Bacterial motors carefully studied (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 12:45 (803 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You need to be an organic chemist to understand the complexity of organic chemistry. I'm not a physicist, cosmologist, botanist, chemist, or quantum theorist either. So what are you saying? […]
I waited in vain for him (Prof. Tour] to shout at me that God “guided” every molecule throughout every step of evolution, from bacteria to humans, or even that cells are automatons - though I admit that I switched him off after half an hour of his ranting. However, we are informed by the blurb that “most scientists do not understand how evolution could explain the existence of life”, and the heading tells us that this is an attack on origin of life hypocrisy. Yet again: Evolution is not a theory designed to explain the origin of life… I too regard the complexity of evolutionary advancement as mind-boggling, and I don't know how it happened. Nor does he and nor do you. And if we ever do find out how, the answer may be as mind-boggling as your hypothesis or mine.

DAVID: I am not communicating properly, I think, for I find your remarks about Dr. Tour entirely off the mark. I asked for 15 minutes to get a flavor of his point of view. God was never at issue [...]
Whether you like it or not these OC problems affect how research is done with both origin of life and evolution of life [….]
Don't hide behind the fact that you do not know organic chemistry. You don't need to know it. Tour's objection to the glib approach to OOL is right on, and all of us who do know organic chemistry are fully aware of it, as he points out […]
Don't hide behind your ignorance. The folks at the lecture were just like you.

I deny all charges, my lord. After I had defended my hypothesis while also acknowledging its flaws, the plaintiff's response was to accuse me of not understanding organic chemistry! The plaintiff has therefore placed the above remarks in an entirely false context. Herewith the correct context:
dhw: I do reject chance, and I accept purpose and design, but that is the whole point of my hypothesis: that instead of design being “guided” by God, it is carried out by autonomous, intelligent cell communities (perhaps invented by God), and the purpose is self-improvement, not the production and feeding of humans.... I agree that only minds could do it, and so the question is: do cells have minds? Not human minds, but cell minds that are sentient, cognitive, communicative, cooperative, and capable of taking decisions. You say no, and others say yes. Even the yes, however, does not guarantee that those cell minds are capable of such complex innovations. I have never denied the problem of complexity.

DAVID: I don't think that you have any notion of the complexity of living organic chemistry. (My very bold bold)

In response, I pointed out that my ignorance of organic chemistry did not mean that organic chemists all supported the plaintiff's hypothesis, and it did not stop me from recognizing the enormous complexity of the cell and of the process of innovation (the plaintiff has omitted all of these comments). He referred me to Prof. Tour's lecture, as if this would somehow support his hypothesis against mine. It doesn't. However, we agree on the whole subject of complexity, and we agree that Tour's “objection to the glib approach to OOL is right on” (how often do I have to repeat that I don't believe in chance?), and we agree that nobody can explain evolutionary innovations. Would the plaintiff therefore please inform the jury as to exactly what I was hiding when I agreed with him that I am not an organic chemist?

As regards the origin itself, David, you wrote: “The fact that Darwin skipped the origin problem is of no consequence in the thinking about how OC plays a role in all this.” Despite my ignorance, I am fully aware that OC "plays a role" in both the origin of life and the course of evolution - they could hardly take place without it! That does not mean that OC supports your hypothesis that God "guided" (= personally preprogrammed or directly organized) every step in evolution, plus every lifestyle and natural wonder, all for the sake of humans. And that is the issue under discussion.


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