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

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 08, 2019, 15:58 (322 days ago) @ dhw

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.

dhw: It is not a decision but a theory. And why do you persist in ignoring what he wrote? “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Put the two together and you have Shapiro’s theory and mine that cells are so intelligent that they can invent new species. And of course he is attaching his own findings to research done by others. Studying other scientists’ findings is also research (look at your own books), and that is normal practice when scientists form a theory!

All it is is a hopeful theory. It can still all be just programmed automatic responses

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.

dhw: 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: Darwin said itty-bitty adaptations would lead to new species. Why do you persist in reinterpreting what I plainly write? Shapiro's theory says he MIGHT be showing a way to understand speciation in a more completely understandable way. Cells' ability to manipulate DNA is merely a clue as to the process. Stem cells do act like he describes, but the change has to happen in germ cells for a difference in future forms to happen.

dhw: We are arguing about Shapiro’s theory (which of course is a "MIGHT" and not a fact) that cellular intelligence is responsible for evolutionary “novelty”. Darwin’s idea was that random mutations were responsible. Why bother to mention Darwin when you are trying to discredit Shapiro through your belief that cells are NOT intelligent enough to innovate?

Darwin also thought tiny adaptations lead to new species from his study of breeding animals. That is what I referred to,

QUOTE (from “Shapiro’s theory extended”): “It’s fascinating . . . that a single cell that is not a neuron has everything you need to make a decision.”

DAVID: What is amazing these research folks don't seem to know Shapiro's work and are surprised by these behaviors that mimic his bacterial studies. Obviously I think all single-celled organisms are programmed for survival with automatic responses, just like bacteria.

dhw: Once again I’d like to thank and commend you for presenting articles that can be used in support of a theory you reject. More and more evidence is coming to light that cells/cell communities of all kinds are capable of autonomous intelligent behaviour.

And it all ca be preprogramed

DAVID: (under “Nature’s wonders”): They [plants] can squeal at a level we cannot hear when stressed, among other abilities:

dhw: We know that plants communicate – a vital feature of intelligence. The evidence continues to mount.

Or programmed responses

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