Back to Shapiro (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, March 28, 2020, 13:15 (214 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course he [Shapiro] acknowledges that it is a theory, and not yet proven, but he hopes it will be. But what on earth was the point in your telling me: “Not exactly what you think about him. His book has hyperbole which sells books, not his scientific thoughtful presentation.” My quotes were not hyperbole, and his lecture in no way contradicts those quotes. You also accused me of stretching his theory to fit my bias. There is no stretching and there is no hyperbole. Please stop pretending that Shapiro does not propose cellular intelligence as the driving force behind evolutionary innovation.

dhw: You have not commented on this, and so I hope it will mark the end of this unproductive thread of discussion.

DAVID: The hyperbole is in his book, not you…

What hyperbole? He advances cellular intelligence and natural genetic engineering as a theory, just as you advance your logical designer God theory and your illogical theory of evolution. Both hyperbole?

DAVID: …..but in reality, it tells us nothing more that live-on-their-own bacteria can self-edit their DNA more than epigenetics in multicellular organisms.

Why do you insist on restricting the discussion to bacteria, just because that is his special field? He is building on the work of other specialists who are also convinced that cells are intelligent, sentient, cognitive beings. Should we dismiss your theories about God and evolution just because you are not a theologian cum biochemist cum palaeontologist cum microbiologist cum physicist cum archangel?

DAVID: But your stretch to believe our cells act intelligently is not supported by his work. Nothing is more clear to me. Bacteria are not our cells.

It is not my stretch. You yourself have quoted the theory, and the theory is not confined to bacteria! Do you really believe that Shapiro is unaware of all the research done by McClintock and Margulis and others who have drawn the same conclusions as himself about cellular intelligence?

DAVID: The 50/50 possibility is my honest observation of the odds of truth. I believe 100% that so-called cellular intelligence is cells following God-provided instructions.

dhw: Yes, you are honest in your 50/50 assessment of the odds. That is why it is illogical to dismiss a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

DAVID: Please remember you are the agnostic. I am not.

dhw: I think you will be on safer ground, then, if you say outright that those fixed beliefs which you cannot explain are based on irrational faith and not on reason. I would say the same to any atheist who places his faith in the theory that all the complexities of life have arisen by sheer chance (e.g. chance origin of life, evolution governed by random mutations).

DAVID: As you know I was an agnostic and came to believe because of the reading I did, and, as Adler writes, I came to believe 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. You are […] not an atheist because of the complexity of the design of life. […] Our only difference really is that I have given the designer a name and believe He existed and exists.

I know your position and mine. I am just pointing out to you that your position is no more and no less “beyond a reasonable doubt” than that of the convinced atheist, and since you keep emphasizing that there is no point in using human reason to answer all the awkward questions, quite clearly you can’t answer them, which means your fixed beliefs are based on faith and not on reason.

DAVID (under “trading mitochondria"): Mitochondrias are as free-ranging as Margulis might have imagined when she proposed her theory. They must play some sort of a role in speciation. This article is actually about using them in therapy.

It is worth pointing out that Margulis was another staunch believer in cellular intelligence.


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