David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, November 15, 2019, 19:06 (26 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. Your cell committees cannot do that.

dhw: It implies no such thing. All it tells us is that these organisms solved the problems (or exploited the opportunities) arising from new conditions. I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.

dhw: A disgraceful slur, and you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

If they were clearly thinking, they would all be ID scientists who agree with me.


DAVID: They [cells] simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

dhw: […] do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

DAVID: Your problem is you unfortunately haven't taken the time to read the books. Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

dhw: I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems…. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

dhw: So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

None of the book is contorted. Your theories taken from Shapiro's conclusions about free-living bacteria are the problem. They cannot be transferred to multicellular organisms, where Shapiro has done no work.


DAVID: Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are.

dhw: Of course they are different, but both must be able to respond to changing conditions. And of course they will do so in different ways, but all of these different ways demand the ability to process information, communicate, take decisions etc., and all of these abilities denote intelligence. You prefer to believe that they all denote a 3.8-billion-year-old set of computer programmes which deal with every type of problem for the rest of time, and which bacteria and cell communities somehow manage to switch on when required (or in the context of speciation, BEFORE required).

All I can rely upon is all the automaticity I was taught in medical school and in subsequent experience in practice.


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