More "miscellany" (General)

by dhw, Saturday, January 15, 2022, 07:24 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

Evolution - Loss of traits
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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You are continuing to worry about full speciation being more than loss of genes. I've bolded my agreement above.

I’m not “worried”. You pooh-poohed the argument that loss of genes could be explained by the fact that they became redundant when existing genes were restructured or new genes took over, and it turned out that your “advances” had nothing to do with speciation and were confined to adaptation. However, I’m glad you now agree, and we shall presumably be spared a third discussion on the subject.

First big game hunting
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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: God expanded the brains.

You have agreed that in sapiens “the complexification mechanism supplied in advance accommodates all the new uses”. (God is not required to pop in and engineer every individual complexification.) I suggest that the expansion mechanism is the same one – in the form of flexible cells responding to new requirements – supplied in advance. (No divine popping in required.) Your God may have been the inventor of this system. Now please explain why you find this illogical, bearing in mind 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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: I might add mindless quest for survival, the tools for which are supplied by God, when He speciates. The fact that your free-for-all, as a purposeless process, produced humans with amazing brains and full consciousness should signify something. Adler made it proof of God.

Why do you consider the quest for survival to be mindless? Do you honestly believe that other life forms are not aware that they are hungry, or are in danger? I have no problem with the logic of Adler’s argument, but just like you, I would say the same argument applies to all forms of life: they are all sufficiently complex to support the case for design and hence a designer. My various theistic theories include God supplying the tools (cellular intelligence and flexibility), and experimenting to find the right formula for a being as conscious as himself. Even the free-for-all still allows for your God to dabble if it gives him new ideas. And all my alternative theories offer a logical theistic explanation for the vast variety of life, which directly contradicts your theory that humans plus food were your God's one and only purpose.


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