David's theory of evolution Part One (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 08:35 (29 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I reproduced the quote because George had failed to find any reference to Shapiro’s belief in cellular intelligence. I know you oppose this idea, and yes, there are different types of cells, but there are scientists who believe that they all have varying degrees of intelligence, as illustrated by the Lieff quotation.

DAVID:It doesn't get around the problem that cells are observed from the outside. You are simply quoting impressions, not proof.

Nobody can observe other organisms from the inside. We draw conclusions from their behaviour, and you have agreed that there is a 50/50 chance that “my” scientists are right.

QUOTE from Nature’s Wonders: “It's a very charismatic, conspicuous behavior,” McCreery adds. […] Scientists use similar traps to capture wild specimens.

DAVID: certainly a learned behavior which is now an instinct.

Learned from what? Your God’s 3.8-billion-year-old trap-building programme, or your God popping in to give the ants a few lessons so that they could keep life going until he fulfilled his one and only purpose of designing H. sapiens? Do you not consider it possible that just as scientists use their intelligence to build similar traps, the ants might have done the same, and then passed the technique on to subsequent generations? Ditto with cell communities and their strategies for survival.

dhw: But many scientists believe that all cells have varying degrees of intelligence, and frankly I don’t know of any who claim that a God provided the first cells with computer programmes to be passed on for every cellular process, strategy, innovation, natural wonder, lifestyle etc. in the history of life. Do you?

DAVID: ID folks agree with me in that God is the designer.

Of course. Our dispute is not over arguments for God the designer, but over your illogical theories concerning his purpose and method of achieving that purpose.

dhw: Talbott does not know the definitive answer any more than you or I do, but I cannot see how his view contradicts my proposal that “some agency” (let’s call it God) may have designed the mechanism which enabled organisms to work out their own responses to the demands of the environment.

DAVID: Thank you. There must be an agent.

Agreed. You call it God, George calls it chance and natural laws, and I don’t know what the agency might have been and so I sit on the fence.

dhw (re “Introducing the brain”): The above quote says nothing about a 3.8-billion-year-old programme. It says the cells were encoding information and chatting about it. Maybe their ability to encode information and chat about it and take decisions about individual courses of action is the result of an autonomous mechanism for thought. “Where did it come from, which agency?” Maybe your God? Who knows?

DAVID: The 3.8 byo program is your hangup. My comment above is that the brain is programmed for plasticity and to know what the body is doing at all times.

Yes, it’s a hang-up. If your God did not plant his programmes in the first cells for every strategy, innovation, lifestyle, econiche, natural wonder etc, then your only alternative is that he kept popping in to dabble. The brain is indeed plastic, and it communicates with the body. Even you believe that the plastic human brain makes its own decisions autonomously, so why can’t you accept the possibility that the mouse brain and the ant brain and the bacterium’s equivalent of a brain might also make their own decisions autonomously?

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