Let's study ID: giraffe plumbing (Introduction)

by dhw, Friday, September 24, 2021, 11:08 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am championing the theistic theory that your God could have created intelligent cells that can do their own designing. Why do you think he is incapable of doing so, and has to preprogramme or dabble every individual evolutionary change, lifestyle, strategy, and natural wonder himself?

DAVID: I think God can supply a set of instructions for new species, but asking cells to do it secondhand implies God must give the cells a vision of the future so that cells can plan for the new species needs as hey will exist in the future.

dhw: “Secondhand” is a meaningless term, reverting back to your old definition of “autonomy” as obeying instructions, so please drop it. God does not have to give autonomous cells a vision of the future, because in my theory cells REACT to new conditions […] And you still haven’t told me why your God is incapable of creating autonomously intelligent cells.

DAVID: Asking cells to do what I can do makes the process secondhand. It is a fine term.

Since you believe you can do what you want to do, you clearly believe that your God is perfectly capable of creating a cellular combination that will lead to autonomous (not "second-hand") thought. So please answer my question: why do you think your God is incapable of creating autonomously intelligent cells?

DAVID: Your last sentence is answered in the part of my original response above, now bolded.

It only tells me that he is capable of supplying instructions. It doesn’t tell me why he is incapable of creating autonomously intelligent cells/cell communities in other forms than ours. (NB I am not comparing their intelligence to ours, which of course is vastly greater.)

DAVID: Your gradual response to environment needs is a totally unsupported theory, since all fossil species appear fully formed. You should be able to show multiple progressive intermediates. The gaps support design.

Of course all fossils were once fully formed. You couldn’t have a fossil of a life form that never lived! Every fossil find is an event, but you expect to find a continuous fossil record of every stage of every life form! And we are not arguing about design but about your theory – totally unsupported by the history of life - that your God preprogrammed or personally dabbled every single evolutionary innovation, lifestyle, econiche, strategy and natural wonder, as opposed to creating a mechanism enabling cells to do their own designing.

Fine tuning specifics
DAVID: A single cell is so fine-tuned its origin requires a designer. At what point of demonstrated complexity of design does one have to accept a designer exists? It is a logical next step in reasoning.

dhw: [...] I have always accepted the logic of the design argument. At what point of demonstrated intelligence does one have to accept that communities of cells which are able to cooperate, communicate and change their shape in order to regulate homeostatis or alternatively produce many different possible results – as in the next two quotes – may actually BE intelligent?

DAVID: All we can say is they show intelligent activity.

If that is all we can say, why do you go on and on about your God giving them instructions?

dhw: At the very least, such examples of intelligence should open your mind to the possibility that your God may have given cells autonomous intelligence instead of a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled change.

DAVID: I'll stick with cells following intelligently designed instructions.

See what I mean?

Immunity system complexity
QUOTE: During an infection or after a vaccination, mature B cells form germinal centers, a sort of pop-up training facility. There, the cells mutate and rearrange their antibody-encoding genes, until they either produce an improved antibody or die trying.

DAVID: These B cells are designed to act quickly, no actual thought involved. It is an irreducibly complex system designed all at once. It cannot be evolved by chance or step-by-step.

But these cells rearrange themselves during an infection, and infections are ongoing. The immune system typifies the whole process: cells respond to new conditions. You can argue that the cell is “irreducibly complex”, but cells combine, cooperate, communicate, restructure themselves, take decisions etc., and the result of these combined activities is the vast variety of life forms etc. that make up the history of evolution.


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