More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Saturday, January 08, 2022, 13:14 (12 days ago) @ David Turell


DAVID: They use DNA mutation clocks, don't ask me how with calculus I don't understand, not knowing how speciation works. New species have new mutations shown by comparisons of DNA decoded.

dhw: Mathematicians don’t know how speciation works either, and so I presume your comments are your roundabout way of agreeing with me that they won’t be able to prove anything, no matter whether they are ID-ers or neo-Darwinists.

DAVID: But the clocks appear as if fact on both sides.

That is the nature of dogmatic beliefs, which often masquerade as facts. I presume you are now agreeing with me that even mathematicians cannot possibly know the facts.

DAVID: My obvious comparison is real and not chauvinism.

dhw: Of course it’s real, if we agree that different organisms have different DEGREES of consciousness. Damasio has not said other organisms have the SAME consciousness as ours! And what’s this nonsense about his octopus example being “atheistic”?

DAVID: Octopuses are amazingly clever in the tricks they play in labs, but not chauvinistically equal to us.

I do not know of anyone who believes that octopuses or any other life form are as clever as us. I have no idea why you are trying distort Damasio’s statement by pretending that he does, or why you have dragged atheism into the discussion. The belief that other life forms, from the single cell upwards, have some kind of intelligence has absolutely nothing to do with belief of disbelief in your God, who could have been the designer of that intelligence.

Evolution - Loss of traits
DAVID: What a convoluted twist! We are discussing genome mutation controls with loss of previously established DNA genes. Genes are removed with a new recombination of existing genes creating the phenotypic change.

dhw: You have left out innovations, as you did last time. Your comment does not contradict my point: the losses do not CAUSE the adaptations and innovations that lead to evolutionary changes, but result from them because they are no longer needed.

DAVID: Discarding genes create advances, surprisingly. You are off point.

That is the theory. And it is indeed surprising. And I’m suggesting that discarding genes is the RESULT of advances, whether these take the form of restructuring existing genes or adding new ones, because the restructuring or innovation will render some of the old genes superfluous. They are no longer of any use in the new conditions. We discussed all this three years ago, and subsequently, on the thread “Evolution: a different view with loss of traits: not Behe” (I never understood the “not”) in which you discussed a book and an article by Behe. Initially you claimed that “advances were always due to loss of genes” (later changed to often), you denied that there were new genes (later retracted), and in any case Behe was talking about adaptation, not speciation. Please explain how you can know that the loss of genes causes innovation as opposed to being the result of innovation. However, I can also see that in certain changed conditions, some existing structures might suffice, while others become unnecessary: a sighted organism might lose its sight and improve its hearing if it takes to living underground. Is that the kind of adaptation you’re thinking of? I wouldn’t call that an “advance”, though.

DAVID: If life appeared 3.8 by ago, its chemical processes did not need oxygen. It is obvious more complex life forms were allowed to appear as more oxygen became available. And an obvious drive toward complexity existed, I propose designed by god.

dhw: Yes indeed, environmental changes either require or allow changes in life forms. Even if it were true that your God designed them, he would not have done so BEFORE the oxygen was available, but AS it became available. That is how evolution works: in RESPONSE to conditions – not in ANTICIPATION of them.

DAVID: You cannot design an organism dependent on oxygen if it isn't present. Evolution is stages, remember.

You’ve got it at last. New organisms are a RESPONSE to new conditions, and do not arrive in anticipation of new conditions.

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