Natural Wonders & Evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, September 06, 2019, 10:32 (9 days ago)

Under "Geese fly over Everest":

“'The bar-heads have done that migration for millions of years before the Himalayas were as tall as they are now, and the birds have been pushed as the mountains have moved up to go higher and higher,” says coauthor Julia York [...]

DAVID: this certainly could have been a slow adaptation through epigenetics as mountains rose.

Precisely. It provides evidence that the cell communities of which all organisms are composed are able to make changes to themselves in response to changing conditions. Do you believe that your God preprogrammed or dabbled these particular changes in advance, or do you believe that the ability to make these particular changes is autonomous (and in the theistic version, designed by your God)? They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.


Under "New ediacaran fossils"

"Some Ediacaran organisms have been recognized as animals despite their peculiar anatomy, which suggests that animal life began millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

DAVID: Certainly this animal is an early 'real animal', compared to the weird Ediacaran forms that might be animals. It is nowhere as complex as Cambrian species despite efforts of the author to close the Cambrian Explosion gap. I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

Transitional forms are precisely what would close the gap. And a major change to environmental conditions (e.g. a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen) may have resulted in a sudden burst of innovation among all existing “transitional” forms. The suggestion, then, is that new species did not appear from nowhere, but the process of innovation was accelerated (not started) by environmental change.

Under "sea snake"

QUOTE: H. cyanocinctus has managed to evolve a respiratory system that works in much the same way as gills, despite the vast evolutionary distance between these two groups of species. Truly, these snakes are indeed creatures of the sea."

DAVID: Same problem as with whales. Why bother to change environments when it complicates physiology so much?

dhw: So what is your answer? Did your God preprogramme or dabble the snake’s respiratory system because if he hadn’t, he would not have been able to cover the time he had decided to take before designing the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens? The snake has survived, so maybe, like the pre-whale, its local environment made marine life more desirable than life on land and so its cell communities adapted accordingly.

DAVID: I don't have an answer other than to propose God helped with the newly required designs for aquatic life. For example how did the snake handle the extra salt? Like the whales? There is more to jumping into salt water, with the new physiological requirements. I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

Why “helped” with designs? Do you think he popped in to give these creatures a poke and a prod as their cell communities struggled to obey the sea-snake-respiratory-system-instructions you seriously believe he had implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago? Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, September 06, 2019, 22:25 (9 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Under "Geese fly over Everest":

“'The bar-heads have done that migration for millions of years before the Himalayas were as tall as they are now, and the birds have been pushed as the mountains have moved up to go higher and higher,” says coauthor Julia York [...]

DAVID: this certainly could have been a slow adaptation through epigenetics as mountains rose.

dhw: Precisely. It provides evidence that the cell communities of which all organisms are composed are able to make changes to themselves in response to changing conditions. Do you believe that your God preprogrammed or dabbled these particular changes in advance, or do you believe that the ability to make these particular changes is autonomous (and in the theistic version, designed by your God)? They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.

Your problem is you don't understand the distinction between minor adaptation as in the geese and major structural and physiological changes as in the whales requiring major design changes.


dhw: Under "New ediacaran fossils"

"Some Ediacaran organisms have been recognized as animals despite their peculiar anatomy, which suggests that animal life began millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

DAVID: Certainly this animal is an early 'real animal', compared to the weird Ediacaran forms that might be animals. It is nowhere as complex as Cambrian species despite efforts of the author to close the Cambrian Explosion gap. I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

dhw: Transitional forms are precisely what would close the gap. And a major change to environmental conditions (e.g. a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen) may have resulted in a sudden burst of innovation among all existing “transitional” forms. The suggestion, then, is that new species did not appear from nowhere, but the process of innovation was accelerated (not started) by environmental change.

Agree. Environment can allow, but not cause.

dhw; Under "sea snake"

QUOTE: H. cyanocinctus has managed to evolve a respiratory system that works in much the same way as gills, despite the vast evolutionary distance between these two groups of species. Truly, these snakes are indeed creatures of the sea."

DAVID: Same problem as with whales. Why bother to change environments when it complicates physiology so much?

dhw: So what is your answer? Did your God preprogramme or dabble the snake’s respiratory system because if he hadn’t, he would not have been able to cover the time he had decided to take before designing the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens? The snake has survived, so maybe, like the pre-whale, its local environment made marine life more desirable than life on land and so its cell communities adapted accordingly.

DAVID: I don't have an answer other than to propose God helped with the newly required designs for aquatic life. For example how did the snake handle the extra salt? Like the whales? There is more to jumping into salt water, with the new physiological requirements. I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: Why “helped” with designs? Do you think he popped in to give these creatures a poke and a prod as their cell communities struggled to obey the sea-snake-respiratory-system-instructions you seriously believe he had implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago? Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.

H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, September 06, 2019, 22:28 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Under "Geese fly over Everest":

“'The bar-heads have done that migration for millions of years before the Himalayas were as tall as they are now, and the birds have been pushed as the mountains have moved up to go higher and higher,” says coauthor Julia York [...]

DAVID: this certainly could have been a slow adaptation through epigenetics as mountains rose.

dhw: Precisely. It provides evidence that the cell communities of which all organisms are composed are able to make changes to themselves in response to changing conditions. Do you believe that your God preprogrammed or dabbled these particular changes in advance, or do you believe that the ability to make these particular changes is autonomous (and in the theistic version, designed by your God)? They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.


Your problem is you don't understand the distinction between minor adaptation as in the geese and major structural and physiological changes as in the whales requiring major design changes. Fossil records have never shown other than new species appearing de novo with occasional widely different transient forms.


dhw: Under "New ediacaran fossils"

"Some Ediacaran organisms have been recognized as animals despite their peculiar anatomy, which suggests that animal life began millions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

DAVID: Certainly this animal is an early 'real animal', compared to the weird Ediacaran forms that might be animals. It is nowhere as complex as Cambrian species despite efforts of the author to close the Cambrian Explosion gap. I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

dhw: Transitional forms are precisely what would close the gap. And a major change to environmental conditions (e.g. a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen) may have resulted in a sudden burst of innovation among all existing “transitional” forms. The suggestion, then, is that new species did not appear from nowhere, but the process of innovation was accelerated (not started) by environmental change.


Agree. Environment can allow, but not cause.

dhw; Under "sea snake"

QUOTE: H. cyanocinctus has managed to evolve a respiratory system that works in much the same way as gills, despite the vast evolutionary distance between these two groups of species. Truly, these snakes are indeed creatures of the sea."

DAVID: Same problem as with whales. Why bother to change environments when it complicates physiology so much?

dhw: So what is your answer? Did your God preprogramme or dabble the snake’s respiratory system because if he hadn’t, he would not have been able to cover the time he had decided to take before designing the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens? The snake has survived, so maybe, like the pre-whale, its local environment made marine life more desirable than life on land and so its cell communities adapted accordingly.

DAVID: I don't have an answer other than to propose God helped with the newly required designs for aquatic life. For example how did the snake handle the extra salt? Like the whales? There is more to jumping into salt water, with the new physiological requirements. I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: Why “helped” with designs? Do you think he popped in to give these creatures a poke and a prod as their cell communities struggled to obey the sea-snake-respiratory-system-instructions you seriously believe he had implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago? Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.


H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 08:58 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (re geese flying over Everest):They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.

DAVID: Your problem is you don't understand the distinction between minor adaptation as in the geese and major structural and physiological changes as in the whales requiring major design changes.

Your problem is you don’t seem to register what I write. I have actually stated that the changes to the geese are minor (now bolded), and I keep repeating that we do not know if intelligent cells are capable of major changes – it is a theory. And you have totally ignored the problem of distinguishing between adaptation and innovation. Legs turning into flippers is clearly a case of adaptation, and the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations. These adaptations, however, are so major that they result in new species.

DAVID: (Under "New ediacaran fossils") I would suspect some early transitional forms between Ediacaran and Cambrian eras, as this simple one appears to be.

dhw: Transitional forms are precisely what would close the gap. And a major change to environmental conditions (e.g. a sudden increase in the amount of oxygen) may have resulted in a sudden burst of innovation among all existing “transitional” forms. The suggestion, then, is that new species did not appear from nowhere, but the process of innovation was accelerated (not started) by environmental change.

DAVID: Agree. Environment can allow, but not cause.

Not just allow. Organisms must change their structures in order to cope with environmental changes, which therefore become the trigger for adaptation and innovation. But of course the mechanism for adaptation and innovation must already be in place, which is where your God comes in: all changes preprogrammed, or dabbled, or the result of autonomous (possibly God-given) intelligence?

DAVID: (under "sea snake") […] I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

You say “a” as opposed to “the” final goal. Good. Now apparently your God desired to evolve (by which you mean specially design) ALL of life’s bush. Until now, H. sapiens has been his one and only goal, and he “had to” design the rest of the bush to keep life going, because he had decided not to start fulfilling his only goal for 3.X billion years. “Desire”, of course, is a humanization by your standards, but do please tell us why you think your God “desired” to specially design all of life’s bush, since apparently you now think his purpose was not just to keep life going until he could fulfil THE goal of designing H. sapiens.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 07, 2019, 19:04 (8 days ago) @ dhw

dhw (re geese flying over Everest):They are of course comparatively minor changes, but as I keep pointing out, there is no clear borderline between adaptation and innovation – the pre-whale’s legs and the whale’s flippers being a good example, with the accumulation of adaptations leading to speciation.

DAVID: Your problem is you don't understand the distinction between minor adaptation as in the geese and major structural and physiological changes as in the whales requiring major design changes.

dhw: Your problem is you don’t seem to register what I write. I have actually stated that the changes to the geese are minor (now bolded), and I keep repeating that we do not know if intelligent cells are capable of major changes – it is a theory. And you have totally ignored the problem of distinguishing between adaptation and innovation. Legs turning into flippers is clearly a case of adaptation, and the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations. These adaptations, however, are so major that they result in new species.

Of course I understand your writing! My comment was about your blurring the lines between minor adaptation and major engineering requirements. Yes the foot to flipper is technically an adaptation. But this change requires major design changes of bones and muscle attachments. Ankle bones cannot make movements like wrist bones. Think if your own. Swimming requires very different movements than walking. As for the physiologic changes they require major chemical design changes which are organic really large alterations, not simple adjustments, as you again blur lines.


DAVID: (under "sea snake") […] I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design.

DAVID: H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

dhw: You say “a” as opposed to “the” final goal. Good. Now apparently your God desired to evolve (by which you mean specially design) ALL of life’s bush. Until now, H. sapiens has been his one and only goal, and he “had to” design the rest of the bush to keep life going, because he had decided not to start fulfilling his only goal for 3.X billion years. “Desire”, of course, is a humanization by your standards, but do please tell us why you think your God “desired” to specially design all of life’s bush, since apparently you now think his purpose was not just to keep life going until he could fulfil THE goal of designing H. sapiens.

You've tortured my theory into a one-purpose God "apparition". My God is purposeful and knows exactly what He is doing and what He 'desires' to do. And 'desire' is not necessarily a humanizing word, just because you want to be. He certainly wanted the entire bush of life before arriving at humans, as God is the creator of reality and history tells what He did.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Sunday, September 08, 2019, 10:07 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] I keep repeating that we do not know if intelligent cells are capable of major changes – it is a theory. And you have totally ignored the problem of distinguishing between adaptation and innovation. Legs turning into flippers is clearly a case of adaptation, and the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations. These adaptations, however, are so major that they result in new species.

DAVID: […] My comment was about your blurring the lines between minor adaptation and major engineering requirements. Yes the foot to flipper is technically an adaptation. But this change requires major design changes of bones and muscle attachments. […] As for the physiologic changes they require major chemical design changes which are organic really large alterations, not simple adjustments, as you again blur lines.

I did not say they were simple adjustments! Again you have not registered what I have written. I have now bolded the relevant comments. All the whale changes are “technically” adaptations, since they all make adjustments to existing features. We know that cell communities can make minor adjustments, but we do not know if the same mechanism is capable of major adjustments. It is a theory, but it is based on the existence of an autonomous mechanism which even you have apparently begun to acknowledge: “As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability”.

DAVID: H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

dhw: You say “a” as opposed to “the” final goal. Good. Now apparently your God desired to evolve (by which you mean specially design) ALL of life’s bush […] do please tell us why you think your God “desired” to specially design all of life’s bush, since apparently you now think his purpose was not just to keep life going until he could fulfil THE goal of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: You've tortured my theory into a one-purpose God "apparition".

I don’t know what you mean by “apparition”. Do you really want me to compile a list of the occasions when you have insisted that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens?

DAVID: My God is purposeful and knows exactly what He is doing and what He 'desires' to do.

If God exists, then of course he is purposeful and knows what he desires.

DAVID: […] He certainly wanted the entire bush of life before arriving at humans, as God is the creator of reality and history tells what He did.

Until now you have insisted that your God “had to” create the bush in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design, which was H. sapiens. (I will provide quotes if you want me to.) If you are now saying that the bush was a purpose in itself (he wanted/desired it), then at last we have reached common ground. We can jettison the whole idea that he started out with just the one purpose of producing H. sapiens. Bush and humans were all designed for the same purpose – to satisfy his desire. I would go further than you, and suggest that his desire was for something to fill the great void of his existence (if he exists), but you may have other ideas or you may prefer not to speculate on his motives. That’s fine, so long as we now agree that humans were not his one and only purpose. The second area of disagreement is the likelihood of his specially designing everything, as opposed to creating a mechanism that would do its own designing, but that is a different issue.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 08, 2019, 15:15 (7 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] I keep repeating that we do not know if intelligent cells are capable of major changes – it is a theory. And you have totally ignored the problem of distinguishing between adaptation and innovation. Legs turning into flippers is clearly a case of adaptation, and the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations. These adaptations, however, are so major that they result in new species.

DAVID: […] My comment was about your blurring the lines between minor adaptation and major engineering requirements. Yes the foot to flipper is technically an adaptation. But this change requires major design changes of bones and muscle attachments. […] As for the physiologic changes they require major chemical design changes which are organic really large alterations, not simple adjustments, as you again blur lines.

dhw: I did not say they were simple adjustments! Again you have not registered what I have written. I have now bolded the relevant comments. All the whale changes are “technically” adaptations, since they all make adjustments to existing features. We know that cell communities can make minor adjustments, but we do not know if the same mechanism is capable of major adjustments. It is a theory, but it is based on the existence of an autonomous mechanism which even you have apparently begun to acknowledge: “As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability”.

You are missing my insistence that foot to flipper is a very major alteration requiring intensive design by glossing over it as the now bolded phrase shows! It requires more than 'adjustments'.


DAVID: H.sapiens was a final goal of all of God's desires to evolve all of life's bush topped by humans.

dhw: You say “a” as opposed to “the” final goal. Good. Now apparently your God desired to evolve (by which you mean specially design) ALL of life’s bush […] do please tell us why you think your God “desired” to specially design all of life’s bush, since apparently you now think his purpose was not just to keep life going until he could fulfil THE goal of designing H. sapiens.

DAVID: You've tortured my theory into a one-purpose God "apparition".

dhw; I don’t know what you mean by “apparition”. Do you really want me to compile a list of the occasions when you have insisted that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens?

You know full well the word apparition. You present a very strange God. It is just your intentional misinterpretation of my repeated statements that humans were His eventual goal.


DAVID: My God is purposeful and knows exactly what He is doing and what He 'desires' to do.

dhw: If God exists, then of course he is purposeful and knows what he desires.

DAVID: […] He certainly wanted the entire bush of life before arriving at humans, as God is the creator of reality and history tells what He did.

dhw: Until now you have insisted that your God “had to” create the bush in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to specially design, which was H. sapiens. (I will provide quotes if you want me to.) If you are now saying that the bush was a purpose in itself (he wanted/desired it), then at last we have reached common ground. We can jettison the whole idea that he started out with just the one purpose of producing H. sapiens. Bush and humans were all designed for the same purpose – to satisfy his desire. I would go further than you, and suggest that his desire was for something to fill the great void of his existence (if he exists), but you may have other ideas or you may prefer not to speculate on his motives. That’s fine, so long as we now agree that humans were not his one and only purpose. The second area of disagreement is the likelihood of his specially designing everything, as opposed to creating a mechanism that would do its own designing, but that is a different issue.

The whole of the evolutionary theory shows God's purpose, but I will not leave the point to your interpretation. Remember I'm with Adler and we are different in kind which means we were God's final goal. You admit to our specialness and then ignore its importance in your final conclusions.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Monday, September 09, 2019, 08:29 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: All the whale changes are “technically” adaptations, since they all make adjustments to existing features. We know that cell communities can make minor adjustments, but we do not know if the same mechanism is capable of major adjustments. It is a theory, but it is based on the existence of an autonomous mechanism which even you have apparently begun to acknowledge: “As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability”. (David’s bold)

DAVID: You are missing my insistence that foot to flipper is a very major alteration requiring intensive design by glossing over it as the now bolded phrase shows! It requires more than 'adjustments'.

Prior to the above quote, I wrote that “the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations”. I don’t know why you think a “very major alteration” is different from a “major physiological change”, and my point was that the changes were adaptations, not innovations, because the leg already existed and the flipper did not appear out of nowhere. That is why the borderline between adaptation and innovation as the cause of speciation may be blurred.

DAVID: You've tortured my theory into a one-purpose God "apparition".

dhw: I don’t know what you mean by “apparition”. Do you really want me to compile a list of the occasions when you have insisted that your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens?

DAVID: You know full well the word apparition.

An apparition is something unreal which you imagine you can actually see. I have no idea why you have suddenly introduced the term here. We are discussing your God’s purpose.

DAVID: You present a very strange God. It is just your intentional misinterpretation of my repeated statements that humans were His eventual goal.

You have repeatedly stated that your God’s goal was H. sapiens, and that he decided to take 3.X billion years to start fulfilling that goal, and therefore he had to create all the other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to cover that time. All summed up by your statement: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” Please tell me what I have misinterpreted.

DAVID: My God knows exactly what he is doing and what He ‘desires’ to do. […] He certainly wanted the entire bush of life before arriving at humans, as God is the creator of reality and history tells what He did.

dhw: […] If you are now saying that the bush was a purpose in itself (he wanted/desired it), then at last we have reached common ground. We can jettison the whole idea that he started out with just the one purpose of producing H. sapiens. Bush and humans were all designed for the same purpose – to satisfy his desire.

DAVID: The whole of the evolutionary theory shows God's purpose, but I will not leave the point to your interpretation. Remember I'm with Adler and we are different in kind which means we were God's final goal. You admit to our specialness and then ignore its importance in your final conclusions.

All species are different in kind, and yes our level of consciousness is special. Now please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life. You appear at last to be jettisoning your earlier belief that he had to specially design all branches of the bush only in order to provide the food to cover the time he had decided to take in order to specially design the life form which was his “final goal”.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, September 09, 2019, 18:10 (6 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: All the whale changes are “technically” adaptations, since they all make adjustments to existing features. We know that cell communities can make minor adjustments, but we do not know if the same mechanism is capable of major adjustments. It is a theory, but it is based on the existence of an autonomous mechanism which even you have apparently begun to acknowledge: “As for cells making minor adaptations epigenetically , we know God gave them that degree of ability”. (David’s bold)

DAVID: You are missing my insistence that foot to flipper is a very major alteration requiring intensive design by glossing over it as the now bolded phrase shows! It requires more than 'adjustments'.

dhw: Prior to the above quote, I wrote that “the major physiological changes to the whale could also be classed as adaptations to existing organs, not innovations”. I don’t know why you think a “very major alteration” is different from a “major physiological change”, and my point was that the changes were adaptations, not innovations, because the leg already existed and the flipper did not appear out of nowhere. That is why the borderline between adaptation and innovation as the cause of speciation may be blurred.

We differ widely in view: Any alteration of foot to flipper requires major design changes and from air to water exquisite physiologic changes. These are not adaptations, but major alterations of form and biochemistry.


DAVID: You present a very strange God. It is just your intentional misinterpretation of my repeated statements that humans were His eventual goal.

dhw: You have repeatedly stated that your God’s goal was H. sapiens, and that he decided to take 3.X billion years to start fulfilling that goal, and therefore he had to create all the other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to cover that time. All summed up by your statement: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” Please tell me what I have misinterpreted.

How you overemphasize the concept of 'goal', giving my God only one supreme purpose and thereby distorting my theory that He chose to use an evolution method, just as history tells us, as I assume God created our reality.


DAVID: My God knows exactly what he is doing and what He ‘desires’ to do. […] He certainly wanted the entire bush of life before arriving at humans, as God is the creator of reality and history tells what He did.

dhw: […] If you are now saying that the bush was a purpose in itself (he wanted/desired it), then at last we have reached common ground. We can jettison the whole idea that he started out with just the one purpose of producing H. sapiens. Bush and humans were all designed for the same purpose – to satisfy his desire.

DAVID: The whole of the evolutionary theory shows God's purpose, but I will not leave the point to your interpretation. Remember I'm with Adler and we are different in kind which means we were God's final goal. You admit to our specialness and then ignore its importance in your final conclusions.

dhw: All species are different in kind, and yes our level of consciousness is special. Now please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life. You appear at last to be jettisoning your earlier belief that he had to specially design all branches of the bush only in order to provide the food to cover the time he had decided to take in order to specially design the life form which was his “final goal”.

Again you purposely skip the point, we are different in kind, not degree. The point is, through evolution we are a giant step no other species exhibits, given above in my comment.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 10:38 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We differ widely in view: Any alteration of foot to flipper requires major design changes and from air to water exquisite physiologic changes. These are not adaptations, but major alterations of form and biochemistry.

An alteration is not an innovation. Of course all the changes were adaptations to life in the water, and I keep saying they were major. Call them “exquisite” if you like, but that still doesn’t make them innovations. That is why I say the borderline between adaptation and innovation is not clear, and the mechanism which we know can produce minor alterations MAY (it’s a theory) also have been responsible for the major alterations that lead to speciation. Nobody knows the cause of speciation, and divine dabbling or preprogramming is your own unproven theory.

DAVID: You present a very strange God. It is just your intentional misinterpretation of my repeated statements that humans were His eventual goal.

dhw: You have repeatedly stated that your God’s goal was H. sapiens, and that he decided to take 3.X billion years to start fulfilling that goal, and therefore he had to create all the other non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders in order to cover that time. All summed up by your statement: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” Please tell me what I have misinterpreted.

DAVID: How you overemphasize the concept of 'goal', giving my God only one supreme purpose and thereby distorting my theory that He chose to use an evolution method, just as history tells us, as I assume God created our reality.

What have I distorted? If he exists, and common descent is true, then of course he used evolution to produce all species and all realities. That is not the part of your theory that is in dispute! It is you who overemphasize the concept of ‘goal’ by constantly harping on about human specialness as being his one and only purpose! See below.

dhw: […] please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life. You appear at last to be jettisoning your earlier belief that he had to specially design all branches of the bush only in order to provide the food to cover the time he had decided to take in order to specially design the life form which was his “final goal”.

DAVID: Again you purposely skip the point, we are different in kind, not degree. The point is, through evolution we are a giant step no other species exhibits, given above in my comment.

All species are different in kind, and yes we are special and our intelligence is a giant step no other species exhibits. No disagreement there. But from that fact you extrapolated your theory that we were God’s one and only purpose from the beginning, and he decided to wait 3.X billion years before designing us, and he had to design all the other life forms etc. to cover the time. However, at long last, you have conceded that your God may have actually wanted or desired the bush of life, most of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the special design of H. sapiens. This can only mean that he specially designed (your fixed belief) the whole bush, including humans, or he created an autonomous mechanism to design the whole bush, including humans (my alternative theory) in order to satisfy his wants or desires. Of course you don’t want to discuss what those wants or desires might be, though you did once suggest that your God might enjoy his work as a painter enjoys his paintings. I’d go along with that. We have (almost) made great progress!;-)

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 17:29 (5 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We differ widely in view: Any alteration of foot to flipper requires major design changes and from air to water exquisite physiologic changes. These are not adaptations, but major alterations of form and biochemistry.

dhw: An alteration is not an innovation. Of course all the changes were adaptations to life in the water, and I keep saying they were major. Call them “exquisite” if you like, but that still doesn’t make them innovations. That is why I say the borderline between adaptation and innovation is not clear, and the mechanism which we know can produce minor alterations MAY (it’s a theory) also have been responsible for the major alterations that lead to speciation. Nobody knows the cause of speciation, and divine dabbling or preprogramming is your own unproven theory.

I view your so-called alterations as major innovations , in example of the foot to flipper case. A wrist and an ankle are quite different, same bones, different shapes and muscle attachments, and very different motions as a result. But I agree the word alteration means innovation. My difference is the need for design at minor and major levels is quite different.


DAVID: How you overemphasize the concept of 'goal', giving my God only one supreme purpose and thereby distorting my theory that He chose to use an evolution method, just as history tells us, as I assume God created our reality.

dhw: What have I distorted? If he exists, and common descent is true, then of course he used evolution to produce all species and all realities. That is not the part of your theory that is in dispute! It is you who overemphasize the concept of ‘goal’ by constantly harping on about human specialness as being his one and only purpose! See below.

Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.


dhw: […] please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life. You appear at last to be jettisoning your earlier belief that he had to specially design all branches of the bush only in order to provide the food to cover the time he had decided to take in order to specially design the life form which was his “final goal”.

DAVID: Again you purposely skip the point, we are different in kind, not degree. The point is, through evolution we are a giant step no other species exhibits, given above in my comment.

dhw: All species are different in kind, and yes we are special and our intelligence is a giant step no other species exhibits. No disagreement there. But from that fact you extrapolated your theory that we were God’s one and only purpose from the beginning, and he decided to wait 3.X billion years before designing us, and he had to design all the other life forms etc. to cover the time. However, at long last, you have conceded that your God may have actually wanted or desired the bush of life, most of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the special design of H. sapiens. This can only mean that he specially designed (your fixed belief) the whole bush, including humans, or he created an autonomous mechanism to design the whole bush, including humans (my alternative theory) in order to satisfy his wants or desires. Of course you don’t want to discuss what those wants or desires might be, though you did once suggest that your God might enjoy his work as a painter enjoys his paintings. I’d go along with that. We have (almost) made great progress!;-)

Of course God wanted the bush. It was an absolute requirement to cover the time the whole process took. But I won't leave the concept that we are so special we were His goal. Certainly God knew what was required. And I still won't guess at His reasoning, much as you like to do it. Pure guessing if the Biblical writings are ignored.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 10:28 (4 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We differ widely in view: Any alteration of foot to flipper requires major design changes and from air to water exquisite physiologic changes. These are not adaptations, but major alterations of form and biochemistry.

dhw: An alteration is not an innovation. Of course all the changes were adaptations to life in the water, and I keep saying they were major. […] That is why I say the borderline between adaptation and innovation is not clear, and the mechanism which we know can produce minor alterations MAY (it’s a theory) also have been responsible for the major alterations that lead to speciation. […]

DAVID: I view your so-called alterations as major innovations , in example of the foot to flipper case. A wrist and an ankle are quite different, same bones, different shapes and muscle attachments, and very different motions as a result. But I agree the word alteration means innovation. My difference is the need for design at minor and major levels is quite different.

The word alteration does NOT mean innovation! Innovation is something new, whereas alteration means changing something that already exists. But sometimes it is difficult to draw a borderline between the two. The whale is a much clearer example than wrist and ankle, since we have a direct environmental link. Legs turned into flippers, as a means of adaptation from land life to water life. This, plus all the other adaptations, led to speciation. Of course there is a difference between major and minor adaptations, and you have conceded that minor “epigenetic” changes may be autonomous. My proposal is that the same autonomous mechanism may have been responsible for major adaptations/innovations. Your fixed beliefs will not allow for such a possibility. That’s it.

DAVID: How you overemphasize the concept of 'goal', giving my God only one supreme purpose and thereby distorting my theory that He chose to use an evolution method, just as history tells us, as I assume God created our reality.

dhw: What have I distorted? If he exists, and common descent is true, then of course he used evolution to produce all species and all realities. That is not the part of your theory that is in dispute! It is you who overemphasize the concept of ‘goal’ by constantly harping on about human specialness as being his one and only purpose! See below.

DAVID: Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.

I keep accepting our specialness! But that does not mean your God set out with the one and only purpose of designing us, had decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing the rest of the evolutionary bush, as you repeat below.

dhw: […] please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life.

DAVID: Of course God wanted the bush. It was an absolute requirement to cover the time the whole process took. But I won't leave the concept that we are so special we were His goal. Certainly God knew what was required.

So you are confirming the above, and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose!

DAVID: And I still won't guess at His reasoning, much as you like to do it. Pure guessing if the Biblical writings are ignored.

It’s not that you won’t guess at his reasoning. You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” (See also under “Unanswered questions”): If you can’t see any logic behind this fixed belief of yours, maybe it’s just possible that the whole bush, including humans, was designed (or was given the means to design itself) to satisfy his wants/desires, as you suggested earlier on this thread!

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 20:14 (4 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I view your so-called alterations as major innovations , in example of the foot to flipper case. A wrist and an ankle are quite different, same bones, different shapes and muscle attachments, and very different motions as a result. But I agree the word alteration means innovation. My difference is the need for design at minor and major levels is quite different.

dhw: The word alteration does NOT mean innovation! Innovation is something new, whereas alteration means changing something that already exists. But sometimes it is difficult to draw a borderline between the two. The whale is a much clearer example than wrist and ankle, since we have a direct environmental link. Legs turned into flippers, as a means of adaptation from land life to water life. This, plus all the other adaptations, led to speciation. Of course there is a difference between major and minor adaptations, and you have conceded that minor “epigenetic” changes may be autonomous. My proposal is that the same autonomous mechanism may have been responsible for major adaptations/innovations. Your fixed beliefs will not allow for such a possibility. That’s it.

I don't understand your definitions. An alteration is an innovation of small degree. Yes, that is it. Design requires complex mental input, as in God did it.


DAVID: Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.

dhw: I keep accepting our specialness! But that does not mean your God set out with the one and only purpose of designing us, had decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing the rest of the evolutionary bush, as you repeat below.

No you don't. The degree of specialness you agree to is not what Adler proposes in his book. He shows that we are so special God created us and has to exist.


dhw: […] please explain what you meant by your God wanting/desiring the entire bush of life.

DAVID: Of course God wanted the bush. It was an absolute requirement to cover the time the whole process took. But I won't leave the concept that we are so special we were His goal. Certainly God knew what was required.

dhw: So you are confirming the above, and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose!

Of course I have no idea. Why should I? I accept what God does what God does for His own reasons! You constantly want to analyze Him in as if you can in human terms.


DAVID: And I still won't guess at His reasoning, much as you like to do it. Pure guessing if the Biblical writings are ignored.

dhw: It’s not that you won’t guess at his reasoning. You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” (See also under “Unanswered questions”): If you can’t see any logic behind this fixed belief of yours, maybe it’s just possible that the whole bush, including humans, was designed (or was given the means to design itself) to satisfy his wants/desires, as you suggested earlier on this thread!

I guessed because you asked me to and I politely did so. I have no idea because I don't question His motives, as you do in a humanizing way.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 10:03 (3 days ago) @ David Turell

I’m combining this thread with “Unanswered Questions” as the two are now overlapping.

dhw: Innovation is something new, whereas alteration means changing something that already exists. But sometimes it is difficult to draw a borderline between the two. […]

DAVID: I don't understand your definitions. An alteration is an innovation of small degree. […] Design requires complex mental input, as in God did it.

Neat! So the borderline between adaptation and innovation is not clear if all forms of change are innovations of some kind. Thank you. And yes, design requires complex mental input, as in the theory that intelligent cells/cell communities did it (and God may have designed their intelligence).

DAVID: Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.

dhw: I keep accepting our specialness! But that does not mean your God set out with the one and only purpose of designing us, had decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing the rest of the evolutionary bush…

DAVID: No you don't. The degree of specialness you agree to is not what Adler proposes in his book. He shows that we are so special God created us and has to exist.

Yes, yes, and you have devoted post after post after post to demonstrating that every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder is so special that God must have created them all and has to exist.

DAVID: Of course God wanted the bush. It was an absolute requirement to cover the time the whole process took. But I won't leave the concept that we are so special we were His goal. […]

dhw: […] and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose!

DAVID: Of course I have no idea. Why should I? I accept what God does what God does for His own reasons! You constantly want to analyze Him in as if you can in human terms.

You can’t know his reasons, but you insist that his reason for specially designing the evolutionary bush was to keep life going until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design - you and me! This is your “analysis” written in “human terms” – God wanted/desired/knew/is purposeful/decided…How can you or anyone else attempt to describe God’s thought processes other than “in human terms”?

dhw: You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” [..] If you can’t see any logic behind this fixed belief of yours, maybe it’s just possible that the whole bush, including humans, was designed (or was given the means to design itself) to satisfy his wants/desires, as you suggested earlier on this thread!

DAVID: I guessed because you asked me to and I politely did so. I have no idea because I don't question His motives, as you do in a humanizing way.

You don’t question your INTERPRETATION of his motives, because you have a fixed belief – in human terms – that the only thing he wanted to design (his final purpose) was us. That is no less human than the proposal that he wanted to design a vast variety of life forms or an autonomous mechanism that would design a vast variety of life forms.

DAVID: There were at least six mass extinctions according to my recent entry. God may well have used them to control the course of evolution. I view Him as totally in charge.

dhw: “Totally in charge” would have to mean he engineered every single environmental change that triggered every single new life form.

DAVID: Since He created the universe and the Earth and evolved them, He may well have controlled all the environmental changes.

If he didn’t control them, he was not “totally in charge”, in which case he was perfectly capable of giving up control, as he did – according to you – by allowing free will.

DAVID: Free will is not the same level as God running evolution.

dhw: I keep giving free will only as an example of your God giving up control.

DAVID: My dog runs to the barn using his free will. God is not in control at that level. My walking to the barn by free will means God is not involved, but God is still fully in control of evolution! What God gave up is very minor, not the major point you are trying to make about degree of control of the universe, the Earth, and evolution.

So God does not control our behaviour, but he has to control the behaviour of microorganisms like bacteria! He “may well have controlled all the environmental changes” leaves open the option that he may well not have done so, and that is major! On a universal level, does he preprogramme or dabble every single change in every single solar system, and every single asteroid that crashes into some star billions of miles away or even into our own planet? If not, he has chosen not to be “totally in charge”. And finally, how do you know he has chosen to be totally in charge of evolution, as opposed to his choosing to give evolution free rein? Why is choosing to be in charge less “humanizing” than choosing not to be in charge?

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 15:18 (3 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Again I'm with Adler and our specialness. You won't accept that point, which is major to me.

dhw: I keep accepting our specialness! But that does not mean your God set out with the one and only purpose of designing us, had decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to cover the time by specially designing the rest of the evolutionary bush…

Your usual distortion. The decision to evolve is a stepwise, time-taking process.


DAVID: No you don't. The degree of specialness you agree to is not what Adler proposes in his book. He shows that we are so special God created us and has to exist.

dhw: Yes, yes, and you have devoted post after post after post to demonstrating that every life form, lifestyle and natural wonder is so special that God must have created them all and has to exist.

You know, darn well, our consciousness is a different specialness.

dhw: […] and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose!

DAVID: Of course I have no idea. Why should I? I accept what God does what God does for His own reasons! You constantly want to analyze Him in as if you can in human terms.

dhw: You can’t know his reasons, but you insist that his reason for specially designing the evolutionary bush was to keep life going until he specially designed the only thing he wanted to design - you and me! This is your “analysis” written in “human terms” – God wanted/desired/knew/is purposeful/decided…How can you or anyone else attempt to describe God’s thought processes other than “in human terms”?

Of course I have to use human terms, but still not humanize Him!


DAVID: I guessed because you asked me to and I politely did so. I have no idea because I don't question His motives, as you do in a humanizing way.

dhw: You don’t question your INTERPRETATION of his motives, because you have a fixed belief – in human terms – that the only thing he wanted to design (his final purpose) was us. That is no less human than the proposal that he wanted to design a vast variety of life forms or an autonomous mechanism that would design a vast variety of life forms.

God knew He had to make the bush to provide energy over the time involved. The God you imagine is not my God.

DAVID: Since He created the universe and the Earth and evolved them, He may well have controlled all the environmental changes.

If he didn’t control them, he was not “totally in charge”, in which case he was perfectly capable of giving up control, as he did – according to you – by allowing free will.

DAVID: Free will is not the same level as God running evolution.

dhw: I keep giving free will only as an example of your God giving up control.

DAVID: My dog runs to the barn using his free will. God is not in control at that level. My walking to the barn by free will means God is not involved, but God is still fully in control of evolution! What God gave up is very minor, not the major point you are trying to make about degree of control of the universe, the Earth, and evolution.

dhw: So God does not control our behaviour, but he has to control the behaviour of microorganisms like bacteria! He “may well have controlled all the environmental changes” leaves open the option that he may well not have done so, and that is major! On a universal level, does he preprogramme or dabble every single change in every single solar system, and every single asteroid that crashes into some star billions of miles away or even into our own planet? If not, he has chosen not to be “totally in charge”. And finally, how do you know he has chosen to be totally in charge of evolution, as opposed to his choosing to give evolution free rein? Why is choosing to be in charge less “humanizing” than choosing not to be in charge?

Have you forgotten the universe, as created by God. is still a dangerous place, and He gave us the brains to protect ourselves? My God runs things as far as He wants to do so. My God created our reality. History tells us what He did. Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Friday, September 13, 2019, 10:39 (2 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: (under “Horizontal gene transfer”) […] you refuse to accept the possibility that microorganisms are capable of mental activity. It’s not just major designs you discount. Your God has to preprogramme or dabble every bacterial response to every situation in the history of life past, present and future, and he even has to engineer midge adaptation. Billions of programmes and dabbles, all for the sole purpose of covering the time before he specially designed H. sapiens.

DAVID: You are describing the wrong God. My God understood the time He would need to evolve humans He did not have the sole purpose of filling time.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat your own statements, but here we go again: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.”
He had decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens, and so the interim purpose of his specially designing every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder was to cover the time he had decided to take. What is “wrong” with your own statement?

DAVID: Have you forgotten evolution is a stepwise process? He proceeded step by step in a logical fashion. Pre-programming made his work easier.

I thought you thought there were jumps, but it makes no difference either way. You have your God specially designing every step and every jump in life's history, even though H. sapiens was the only thing he wanted to design! I don’t know why you think preprogramming every single undabbled non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder made it easier for him to specially design H. sapiens. Please explain.

DAVID: The degree of specialness you agree to is not what Adler proposes in his book. He shows that we are so special God created us and has to exist.
And:
DAVID: You know, darn well, our consciousness is a different specialness.

I keep agreeing, but according to you EVERY life form shows that God created it and therefore has to exist. You’ve forgotten that you are not trying to prove that God exists, but that his one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens and everything else was an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take! THAT is what we are discussing. You use the same dodge under “Hand signals”:
DAVID: It is not surprising that, as we are descended for earlier primates, we use hand signals as they do with the same parts of the brain involved. Still we speak words and they don't. We differ in spoken language and consciousness and that is a giant leap in evolution, which to my mind proves God exists as the source of that specialness.

Yes, you have offered us hundreds of examples (every single natural wonder) as proof that God exists. That is not the issue we are discussing.

dhw: […] and you have no idea why he chose this method of fulfilling his one and only purpose![…]

DAVID: I have no idea because I don't question His motives, as you do in a humanizing way.

dhw: You don’t question your INTERPRETATION of his motives, because you have a fixed belief – in human terms – that the only thing he wanted to design (his final purpose) was us. That is no less human than the proposal that he wanted to design a vast variety of life forms or an autonomous mechanism that would design a vast variety of life forms.

DAVID: God knew He had to make the bush to provide energy over the time involved.

So why is your proposal that he decided to take 3.X billion years to fulfil his one and only desire (humans), and therefore “had to” design billions of non-human life forms etc., less “humanizing” than the suggestion that he desired the creation of a vast variety of life forms? The same question applies to his being “totally in charge”:

Dhw: ….how do you know he has chosen to be totally in charge of evolution, as opposed to his choosing to give evolution free rein? Why is choosing to be in charge less “humanizing” than choosing not to be in charge?

DAVID: Have you forgotten the universe, as created by God. is still a dangerous place, and He gave us the brains to protect ourselves? My God runs things as far as He wants to do so. (dhw's bold)

At last! Let the trumpets sound. Still wearing my theist hat, I also propose that he runs evolution as far as he wants to, and what he wanted was a vast variety of life forms. Once more: Why is this more humanizing than his wanting H. sapiens and therefore having to create a vast variety of non-human life forms to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one desire?

DAVID: Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

That does not mean it can’t be true.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, September 13, 2019, 15:39 (2 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You are describing the wrong God. My God understood the time He would need to evolve humans He did not have the sole purpose of filling time.

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to repeat your own statements, but here we go again: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.”
He had decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens, and so the interim purpose of his specially designing every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder was to cover the time he had decided to take. What is “wrong” with your own statement?

'Covering time' involves the necessary consideration of supplying a food supply, which is all that I implied. You don't like a God who, in your humanized view, dilly-dallies.


DAVID: Have you forgotten evolution is a stepwise process? He proceeded step by step in a logical fashion. Pre-programming made his work easier.

dhw: I thought you thought there were jumps, but it makes no difference either way. You have your God specially designing every step and every jump in life's history, even though H. sapiens was the only thing he wanted to design! I don’t know why you think preprogramming every single undabbled non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder made it easier for him to specially design H. sapiens. Please explain.

Pre-programming involves a set DNA code which allows additions and subtractions as forms evolve.

DAVID: God knew He had to make the bush to provide energy over the time involved.

dhw: So why is your proposal that he decided to take 3.X billion years to fulfil his one and only desire (humans), and therefore “had to” design billions of non-human life forms etc., less “humanizing” than the suggestion that he desired the creation of a vast variety of life forms? The same question applies to his being “totally in charge”:

Dhw: ….how do you know he has chosen to be totally in charge of evolution, as opposed to his choosing to give evolution free rein? Why is choosing to be in charge less “humanizing” than choosing not to be in charge?

You keep contorting my line of reasoning. I view our reality as created by God. Therefore, everything we know about our reality is the result of God's choices and actions. Nothing humanizing as I don't question the results, and our specialness indicates His goal.


DAVID: Have you forgotten the universe, as created by God. is still a dangerous place, and He gave us the brains to protect ourselves? My God runs things as far as He wants to do so. (dhw's bold)

dhw:At last! Let the trumpets sound. Still wearing my theist hat, I also propose that he runs evolution as far as he wants to, and what he wanted was a vast variety of life forms.

Yes, but as a way to evolve humans.

dhw: Once more: Why is this more humanizing than his wanting H. sapiens and therefore having to create a vast variety of non-human life forms to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one desire?

God can want humans without being humanized in the interpretation of His motives. Don't wonder why He made that decision: God does what God wants to do, period.


DAVID: Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

dhw: That does not mean it can’t be true.

I thought we agreed random mutations won't work?

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Saturday, September 14, 2019, 09:31 (1 day, 9 hours, 26 min. ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] My God understood the time He would need to evolve humans He did not have the sole purpose of filling time.

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to repeat your own statements, but here we go again: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.”
He had decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens, and so the interim purpose of his specially designing every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder was to cover the time he had decided to take. What is “wrong” with your own statement?

DAVID: 'Covering time' involves the necessary consideration of supplying a food supply, which is all that I implied. You don't like a God who, in your humanized view, dilly-dallies.

You didn’t “imply” anything. You stated categorically that the interim purpose of the food supply was to cover the time he himself had, for some unknown reason, decided to take before implementing his one and only goal (us). You are right – I don’t like an interpretation of your God’s purpose (us) and actions (designing anything but us) which makes no sense.

dhw: […] You have your God specially designing every step and every jump in life's history, even though H. sapiens was the only thing he wanted to design! I don’t know why you think preprogramming every single undabbled non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder made it easier for him to specially design H. sapiens. Please explain.

DAVID: Pre-programming involves a set DNA code which allows additions and subtractions as forms evolve.

According to your theory, it is not “as forms evolve”! You claim that your God had already built each addition and subtraction into the code! In my proposal, the “code” changes as intelligent cells adapt to or exploit new conditions. Much easier than your God having to work out in advance every single addition and subtraction in the history of life!

dhw: […] why is your proposal that he decided to take 3.X billion years to fulfil his one and only desire (humans), and therefore “had to” design billions of non-human life forms etc., less “humanizing” than the suggestion that he desired the creation of a vast variety of life forms? The same question applies to his being “totally in charge”:

And:

dhw: ….how do you know he has chosen to be totally in charge of evolution, as opposed to his choosing to give evolution free rein? Why is choosing to be in charge less “humanizing” than choosing not to be in charge?

DAVID: You keep contorting my line of reasoning. I view our reality as created by God. Therefore, everything we know about our reality is the result of God's choices and actions.

If God exists, then I agree.

DAVID: Nothing humanizing as I don't question the results, and our specialness indicates His goal.

Yet again: Why is it more “humanizing” to propose (a) that he desired the vast variety of life forms which are an historical fact, rather than that he desired only one species, and (b) that he chose not to be in charge rather than that he chose to be in total charge?

DAVID: Have you forgotten the universe, as created by God. is still a dangerous place, and He gave us the brains to protect ourselves? My God runs things as far as He wants to do so. (dhw's bold)

dhw: At last! Let the trumpets sound. Still wearing my theist hat, I also propose that he runs evolution as far as he wants to, and what he wanted was a vast variety of life forms.

DAVID: Yes, but as a way to evolve humans.

And yet you have no idea why your God decided to spend 3.X billion years NOT designing humans but creating billions of non-human life forms etc. etc. Once more: Why is this idea of yours less humanizing than wanting a vast variety of forms, and designing an autonomous inventive mechanism to produce this variety?

DAVID: God can want humans without being humanized in the interpretation of His motives. Don't wonder why He made that decision: God does what God wants to do, period.

You have not answered my questions. Why is wanting a vast variety, or wanting to sacrifice control more humanizing than only wanting one species and wanting to have conmplete control? And why are you more qualified to say what he wants than I am?

DAVID: Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

dhw: That does not mean it can’t be true.

DAVID: I thought we agreed random mutations won't work?

We are talking about free rein, not about random mutations! You say my proposal that your God may have designed an autonomous inventive mechanism is Darwinism. If Darwinism is confined to the theory of random mutations, then my proposal is NOT Darwinism. You are playing games now.

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 14, 2019, 19:40 (23 hours, 17 minutes ago) @ dhw

DAVID: 'Covering time' involves the necessary consideration of supplying a food supply, which is all that I implied. You don't like a God who, in your humanized view, dilly-dallies.

dhw: You didn’t “imply” anything. You stated categorically that the interim purpose of the food supply was to cover the time he himself had, for some unknown reason, decided to take before implementing his one and only goal (us). You are right – I don’t like an interpretation of your God’s purpose (us) and actions (designing anything but us) which makes no sense.

Of course cover the time it took. You imply filling time. No. No sense to you but Adler and I and many other believers.

DAVID: Pre-programming involves a set DNA code which allows additions and subtractions as forms evolve.

dhw: According to your theory, it is not “as forms evolve”! You claim that your God had already built each addition and subtraction into the code! In my proposal, the “code” changes as intelligent cells adapt to or exploit new conditions. Much easier than your God having to work out in advance every single addition and subtraction in the history of life!

Nothing is difficult for God. Only for your humanized God.


DAVID: You keep contorting my line of reasoning. I view our reality as created by God. Therefore, everything we know about our reality is the result of God's choices and actions.

If God exists, then I agree.

dhw: At last! Let the trumpets sound. Still wearing my theist hat, I also propose that he runs evolution as far as he wants to, and what he wanted was a vast variety of life forms.

DAVID: Yes, but as a way to evolve humans.

dhw: And yet you have no idea why your God decided to spend 3.X billion years NOT designing humans but creating billions of non-human life forms etc. etc. Once more: Why is this idea of yours less humanizing than wanting a vast variety of forms, and designing an autonomous inventive mechanism to produce this variety?

God's choice is God's, and I don't question why, just accept His works as history describes.


DAVID: God can want humans without being humanized in the interpretation of His motives. Don't wonder why He made that decision: God does what God wants to do, period.

You have not answered my questions. Why is wanting a vast variety, or wanting to sacrifice control more humanizing than only wanting one species and wanting to have complete control? And why are you more qualified to say what he wants than I am?

DAVID: Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

dhw: That does not mean it can’t be true.

DAVID: I thought we agreed random mutations won't work?

dhw: We are talking about free rein, not about random mutations! You say my proposal that your God may have designed an autonomous inventive mechanism is Darwinism. If Darwinism is confined to the theory of random mutations, then my proposal is NOT Darwinism. You are playing games now.

Depends on the definition of free rein: "freedom to act and make decisions without first getting permission"

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/free-rein

My God does not allow that much freedom

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by dhw, Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:23 (8 hours, 35 minutes ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: 'Covering time' involves the necessary consideration of supplying a food supply, which is all that I implied. You don't like a God who, in your humanized view, dilly-dallies.

dhw: You didn’t “imply” anything. You stated categorically that the interim purpose of the food supply was to cover the time he himself had, for some unknown reason, decided to take before implementing his one and only goal (us). You are right – I don’t like an interpretation of your God’s purpose (us) and actions (designing anything but us) which makes no sense.

DAVID: Of course cover the time it took. You imply filling time. No. No sense to you but Adler and I and many other believers.

What on earth is the difference between covering time and filling time in the context of your God having only one purpose (humans), deciding to spend 3.X billion years not designing humans, and therefore having to design other non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another until he starts fulfilling that one goal?

DAVID: Pre-programming involves a set DNA code which allows additions and subtractions as forms evolve.

dhw: According to your theory, it is not “as forms evolve”! You claim that your God had already built each addition and subtraction into the code! In my proposal, the “code” changes as intelligent cells adapt to or exploit new conditions. Much easier than your God having to work out in advance every single addition and subtraction in the history of life!

DAVID: Nothing is difficult for God. Only for your humanized God.

You said “preprogramming made his work easier”, and I asked why “preprogramming every single undabbled non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder made it easier for him to specially design H. sapiens”. You have not answered. Nor do you ever explain why you consider a God who decides not to fulfil his only purpose for 3.X billion years, and therefore has to specially design a bush of non-human forms etc., is less “human” than a God who decides to create a bush of all forms by designing an autonomous inventive mechanism.

DAVID: God's choice is God's, and I don't question why, just accept His works as history describes.

Of course his choice is his choice, but that does not mean your personal theory about his choice is correct! What you refuse to question is not God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice!

DAVID: Free rein evolution is Darwinism!

dhw: That does not mean it can’t be true.

DAVID: I thought we agreed random mutations won't work?

dhw: We are talking about free rein, not about random mutations! You say my proposal that your God may have designed an autonomous inventive mechanism is Darwinism. If Darwinism is confined to the theory of random mutations, then my proposal is NOT Darwinism. You are playing games now.

DAVID: Depends on the definition of free rein: "freedom to act and make decisions without first getting permission"
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/free-rein
My God does not allow that much freedom

You are still playing games. “Permission” is clearly not relevant in this context. How do you know that your God has not invented a mechanism that enables cells/cell communities “to act and make decisions” without any input from him? What you really mean is that in your own “humanized” view of your God, you see him as a total control freak!

Natural Wonders & Evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 15, 2019, 15:36 (3 hours, 21 minutes ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course cover the time it took. You imply filling time. No. No sense to you but Adler and I and many other believers.

dhw: What on earth is the difference between covering time and filling time in the context of your God having only one purpose (humans), deciding to spend 3.X billion years not designing humans, and therefore having to design other non-human life forms to eat or be eaten by one another until he starts fulfilling that one goal?

Evolution takes time, covering and filling fit that fact.


DAVID: Nothing is difficult for God. Only for your humanized God.

dhw: You said “preprogramming made his work easier”, and I asked why “preprogramming every single undabbled non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder made it easier for him to specially design H. sapiens”. You have not answered. Nor do you ever explain why you consider a God who decides not to fulfil his only purpose for 3.X billion years, and therefore has to specially design a bush of non-human forms etc., is less “human” than a God who decides to create a bush of all forms by designing an autonomous inventive mechanism.

See this picture show of insect mimicry:

https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-this-the-best-snake-mimic-caterpillar...

What is wrong wrong with the idea of pre-programmed patterns which help in the process of evolution?

DAVID: God's choice is God's, and I don't question why, just accept His works as history describes.

dhw: Of course his choice is his choice, but that does not mean your personal theory about his choice is correct! What you refuse to question is not God’s choice but your interpretation of his choice!

Of course I don't question. The logic of our specialness, noting the hard problem of consciousness, is a prime consideration, which you constantly downplay as Shapiro's 'large organism chauvinism', a catch phrase of little philosophic meaning, but cuteness.


dhw: We are talking about free rein, not about random mutations! You say my proposal that your God may have designed an autonomous inventive mechanism is Darwinism. If Darwinism is confined to the theory of random mutations, then my proposal is NOT Darwinism. You are playing games now.

DAVID: Depends on the definition of free rein: "freedom to act and make decisions without first getting permission"
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/free-rein
My God does not allow that much freedom

dhw: You are still playing games. “Permission” is clearly not relevant in this context. How do you know that your God has not invented a mechanism that enables cells/cell communities “to act and make decisions” without any input from him? What you really mean is that in your own “humanized” view of your God, you see him as a total control freak!

Calling him a control freak is also cute, but I want a responsible in total control. After all He is the boss who wants His results and gets them.

Natural Wonders & Evolution of whales; new discovery

by David Turell @, Friday, September 13, 2019, 18:36 (2 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I don't have an answer other than to propose God helped with the newly required designs for aquatic life. For example how did the snake handle the extra salt? Like the whales? There is more to jumping into salt water, with the new physiological requirements. I seriously doubt cell committees can handle the design requirements, based on current epigenetic studies of adaptations.

dhw: Why “helped” with designs? Do you think he popped in to give these creatures a poke and a prod as their cell communities struggled to obey the sea-snake-respiratory-system-instructions you seriously believe he had implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago? Yes, we know you seriously doubt the whole concept of intelligent cell communities, just as I also seriously doubt your fixed belief that your God turned the pre-whale’s legs into flippers before pushing it into the water because otherwise life could not have gone on until he designed H. sapiens, the only thing he wanted to design. (my bold)

There is a new whale finding : possible dog= paddling style at early stages of aquatic life:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2216397-early-whales-swam-doggy-paddle-across-the-...


"Whales are descended from hoofed land animals similar to modern deer, so the first proto-whales to venture into the water presumably used all four limbs for propulsion, as four-legged animals do today. More modern whales swim by undulating their entire bodies and only use their front limbs – their flippers – for steering. This crucial evolutionary transition took place between 50 and 35 million years ago.

"We do not fully understand what happened to early whales’ arms during this time because we don’t have many fossils. “We only know the forelimbs for a few species,” says Vautrin.
His team has now found a new one. Vautrin and his colleagues unearthed a partial skeleton of an early whale called a protocetid in Senegal. The fossil includes two vertebrae, two ribs, fragments of the feet and tail – and most of an arm.

"Dated at between 43 and 41 million years old, it sits in the middle of whales’ transition to marine life. “We are far from the earliest whale, but we are a few million years before the real whales,” says Vautrin.

"Even at this relatively late stage in the evolution of early whales, it seems the animal was using its arms to propel itself. The bones show the protocetid’s arm had powerful muscles and the ability to bend at the elbow.

"This suggests the animal used it arms — and presumably legs too — to swim, in a way that could have resembled a modern dog. In truth, it is not clear exactly what ‘stroke’ the animal used. The shoulder bones have not been found, so we can’t tell whether the arm could move sideways or just forwards and backwards. “We don’t know if it’s just crawl or more like butterfly,” says Vautrin.

"These forms of swimming are not as efficient as that used by modern whales, but it does not seem to have stopped the protocetids travelling great distances. The first whale-like animals are only known from the vicinity of India, but the new fossil shows that the protocetids reached the west coast of Africa.

"Early whales probably tried many different ways of swimming, says Vautrin. He suggests that the first group to evolve the modern undulating mechanism may have out-competed the others."

Comment: What is new is an explanation that forelegs may have dog-paddled for propulsion before changing into steering mechanism, which changes the anatomic arrangements of bones and muscles. What is not known is whether these protowhales swam on the surface or were more aquatic, and developed the required complex physiological changes. I still view God doing the design changes which are obviously stepwise. My bold of your sentence is not as I have imagined arm to flipper changes. There were stages as designed by God from hoof to flipper. A pure hoof would have very little propulsion so I assume they entered the water with some early changes.

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