Back to Shapiro (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 28, 2020, 21:06 (128 days ago) @ dhw

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…

dhw: 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?

Shapiro is now retired and all his work was on how bacteria can edit and modify their DNA. His theory implies that this ability was passed on in evolution and might imply how cells became so intelligent looking, with no proof they are really intelligent. And the ability might lead somehow to a means of speciation.


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.

dhw: 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?

Answered above with a fuller discussion of his apparent thoughts, as I interpret his book and his paper to the Royal Society in 2017.


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.

dhw: 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?

I quoted his theory to recognize his contribution to the current status of research in how evolution works. Of course he knows previous work and opinion, and whether cells are intelligent or simply act intelligently by following instruction is a matter of opinion.

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.

dhw: 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.

The bold is the your usual twisted version of my views. I have politely given you 'guesses' about God's reasoning in the past and you have quoted them to argue against my views. I really can guess as much as you do, but it is difficult not to humanize God if you and I use human reasoning to guess why He chose to do what He did and how He seemed to accomplish His purposes. Logically, if my view of God is accepted that He is fully in charge, and capable of doing all He wishes when He wishes, then simply studying history tells us His actions, without questioning His decisions, as if He were human in thought, making decisions on the fly. My fixed belief is God exists and runs the show with clear purposes in mind. Purposes on the way to a goal: 1) start life and keep bacteria around for larger help with more complex organisms (biomes); 2) create a huge bush of life with proper econiches to supply food for life to have the energy it constantly needs; 3) to use evolution to create humans with their most unusual mental capacity, whose existence or survival is not required as part of the previous bush of life.


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.

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

Yes. Belief, nothing more. We still await proof.


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