Miscellany (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 11:15 (308 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My point remains: God drives evolution, survival doesn't.

dhw: Your point was also that “survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species.” You have accepted that if your God exists, and if he designed the innovations that have led to new species, the whale’s flippers were designed to improve its chances of survival. So do you now accept that there is a causal link between innovations and improving chances of survival?

DAVID: Still quibbling. God must provide surviving species so the next step can appear from His design. You have forgotten extinctions (non-survival) advanced evolution each time.

The quibbling is entirely yours. Do you or do you not accept that if your God exists, and if he specially designed the whale’s flippers (and all the other changes that led to speciation) in order to improve its chances of survival, it is illogical to argue that “survival has nothing to do with the appearance of new species”? As for extinctions, you are the one who claims that your God is in total control. And so we need to know if he engineers the environmental conditions that cause extinctions, or if he merely follows them and pops in to design new species that can cope with or exploit these new conditions. Either way, he will still have to make sure that the innovations which lead to new species enable them to survive until he decides to replace them too.

Crocodiles change skull forms
dhw: Where you and I disagree is on the potential of the mechanism that produces variations: if the cells can reorganize themselves autonomously in this minor manner (I presume you agree they are not preprogrammed to do so and your God does not do a dabble), then perhaps they are also capable of major reorganization when required or allowed to do so by major changes in the environment.

DAVID: Your hopeful bold is simply hope. Since Darwin's time, no evidence.

dhw: And what evidence is there that instead of giving cells autonomous intelligence, your God devised a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every single innovation, or came along and did a dabble for those he hadn’t programmed. If the one is “simply hope”, then so is the other.

DAVID: Mine is straight biochemistry, which requires a designer.

dhw: As usual, you dodge the issue. Autonomous intelligence does not exclude God the designer. It simply changes the method he used to fulfil his purposes.

DAVID: I don't dodge your rigid theories. Autonomous cell intelligence is unproven theory based on the outside appearance of how cells work. The RNA entry today discusses tight controls for exact controlled processes.

See “giraffe plumbing” for the RNA entry. Of course the theory is unproven, as is your own theory of automaticity, but you have as usual dodged the point, which is that autonomous intelligence does not exclude a designer, and so your conclusion from “straight biochemistry” is no more and no less a “hope” than Shapiro’s, which also allows for a designer.

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