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

by dhw, Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 14:22 (253 days ago) @ David Turell

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You haven't disclosed the source of 'eternally changing...materials', or are they the first cause, without a cause?

You haven’t disclosed the source of “intelligent” pure energy. Both hypotheses are “first cause without a cause”, because that is the meaning of “first cause”.

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.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

The concept of “intelligent” cells by definition entails mental activity! We know that cells are sentient, process information, communicate and make decisions. Some renowned scientists regard these attributes as proof of “mental activity”. That is the basis of the theory!

dhw: 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: What you just ignored is the size of the phenotypical alterations shown by the gap. Design by a designer is necessary.

What you just ignored is the fact that I dealt with the gaps – of all sizes – in my previous answer. Do you want me to repeat it?

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 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.

dhw: 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!

DAVID: They would have to be able to think. How would simple, yet complex cells do that? Your suggestion is that they just do it. Really, without the necessary equipment?

You’ve got it! “Intelligent cells” means cells that are able to think. What on earth do you mean by “simple yet complex”? How do you know that cells, which are enormously complex, do not have the necessary equipment to enable them to process information, make decisions etc.? We don’t know how the brain produces all these attributes (remember the theory of emergence?). So maybe the cell has its equivalent of the brain, and intelligence emerges from the interplay between its various components. I say “maybe” because, as I constantly have to remind you, it is a theory.

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