Who here does not back-engineer their pre-supposed endpoint? We all have a starting point in mind, and we attempt to make what we see fit into it, and if it doesn't then something is wrong. If I'm wrong about informational instructions all require a mind, even though all of our experience shows this, show me my error with something we can say this is mindlessness at work.
...[text shortened]... mindless process, there are none, except in the world of evolution of the gaps in deep time stories.
In nature, there is no such thing as an error
, therefore there is no such thing as error checking
either. Cells make copies of themselves: sometimes the copies are exact, sometimes they aren't. But when they aren't, this not an error
. It is simply a mutation. Some mutations continue to reproduce themselves, which is what we
call "successful" , whereas other mutations die out along the way (because they do not 'fit' the environment) -- which is what we
call "unsuccessful". These are all metaphors, figures of speech.
To speak of error checking or code in relation to what a computer does is literally, factually true. To speak of error checking or code in relation to what a cell does is not literally, factually true; these are a metaphors, figures of speech, a model of how we
think about what cells are doing, but it is not how cells do it. The same applies to the phrases "informational instructions", "blueprint", etc. -- these are all anthropomorphisms when applied to cells or DNA; they are not literally, factually true. They are nothing but our
images projected onto a mindless (which is not to say random)
Let us take a hypothetical example to demonstrate the idea of 'error checking' -- namely, that it is a faulty idea when applied to cells. Suppose a group of 100 cells has become adapted to its environment. The cells duplicate themselves, but not all identically, due to random variations in the copy-process. Are the ones which duplicate themselves identically the correct ones and the ones which duplicate themselves with variations erroneous? No, we cannot say this. Here's why: we don't know yet whether the environment will stay the same, and if it changes, then the variant cells might turn out to be better adapted to the changed environment than the ones which were identical to their precursors. Example: suppose the first generation of cells are adapted to constant temperature in the range of 20-25 degrees C, and can endure temperatures above or below this range only 4 degrees and only for a period of time not greater than 10 hours. Now suppose that, upon duplication, some cells undergo random variations ("mutations" ) whereby 20 of the cells would be able to endure 10 hours of temperature drop
of up to ten degrees, but no temperature rise beyond the standard range (20-25); whereas 20 other cells mutate in the opposite direction and would be able to endure temperature rises
of up to 10 hours at +10 degrees; and the rest of the population duplicates identically (20-25 degrees, 10 hours and up to + or - 4 degrees). Which ones are the correct duplicates and which ones are the errors? None, so long as the temperature stays the same. Nonetheless, some will survive if the average temperature should shift either up or down. And that
is how nature works. There is no plan, no design, no errors and therefore no error checking either; there is simply variation, and some variations carry on whereas others drop out.
Now, to head off one last potential objection here: mutations, molecular variations in the copying process, are random; this does not mean that the whole of nature is random. Which variants survive and which do not is not
is subject to the regularity of the repeated operation of natural laws.