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

by dhw, Saturday, December 14, 2019, 11:26 (203 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We all know, including Darwin and you, that there is individual variation in species. God must have allowed it.

dhw: Nice to hear that your always-in-control God allows variation within species. But you keep telling us that bacteria are all automatons with no minds of their own, merely obeying instructions, so are you saying he programmed some to fail and others to succeed? See your reply re “cognition”.

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

So God is not needed for their adaptations, and they find their own solutions (e.g. to new medicines) in order to remain themselves. How can they possibly do this without the cognitive faculties which until now you have insisted were merely preprogrammed instructions?

DAVID: Of course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.

You are playing with words. You agree that they are cognitive, but you insist that they are not cognitive because they are automatically obeying your God’s instructions.

dhw: Since stem cells can change their identity, they are obviously at the heart of the evolutionary process. Of course nobody knows how any cells “arrived on the scene”, but if cells are cognitive, sentient, communicating, decision-making beings, and some of them can change their identity, and they are faced with the new challenge of changing environments, we certainly have a broad hint as to how the mechanisms of evolution may work.

DAVID: In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting.

Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions. Articles on this is mainly generalizations.

Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required.


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