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

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 15:45 (295 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course cells are cognitive and act purposefully from their programming. I'v e never disagreed with that thought. My disagreement is I'm sure they are programmed/designed to act that way. They didn't invent the programming.

dhw" Cognitive means having the ability to know, understand, learn, make decisions etc. – all attributes of intelligence. You have always argued that their actions are automatic. An automaton doesn’t know, understand, learn or make decisions. By all means argue that this autonomous ability was designed by your God, but please don’t pretend that Shapiro’s theory is anything other than the autonomous ability of intelligent cells to invent evolutionary novelty and to self-modify.

Your evolutionary novelty in bacteria is simple adaptation to current challenges, for which they are programmed


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.

dhw: 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: Shapiro's theory attempts to bring bacterial ability to multicellular speciation. No one know if that is valid. I've said this before.

dhw: And I have agreed over and over again that it is a THEORY, just like your God theory and your fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and method in creating life and evolution. No one knows if any of these theories are valid.

Something has to be valid.


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)

dhw: 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: Software has to be designed by a mind. Of course you don't see that.

dhw: You ignored my response, which was:
dhw: 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.

DAVID: Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

dhw: Pure prejudice. You have said over and over again that there is a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

That 50/50 means we look from the outside and reach conclusions. I'm no more prejudiced than you are, and I started my research from your position.


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