Cellular intelligence: (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, December 17, 2021, 14:53 (34 days ago) @ David Turell

First of all, it’s a pity our attention has been diverted away from an article which expressly supports the concept of cellular intelligence (indeed, takes it for granted) in order to focus on your already done-to-death theory that your God designs new species in anticipation of conditions that have not yet arisen. However, I feel obliged to reply.

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Obvious. Thank you.

So there we have it: conditions changed, and existing life forms responded to the change.

T cells
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.

dhw: Not explained.

DAVID: Yes it is. In any biological system mistakes happen.

They certainly do in any human use of “algorithms”, like the fiasco of last year, when an “algorithm” resulted in chaotic examination results over here. Who is responsible? The algorithm or the maker of the algorithm? However, let us not forget the possibility that your God may have WANTED a system that would result in death or the variations that account for all the “good” and “bad” that underlie the problem of theodicy.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: You've finally admitted looking into the future is important in understanding why new species are so changed. "Conditions that did not exist" don't apply when we consider the whale series or climbing out of trees, as simple examples of change.

Of course conditions would have changed. We just don’t know in what way! Possibilities: pre-whales in a particular region were running short of food, and so they took to the water. Pre-humans in a particular region were confronted by a shortage of food, or a tree disease, and found better living conditions at ground level. Nobody knows what causes speciation, but we know for a fact that organisms adapt in response to change and not in anticipation of it, and nobody knows the extent to which adaptation may turn into speciation. I would regard flippers as a good example. And I would still ask, for instance, whether you think pre-whales with flippers would be better equipped for survival on land than leggy pre-whales if they had to wait until water arrived for them to dive into (God innovating in advance).

DAVID: As for God designing or ME designing, it is done for future use in new ways, not necessarily for your beloved environmental changes, which ask only for minor adaptations most usually. Major ones result in extinctions like Chixculub.

“Most usually” is a nice term. I am considering what is not “most usual”, namely innovation as opposed to adaptation. If it is true that the increase in oxygen enabled organisms to diversify to a greater extent than before, then you have an example of a major change in conditions that did NOT result in extinction! You seem to think that all environmental changes must be universal to require or allow organisms to make changes. I suggest that most changes would have been localized, i.e. humans did not suddenly spring into existence all over the world, but started because of localized changes. As for your own designs, please tell us what innovations you introduced that prepared you for conditions you did not already know existed.

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