Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Nature isn’t symmetrical; But is that the price of variety?


How would there be creativity without variety?:

Interestingly, some honeybees (45% to be exact) tend to naturally favour one of their sides, right or left, when flying. They showed a distinct bias when made to choose between flying through two holes, and researchers think that this kind of bias might help the colony as a whole, because it could result in the rapid travel of the group of bees through a cluttered environment.

At ground level, there’s a form of movements known as ‘asymmetric gaits’, where the timing of footfalls is unevenly spread. Galloping is one such example, and it turns out that animals evolved the ability to coordinate their limbs independently around 472 million years ago (mya), long before life emerged on land.

Imma Perfetto, “Is there asymmetry in nature?” at Cosmos Magazine (March 11, 2022)
more to symmetry in viruses' design
Viruses exhibit this high degree of symmetry as a consequence of a principle that Crick and Watson termed genetic economy, namely, the limited capacity in the viral genome to code for the CPs forming its surrounding capsid9. This favours such symmetric architectures, because icosahedral symmetry has 60 different symmetry operations10, reducing the cost of coding for the capsid by 1/60th, whilst creating a container with sufficient volume to store the viral genetic material. Caspar and Klug extended this idea by introducing the principle of quasi-equivalence11, which explains how proteins can adopt locally equivalent, or quasiequivalent, positions in a capsid, by repeating this local configuration across the capsid surface. This allows larger viruses to form, requiring even smaller relative portions of their genomic sequences to code for their capsids, thus generating coding capacity for other viral components that are not present in smaller viruses and enabling more complex infection scenarios. These two principles have dominated structural virology over the last 60 years. The infinite series of icosahedral blueprints introduced by Caspar and Klug is currently the major tool for the classification of virus structures12. However, increasing numbers of virus structures exhibit capsid protein numbers and layouts that fall outside the CK description, as discussed below for a wide range of examples. This indicates that there are fundamental design principles underpinning virus architecture, and implied geometric constraints on viral evolution, that are still not fully understood.
full article https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12367-3 martin_r
as to symmetry in nature, i totally forgot to mention another devastating problem for Darwinian theory of evolution - the existence of the most abundant biological entity on Earth - viruses. There is not a single scientific evidence for viruses origin ... and there must be lots of origins (there are thousands of virus species, all unique) And now the symmetry: ScienceDirect.com
Virus particles (virions) fall into three main morphological groups characterized by (1) helical symmetry, (2) cubic symmetry, and (3) other symmetries. In this paper geometrical aspects of particles have been discussed in the light of recent evidence.
full article https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/004268226190366X martin_r
I just started watching this video, since it starts out with Lego building blocks to demonstrate the impossibility of reductive materialistic explanations to explain consciousness, it is surprisingly relevant to the fact that 'abstract' symmetrical form is forever beyond the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinists,
How Consciousness is a Window into Ultimate Reality (w/ Dr. Josh Rasmussen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hZh0JEz8hU
ES as to, "but it is also true that no ID theorist has proven that symmetry could not have arisen from undirected forces." Well, actually it is now mathematically proven, via extension of Godel's incompleteness into quantum physics, that “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,” and that “the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.",
Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics - December 9, 2015 Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,, It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, "We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s," added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. "So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists' point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description." http://phys.org/news/2015-12-quantum-physics-problem-unsolvable-godel.html
And since the symmetrical form of an organism is obviously a macroscopic property of an organism that is not present at the microscopic level of atoms and molecules, then that mathematically 'proves' that the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution cannot possibly explain why the 'abstract' mathematical property of symmetry should be present in an organism. And it is not just the 'abstract' mathematical property of symmetry that Darwinists are at a complete loss to explain. There are many other 'abstract' properties of organisms that Darwinists are at a complete loss to explain. For instance, the entire 'abstract' concept of 'species' itself becomes incoherent on the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution.
Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage Excerpt: First, the problem of essences. G. K. Chesterton once quipped that “evolution . . . does not especially deny the existence of God; what it does deny is the existence of man.” It might appear shocking, but in this one remark the ever-perspicacious Chesterton summarized a serious conflict between classical Christian philosophy and Darwinism. In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms. Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,, One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known? Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually. Denial of True Species Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes: “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.” Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,, The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow. What About Man? Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,, Implications for Bioethics This is not a mere abstract point. This dilemma is playing itself out in contemporary debates in bioethics. With whom are bioethicists like Leon Kass (neo-Aristotelian and former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) sparring today if not with thoroughgoing Darwinians like Princeton’s Peter Singer, who denies that humans, qua humans, have intrinsic dignity? Singer even calls those who prefer humans to other animals “speciesist,” which in his warped vocabulary is akin to racism.,,, If one must choose between saving an intelligent, fully developed pig or a Down syndrome baby, Singer thinks we should opt for the pig.,,, https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f
It is true that no Darwinist has explained how symmetry could have arisen from undirected forces
not only that ... the problems is, that no Darwinist has ever showed how any body form whatsoever evolved... among other things, there is not a single evidence how insects evolved, how insect's wings, bird wings, dino wings, mammals wings ) evolved .... how bones or skeleton evolved .... or, how dinos evolved, how mammals evolved ... there is nothing ... zero ... but there are lots of just-so stories in science magazines ... Sure, the perfect symmetry is a huge problem for Darwinists, but there are more serious problems for Darwinism .... fundamental problems ... (among others, the origin of the simplest cell if you will) When you look at the sophistication of life (if you familiar with it), especially what we know in 21st century, a Creator/Designer/Engineer/God makes lots of sense... Blind unguided process not only does not make any sense, but such claims in 21st century are absurd in the highest possible degree, ... it is absurd absurd absurd (politely said). But Darwinism as a religion is now widespread, so we have to live with that for a while .... let's see for how much longer ... this is the most stupid religion ever developed, to believe in spaghetti monster makes more sense ... martin_r
To BA77 and Martin_r, I agree with the ID viewpoint. I was merely pointing out that the existence of symmetry in nature is not in and of itself fatal to Darwinism. It is true that no Darwinist has explained how symmetry could have arisen from undirected forces, but it is also true that no ID theorist has proven that symmetry could not have arisen from undirected forces. However, that is a battle that ID need not win; the impossibility of a purely materialistic origin of life is already established by the simplest living cells. They exhibit no meaningful degree of symmetry, but their complexity is far beyond the vanishingly meager power of blind forces. EvilSnack
This is exactly what a designer would do, and it is exactly what natural selection will bring about over time. I don’t see strong evidence for either viewpoint here.
The problem is, that Darwinists never showed, how particular species looked before it got symmetrical.... in other words, species were always perfectly symmetrical.... Like i said, the perfect symmetry which is crucial for species’s feeding, moving, flying, etc., is an elementary problem for this crazy absurd theory, and one of the most obvious evidence of design .... So, once again, you people (Darwinists) have to show the evidence how natural selection shaped the symmetry .... an real evidence e.g. fossils, not telling some just-so stories in science magazines PS: of course, people like Jerry Coyne would argue, that some common ancestor of whatever was symmetrical ....... but this is another just-so story ... Darwinists can’t find common ancestors whatsoever ... martin_r
^^^ And ES, aside from your fertile imagination, you have actual empirical evidence of Natural Selection creating anything, much less 'symmetrical' systems, where exactly?
Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection. Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance. https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530
It might interest you to know that because of the “waiting time problem” (among other problems inherent in population genetics), Darwinists were forced to cast natural selection, Charles Darwin’s supposed ‘designer substitute’, by the wayside. (and adopt 'neutral' theory)
The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17 John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,, Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information. While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man. It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573302/
Whereas, on the other hand, 'symmetry' is virtually synonymous with beautiful architecture
symmetry in architecture examples https://www.google.com/search?q=symmetry+in+architecture+examples&tbm=isch
We have symmetry where it's beneficial, and lack symmetry where it isn't beneficial. This is exactly what a designer would do, and it is exactly what natural selection will bring about over time. I don't see strong evidence for either viewpoint here. EvilSnack
Martin_r, I think you may really appreciate what Newton wrote in regards to how 'simple' symmetry refutes atheism,
“Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped, (except in their bowels,) and just two eyes, and no more, on either side of the face; and just two ears on either side of the head, and a nose with two holes; and either two fore- legs, or two wings, or two arms on the shoulders, and two legs on the hips, and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivances of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom, and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside a hard transparent skin, and within transparent humours, with a crystalline lens in the middle, and a pupil before the lens, all of them so finely shaped and fitted for vision, that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light, and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures, after the most curious manner, to make use of it? These, and suchlike considerations, always have, and ever will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared.” (Sir Isaac Newton, A Short Scheme of the True Religion) https://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/view/texts/normalized/THEM00007
This is Darwinism ... it is like in some mental hospital: If it is symmetrical - it is a response to mechanical forces If it is asymmetrical - it is a price Of Variety Darwinists ... really insane people .... martin_r
Is there any symmetry at all?
WHAT ?? again WHAT ??? Polistra, are you joking ? Darwinists themselves struggle to explain species design symmetry ... Here you go, a Darwinian paper:
Bilaterian animals show impressive mirror image symmetry along with ordered asymmetry. The symmetry of the jaw, spinal column, or extremities is central to tasks such as feeding, locomotion, or flight. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/27369/creating-asymmetry-and-keeping-symmetry-the-underlying-genetic-and-signaling-mechanisms
let me repeat this one: "Bilaterian animals show impressive mirror image symmetry" I am an engineer, this is my favorite topic ... especially the symmetry-accuracy is really IMPRESSIVE ... And i bet, that during the development, there are tons of various checkpoints for how to achieve and maintain this perfect symmetry during the development ... otherwise, and like the above paper claims - you can't perform life's crucial tasks such as feeding, locomotion, or flight.... In other words, you will die ... Darwinists, these romantic clowns must be really insane to claim that blind unguided process created millions of perfectly symmetrical species .... by random mutations .... it is a crazy absurd theory ... this theory can't be more absurd .... and then comes another Darwinist along with another just-so story, that this perfect symmetry is a result of "a response to mechanical forces" AND WHAT WAS BEFORE ???? NO MECHANICAL FORCES ??? HOW DID THE SPECIES LOOK LIKE BEFORE THE PERFECT SYMMETRY ??? CAN SOME DARWINIST SHOW ME ???? (e.g. in fossil record) This theory is insulting all engineers .... https://biologydirect.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13062-017-0182-5 martin_r
The tone of the article is strange. Asymmetry is deeply familiar in all areas of life. Every learned skill has to deal with dominant hands, dominant eyes, and dominant legs. A better headline would be "Is there any symmetry at all?" polistra

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