Evolution, survival and adaptation (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, September 04, 2017, 17:18 (747 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID (under “footprints on Crete”): I think all God did was open the flood gates of different hominin types for further development. What other family of organisms did this? None! Apes made no changes.
dhw: I agree that the floodgates opened. But I thought your God was always in total control. Why bother with all these different hominin types if his primary purpose was homo sapiens?

The history of evolution is it always produces bushes of organisms. Must be His method. Your human logic is not His.

dhw: Why all the apes, and why all the hominins?

Same answer. God creates bushes. Only the hominins are advanced in mentation.


DAVID (under “glial cell guidance”): I'm convinced your nebulous hypothesis is just that in our theistic-mode discussion. How do you explain evolution without God present?

dhw: My hypothesis could hardly be more concrete: that cells are intelligent, and that cell communities are sufficiently intelligent to innovate (not proven) as well as to adapt (proven). But I have ALWAYS said that it is a hypothesis, and like yourself I will need more evidence before it turns into a belief. How do I explain evolution without God present? Easy. If he exists, he set up the whole mechanism and then let it run autonomously, as with finch beaks and humans, so too with all other organisms, lifestyles and natural wonders, and the environment.

Your same answer. Where did cellular intelligence come from if God did not do it? An inorganic universe creating intelligence on its own is beyond my belief.

DAVID: (under “glial cell guidance”) Your inventive mechanism proposal would need a human-brain-like ability as you describe above. That implies all the complexity of our brain, not found in current studies of the genome.

dhw: It would not imply human-brain-like ability. The human brain is also a collection of cells, and different cells have different functions, all of which are limited.

You are understating the complexity of the organization of the brain. The individual neurons might have specific duties, but they also have plasticity to adapt to new tasks in an multitude of new ways.

dhw:Just as individual ants are limited but the group is able to design whole cities, groups of cells can design what individual cells cannot. I would not expect heart cells to write King Lear, but they can do things that Shakespeare would never have known about. My point is that there are different forms of intelligence with different abilities.

Your nebulous point is based on what Shapiro finds in bacteria. It is a giant jump to cell committees speciating.

DAVID: Why do you constantly slough aside the point that development of complex changes, as seen in the gaps in evolution, require foresight of the future needs in order to start designing the plans for those changes?

dhw: Why do you constantly slough aside the possibility that complex changes may be a RESPONSE to environmental changes, instead of having your God foreseeing or causing every environmental change local and global and preparing organisms before the change takes place?

Of course the change must be a response, but you still ignoring the necessity for foresight and planning to solve the new problems, not possible at a cellular level. Your house was built by a plan, not thrown together. The same with new organisms, planning and design required either by your cell committees or by God.

DAVID (on this thread): There is no disagreement from me that environment change can have major effects: Chicxulub.

dhw: Good. An effect comes after the cause. This applies both to local and to global changes. But according to you, every innovation ANTICIPATES environmental change: God changes legs to fins before pre-whales enter the water. So does that mean, for instance, that God created all the new Cambrian species before increasing the oxygen?

Twisting my approach. I just presented Chicxulub as a prime example of change requiring adaptation. We don't know if Whales had flippers on land, like sea lions or seals, but perhaps that is a change God used to put whales in water. Only whales came directly from land animals. As for the Cambrian the evidence is oxygen came first to support it, the explosion second.


dhw: I have accepted the possibility of a brain dabble, mainly to please you, but if pressed, I would say that all the different hominins evolved naturally from some form of ape (bipedalism being a natural response to an environment in which it became advantageous to leave the trees). If there was a dabble, it would have been much later in the proceedings, perhaps as an afterthought, but I can just as easily view the human brain as a natural progression too. As regards control, yes, the whole history of life on Earth could be your God’s game, as he shifts the pieces around. You and I could also be his playthings, but we just don’t know it. Or maybe, just maybe, if he exists he allowed us to be free agents. And maybe, just maybe, if he exists, he allowed evolution to take its own course.

Written like a true agnostic.

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