David's theory of evolution Part One (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, November 08, 2019, 09:08 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

Part one

GEORGE: I don't think I've heard of this theory that "intelligent cells or cell communities" have "their own special form of consciousness" that guides their evolution before, but it sounds rather like reviving elan vital or a form of pan-psychism. It seems to me that postulating such things without proof is unnecessary, since natural selection is adequate.

DAVID: Again, I agree. It is a vast stretch of what is known.

dhw: George has never heard of the theory, whereas David knows all about it and is prepared to dismiss it in favour of a divine 3.8-billion-year computer programme for every undabbled innovation, lifestyle, strategy, natural wonder in life’s history.

DAVID: I'm not surprised George is ignorant. Who supports your cell theory causing speciation?

James A. Shapiro, with his theory of “natural genetic engineering” and his firm advocacy of cellular intelligence, which is advocated by large numbers of scientists. Who supports your theory that your God supplied the first cells with a computer programme for every single undabbled innovation, lifestyle, natural wonder, ant strategy, bacterial response to all future problems, and the weaverbird’s nest for the purpose of filling in time till he designed the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens?

dhw: The parts are always connected, and yes, the neurons are key players in coordinating the brain’s response to new demands, either by expansion or by complexification. (Note the John Lieff quote about neurons.) Yes, design required – as in cellular communities responding intelligently to new conditions – but no to divine dabbling in anticipation of any need for change.

DAVID: I do not interpret Lieff as you do. See my comment

John Lieff: The Emperor of Cells – How intelligent are Cancer Cells?
Microbes have abilities to make decisions, communicate, and solve problems.
While microbes appear to have a type of cognition, the neuron has been observed to be vastly more complex with its own intelligent activity, an entire civilization by comparison to a microbe.

Your comment was: "The bold comment makes sense."
Lieff believes that cells are intelligent, and neurons are vastly more intelligent than microbes. How does this mean anything other than that cells are intelligent, and some are more intelligent than others?

dhw: Sometimes you complain that there are no transitional forms, but the moment you are confronted with transitional forms, you flounder for an explanation. Does it not occur to you that in some areas some of our ancestors would have made a good living staying up in the trees, whereas in different areas others would have found it advantageous to be up in the trees AND to be down on the ground?

DAVID: I never flounder. Good just-so Darwinian explanation. These 11.6 myo apes liked the ground so much they just invented bipedal legs. Glad you could read their minds. I though major necessity of environmental change caused major speciation as in the savanna theory.

You seem to think that the very mention of Darwin automatically disqualifies a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. Environmental change may well result in major necessity, but opportunity may also be a factor that leads organisms to a new form of behaviour. More food on the ground (pre-humans) or in the water (pre-whales). No, the apes wouldn’t have “invented” bipedal legs. It would have been their effort to maximize their exploitation of the new environment that would have resulted in the physical changes involved in bipedalism, and that means adjustments have to be made by the cell communities of which the body is composed. Even now, certain activities can change both the body and the brain – obviously not to the extent involved in speciation (which nobody can explain), but the principle is the same. God does not come down and expand the body-builder’s muscles or change the brain of the pre-taxi-driver, the pre-musician, the illiterate learner before they can drive, play or read. It is activity that causes the changes.


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