Logic and evolution (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, July 24, 2016, 18:15 (603 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You seem to think that Shapiro only ever said one thing about cells. Here for the umpteenth time is something else he says about cells: “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess corresponding sensory, communication, information-processing, and decision-making capabilities.” (p. 143, Evolution: A View from the 21st Century).

DAVID: Remember I have the right to reach my own interpretations of his statements. He follows that sentence with : "cells are built to evolve; they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics through well-described natural genetic engineering and epigenetic processes as well as by cell mergers." This is my 'built-in drive to complexity. Only a planning mind could have created what he is describing.

Being sentient and cognitive, they clearly have the ability to alter their characteristics autonomously, using the processes he describes. Yes, “a built-in drive to complexity” if that's what you want to call it, but a drive that is implemented by their intelligence. You are perfectly entitled to argue that only a planning mind could have created that intelligence - but:

dhw: Please don't tell me that by cognitive, sentient, purposeful, decision-making etc., he actually means automatically obeying God's instructions.
DAVID: Just following God's implanted instructions.

That is your belief, and you are entitled to disagree with Shapiro, but please don't tell me Shapiro agrees with you.

DAVID: I would note that cells can only react with their available molecular reactions that are onboard, which in your view may well be God given, and I agree.

dhw: My view is that their autonomous intelligence may well be God-given (50/50), and I would not define intelligence as “their available molecular reactions”.

DAVID: But that is the only evidence we have from protein analysis of cells. Are you invoking panpsychism again?

Protein analysis of cells will not explain how cell communities reach their decisions. Panpsychism is a very broad term, but I certainly do invoke the idea that all living organisms have some form of consciousness (not to be confused with human levels of self-awareness).

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