dhw: Evolution and humans: Neanderthal lungs larger (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, December 01, 2018, 14:32 (206 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] I'm simply saying it is logical to view survivability as only helping existing organisms to survive and has no way of explaining the gaps we know exist.

dhw: […] Nobody can explain the gaps, and I have agreed over and over again that we do not have the evidence to prove that the mechanism for adaptation is also capable of innovation. Now please tell me why your hypothesis that your God changed pre-whales’ legs to fins before there was any need to do so is more commonsensical than the proposal that there was a need for pre-whales to enter the water, and their bodies adapted accordingly in the quest to improve their chances of survival?

DAVID: Fine answer but no solid explanation. Just wishful thinking. Adaptation doesn't lead to speciation. […]

There is no “solid” explanation. If there was, we would not be having these discussions. Now please tell me why your hypothesis is more commonsensical than mine.

Under “whale teeth and baleens”:
QUOTE: When whales first evolved, they used teeth to chew their food, just like their land-dwelling ancestors. As time went on, many descendants of these early whales continued to chew their food, inheriting this trait from their predecessors. But as the oceans around them changed and animals evolved, entirely new feeding strategies arose, including baleen filter feeding, […] Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-11-whales-lost-teeth-evolving-hair-like.html#jCp

dhw: A great example of the manner in which all kinds of changes take place in response to environmental change. Or do you think your God took away pre-baleen’s teeth and then told him to filter feed?

DAVID: It is no explanation but a huge gap in how it happened. A transitional form does not fill gaps!

Of course a transitional form fills gaps. But you expect a line of transitional fossils to fill every single gap. Yet again, however, NOBODY knows how major changes take place. Yes, the gaps are a problem, but that does not make the theory any less problematical than your own.


DAVID: When a mammal enters a new environment to live the changes have to be very complex and enormous. Just hopping into the water doesn't work. Losing teeth and gaining a filter system isn't done stepwise. It has to be designed.

So you really do believe your God took away the teeth of the pre-baleen and then told him to go and filter feed. And this to you is more likely than a change in conditions making filter feeding a better way of surviving, with a subsequent loss of teeth being the consequence of their no longer being needed.

DAVID: As for material innovation, that is changing material form, not a mechanism at the level of mentation (free will). Why does one process mean another?

dhw: The one doesn’t mean the other. You keep insisting that God remains in full control of evolution. We have an example of him deliberately sacrificing control (free will). If he deliberately sacrificed control in one instance, why should he not do so in another (equipping organisms with the means of controlling their own evolution)?

DAVID: A repeated non-sequitur. God has every right to give us consciousness which gave us free will as part of an evolutionary process, but He still remains in full overall control.

You state your opinion as if it were a fact! It’s a hypothesis with no more validity than my own. Of course God, if he exists, has every right to do whatever he wants. If he wanted to give us free will (i.e. NOT to be in full control of what we do), it is perfectly possible that he also wanted to give organisms free rein to develop themselves (i.e. NOT to be in full control of them).

dhw: I am suggesting that he may have given spiders the autonomous means to design their own webs – i.e. that he deliberately sacrificed control, and unlike your anthropocentric hypothesis, that would offer a logical (theistic) explanation of the result you and I look at: i.e. the long higgledy-piggledy history of life extant and extinct (though I also allow for occasional dabbling).

DAVID: As usual I reject your fanciful theory. The webs have no direct connection to humans, a point you constantly distort. The webs are part of the energy supply so life can stay alive and evolve. You might ask why whales exist. Part of the econiches, nothing more.

Thank you. Yes, I do ask why whales exist if your God’s single purpose was “the creation of humans” (Thursday 29 November). Every organism and econiche is part of the comings-and-goings of life’s history, and this would be true whether your God designed them or not. The only problem here is your insistence that he specially designed whales and webs and weaverbirds as “stepping stones” to the fulfilment of his single purpose - his specially designed humans. But now apparently he didn’t. He specially designed them to be part of life, different econiches and evolution, so that there could be life, different econiches and evolution. Nothing more, and nothing to do with single-purpose humans. We are coming closer together! Who knows, one day you may also concede the possibility that whales, webs, weaverbirds and humans all evolved as a response to changing econiches instead of being specially designed in advance of the changes. But perhaps I'm being over optimistic!

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