The simplest explanation? (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, October 06, 2020, 11:32 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

DAVID: Very difficult for chance evolution to explain how placental pregnancy ever developed.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I agree. My proposal is that the complexities of life have come about, not by chance but through intelligent cell communities cooperating, and if God exists, I firmly believe that he would be perfectly capable of designing the intelligence of cells. Here’s an example:

DAVID: Moving out of Africa to Europe made eyes turn blue, among other colors:
https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2020/10/01/ancient_humans_eyes_were_nearly_black_...

DAVID: Darwin- based writing always points out purposeful adaptations with the assumption they just happened. They sure look directed to me.

So God stepped in to turn the eyes blue, did he? Or he programmed it 3.8 billion years ago? Don’t you think it’s just possible that this adaptation was the result of intelligent cells adjusting themselves to find the best way of coping with new conditions?

DAVID: All under controlling instructions from God.

dhw: Back we go. Your “controlling instructions” mean a 3.8-billion-year-old programme to be passed on from the first cells for every undabbled evolutionary change, natural wonder etc. in the history of life. The exact opposite of Shapiro's/my autonomous cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Shapiro does not state how that autonomous cellular intelligence developed. I chose to say God as source.

I am perfectly happy with your choice, and as you have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew, I’m sure he would have no objection either. His goal and mine is to explain the process by which evolution works – i.e., as with the agnostic Darwin, to explain Chapter 2 of life, Chapter 1 being the origin.

DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: No answer from you. How has your theory been "advanced"? It's a typical case of pots and kettles.

DAVID: There will be no absolute proof of God, which is why I always ask the question, how much very advanced complexity must be shown before it is obvious there must be a designer.

We are not talking about God’s existence but about two different theories of evolution. We have no absolute proof of yours or of Shapiro’s, so please stop trying to discredit his theory for a reason which is equally applicable to your own.

DAVID: I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: The issue is always the personality of the God one envisions. My God is very purposeful and does not give up control to an independent inventive mechanism. Your version of God is feasible as are His actions in your wishy-washy version of God. The atheist example misses the point pf my approach.

Your approach is that you do not accept my theory because it is different from yours.

dhw: So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

DAVID: The background of accepting an idea is based on one's version of God. I understand your desire to have God give the cells an autonomous invention mechanism. It diminishes God's role in direct creation but He is still obviously mostly in charge. I see Him wanting full exact control.

It is not my “desire”, I know my theory, which you don’t accept, and I know your theory. Now will you please answer my bolded question, which was asked as a response to your bolded statement above.

I note with some regret that you have dropped the problem of theodicy, which again is solved by my “simplest explanation”: he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden, and so he gave organisms the freedom to do their own designing to suit their own purposes – hence “good” and “bad” bacteria and viruses. Perhaps you have a better explanation?


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