Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Sunday, August 22, 2021, 09:38 (356 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Those cells are free to act on their own with the instructions they contain. They do not invent their own instructions.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: God does not 'tell them' each time. They have original instructions to follow every time they are needed. Thus they have autonomous action (by my definition) every time needed.

Original instructions for what??? Why do you refuse to specify? You agreed that your God gave cells the ABILITY “to recognize each new threat and to respond to it by creating new antibodies de novo.” Are you now saying the first cells were provided with instructions to be passed on to all their descendants, telling them exactly what to do when each new problem arose throughout the future of life on Earth, and so they just have to “read” the particular instruction when the new problem arises? What is the autonomous action? Going through the millions of instructions and picking the one that’s flashing “PICK ME”?

The role of survival in evolution
DAVID: Survival does not drive evolution.

Survival does not drive anything. Survival is the result of changes made to the organism to enable it to adapt to new conditions. These changes, whether designed by your God or by the cells themselves, lead to speciation. Therefore speciation happens because of changes made for the purpose of survival. How does this come to mean that there is no connection between speciation and the quest for survival?

Retinal design
dhw: 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? […]

DAVID: Are you denying the huge gaps between all steps of all species?

Your question does not answer my questions! There are huge gaps between some species. I have just said there are “vast differences between the noses and brains of all the different species”! And I’ve asked you if you think each individual nose and brain was a separate, irreducibly complex design, or if the differences developed over millions of years. Why don’t you answer?

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Nebulous because you have never studied it. Irreducible complexity means what is being studied has to have been designed, as it could not have developed stepwise by a series of modifications of exiting parts.

I’m not arguing against design. I’m asking whether every individual nose and brain is irreducibly complex, or noses and brains might have changed and complexified over the course of time.

DAVID: You really need to read Darwin's Black Box which has a lengthy explanation. The bacterial flagellum has something like 28 coordinated parts, the source of each unclear. This deeper consideration of the source of the complexity out of its past is a powerful addition to the complexity argument. You need it.

I rely on you to present the case. I’m not talking about the flagellum but about noses and brains. I’m questioning whether every complexity in every new species demands a completely new design (irreducible complexity), or might be the result of minor and major adaptations over millions of years, as organisms adapt to or exploit new conditions.

Cambrian explosion: More early brains found
dhw:[…] 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?

DAVID: You are back to full Darwinist in the bold with descent by modification.

You seem to think that the very mention of Darwin automatically invalidates an argument. Please grant my request for an explanation, and answer my question (explaining if necessary why you reject the second possibility).

Evolution can work in reverse
DAVID: In Darwinist terms, it is obvious advanced complexification through natural selection isn't required. Animals can get by with less complexity than previously present.

In Darwinist terms, then, natural selection discards any complexity which, under new conditions, is no longer required. Simple.

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