Miscellany (General)

by David Turell @, Friday, September 10, 2021, 18:15 (336 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: In your experience, it is easier to do things yourself than to tell someone else how to do it. And in your theory, your God spends all his time issuing instructions or teaching cells how to do it. Wouldn’t it be less difficult and cumbersome if the cells did it themselves, just as you do?

DAVID: But I can think, cells can't. Cells run on the information they are given.

dhw: You claimed that it was easier to do things yourself than tell others how to do it. You forgot that in your scenario, your God tells others how to do it. If he gave cells a D-I-Y mechanism, all he’d have to do would be sit back and watch. Wouldn’t that be “easier”, “less difficult” and “less cumbersome” than designing millions of programmes, giving millions of lessons, and issuing millions of instructions? Your fixed beliefs have nothing to do with the question of what would be easier.

There are two parts to design for God: first a basic living biochemical system for cells to run on, which began at life's origin; second stage, designing successive stages with thoughtful anticipation of future needs. Living cell communities in organisms are incapable of the second stage and so it is easier for God to do the design rather than instructing them how to do it. It doesn't require your implied enormous number of dabbles with a basic system in place.

Introducing the brain
DAVID: Autonomy in your sense involves actual thought. Neuron s don't do that except in your imagination.

dhw: Yes, autonomy involves actual thought – though that is not to be compared to our own thinking. It is limited to what cells/cell communities can do in order to adapt to or exploit conditions. Autonomy does not mean obeying instructions.

DAVID: When you cannot think you follow instructions. The autonomy is in accepting and translating the instructions, not ignoring them. we use the word differently as previously noted.

dhw: Following instructions is the opposite of autonomy. The whole point of the cellular intelligence theory is that cells CAN think – not like humans, but in a manner that enables them to solve problems, take decisions, change their structures all by themselves. I challenge you to find any speaker of the English language who would define “autonomy” as the ability to follow instructions - together with an inability to act without instructions!

Having researched the point, you are correct about the proper definition of autonomy, and I've been sloppy as applied to biology. But I'll stick to my thought, cells follow God's instructions but can make minor epigenetic adaptations.

Function in cells
QUOTE: “...the same protein can exert distinct functions depending on the effector it binds to. At the molecular level, protein functions thus translate into protein dynamics, which is key for the development of all cellular processes, from cell division to energy provision and cell fate determination.”

DAVID: These proteins change shape at high speeds, making them difficult to study. Such processes must be designed all at once to work as in the bold above. Stepwise evolution can't do this.

dhw: I need your help on this. It seems to suggest that cells can accomplish a swift transformation from one shape and function to another. If so, the implications for the evolutionary process are massive. But maybe I’ve misunderstood it.

Misunderstood. The discussion is about molecular shape changes precisely controlled within cells, not cell shape changes.

A new monster
QUOTES: "Titanokorys belongs to a diverse group of arthropods called radiodonts that split from the ancestors of spiders, insects, and horseshoe crabs by 520 million years ago, soon after the Cambrian explosion of animal diversity.
"Finding Titanokorys at the same site as Cambroraster underscores the diversity of Cambrian ecosystems, Caron adds—and the remarkable abundance of predators. Earth’s early seas must have had enough prey to feed a large range of hunters coexisting in the same space, including some animals that have so far eluded paleontologists

DAVID: The Cambrian still has new organisms to find. Same old Darwinian specter, no predecessor like it.

Thank you for telling us about yet another amazing find.
dhw: If Titanokorys is descended from spiders etc. and belongs to a group called radiodonts, there must be similarities. Along with the “diversity of Cambrian ecosystems”, doesn’t this simply confirm the principle that different environments trigger new developments in existing organisms, thereby leading to different varieties of life forms?

Titanokorys precedes spiders. What Cambrians are compared to is what develops from them later on. Cambrians are the starting ancestors of all future existent phyla.

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