Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Friday, October 08, 2021, 09:06 (312 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your point? Survival happens but does not drive evolution. God does.

dhw: We are going round in circles. There is no contradiction. In your theory, God drives evolution (i.e. the appearance of new species) by making changes that improve chances of survival, and so it is absurd to claim that “survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species”.

DAVID: It is your circles. I've agreed survival is required.

So why do you keep telling us that survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species?

Trilobite eyes
DAVID: Still descended from the Cambrian Explosion.

dhw: So what was all that about “From nothing to these eyes with no intermediate steps”?

DAVID: Any eyes in the Ediacaran? Ediacaran to Cambrian, no intermediate.

dhw: You used the example of this newly discovered Devonian species and its special eyes to illustrate your point about no precursors. A totally inappropriate example, since clearly it was descended from earlier trilobite species.

DAVID: Who had no precursors.

I was simply pointing out that “from nothing to these eyes with no intermediate steps” could hardly apply to a Devonian variation of the trilobite.

DAVID: It [the gap]is still there, not gone with your theoretical suppositions of excuses.

dhw: Of course the gap is still there. But this is not a good example. Why do you use the word “excuse”? Your theory concerning the gap is no more proven than my own proposals.

DAVID: The gap exists. Your excuses are pure unproven theory.

dhw: Again, what “excuses”? Your theory is no more proven than any other theory.

DAVID: The gap isn't gone!!!

So how does that make your theory any more “proven” than mine?

DAVID: And trilobites ended up as evolved forms which we eat today. The whole bush is food to feed our huge population.

dhw: Your usual self-contradiction. How often must I quote you? “The current bush of food is NOW for humans NOW. There were smaller bushes in the PAST for PAST forms”, and “Extinct life has no role in current time.”

DAVID: You constantly forget the complex intricacies of ecosystems, all interdependent that feed humans and everyone else.

But the whole bush, including every life form and food that ever existed, was not “food to feed our huge population”!

Mediocrity theory not reasonable
QUOTE: A planet may have the right properties for harboring life — the right chemical composition, distance to the main star, atmosphere, magnetic field, etc. — and there would still be no guarantee that life would exist there.

Sheer common sense. Who on earth came up with the “mediocrity theory”?!

Brain cells
QUOTE: “We’re going to have to learn what all these cell types are and try to figure out how they all work together.

This statement typifies what for me is becoming more and more obvious: we are a community of cell communities, and as in all communities, individuals and groups must work together if they are to function properly. This observation can be extended from the cells of the brain to ants in their colonies and to whole nations of humans. Without efficient cooperation you have illness in the body and war between nations. Our cell communities provide an admirable example of how well things CAN work, but also of how any breakdown in cooperation, or any interference from outside, can result in catastrophe. I would also apply these observations to the problem of theodicy which is so troubling to believers. From cells to nations, your God has provided the same formula: “I’ve given you the means. Now it’s up to you how you use them.”

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