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

by dhw, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 10:07 (294 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Just to set the record straight, then: I have not misused or bastardized his theory, there is nothing for him to disagree with in my own conclusions, and it is not true that his theory is based only on his bacterial research. And yes, it is a theory. Why “hopeful”? And why “all it is”? Your fixed belief that God exists, and that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single evolutionary innovation for thousands of millions of years solely in order to produce H. sapiens,is also a theory. If “all it is is a hopeful theory” applies to Shapiro’s theory, it also applies to yours.

DAVID: Just look at the bold: "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.”

DAVID: The first part is true without question. The second part about evolutionary novelty is also true, but the two parts are totally disconnected.

But Shapiro’s theory is that they are not disconnected! His theory is that intelligent cells produce evolutionary innovations! However, I am delighted that at long last you have acknowledged that Part One is true, and that living cells possess all the attributes of intelligence.

DAVID: We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

Nobody knows the origin of intelligence or how it works, but what on earth would be the point of telling us that cells are intelligent and cells produce evolutionary innovations if the two observations are not meant to be combined? You have now switched from attacking me for bastardizing Shapiro’s theory, and from pretending that it is only based on his research into bacteria, to attacking the theory itself, though if you accept part one, I really can’t follow your reasoning.

DAVID: Magic embryology tells us about underlying programming. New species require new programming. See my new entry.

Of course new species require new programming. Shapiro’s point is that the cells programme themselves. That is the meaning of “cellular self-modification”! The fact that you don’t believe it does not mean it isn’t true. It’s a THEORY which may be true.

QUOTE from your new entry: “researchers have much to learn about the signaling events that coordinate the collaborative cellular processes to create and repair complex anatomies.

A clear indication that cells collaborate.

QUOTE: "In the post-genomic era, it is becoming clear that the next step beyond identifying the genetically specified hardware of the body involves understanding the physiological software: the mechanisms that enable cells and tissues to make decisions and implement swarm dynamics that remodel organ-level structure. (David’s bold)

Yes indeed, in this article too we have cells making decisions. Thank you for the bold. Of course nobody knows how the process actually works – we don’t know the mechanisms by which we ourselves make decisions. Consciousness at all levels is one of the great mysteries, is it not?

DAVID:: These quotes are from an article that explains how a new lab is working on morphogenesis. The key points show that the missing ingredient is how the software makes new forms, and this can be applied to embryology and to the creation of new species. It requires the development of new software. It is not really magic. It must be new software, that is new information as the term 'computational layer' implies in computer terms. Those changed instructions must be put into stem cells, but also be centrally located to coordinate the whole new construction. New software must be created by precise planning and code-writing. Only a mind can create the new software.

And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

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