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

by David Turell @, Friday, January 24, 2020, 20:49 (169 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You asked about the gaps and I gave you an answer. Shapiro’s theory (not proven) is that cells are intelligent and are responsible for evolutionary novelties, and I suggest that this theory explains the gaps. Your theory (not proven) is that the cells were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled with.

DAVID: And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

dhw: You keep saying that the actions appear to be intelligent (= mentally active), there is a 50/50 chance that they are/are not, but it is not possible that they are!

DAVID: The 50/50, I will remind, is only the odds of which of us is correct. I'm sure 99% I am correct. Appearing to act intelligently does not mean any cellular thinking is occurring.

dhw: And appearing to act intelligently does not mean no cellular thinking is occurring. I answered your question about the gaps with a feasible theory, the basis of which (cellular intelligence) you accept as having a 50/50 chance of being correct. I don’t regard your 99% certainty that you are correct as any more rational than, shall we say Dawkins’s 99% certainty that there is no God. Once people have made up their minds on issues which cannot possibly be closed, they simply put on blinkers!

Written like a proud agnostic.


Under “biological complexity”:

"an explosion of similar discoveries has revealed squabbles, fights and all-out wars playing out on the cellular level. Known as cell competition, it works a bit like natural selection between species, in that fitter cells win out over their less-fit neighbours. […] Cells use a variety of ways to eliminate their rivals, from kicking them out of a tissue to inducing cell suicide or even engulfing them and cannibalizing their components. The observations reveal that the development and maintenance of tissues are much more chaotic processes than previously thought. “This is a radical departure from development as a preprogrammed set of rules that run like clockwork,” says Thomas Zwaka, a stem-cell biologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

DAVID: Much of this cell competition helps explain embryological formation. And I think the comments about how this works is through molecular sensing is a correct view. In the embryo much of [it] has got to be automatic to follow the blue print in the DNA.

dhw: I’m glad you say “much of [it] has got to be automatic. It is the part which is not automatic that I find interesting – you know, the part that suggests cellular intelligence. I wonder why you didn’t comment particularly on the second bold, dismissing the contention that it’s all preprogrammed and runs like clockwork.

We know organisms reproduce exact copies unless there are major mutations. It may look chaotic in the new discoveries because it surprises the Darwinian folks, and yet really be preprogrammed to a large degree.


QUOTE: Just like the body contains lungs, liver, and lymph nodes, so does each of the body's cells contain tiny specialized organs.

dhw: It’s as if each cell is a microcosm of the body, and the body is a microcosm of life on earth, with every organism from cell to human actively and intelligently engaged in the struggle for survival, each of them autonomously using the equipment at their disposal. How did the equipment get there in the first place? Yep, that’s the Big Question!

By design they have the equipment.


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