Back to Shapiro (Evolution)

by dhw, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 11:31 (106 days ago)

Since we have long since abandoned Davies and returned to Shapiro, I'm transferring this discussion.


DAVID: Shapiro showed bacteria can modify their DNA, nothing more and we all accept it as a great contribution to evolutionary research. You use your individual bias to stretch the concept to suit what you would like to believe. Still 50/50 odds.

dhw: “You use your individual bias” to pretend that I am stretching Shapiro’s theory. You force me to quote what you quoted in your book: “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities….Evolutionary innovation arises from the production of new cells and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” (James A Shapiro). Now please tell me how I have stretched his concept. And if the odds are 50/50, it would be totally irrational to reject the theory.

DAVID: I don't reject his theory but his interpretation of what he observed.

Then you reject his theory in favour of your own, as below:

DAVID: All he saw could just as easily be intelligent instructions onboard, provided by God. That is the ID view of him. And I would note my books never rejected God on the basis of quoting Shapiro, whom I admire.

Just as easily = 50%. Shapiro’s theory does not reject God, and nor do I. It covers cellular intelligence, not the source of cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Please reread Shapiro from 2017 at Royal Society:
David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view 2017 (Evolution)
by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 20:31 (77 days ago) @ David Turell

Not exactly what you think about him. His book has hyperbole which sells books, not his scientific thoughtful presentation.

Are you saying that the quotes in your book are a lie and he doesn’t believe that cells are cognitive beings whose intelligence creates evolutionary innovations? The lecture was delivered to a specialist audience, but there is nothing in what you quoted to contradict what he said earlier. I will bold the relevant references, since you seem to think he has changed his mind.

QUOTE: These examples show us that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth. That conclusion should not surprise us since extant organisms are descendants of multiple evolutionary episodes. Considering potential interactions between dynamic ecological conditions and the biological engines of cell and genome variation raises important questions about control and specificity in evolutionary innovation. The years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how cell fusions, genome doublings, and natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success."

Please explain how core biological capacities for self-modification contradict the theory of the intelligent cell, and how non-random “natural genetic engineering” contradicts his theory of "natural genetic engineering" as explained in the earlier quotes. Did his lecture offer a new definition of "natural genetic engineering”? And you still haven’t told me how I have stretched his theory to suit my own bias.


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