The simplest explanation? (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, November 02, 2020, 11:23 (353 days ago) @ George Jelliss

dhw: The idea that natural selection is the key to the origin of species is frankly absurd. Natural selection does not create anything. It only works on what already exists.

GEORGE: I see nothing absurd about it at all. It's just basic Darwinian evolution.

There is nothing absurd about natural selection itself. The absurdity lies in the argument that it is the means of speciation. Natural selection does not CREATE change. It only selects changes that have already been made. I think it was you, George, who drew our attention to the full title of Darwin’s book: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. That says it all: natural selection is a process of preservation, not of invention, and speciation requires invention.

GEORGE: As to the work of Shapiro. As I've said I've not looked into his theories before.
However it does seem there may be something in his ideas, but they remain controversial, particularly as they seem to attract the interest of ID creationists.
The following link seems to be a balanced assessment, though short on detail.

Shapiro explicitly dissociates himself from ID. The article provides a good summary of his theory, with great emphasis on the cognitive powers of cells.
DAVID: Since dhw raised my thoughts into your discussion, I'll simply note the obvious. Shapiro's work was totally on bacteria, which are fully free living and must have responses to their environment which enhance survival. The possible sources for that ability are either learned/developed over time or by design. The issue for me is there is no answer as to how they survived while learning.

I do not believe for one second that Shapiro did not take into account the findings of other experts in the field, such as Margulis and McClintock, whose research was not confined to bacteria. In any case, his conclusions regarding cellular intelligence clearly apply to cells in general, so I don’t know why you think the argument can be discredited by your own insistence on confining it to bacteria. ALL organisms must have responses to their environment if they are to survive changes, and it is perfectly feasible that the same mechanism which makes such adaptations possible might also – as Shapiro explicitly proposes – be responsible for INNOVATIONS. You propose that your God changes organisms in advance of environmental changes, whereas I propose that the mechanism enabling them to RESPOND autonomously is there in advance. That is the main issue between you and me.

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