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

by dhw, Saturday, January 25, 2020, 11:15 (22 days ago) @ David Turell

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!

DAVID: Written like a proud agnostic.

If it’s 50/50, and nobody knows which is correct, I don’t see how either of you can be 99% certain. You and Dawkins are, of course, free to shut your eyes and jump, but I don’t regard your willingness to do so as a very good defence of your arguments.

QUOTE: 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.

DAVID: 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.

I’d have thought you would be more surprised than anyone, since you constantly tell us how your God preprogrammed it all to work automatically, like clockwork (the exact opposite of what our stem-cell biologist has just told us)...But I do like your “large degree”. It is the small degree that interests me. For instance, how did the systems originate in the first place (you say preprogrammed or dabbled by God, Shapiro says “natural genetic engineering”), and how do they put themselves right when the smooth automaticity goes wrong? God reprogrammes or dabbles them again, or autonomous intelligence again comes into play?


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