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

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 18, 2020, 18:52 (250 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

DAVID: Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

dhw: Ah well, at least this comparative (“more likely”) allows for the possibility of autonomy! That’s progress.

DAVID: No sign of progress. 'More likely' is a soft way of sticking to my view/faith.
And later: I've never changed my view, so much as you might hope. Note how unchanged you also remain.

dhw: It is perfectly possible to stick to your faith and to acknowledge that you may be wrong and other explanations are possible. Faith always entails shutting one’s eyes and jumping. Otherwise what you believe would be a fact. I find the theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence more likely than your own, but I haven’t reached the point of having faith in it – I’d like more evidence. But generally, you are right – my agnosticism hasn’t changed. I would say that this makes me more open-minded than you, but at the same time I accept that the truth is out there somewhere, and so somebody’s “faith” is fully justified. But whose?

Whose? is the point. You may be satisfied with 'open-mindedness', but you can't explain the obvious design you see if you reject a designer. Once again, design that handles future problems requires a designing mind. When the mammal puts itself into the aquatic environment with its legs intact , it must imagine how to change to the necessary flippers, while doing the dog-paddle for umpteen centuries. I doubt a mammal brain of much lesser capacity can do that and tell DNA how to change multiple coordinated mutations. Shapiro doesn't discuss that aspect, when he writes about 'natural genetic engineering' extrapolating enormously from simple bacterial changes..

dhw: And Lamarck should helps us to understand the difference between autonomous origins and automatic repetitions. A characteristic has to be acquired (invention) before it is passed on (automatic repetition). In your theory the acquisition or invention of every new, undabbled characteristic, whether genetic, lifestyle, natural wonder, strategy, was preprogrammed in the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago. And you see that as “more likely” than your God designing a single mechanism capable of inventing and handing on each new characteristic.

DAVID: Well He gave the ability Lamarck championed in the epigenetic editing process.

dhw: I like it. Once again you are opening the door to the possibility that your God invested the first cells with the ability (passed on to all the creatures of the evolutionary bush) to do their own designing.:-)

Epigenetic modifications are small changes, not speciation. God gave organisms what they needed for minor modifications. You are again one bridge too far in your hopeful outlook of dispensing with God the designer. :-P

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