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

by dhw, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 10:59 (256 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You may be satisfied with 'open-mindedness', but you can't explain the obvious design you see if you reject a designer.

If I was “satisfied”, I would never have started this website. I can’t explain the obvious design and nor can you. You have a theory that there is a conscious mind that has been around forever. Other people have a theory that by a lucky chance materials combined to create the first consciousness, which then evolved as it acquired more and more experience and knowledge.

DAVID: Once again, design that handles future problems requires a designing mind.

In evolution, some of us believe that organisms respond to present problems – not that they have to look into a crystal ball and change themselves before the problems even arise.

DAVID: 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.

When fish adapt to cope with polluted water, what goes on inside? Some cell communities modify themselves to cope with the new conditions while others die. Even you have allowed for this degree of autonomy or self-modification, as bolded:

DAVID: 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.

Yes, these are minor adaptations, but since NOBODY knows how major changes take place, it is not unreasonable to theorize that the same autonomous mechanism is responsible. And I am not hoping to dispense with God the designer since this theory allows for God as designer of the means both to adapt (you agree) and to innovate (you disagree).

DAVID: 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.

Once again: Nobody knows how innovations take place. But we do know that organisms can change their structure, and changes can be handed down (Lamarck’s “acquired characteristics”, as applied to bacteria and every other organism that has ever successfully adapted itself to cope with new conditions). This is not a matter of the mammal saying: “I wanner change”. The theory is that the cell communities respond to the overall needs of the body. You don’t tell your cells to protect you – let alone how to protect you – against disease. As you well know, all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities, many of which do their work independently of our conscious decisions. It’s not proof that they are capable of evolutionary innovation, but there is no proof for your divine preprogramming/dabbling theory either.

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