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

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 21:20 (249 days ago) @ dhw

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

dhw: 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.

dhw: 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.

dhw: 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.

dhw: 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.

Your argument is all wishful thinking. We know the adaptations happened. We know how complex they are and the Lamarck idea that giraffes just stretched their necks over and over to get those acacia leaves is much too simple. When they put their heads up it requires a very high blood pressure to keep the brain functional, and when they put their heads to the ground the blood pressure on the brain is much too high, so there are special changes in the circulatory system to manage these problems. Not by chance or Lamarck. Lamarck is minor epigenetic change, only. As for my theory, of course it is not provable, just like yours. What is always interesting is you fully accept design, but not the designer. And you keep trying for simple cells that hopefully can design, based on their ability to make minor adaptations tah t somehow magically can be very complex.

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