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

by dhw, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 10:58 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.

dhw: Of course it is. If it doesn’t function under new circumstances, the organism will become extinct! But I suggest that speciation takes place as a result of organisms enabling themselves to function adequately.

DAVID: That can be simple adaptation, not speciation.

Yes, it “can be” adaptation, but the point at issue is whether the same process can also lead to speciation.

DAVID: […] complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”.

DAVID: All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.

dhw: You persist in ignoring the fact that you were commenting on your own quotes from Shapiro: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification and cell fusions” and: “Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

DAVID: True.You are ignoring my point that Shapiro's extrapolation to multicellular organisms is not anywhere near proof.

Thank you for acknowledging your mistake. I’m sure Shapiro’s evidence for cellular intelligence in multicellular organisms is not confined to his own research on bacteria, and in any case, if the theory were proven, it would no longer be a theory but a fact.

dhw: You have only told us that ID-ers believe God designs all new species, and of course design precedes implementation of design. This does not mean that physical implementation precedes the environmental changes it is meant to cope with (e.g. the pre-whale’s legs turning into flippers BEFORE it entered the water). Same problem with Behe’s theory: are new species physically completed in anticipation of new conditions or in response to them?

DAVID: My interpretation is the designs are meant to fit the future needs. Behe's deletion theory fits that way of thinking.

But you simply refuse to tell us whether any ID-ers believe as you do that the physical implementation of the design takes place before the environmental changes which the design is meant to cope with. I can only interpret your repeated avoidance of this question as meaning that you have no support for this particular belief.

DAVID: And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

dhw: “I thought I’d cured you” of forever moaning about Darwin. Look at your first statement in this post: “After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.” Look at the Shapiro quote: his natural genetic engineers “respond to stimuli”. How the heck do you know that new species arrived without environmental changes? Gould’s gaps relate to long periods of stasis, with sudden bursts of innovation, usually caused by environmental change.

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.


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