Logic and evolution: the giraffe problem (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, January 14, 2019, 12:36 (155 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s comment: Gould was always honest in his opinions. Darwin dos not explain the giraffe in any way. The giraffe appears full-blown like so many other organisms.

dhw: There are many suggested but untestable hypotheses on the subject of the origin of life and of all evolutionary innovations. That is why discussion and research go on unabated. Darwin would have attributed the long neck to an advantageous mutation followed by natural selection, Lamarck thought it was a characteristic acquired by reaching up for food, and I know at least one person who believes that 3.8 billion years ago his God provided the very first cells with special programmes

DAVID: A perfect non-answer to the issue. How do complex design requirement animals like a giraffe come from? The fossils have no answer!

Nobody has the answer, and that is why I have offered three different answers, including your own. Shapiro, who believes in cellular intelligence, offers a fourth: “natural genetic engineering” (but I would add that cellular intelligence may have been designed by your God).


Under “Natural wonders”:
DAVID: [Amoeba] have amazing abilities that appear intelligent:

dhw: Note the article says the amoeba figures out the best possible arrangement by itself, but the mechanism remains a mystery. My hypothetical solution to the mystery is that the amoeba figures out the best possible arrangement by itself. Of course once confronted with the problem, it would instinctively use its intelligence, which is not the same as saying that it is automatically following instructions issued 3.8 billion years ago, along with instructions for every undabbled innovation, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder throughout the history of life.

DAVID: Very unfair tactic. My quote with the major point is omitted! I said the researchers set up a very clever mechanism whereby the slime mold, by using its only two automatic responses to food or light could solve the problem. It allows DHW to postulate intelligence where it doesn't exist.

How do you know it doesn’t exist?

DAVID: From the article: "the amoeba just reacts passively to the conditions" and reacts automatically.

It can’t change the conditions, can it? But why are you rewriting the sentence? It continues: “…and figures out the best possible arrangement by itself” – the exact opposite of “reacts automatically”.

DAVID: The only real intelligence is in the research team and what they designed! The article really fools unsophisticated readers.

Margulis, McClintock, Buehler, Shapiro all champion cellular intelligence, as does this article itself. Apparently anyone who disagrees with you is “unsophisticated”. This is not the level of debate we are accustomed to.

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