Evolutionary theory cannot be falsified (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, June 01, 2017, 11:49 (82 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection lacks the creative power to generate the novel anatomical traits and forms of life that have arisen during the history of life. Yet, as Müller noted, neo-Darwinian theory continues to be presented to the public via textbooks as the canonical understanding of how new living forms arose — reflecting precisely the tension between the perceived, and actual, status of the theory. (David’s bold)
DAVID’s comment: If the Royal Society had no tentative answers and my bolded statement is noted, all that is left of the theory is common descent. Not much of a theory.

They are simply saying what we have both said over and over again, that the problem is innovation. Common descent is a tremendous theory which many of us now take for granted (Tony opposes it), and it caused a furore at the time because it contradicted the established view of separate creation. Although Darwin was far from being the originator of the theory, it was he who persuaded the world to accept it (while insisting that it did not preclude the existence of God). He himself regarded his book as a starting-point, not a conclusion, and how very right he was.

TONY: Common descent is actually inclusive in this issue. Having 'no theory of the generative' means that common descent stands no chance at all of having happened because 'new' features or traits have no means of occurring and causing speciation.

Again, innovation is indeed the great problem. David’s theory that his God preprogrammed the new features or intervened to “dabble” is perfectly in line with common descent, because in all cases the changes would have taken place in existing organisms. My own hypothesis of cell communities using their (perhaps God-given) intelligence to cooperate in producing new features also explains how common descent might work.

QUOTE: "James Shapiro’s talk, clearly one of the most interesting of the conference, highlighted this difficulty in its most fundamental form. Shapiro presented fascinating evidence showing, contra neo-Darwinism, the non-random nature of many mutational processes – processes that allow organisms to respond to various environmental challenges or stresses. The evidence he presented suggests that many organisms possess a kind of pre-programmed adaptive capacity – a capacity that Shapiro has elsewhere described as operating under “algorithmic control.” Yet, neither Shapiro, nor anyone else at the conference, attempted to explain how the information inherent in such algorithmic control or pre-programmed capacity might have originated."

Shapiro is a champion of cellular intelligence, and so I don’t know why he doesn’t go the whole hog and offer it as an explanation for innovation. Perhaps, though, it’s a bit too radical to present to the Royal Society, and it would probably be far too radical for them to countenance anyone allowing for the existence of God as the possible originator of cellular intelligence or a “pre-programmed capacity”.


Please note: I may struggle over the next few days to keep up with this stream of posts, but I will do my best!

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