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

by dhw, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 12:52 (93 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I propose that the cells do the designing themselves, with your God as the possible designer of the cells and their intelligence. One mechanism for the whole of evolution.

DAVID: We have long agreed that God might have given whole organisms the ability to make new species, our only disagreement in that I see God as very directly purposeful and allows invention within His guidelines.

If God exists, I also see him as very directly purposeful, but disagree with your idea of his purpose (solely to produce H. sapiens), and the only guidelines you have ever proposed are a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled life form, econiche, strategy, lifestyle and natural wonder, whereas my idea (as unproven as your own) of “allowing invention” is the exact opposite: the autonomous ability of cell communities to do their own designing and inventing.

DAVID: Ockham would rejoice in the simple solution of God does it.

dhw: This is not a “simple solution”. It is a cop-out. How does God do it?

DAVID: Your distortions are always obvious. What you call my theories are self-admitted guesses as you well know. All I really stick with is God is on charge and does it but his unknown mechanisms.

If this were true, we would not be having these discussions. You stick with the above “guidelines” (preprogramming and/or dabbling), and with your fixed belief that all of these programmes and dabbles were designed to cover the time your God had inexplicably decided to take before fulfilling his one and only purpose of producing us.

dhw: Gaps in the fossil record do not prove that your God exists, or that your God programmed or dabbled the whole of evolution, and your solution is anything but simple.

DAVID: The gaps require design to be jumped by evolution.

The jumps are not a problem if we accept the theory of cellular intelligence. Human intelligence has produced astonishing jumps in technology. Think of the world as it was even fifty years ago compared to now. A sudden change in the environment will demand or allow a sudden change in organisms within that environment.

DAVID (under “Gunter Bechly”) : Upon close examination only gaps are present. Gradualism in the fossil record does not exist. The Cambrian explosion is the most famous gap […].

dhw: You and Bechly are simply repeating a problem which disappears if we accept the basic premise that cells/cell communities are intelligent. Major changes in the environment, local or global, may require or allow for major adaptations and/or innovations. The vast majority of species disappear because the mechanism can’t cope. (So much for your God’s designs.)

DAVID: God plans for death as part of life's process. Cells are programmed to die (apoptosis) just as old animals move on to make room for the new.

This takes us back to your problem of the extent to which your God plans every environmental change, local and global, that causes extinction or triggers adaptation and/or invention. In fact your own theory even has him specially preparing some organisms in advance of the environmental changes and therefore presumably passing the death sentence on those species that do not survive.

dhw: But if the first cells contained a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which would result in the great bush of comings and goings that constitutes the history of life on Earth, you have a simple explanation of that history, and you can still have your God as the inventor of the mechanism. Does Bechly ever mention it?

DAVID: He implies God as a promoter of ID. I think he would kindly smile at your theory,

I don’t have a problem with the argument that your God promotes ID. I object to your argument that he preprogrammed or dabbled everything listed above, and did so for the single purpose you attribute to him. If Bechly knows about Shapiro’s theory, then I would expect a reasoned response rather than a fatuous smile.

DAVID (under “coiling DNA in chromosomes”): Yet again we see protein molecules that act like they know what they are doing. […]

dhw: Yet again, the theory is not that every molecule has a brain equivalent, but that molecules are directed by thought. And once again, an analogy might be that when you decide to run, your legs automatically obey the instructions from your brain. I am not proposing that your legs have a brain. Yes, the molecules act as if something in the cell knows what it is doing. And maybe it does.

DAVID: Molecules are not attacked to brains, like legs in running. The cell simply follows designed information/instructions. See the new entry on information not by chance. Also note the entry two days ago on cytoplasm self-organizing obviously builtin.

I have dealt separately with the hackneyed theme of information, and I pointed out that self-organization lies at the heart of Shapiro’s theory and mine. This proposes that although cells do not have brains as such, they have the equivalent, and instead of following a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for everything they do, they use their brain equivalent to issue their own instructions.


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