Cellular intelligence: (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, December 18, 2021, 07:44 (236 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

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

DAVID: Yes, all species can adapt, but are still the same species.

We are trying to explain speciation. Do you think it was sheer coincidence that oxygen appeared in large quantities and new species appeared at the same time? Or do you think the new species appeared BEFORE the increase in oxygen?

T cells
DAVID: In any biological system mistakes happen.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Who is responsible for metabolic mistakes, the algorithm or the maker in theodicy?

Algorithms don’t make themselves! It’s you who insist that your God provided life forms with instructions (algorithms) to solve every problem for the rest of life’s history. If his instructions have led to mistakes, then who else is responsible? But maybe he did not issue such instructions. Maybe he just provided all organisms (cell communities) with the ability (intelligence) to find their own “good” or “bad” means of survival.

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.

dhw: 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. […] 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: Pre-whales with flippers would never be on land. They have transitional legs in the water. Look at the fossils in the series.

Thank you for confirming that your God did not after all operate on pre-whales before there was any need for them to enter the water, and for agreeing that flippers developed in response to the new conditions. That is why I chose this example to illustrate the absurdity of your theory that changes take place BEFORE they are required.

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.

dhw: […] 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.

DAVID: Sorry. I agree minor adaptations are local.

There is no reason why major adaptations and/or novelties should not also be local, and when the novelties prove useful, the species will not only survive but will also expand.

DAVID: Considered future use for dialysis units had predictable problems I could design around. Just like God preparing creatures for the future. Example, the whale blow hole on top of their heads, no nostrils, which would be under water.

Now what are you saying? Your God kept fiddling with transitional leggy-flippers until they became flippers, but before the same animals had entered the water, he had repositioned their noses to the top of their heads? May I suggest that it makes more sense if the blow hole – just like the flippers – developed as the cell communities worked out better ways for the ex-land animal to adapt itself to life in the water?


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