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

by dhw, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 11:30 (282 days ago) @ David Turell

Taken over from the Bechly thread:

DAVID: Only you want microorganisms to have minds.

dhw: Bacterial intelligence is not “my” theory. All these years I have been quoting scientists such as McClintock, Margulis, Buehler and now Shapiro, and I have asked you to consult the many websites on the subject of bacterial intelligence, but suddenly you think I am all alone! If you want more names, look under references and further reading:
Microbial intelligence - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbial_intelligence

dhw: You are getting confused. It’s your theory of evolution that leaves you out on your own.

DAVID: No it doesn't. The ID folks group is filled with many scientists. I've only introduced a few. Their belief, which I think you fully understand, is that a designer is required for all advances in evolution.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I accept the logic both of Adler and of ID. The rest of your post is devoted entirely to ID logic and the existence of God. That is NOT the issue between us, as you very well know. Neither Adler nor ID offer any support for your theory of evolution, which is – yet again - that an all-powerful, all-knowing God set out with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, but decided not to design H. sapiens for 3.X billion years and therefore designed every other life form as an interim goal in order to “establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. THAT is the theory which according to you yourself is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. (For further discussion on this, see “David’s theory of evolution Part Two".)

DAVID: Gould also recognize the big gaps in the fossil branching record which he noted had tips and nodes and no explanation for the gaps or the stasis. His explanations were a guess as a staunch Darwinist, in which he saw the deficiencies.

You can say that all explanations are a guess, since nobody knows the truth! Here’s a guess for you: stasis occurs when changes in the environment (which may be local or global) are minor enough not to require or allow for existing species to make major adaptations or to innovate. Major environmental changes (which may be local or global) will force or allow existing species to adapt, innovate or die. What is your explanation for the gaps and the stasis?

DAVID: Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

dhw: I do remember 50/50, which means it is absurd to dismiss the theory, but your agreement with Shapiro that living cells are cognitive entities, coupled with your view that living cells are not cognitive entities but merely obey God’s instructions, is somewhat confusing. The concept of cellular intelligence is in no way an attempt to avoid God, any more than it is an attempt to recognize God. The theory arises out of scientific observation and interpretation of cellular behaviour. Whether God designed the mechanism or not is a different question.

DAVID: It is not a different question. You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you. Where is your support for your extrapolations?

I don’t know why you persist in ignoring all the quotes in your own book. Here they are, yet again:
“...living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”.

They “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics.
"...evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”.

Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

Do please stop pretending that this does NOT propose cellular intelligence as the creator of evolutionary novelty (= innovations = speciation). You quoted all of this in your book, and commented that the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears” – in direct contrast to your theory that cells have been preprogrammed or dabbled with in advance to produce their innovations.

To sum up: I do not “want” microorganisms to have minds, and I am not alone in believing that they may have minds: this is a theory proposed by many scientists, some of whom are renowned experts in the field. Shapiro has used their findings and his to propose a theory of “natural genetic engineering” in which intelligent cells produce the innovations that cause speciation in response to environmental changes. I find the theory far more credible than your own, but acknowledge that it remains a theory and is unproven, just like every other theory of speciation. The theory, unlike your own, is confined to the mechanisms of evolution and does not attempt to speculate on the existence of a possible God or of his possible purpose.It does not, however, in any way preclude the existence of a God.


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