Miscellany: gaps in evolution cause discontinuity (General)

by dhw, Thursday, June 17, 2021, 11:21 (38 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I have asked two questions, neither of which has been answered: 1) Why do you think there should be fossils of organisms that lived 540 million years ago? 2) Please explain why you think 10 million years is not long enough for innovations to be designed by intelligent cells combining their intelligences to restructure themselves under new conditions.

I still wait in hope of answers.

dhw: I am complaining about the fact that none of the scientists you quote seem to have heard of Shapiro’s theory. […]

DAVID: I read the scientific literature carefully. Shapiro's excellent work is widely appreciated. No one has taken up his theory about evolution with further work and he is retired. ID touted his work which is how I found it out. Does that surprise you? You yearn for a form of cell intelligence that is pure theory. […]

I am not yearning, and all explanations, including your own, are “pure theory”. I am waiting for you and others to say why you dismiss or ignore Shapiro’s “excellent work”. There are/were notable scientists who also firmly believe/believed in cellular intelligence, and you have never explained why you think your God is incapable of designing the cellular intelligence that Shapiro believes designed the “novelties” of speciation.

QUOTE:"The fossils were found during a field research in the Qaidam Basin in July 2020…”

Thank you for proving my point. New discoveries are being made all the time. No one can possibly claim that what fossils we have are all that we shall ever have.

DAVID: More of the same. Simple fronds which are some form of animal. Sure are enigmatic. They look nothing like the animals we know.

We know the Cambrian produced new forms! We don’t know what triggered the Cambrian, or how ANY speciation takes place. Even Blechly acknowledges that in this sense, the Cambrian is not unique.

QUOTE: […] "... the reliability of these estimates appears to be questionable...the relationship between the animal phyla remains controversial and elusive.

Everything related to this subject is controversial and elusive. Hence all the different theories.

QUOTE: "In biogeography, evolutionists appeal to unlikely and speculative explanations where species must raft across vast oceans in order for common descent to account for their unexpected locations.”

How about convergent evolution as an explanation? And at what stages of evolution did the relevant land masses drift apart?

QUOTE: "Paleontology fails to reveal the continuous branching pattern predicted by common ancestry, and the fossil record is dominated by abrupt explosions of new life forms.”

We cannot expect a continuous fossil record. But in any case, a major change in conditions will require a swift response. There are three possible responses: extinction, adaptation (short term, in order to survive), innovation (to exploit new conditions and econiches, and thereby improve long-term chances of survival). “Abrupt explosions” are covered by Gould’s “punctuated equilibrium”: long periods of stasis until new conditions require or allow new developments.

QUOTE: "The collective evidence cited above shows that those who believe the tree of life is not 100 percent continuous across all organisms aren’t crazy. Whatever burdens of proof need to be met to have our view taken seriously, we’ve far exceeded them."

What 100% continuity? During thousands of millions of years, evolution has branched out all over the planet! But that does not mean all life did NOT descend from the first cells, and it does not mean that all forms of life have NOT descended from earlier forms.

DAVID: Want more proof?

Proof of what? One moment you desperately try to prove that all forms of life are “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” and therefore evolution is a continuous process from bacteria to us, and now you are triumphantly telling us there is no continuity.

Let me summarize some of the main points:
1) the history of the bush of life shows countless branches of life forms that have no connection with each other. Only one led from bacteria to humans. This makes nonsense of the claim that every life form was “part of the goal of evolving [= designing] humans” plus food supply.
2) We cannot expect a complete fossil record of every life form that ever lived. Each discovery is a major event.
3) There is no need to spend all this time on proving that there are gaps. No one knows the causes of speciation in general, let alone the “explosion” of species during the Cambrian. We have nothing but theories. Your God’s pre-planning or personal dabbling is one theory for which there is no proof. Darwin’s random mutations seem to both of us to be unlikely in view of the complexities involved. Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence interacting with new environmental conditions makes perfect sense, but there is no proof.
4) Ten million years is an enormous expanse of time in terms of generations of intelligent organisms adapting to or exploiting new conditions. Ignoring Shapiro's theory does not invalidate it.


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