Natures Wonders- living fossils (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, November 19, 2017, 14:17 (330 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

dhw: I prefer “improvement” as I don’t see the point of complexity for the sake of complexity.

DAVID: I see it as an explanation for things like the human brain that are too complex for the necessity of survival. Comparing it to the chimp does not address the point. The chimp lives and is happy.

Once again, I see the complexity of the human brain as the product of the drive for improvement and not just survival, though one cannot draw a strict borderline between them, since improvement can also refer to survival (the invention of spears was an improvement over trying to kill a dangerous animal with one’s bare hands). I don’t know about “happy” chimps, but ALL non-human organisms that survive manage to do so without a human brain, so you can say they live and are happy, so what point are you addressing? Mine is that the human brain evolved through the quest for improvement, whereas yours seems to be that it evolved through the quest for complexity.

dhw: I prefer “improvement” as I don’t see the point of complexity for the sake of complexity.

Tony: So... if I read this right, you are saying that some things evolved, some didn't. Some things just started off fully functional and functionally perfect. It's like magic!But just because we have direct evidence that some things didn't evolve, we believe that other things did evolve, because we like to limit our belief in magic, and everything popping up functionally perfect would be suspiciously magical, and we can't have that. Harumph!

No, my hypothesis entails only one form of “magic”, which offers us the best evidence of design, and that is the first living cells. They arrived fully functional and functionally perfect. And within their perfection lay a mechanism that enabled them not only to reproduce but also to combine with other cells to expand their range of functions. New combinations that did not start off fully functional would not have survived. Every single cellular community that survives HAS to start off fully functional, but the mechanism passed on from those first cells also enables existing cell communities (organisms) to adapt to changing environments and even to invent new structures that will enable to them to exploit new conditions. (That doesn't mean EVERY individual has to change. Single-celled organisms have survived very nicely, even if their buddies went on to bigger things.) An organism that could not get enough food on land might explore the water and find an abundance of food. The cell communities would then restructure themselves to enable the organism to live more comfortably in the water. Hence the land-dwelling pre-whale that ultimately became the whale. The “magic” is the inventive intelligence of the cell communities of which all organisms are made, and I see no reason at all why a theist should doubt the capacity of his/her God to create such a mechanism. Furthermore, it explains what some of us believe to be the facts of life’s history.


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