Miscellany: gaps in evolution cause discontinuity (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, June 24, 2021, 18:10 (411 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You slice and dice as if evolution is all unrelated distinct parts. Now you suddenly deny it.

dhw: Total confusion. I’ll try to straighten it out. 1) You have just quite rightly sliced the history up into precise geological eras. This has nothing to do with 2) the continuity of common descent, in which every life form is descended from a previous life form. However, 3) although we believe all life forms are descended from the earliest (bacteria), there is NO continuity between the different branches which evolved separately. One branch went from bacteria to humans, and another branch went from bacteria to birds. But according to you, every branch was “part of the goal of evolving [by which you mean specially designing] humans” plus their lunch.

Of course the branches physically split apart, but their relationship remains as we look to the past process, all run by the same DNA with local modifications. The necessity that remains at all stages (which you always ignore) is enough branches to be eaten to satisfy a requirement for energy.

dhw: […] I hope you will now stop pretending that I have “extrapolated” ideas which Shapiro does not propose himself.

DAVID: Shapiro proposed a possible solution by self-editing DNA. I just presented some minor evidence that it happens for minor modification. Your extrapolation is evidenced in your miraculous 'cell intelligence theory' that can theoretically produce any design change.

dhw: You simply refuse to take any notice of what you quote in your own book. How many more times? Cells are “cognitive (sentient) entities….Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self modification...” Please stop pretending that “evolutionary novelty” and “new structures” mean “minor modification”.

DAVID: Those phrases are Shapiro's extrapolated theory from his findings, which I describe accurately. You extrapolate his theory further as above: " evidenced in your miraculous 'cell intelligence theory' that can theoretically produce any design change."

dhw: You keep pretending that Shapiro does not attribute evolutionary novelty to cellular intelligence. Calling it “miraculous” and substituting “any design change” for evolutionary novelty does not make my theory any different to his.

No, in a way his theory is as much an extrapolation as you use. He presented it as an important finding that had to be further understood in the problem of how speciation works. I'm not aware anyone has done followup work, but Lenski's E.coli attempt, which hasn't offered answers so far, continues. I wish some real advance in understanding would occur.

DAVID: I agree it is all theory, and we don't know how speciation happens. I'm with God as designer, because of the complexity of the biological designs we find.

dhw: I know. Shapiro’s theory is that the cells do the designing. You know, but you pretend it isn’t his theory. My only addition is that if God exists, he would have designed cellular intelligence.

You keep unrealistically interpreting my view of Shapiro. Why is it so important for you to have a God that allows cells to do their own designing not under His control? To reduce God's power? What else?

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