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

by dhw, Thursday, November 28, 2019, 12:05 (295 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Our disagreement continues.

dhw: Does it? Please tell me what you disagree with in the above.

DAVID: I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation.

Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

Transferred from “David’s theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro’s view”:

dhw: 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.

DAVID: It is not irrelevant since he tries to plug it into major evolution processes as you do and it is just a theory that has not received any support I can find.

dhw: He obviously plugs it into major evolution processes using the research of others (“references to current research”) who are as convinced as he is that cells are cognitive, sentient, intelligent beings. The rest of his theory (and mine) grows from this one basic premise, and the fact that his personal research is confined to bacteria does not invalidate the argument. Of course it is “just a theory”, as is the existence of your God, and your belief in a 3.8-billion-year-old set of programmes for all undabbled innovations. We can only test the feasibility of each theory that is proposed. I do not regard the theorist’s main field of research as relevant to the reasonableness of his theory.

DAVID: The reason I explained his field is to show how he developed his theory, and I do not know if it can be applied to multicellular evolution. However his research is an important addition to all the research. Note it also helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory.

He obviously developed his theory from his own research into bacterial behaviour and other people’s research into cellular intelligence, but yes, it is a theory and not a fact. I would say it is an important addition to all the other theories. It doesn’t “destroy” common descent or natural selection (though we all agree this is not a creative force), which constitute “most of Darwin’s theory”, so why yet another silly and irrelevant snipe at poor old Charles?

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