David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, November 21, 2019, 10:27 (23 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Shapiro never said that bacterial control of its DNA caused speciation. It modified bacterial responsiveness, nothing more.
And:
DAVID: Of course Shapiro has a massive, vast knowledge of biological behavior at all levels, but you can't extrapolate his bacterial findings into your pet theories. He never brought his findings to a point to claim they were the source of speciation.

We are not discussing what Shapiro did NOT say! In your book you quoted passage after passage in which he specifically argues that CELLS are cognitive, sentient beings with “sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities”, and “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You praised his theory in your book with no reservations at all, but pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present [my bold] must have been built in the distant past.” Yet now all you can say is that Shapiro studied bacteria.

You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.

DAVID: Why do I have to repeat all IDER's think everything is designed in advance? That is the whole point of their philosophy, and I agree with them.

So do they believe that their God designed organisms to speciate BEFORE conditions changed (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before the pre-whale entered the water) or do they believe that speciation took place in RESPONSE to changes in the environment?

DAVID (under “speciation through hybridization”): […] When we discuss speciation, what I am really referring to is a real advance to a new level with a different sort of organism. In our short time on Earth we really cannot see it and have no idea how the Cambrian Explosion can occur, which ended with 30 final phyla,shrunk from about 56 originals.

I agree with you completely. All too often, minor variations are equated with speciation, which I’m sure is why Shapiro is careful to emphasize “evolutionary novelty” which arises from processes which "respond to stimuli", as opposed to anticipating stimuli.

QUOTE (from"early snakes had hind legs"): "These primitive snakes with little legs weren't just a transient evolutionary stage on the way to something better. Rather, they had a highly successful body plan that persisted across many millions of years, and diversified into a range of terrestrial, burrowing and aquatic niches," says Professor Lee."

This important observation would apply equally to whales. Each “transient” form is a species in itself, and it’s only with hindsight and the discovery of new fossils that we can see how common descent actually proceeds. Evolution is clearly a mixture of jumps and gradual refinements, both of which must respond to and be suited to the environmental conditions in which organisms find themselves.


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