More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Saturday, November 13, 2021, 07:52 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

David v Dawkins
DAVID: I have the right to consider both sides and choose one. Sorry you are incapable of doing it.

dhw: Of course both you and Dawkins have the right to tell one another that your own theory is right, the other’s theory is wrong, and you hope/believe science will prove it. My view is that if a question is unresolved, a scientist should wait for more evidence before proclaiming the truth of his theory and the invalidity of someone else’s.

DAVID: Preferring one theory over another produces debate.

There is no debate when you say: “I don’t care what Dawkins thinks. He is only worth ignoring.”

Human evolution: another huge gap
DAVID: Cells make minor epigenetic adaptation. We agree with that. But you have neatly avoided the size of the gap from Arthropithicus to Erectus, which requires a designer. Cells don't have the mental power to make complex designs.

dhw: Your usual authoritative statement of your belief as if it were a fact. The article suggested that Australopithecus and Sapiens were very different from one another, so I suggested that they may have evolved independently. Then I asked why your God would have designed Australopithecus if all he wanted was sapiens. No reply.

DAVID: God evolved us from earlier forms in a stepwise manor.

The article says Australopithecus was very different from us, so maybe he wasn’t a step on the way to us. I have no idea. I only know that you are convinced that your God created species that had no precursors (Cambrian) and we are descended from them, and you have no idea why a God who is capable of creating species with no precursors didn’t create us in the same way if we were his one and only purpose. (See Genesis).

Human neurons different
QUOTE: "'We think that humans have evolved out of this building plan that was previously restricting the size of cortex, and they figured out a way to become more energetically efficient, so you spend less ATP per volume compared to other species," Harnett says." (David’s bold)

dhw: I find the wording somewhat surprising. “They” can only mean humans, but does he really believe that humans sat down and consciously fiddled with their own neurons? Of course, you will say God popped in to do it, or he preprogrammed it 3.8 billion years ago, along with the rest of evolution. A different explanation would be that intelligent cell communities detect problems and find solutions.

DAVID: What he means is very energetic upright humans had to evolve a brain using less energy.

Perfectly acceptable reasoning, but the great debate concerns how this was achieved. You say God preprogrammed it 3.8 billion years ago, or popped in to perform an operation on a collection of the pre-sapiens homos he had already specially designed as part of his step by step design of the only species he wanted to design. I propose cellular intelligence (perhaps God-given) responding to new requirements.

On the question of why your God didn’t design humans directly, see “Giraffe plumbing”.

Magic embryology
DAVID: […] the instructional information always produces the same results with minor variations. This is a pure example of cellular automaticity. Automatic sameness is automaticity in fetal production.

dhw: Once a pattern is established successfully, it is repeated in all walks of life. It has to run automatically. But when conditions change, organisms must change or die out. Evolution could not have taken place if every living creature had stuck to its inherited form! You always leap in when systems are established, but every new system had an origin, and every existing system is potentially liable to change if conditions change. That is when I suggest that automaticity gives way to autonomy.

DAVID: It is God designing new forms.

I am trying to get you to distinguish between established patterns that work automatically and the solving of new problems together with the origin of the established patterns, which is when autonomous intelligence comes into play.

DAVID: The key is the concept of irreducible complexity. If its presence is recognized in any animal process as in metamorphosis, Darwinism is dead.

We have long since jettisoned Darwin’s theory of random mutations. I have no idea why or how this process developed. Presumably you think it was all your God’s doing, so please explain why your God chose such a roundabout method of producing butterflies when his sole purpose was to design Homo sapiens plus food.

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