Cellular intelligence: (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, December 16, 2021, 10:57 (36 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Origin of life or of new species requires intelligent design, my constant position.

dhw: I don’t have a problem with that position, but intelligent cells (possibly designed by your God) could be the source of intelligent design in evolution. In future, when you give examples of automatic cellular behaviour, please remember that generally I agree, because intelligence is only needed in the context of origins and responses to changing conditions. […]

DAVID: Using the Cambrian gap, no major environmental changes have been found […]

dhw: […] one theory is an increase in oxygen as a major environmental change posited as the cause of the “explosion”.

DAVID: Oxygen which appeared in large quantities 2.5 bya may have allowed the Cambrian at 540 bya, but cannot be called cause.

The theory is that changes in conditions either compel or allow life forms (cell communities) to change their structure. In that sense, they are the cause, but it goes without saying that new conditions would not change anything if (a) there were no life forms to change, or (b) life forms did not have the ability to change themselves.

T cells
dhw: But if all life forms have an algorithm to correct the errors, why doesn’t it work until thousands/millions have died?

DAVID: Death is a built-in necessary part of God's living system. […]

dhw: […]So your God built in every imaginable correction (algorithm) for every imaginable error, but he also built in the failure of the correction, and so sometimes the algorithm works and sometimes it doesn’t. Do you think, then, that when humans design a medication to kill bacteria, your God has already selected which ones will or won’t have the efficient algorithm? I find it very difficult to understand how this algorithm automatically works/ doesn't work on all the individuals that are supposed to have it.

Not explained.

Cellular intelligence
QUOTE: "While scientists are still working out the details of how the eye evolved, we are also still stuck on the question of how intelligence emerges in biology. How can a biological system ever generate coherent and goal-oriented behavior from the bottom up when there is no external designer? (David’s bold)
"In fact, intelligence—a purposeful response to available information, often anticipating the future—is not restricted to the minds of some privileged species. It is distributed throughout biology, at many different spatial and temporal scales. (David’s bold) There are not just intelligent people, mammals, birds and cephalopods. Intelligent, purposeful problem-solving behavior can be found in parts of all living things: single cells and tissues, individual neurons and networks of neurons, viruses, ribosomes and RNA fragments, down to motor proteins and molecular networks. (dhw’s bold) Arguably, understanding the origin of intelligence is the central problem in biology—one that is still wide open.

dhw: Wow! Once again, I can only thank you for your integrity. After claiming that the theory of cellular intelligence belongs to the past, you have suddenly offered us a theory which takes the intelligence of ALL life forms for granted. The only problem is its origin. And of course I agree, that problem remains wide open.

DAVID: [...] pure sophistry of thought. Skipped over is the question of how the first 'modules became intelligent The rest builds upon that enormous gap. Even dhw grants God might have given them intelligent actions. Accepting a designer is a more logical conclusion. Also dhw, please note the bold in the second paragraph!! Necessary anticipation of the future by biological organisms is recognized even by these guys!

dhw: He hasn’t “skipped” the question! He says the origin of intelligence is wide open! And yes of course intelligence involves anticipation of the future! Birds migrate, life forms of all kinds provide themselves with protection against predators and the climate, store food, prepare for winter. That is a far cry from your theory that your God looks into his crystal ball, and sees water on the way, and so pops in to operate on pre-whale legs to turn them into flippers and then leaves them lying there waiting for the water to arrive.

DAVID: The implication you skipped is that since intelligence anticipates the future, and that has to apply to process of speciation, which you keep denying, and simply call for immediate adaptation to current conditions changing. Adaptation for the future is obvious in fossils after a large fossil gap, which is the actual fossil record.

First you say he skipped origin, whch he didn’t, and now you say I’m skipping the implication that intelligence anticipates the future. I have given examples of how it does so. However, I absolutely reject the idea that adaptation happens before there is anything to adapt to. You have your God operating on pre-whale legs and then leaving the poor things lying around with their flippers until the water arrives. The fossil record gives us species that appear to have no predecessors. So what caused them to come into existence? You say God anticipated future changes in conditions, but even if your theory was true and he specially designed them de novo, how would they survive if they were “adapted” to live in conditions that did not yet exist?

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