More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Friday, January 14, 2022, 09:09 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution - Loss of traits
DAVID: It is not new gens pushing out old. It is disappearance of genes creating new adaptations.

dhw: With this response, you have totally ignored the reason for this dispute, which is the claim that loss of genes causes the “advances” in evolution. I gave you an example of how loss of genes might be the result of adaptation (an organism going blind because it takes up residence in the dark) and challenged your argument that the advances which result in innovation and speciation were caused by loss of genes. You simply ignored the fact that innovation requires restructuring of existing genes and/or the production of new genes. I have suggested that when these are successful, they make some of the old genes redundant. Are you now saying that innovations and new species do not constitute advances, and that it is NOT logical that some old genes will then become redundant?

DAVID: Your old innate Darwinism dies hard. In the examples currently given. genes simply disappear, and new adaptations appear. Your form of change also happens.

Aw, come on! This has nothing to do with Darwinism! You claimed that evolutionary advances were brought about by loss of genes. It turns out that these “advances” do not even include new species but only refer to adaptations. You totally ignored the fact that the innovations that produce new species (which I suggest are a greater advance than adaptations) entail the restructuring of existing genes and/or the production of new genes, and you refuse to comment on the obvious fact that if new structures work, it is perfectly logical for some of the old genes to become redundant – in which case loss of genes has NOT caused the advances at all, but is the result of the advances.

Retrotransposons
dhw: These produce new combinations of genes. [...] More evidence for you that existing genes take on new functions. So why do you argue that advances are caused “simply” by loss of genes?

DAVID: Read answer above.

A complete cop-out. :-(

First big game hunting
QUOTE: Ancient humans were regularly butchering animals for meat 2 million years ago. This has long been suspected, but the idea has been bolstered by a systematic study of cut marks on animal bones.
The find cements the view that ancient humans had become active hunters by this time, contrasting with earlier hominins that ate mostly plants.

dhw: Clearly they were already using tools. Killing and cutting up animals would have been a huge advance at the time, and would, I suggest, have been one of the causes of brain expansion in our ancestors.

DAVID: And I would explain: more use for existing brain's present capacity which complexified a small region to handle the new use.

dhw: I was not referring to sapiens brains but to those of the earlier homos who invented tools and weapons, my proposal being that such inventions required the expansion of their brains. When we came up with our wonderful new ideas and inventions, the new brain complexified instead of expanding.

DAVID: How do you know all prior earlier brains couldn't simply complexify. I'll bet they did based on how evolution works, latter functions based on older ones.

I have no doubt that they did complexify, but at some stage they expanded! I suggest that they did so when new requirements exceeded their capacity for complexification. Please explain why you consider this explanation to be illogical, bearing in mind the fact that we KNOW brains change in response to new requirements.

Clustered icefish nests
QUOTES: "The icefish probably have a substantial and previously unknown influence on Antarctic food webs, researchers report January 13 in Current Biology. (DAVID's bold)

Icefish, of the family Channichthyidae, are only found in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters and have strange adaptations to the extreme cold such as clear blood full of antifreeze compounds. (DAVID's bold)
'I would say [the massive colony] is almost a new seafloor ecosystem type,” Purser says. “It’s really surprising that it has never been seen before.'”

DAVID: not surprising. Life can live anywhere and set up ecosystems for food supply.

The fact that life can live anywhere and set up ecosystems for food supply, and has done so for billions of years, with countless life forms and ecosystems appearing and disappearing, does not suggest to me that if God exists, his one and only purpose was to design humans and their food. In fact it suggests to me one almighty free-for-all, as life forms and ecosystems come and go in their endless quest for survival.


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