Evolution: the newly-found bacterial role: (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 15, 2019, 19:45 (5 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I thought you were happy to dispense with the dabbling. Under “God’s divine nature”: “My thought about dabbling has always been a tentative alternative. I can easily accept the author’s viewpoint that dabbling is not required.” Which means you can easily accept that your God provided the first cells with programmes for every single life form etc., and every single solution to every problem bacteria would ever face.

DAVID: My theories have to have flexibility. Dabbling cannot be absolutely ruled out.

dhw: Ah, good to hear that your fixed beliefs are flexible, apart from those we keep discussing under “Unanswered questions”!

dhw: Yes, I agree that the complexities require design, and I disagree with your authoritative statement that cell communities are incapable of it. You don’t know that, and nor do I. It’s a theory, also promulgated by Shapiro, following on from the findings of such scientific luminaries as Margulis and McClintock, who were pioneers in the field of cellular intelligence. I ended my post with three possible explanations, now bolded. I really don’t know why you consider the first to be more credible than the third.

DAVID: Shapiro and the others considered cellular intelligence to allow for minor adaptations. You are the one stretching it to major species modification. Not likely since so much advanced design is required.

dhw; Since both Shapiro and McClintock champion(ed) the concept of cellular intelligence, how do you think Shapiro’s “natural genetic engineering” works?

Natural genetic engineering - Wikipedia

Shapiro points out that multiple cellular systems can affect DNA in response to specific environmental stimuli. These "directed" changes stand in contrast to both the undirected mutations in the modern synthesis and (in Shapiro's interpretation) the ban on information flowing from the environment into the genome.
In the 1992 Genetica paper that introduced the concept, Shapiro begins by listing three lessons from molecular genetics:
• there is a surprising amount of genetic conservation across taxonomic boundaries,
• the mosaic structure of the genome results in multiple nonlocal genes having multiple phylogenic effects, and, drawing on the work of his friend and collaborator Barbara McClintock,
• the existence of multiple cellular mechanisms (including mobile genetic elements) that can restructure DNA.
From these, Shapiro concludes:
It can be argued that much of genome change in evolution results from a genetic engineering process utilizing the biochemical systems for mobilizing and reorganizing DNA structures present in living cells.[1]

All true, but only covers small modifications in his research which is limited within bacteria and nothing more. Please note that most scientific journals do not accept quotes from Wikipedia which is notoriously slanted by biases that are entered from a multitude of uncontrolled sources. But what you presented is OK.

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