Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Saturday, August 21, 2021, 13:22 (356 days ago) @ David Turell

Transferred from “theodicy
dhw: ...he gave our cells the ABILITY to recognize each new threat and to respond to it by creating new antibodies de novo without him having to intervene.

DAVID: You’ve got it!!! The latter portion of your comment is exactly what God did!

dhw: So you agree that your God gave cells an autonomous ability to solve problems. Simple.[…]

DAVID: They can act autonomously by following God's instructions to recognize invaders and to produce antibodies specific for their death.

So do you think your God steps in and says: “I instruct you to recognize invaders and produce antibodies.” How are they supposed to do that if they don’t have the autonomous ability to recognize invaders and produce antibodies?

DAVID: With those instructions God need not step in further. We differ in our use of autonomous. Those cells are free to act on their own with the instructions they contain. They do not invent their own instructions.

I wish you would tell us what those instructions consist of. If they are not what I have just proposed, they can only be precise directions as to HOW each new threat can be recognized, what interpretation to put on the new information, and exactly what to do in order to produce the brand new antibodies. But if our cells only have to do what your God tells them to do, they are NOT autonomous.

The role of survival in evolution
DAVID: Survival is required for each new stage until the next stage appears. Survival does not create the next stage.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: That is your unproven assumption. God has his design motives for speciation. Survival is not the driving force for God's evolution.

But you have just said that your God makes the changes so that the organism can SURVIVE for each new stage. Speciation occurs when changes occur, and if your God makes the changes to enable the organisms to survive, then speciation occurs because your God wants the organisms to survive!!!

Retinal design allows prediction of movement
DAVID: I believe as wolves appeared their smell ability was complete with possible minor improvement by adaptation to come over time.

dhw: 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: We bred bloodhounds for superb smell. Your brain question is totally off point. Stages of brain growth are known.

You tell us that “Irreducible Complexity (IC) means full design at every beginning of a species.” Of course every pre-wolfie/doggy species had a complete sense of smell, and every pre-sapiens species had a complete brain No problem. But there are vast differences between the noses and brains of all the different species, and you keep telling us that complexity increased with every stage. Are you then saying that each different nose and brain was a separate, irreducibly complex design, or is it possible that noses and brains developed/improved/complexified over the millions of years of speciation? And, to revert to our earlier example, do you really believe that whale flippers were a brand new, complete, irreducibly complex design (“full flippers at once with minor adaptation later”), as opposed to being an adaptation of legs to enable pre-whales to improve their chances of survival in the water?

I would humbly suggest that complexity alone is a powerful argument for design. I really don’t know why it needs to be “irreducible”, since the term requires all kinds of nebulous distinctions.

Cambrian explosion: More early brains found
Quote: "The fossils, belonging to an arthropod known as Leanchoilia, confirm the presence—predicted by earlier studies in genetics and developmental biology of insect and spider embryos—of an extreme frontal domain of the brain that is not segmented and is invisible in modern adult arthropods. Despite being invisible, this frontal domain gives rise to several crucial neural centers in the adult arthropod brain, including stem cells that eventually provide centers involved in decision-making and memory."

It’s nice to read about the decision-making powers of arthropods. Please can you explain how these early brains are classified as irreducibly complex, and the more complex later brains of every different species are also irreducibly complex. Does God have to do a “full design” of every brain of every species, or is it possible that what you call “minor adaptations” may also extend as far as major adaptations, with different life forms complexifying according to different requirements, all the way through to the brain of H. sapiens?

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