Making new evolutionary innovations (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 11:02 (367 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You seem to think that genes are somehow separate from cells! Shapiro’s term is “natural genetic engineering”, and specifies that the cells “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”. Of course there must be genes which can be altered, and your bolds simply confirm that the mechanism for common descent consists of a small supply of flexible genes which can be used in an almost infinite variety of ways. But used by what? You say God preprogrammed or personally dabbled every single change, and Behe presumably says all the programmes were present and God simply took away the irrelevant ones. Shapiro proposes that the cells themselves decide how to use their “toolbox” as and when new circumstances arise.

DAVID: You persist in skipping over the fact that cells in multicellular organisms are programmed in their DNA for specificity of action.

You persist in skipping over the fact that of course they are programmed for specificity once the species has been formed! But speciation involves changes to the programme!

DAVID: You are suggesting that somehow they have to get together and make decisions for enough changes to become new species.


DAVID: I'm staying with the descision as in the study an agency did the changes, as the study scientists actually did! And it fits what God as agent can do.

Yes indeed, the scientists showed that cell communities can change. Shapiro and I suggest that the cells can make their own changes, and you suggest that they can’t and so only God can do it through dabbling or a 3.8-billion-year-old set of computer programmes. That is what we have been arguing about for several years.

dhw: Please stop pretending that Shapiro only knows about bacteria.

DAVID: That is not what I present to you. He has done a fabulous piece of work. Of course Shapiro knows about genetic biology all over the spectrum. His book is a presentation of his bacterial findings with an attempted extrapolation to the multicellular. His book is filled with references to current research which suggest there is a possibility his findings will in the future, with much more research, have an application. You do not understand his book from the reviews.

Thank you for confirming that Shapiro’s theory is just as I have presented it, and that he must have done a lot of research outside his own specialist field. So please stop harping on about the fact that his own research was confined to bacteria. That is irrelevant.

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