Miscellany: gaps in evolution cause discontinuity (General)

by dhw, Friday, June 25, 2021, 11:34 (409 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

DAVID: 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.

The fact that all life forms are run by DNA etc. does not mean that they were all specially designed as part of the goal of evolving humans. Please stop dodging! And I have always recognized the self-evident truth that all life forms need food for energy, but that does not mean that all life forms were part of the goal of evolving humans and their lunch. Please stop dodging!

dhw (re Shapiro’s theory): 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.

DAVID: 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.

His theory is that speciation is caused by intelligent cells changing their own structure. So is mine.

DAVID: I'm not aware anyone has done follow up work, but Lenski's E.coli attempt, which hasn't offered answers so far, continues. I wish some real advance in understanding would occur.

So do I. And I also wish you would stop pretending that Shapiro does not propose cellular intelligence as the driving force behind speciation.

DAVID: 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?

It is you who keep pretending that Shapiro’s theory is not what he says it is. Your questions completely miss the point not just of this discussion but of the forum in general. We are trying to find solutions to all the unsolved mysteries. One of them is how evolution works. Neither of us accepts Darwin’s random mutations. What are the alternatives? Your divine 3.8-billion-year-old programme for all innovations and solutions etc. is one. Your God incessantly dabbling to design every innovation, solve every problem, give courses in camouflage and nest-building and navigation and self-defence is another. Cellular intelligence, possibly designed by your God, is another. Nothing whatsoever to do with God’s power. If he exists, you have no more idea than I have about his nature, purpose, or method. But the object of all our discussions is to propose theories and discuss their likelihood.

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