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

by dhw, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 11:47 (245 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: Meanwhile, by what magic does “pure energy” happen also to be conscious and capable of creating universes and living beings?

DAVID: There cannot something from nothing. There has to be an intelligent first cause for a beginning.

How often do we have to repeat that first cause is either your inexplicably intelligent “pure energy”, or it is eternally changing, unintelligent, unconscious materials and energy producing endless combinations which eventually by a lucky chance create the first glimmerings of consciousness which then evolves? I find both “first causes” equally difficult to accept.

Dhw: Your cells are running the thing you think of as you. Maybe they also run the changes that other organisms require or invent when conditions change.

DAVID: My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.

There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions. A major change in the environment (e.g. an increase in oxygen) may create new opportunities. Intelligent beings will use them, and nobody – absolutely nobody – knows how much time is needed for intelligent beings to invent new “tools” to deal with new conditions. And we have dealt with this over and over again, so please don’t say I ignore it.

DAVID: There has to be a reason why some species make great advances and others don't bother. […]

dhw: Yes indeed. In brief: to improve their chances of survival. (And to anticipate your usual moan: yes indeed, I think Darwin had a mighty good point!) Those that are already surviving needn’t bother, but some see ways of improving their chances and do bother. Please tell us why you find this so difficult to believe.

DAVID: As above. Design is needed to explain the fossil gaps.

You asked a question, and I answered it. Do you accept that improved chances of survival explain why some species advance?

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that support your belief that your all-knowing, always-in-control God preprogrammed and/or dabbled every evolutionary innovation etc. in the history of life, and did so only as an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take before fulfilling his sole purpose of producing us? And how does it support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing that is living is simple.

An excellent observation, in complete contrast to your comments on this thread and on the taxi fish thread: “You are fighting the chance v. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own.” I replied “Since when were cells simple?” Now please tell me why their complexity precludes their being intelligent!

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