Bacterial motors carefully studied (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, April 05, 2016, 19:19 (981 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have always distinguished between adaptations and innovations (= large gaps). NOBODY knows how the latter took place. ...I can understand why you prefer to duck away from the weaverbird issue by concentrating on the far greater complexity of molecules.
DAVID: Because innovations, which is how evolution really advances requires finding new molecules with unknown unlabeled underlying functional capacities from a group of possibilities. You don't like the landscape concept because it challenges your concept of how common descent must advance, and it cannot be through organismal planning. Since the phenotypical advances are huge gaps, the new molecules used for those advances must have functions known in advance. If not, back to hunt and peck, trying to figure it out. Simple logic. Weaver nests are adaptations, no molecules, much simpler. We don't know how speciation occurs, but new molecules are required.

This is not in dispute. But you insist that weavers do not have the intelligence to build their own nests, and so God must have preplanned them or intervened. It stands to reason, then, that if organisms can't perform such relatively simple tasks, they won't be able to perform the more complicated tasks of rearranging their own cells and giving them new forms. But this creates a dilemma for you. If you grant other organisms the intelligence to work out their own lifestyles and natural wonders, maybe they can do more. It IS a maybe. Since we don't know how speciation occurs, and we don't know how cell communities transform themselves, we can only speculate. There is no dispute over what has to be done. The dispute is over the capacity of organisms to do it through their own intelligence, or even apparently the capacity of your God to give them such intelligence.

dhw: Innovations must also take place within existing organisms if you accept common descent, and I am offering a hypothesis to explain the hitherto unexplained gaps/saltations/innovations.
DAVID: Look at landscapes and defend your hypothesis!

There is no landscape. Each organism has its own cell communities, and if you believe in common descent, each new cell community has arisen from its predecessors. The whole question is the extent to which these cell communities can rearrange and transform themselves. We don't know the extent of their intelligence, just as we don't know how speciation occurs. And “God did it” still doesn't tell us how speciation occurs. He could have done it through an autonomous IM.

dhw: No, you are the one who insists on sticking at the gradual epigenetic level, because you are not prepared to consider the possibility that your God gave organisms the autonomous ability to innovate as well as to adapt. I include the weaverbird's nest, the monarch's lifestyle, the wasp's egg-laying etc. in the category of innovations.
DAVID: Watch your definitions: innovations=gaps, not the adaptations you list above, all possibly epigenetic.

One could argue that the first nest, the first migration, the first parasitic egg-laying were innovations, but that really isn't the point. You use “epigenetic” as if somehow that removed these phenomena from the discussion, but according to you it makes not the slightest difference! Because you say the weaver, monarch and wasp are incapable of working these procedures out for themselves, whether you call them innovations or adaptations. That is why I focus on the weaverbird as a prime example of the gaps in your hypotheses.


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