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

by dhw, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 11:04 (185 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'm sure he [Betchly] know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.

dhw: Sorry, but what is FUBAR? And please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory. (Do you want me to repeat all the quotes?)

DAVID: Google FUBAR for full meaning. It is US troop slang in WWII for when things are wrong. Shapiro's theory relates to speciation mechanisms based on bacteria self-adjusting and editing their DNA. Multicellular cells change by following their DNA instructions. You have those cells adjust themselves on their own.

You simply refuse to take any notice of what you yourself have quoted in "The Atheist Delusion". Here we go again:
SHAPIRO: Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities.
SHAPIRO: Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cells and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

Cognitive entities which create evolutionary novelties by modifying themselves are cells which adjust themselves on their own. I have not stretched Shapiro. Yet another of your straw men.

dhw: Of course I accept the obvious concept of information, and everything you can think of carries information! But it takes intelligence to translate information into instructions (i.e. to use information).

DAVID: Basic misuse of the information concept. Information that is descriptive is not information that guides actions. Both types of information require interpretation by minds but in life by receptive mechanisms that respond automatically to the instructions.

Part of the muddle caused by this whole information discussion is the indiscriminate use of the word itself. Information as I define it is non-active facts and details which are present in all things. It takes intelligence to extrapolate and use these facts and details. Once more: Instructions can only be compiled by the intelligent user of information. Your claim that “in life” all organisms respond automatically to “the instructions” (presumably issued by your God) is an absurd generalization based on your rigid belief that only humans are able to invent anything. Even the poor old weaverbird has to have lessons in nest-building, as does every other organism that produces a “natural wonder”!

dhw: You think the intelligence is God’s. It may have been at the beginning of life. But I suggest that the intelligence which runs evolution is that of the cells themselves, possibly designed by your God, and your God’s design would have included the ability not only to replicate but also to vary. Otherwise there would have been no evolution. “Information” explains nothing. The great question is what uses the information?

DAVID: Your very limited concept of information explains nothing. Information exists in many forms.

Then in order to clarify your thoughts, perhaps you should distinguish between those many forms and their functions and range of influence. Meanwhile, I will continue to argue that information itself produces nothing, and so it is absurd to say that “information is the source of life”. You have now actually told us (on the “information” thread) that your God is “intelligent information”! So now information has a conscious mind! No wonder this whole concept causes such confusion. I think I prefer your earlier definition of him as pure conscious energy.


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