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

by dhw, Saturday, December 07, 2019, 10:32 (323 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (re Shapiro): You had accused me of “misusing his theories”, said I had “bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution” and you did not think “he would agree with your conclusions”. May I take it you have now withdrawn these remarks?

DAVID: I'll stick with this:
DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

dhw: Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: Wrong. The book tries to fit his theory in to current research by referencing supporting findings in current research.

dhw: In other words, he refers to findings in current research that support his theory, and his theory is NOT based only on his research into bacteria. You are arguing for the sake of arguing!

DAVID: OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.

So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

dhw: …my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

DAVID: But no proof they can actually design a new species. Designer required.

dhw: Back you go to “no proof”. Once more: if a theory was proven, it would become a fact. Your observation that single cells can be inventive supports the THEORY that multiple cells may also be inventive.

DAVID: I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea.

I do not recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence as the mechanism for evolutionary innovation. Yes, we know that cells and cell communities adapt, and you are merely pointing out that you don’t believe they can innovate, whereas Shapiro’s theory is that they can.

DAVID: I repeat it obviously requires design for the new complexity. Since you cannot accept a designer, you look hopefully to magic cells to do it without Him. Or you give a sop to theism by offering that God made intelligent cells doing it on their own. All a game on your part. Either way God is in charge.

And now you scoot back to your own beliefs, refusing to accept the possibility that your God might have had a different purpose and method from those that you believe in. No, cellular intelligence designed by God is not a “sop” to theism. (You have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew. As an agnostic, I never exclude the possibility of a God.) Nor is it a game. But yes, either way, if God exists he is in charge. My theistic proposal is that his decision was to design autonomous cellular intelligence in order to give evolution free rein (with the freedom to dabble). Your decision is that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation throughout life’s history for the sole purpose of creating us. See “David’s theory of evolution” for your own verdict on the illogicality of your theory.


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