Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, September 17, 2021, 13:52 (325 days ago) @ David Turell

Function in cells
dhw: [...] nobody knows how speciation works, and so the proposal is that the mechanism which causes minor adaptations (i.e. cellular intelligence) may also have caused the major adaptations and innovations that have resulted in speciation. We now know that certain cells can change their functions. That fits in with the proposal.

DAVID: Your answer is like mine.

dhw: That’s good news. So you agree that cells which can change their functions might cause the major adaptations and innovations that lead to speciation. Thank you.

DAVID: What I said above is cells modify functions, nothing more. Stop putting words in my mouth.

You said your answer was like mine. My point was that cells changing functions fitted in with the proposal. You appeared to agree.

dhw: What do you mean by “selection pressure”? The pressure comes from the urge to survive!

DAVID: Aren't you aware of of specious concepts Darwinists constantly employ as 'selection pressure'? Natural selection becomes magical pressure.

dhw: Don’t you agree with me that the opossum’s feigned death is a strategy for survival, and aren’t you aware that the urge to survive is a key feature of Darwin’s theory of evolution?


So why are you talking about “selection pressure”? The opossum’s pretence is a strategy for survival.

DAVID: No idea of how any animal using this trick decided upon it.

dhw: I’ve offered you two possibilities. What’s your theory?

DAVID: God's actions

dhw: What sort of actions would these be: a 3.8-billion-year programme for feigning death, or did your God pop in and teach the first death-feigning opossum how to do it?

DAVID: Either or.

I can only gasp in disbelief at the idea of your God providing the very first cells with a programme not only for the evolution of the opossum but also for its strategy of feigning death. Ditto the idea of him giving a death-feigning lesson to that first opossum – and all for the sake of us humans. Oh good heavens, how would humans survive if the opossum didn’t know how to feign death?

dhw: The authors wrote: “We now have solid evidence of culture, morality, rationality, and even rudimentary forms of linguistic communication.” Our body form and our brains can also be traced back to our animal ancestors. In that sense we are NOT exceptional. But the degree to which we have developed our brains, our culture, our morality, our rationality and our language do make us exceptional. Why do so many people only see things in terms of left or right, black or white, right or wrong? This blinkered approach is, of course, what leads to the worst forms of extremism. NB: I know you well enough to be certain that you show respect and even love for your animals, and you are no extremist. I am simply pointing out the dangers of the blinkered approach.

DAVID: So you agree we are exceptional.

I’ve just said so. I’ve pointed out that in one way we are NOT exceptional, because our bodies, culture, morality, rationality and language have their origins in those of our animal ancestors, but we ARE exceptional because we have developed all of these to a degree which is vastly greater than theirs. I am calling for a balanced view, so why have you picked on only one part of the balance?

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