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

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 09, 2020, 00:47 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I fully accept the quotes as fully accurate. It is interpretation where we differ. I am using multicellular cells showing known processes. You are using Shapiro's bacterial studies and his theory as to how that might impinge on speciation of multicellular organisms to grant those cells abilities that are not proven or even theorized by many ID scientists.

dhw: That is his theory and mine. How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

ID is no more untrue than yours and Shapiro's. It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.


DAVID: Look at Lynn Margulis comment on the book: "[Shapiro's] explains the processes that proceeded (sic?) people by at least 3,000 million years...Shapiro's careful, authoritative narrative...is entirely scientific and should interest all of us who care about the evolution of the genetic system." Doesn't sound as if she applied it to current thoughts about speciation.

dhw: His book offers us a theory of speciation! Margulis was a firm champion of cellular intelligence, and since Shapiro’s theory is that cellular intelligence drove evolutionary “novelty”, I would regard all the above as praise for his work. How does that mean I stretched his theory?

See above


DAVID: There has been no advance from his fine work, because there are no followups to it, and perhaps there cannot be any. Time passes and proves value!

dhw: Perhaps his work is so comprehensive that no more can be said until scientific research is able to prove or disprove his arguments (see the bolded quote below). 11 years is no big deal, but in any case time passes and scientists often realize that earlier ideas had more merit in them than was originally thought. You keep clutching at these straws as if they somehow disproved Shapiro’s theory. I prefer Margulis’s measured assessment.

I fully accept her measured response.


dhw: From your other posts:
QUOTES: Many of the most important evolutionary variations that generated phenotypic adaptations and originated novel taxa resulted from complex cellular activities affecting genome content and expression.
The intersections of cell fusion activities, horizontal DNA transfers and natural genetic engineering of ReadWrite genomes provide a rich molecular and biological foundation for understanding how ecological disruptions can stimulate productive, often abrupt, evolutionary transformations.
These examples show us that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth. […] The years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how cell fusions, genome doublings, and natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success.

DAVID: Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book.

dhw: Margulis says in the quote that “it is entirely scientific”, the above quotes alone confirm that his theory attributes innovation to the cellular capacity for self-modification in response to ecological challenges, he believes that science will in future confirm the non-randomness of cellular activity, and he believes in cellular intelligence, as I have quoted over and over again. You keep providing evidence that his theory and mine are the same, and the only objection you have to its reasonableness is (a) your prejudice against a 50/50 chance, and b) like all theories, it is not proven.

QUOTE: "Shapiro’s work further confirms that natural selection is not the powerful creative force it has often been portrayed to be and that “something else” is required. Shapiro may think the answer lies in his natural genetic engineering toolkit, but neither he, nor anyone else, has shown this to be true."

dhw: We both agree that natural selection creates nothing. And yes, Shapiro thinks the solution to the problem of speciation is natural genetic engineering, as I have summarized it above, but nobody has yet provided proof of any theory, which is why it is a theory and not a fact. How many more times do you want this to be repeated?

You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. Two different audiences with two different requirements for honest conclusions. His article is excellent! You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.


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