lament their plight. Our old age occurred in more advanced civilizations in our countries created by advanced human thinking and endeavor. Our 'luck' is much more than pure luck, obviously. I remind you where advanced human have dominion (as God intended) we do very well. Unfortunately, not all humans are currently equal, and yes, those of us who are in good circumstances should help improve the others.

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