Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, August 20, 2021, 12:13 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My totally unchanged position is the cells use God's instructions to do their work. Your bold above says exactly that, which it seems you didn't mean.

dhw: My (bolded) ability – explicitly and enthusiastically endorsed by you - is the exact opposite of the alternative that precedes it, i.e. obeying instructions. You have really entered Alice in Wonderland territory if you expect anyone to believe that an autonomous ability actually means automatically obeying instructions.[…]

DAVID: What I agreed to is with the instructions God gave the cells, they can/do act autonomously.

What instructions? If they act autonomously, they are not following instructions on how to produce new antibodies. Are you saying that God simply pops in and says to the cells: “I command you to produce new antibodies”? Please specify what these instructions consist of.

The role of survival in evolution
dhw: […] Speciation involves change, and you believe that your God designed the changes to make sure the particular life form survived. It is therefore absurd to argue that the changes your God made to each life form had nothing to do with survival.

DAVID: Survival is required for each new stage until the next stage appears. Survival does not create the next stage.

Of course survival doesn’t create anything. Survival is the MOTIVE for making the changes – whether your God makes them or the cells make them. And it is absurd to argue that the motive (survival) for making the changes which lead to speciation has nothing to do with speciation.

Retinal design allows prediction of movement
DAVID: The dog's sense of smell comes from their wolf ancestors.

dhw: Yes, wolves have an equally acute sense of smell. Do you believe that the wolfie-doggy sense of smell was already present in pre-wolfie-doggies, or do you believe that the earlier sense of smell improved over the thousands and thousands of years?

DAVID: The sense of smell is a highly complex system previously described here. I believe as wolves appeared their smell ability was complete with possible minor improvement by adaptation to come over time.

Why minor improvement? We have no idea what degree of smell all the different stages of pre-wolfie-doggy had, but the very concept of stages suggests possible improvements, and you yourself constantly emphasize that these stages coincide with increasing complexity. The human brain is a prime example. Do you believe that our ancestors’ brain was complete way back when, and has merely undergone possible minor improvements over time? (But before you answer that, please tell us if you believe all the pre-wolfie-doggies had the same degree of smellability as their descendants.)

DAVID: You answers appears to show you understand the concept of irreducible complexity. Flagella are the typical example.

dhw: Fine. Do ID-ers believe that your God changed legs to flippers before pre-whales entered the water, as opposed to legs becoming flippers after entry into the water?

DAVID: Must I repeat? Irreducible complexity means designed in advance. Applies to flippers and everything else.

So if we go back to beginnings, are you saying that the first legs were complete in themselves with “possible minor improvement by adaptation to come over time”? From the first presumably tiny legs to let’s say the legs of elephants and humans, are we talking of “minor improvements”? Were flippers a brand new design “de novo”? And when you talk of adaptation over time, do you think the adaptation preceded new conditions or took place over time as organisms made the necessary changes after exposure to the new conditions?

Neil Thomas
DAVID: You have beautifully destroyed Dawkins. Thomas' book is a slog I am still performing since it is an exposition of how erudite he is. It appears he is travelling your path to agnosticism recognizing design.

Thank you. I suspected right from the start that we were not going to learn anything new, and I’m sorry I asked you to report on the book. Please feel free to stop.


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