David's theory of evolution (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, September 30, 2019, 13:14 (116 days ago)

I am combining quotes from different threads in order to avoid the constant repetitions.

David’s theory of evolution is that his God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. David has no idea why God chose this method of fulfilling his one and only goal. He denies that this is his theory, and so I have quoted his own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” He agrees that this is his theory (“Of course.”)

dhw: Do please make up your mind. And let us not forget that you have no idea why he decided to “evolve humans over time” as described in your theory.

DAVID: Same Theory: God, the Creator, created evolution as His choice of life's creation. Obvious logical result of accepting God as Creator.

That is not the theory that is in dispute here! If God exists, then for those of us who believe in evolution, clearly evolution was his chosen means of achieving his purpose. The dispute is over your choice of God's possible purpose and of the possible means of fulfilling that purpose. Since the above theory makes no sense even to you, I have offered alternative explanations of purpose and method. For instance, if he really did specially design us humans with our very special level of consciousness, it may have been an idea that occurred to him only after 3.X billion years, or if he wanted us from the very beginning, he may have spent 3.X billion years experimenting to find a way of achieving this purpose.

DAVID: Experimentation strongly implies a humanized God. God knows what He is doing, and makes His own clear Choices.

Of course God, if he exists, would make his own choices, but an experimenting scientist or inventor “knows what he is doing” or his experiments will have no chance of success! “Humanizing” is your desperate attempt to escape from the illogicality of your theory, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” As indeed are your own. If he “very well could think like us”, a “humanizing” hypothesis is clearly just as likely to be true as a hypothesis based on the belief that he does not think like us. And so you are left with one last straw to clutch at: your theory is logical provided we jettison human logic:

DAVID: The history of creation tells us how God the Creator did it. Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.
And
DAVID: You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking, It doesn't work.
Let us remember that your theory as summarized above is your personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. In contrast to my alternatives, apparently your theory is perfectly logical provided we do not use human logic to try and understand it. May I humbly suggest that if God “very well could think like us”, theories which ARE logical by human reasoning are more likely to be true than a theory which you as a human find illogical and which is based on the assumption that God does NOT think like us.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, September 30, 2019, 18:51 (116 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am combining quotes from different threads

David’s theory of evolution is that his God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. David has no idea why God chose this method of fulfilling his one and only goal. He denies that this is his theory, and so I have quoted his own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” He agrees that this is his theory (“Of course.”)

dhw: And let us not forget that you have no idea why he decided to “evolve humans over time” as described in your theory.

DAVID: Same Theory: God, the Creator, created evolution as His choice of life's creation. Obvious logical result of accepting God as Creator.

dhw: If God exists, then for those of us who believe in evolution, clearly evolution was his chosen means of achieving his purpose. The dispute is over your choice of God's possible purpose and of the possible means of fulfilling that purpose. Since the above theory makes no sense even to you, I have offered alternative explanations of purpose and method. For instance, if he really did specially design us humans with our very special level of consciousness, it may have been an idea that occurred to him only after 3.X billion years, or if he wanted us from the very beginning, he may have spent 3.X billion years experimenting to find a way of achieving this purpose.

DAVID: Experimentation strongly implies a humanized God. God knows what He is doing, and makes His own clear Choices.

dhw: Of course God, if he exists, would make his own choices, but an experimenting scientist or inventor “knows what he is doing” or his experiments will have no chance of success! “Humanizing” is your desperate attempt to escape from the illogicality of your theory, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” As indeed are your own. If he “very well could think like us”, a “humanizing” hypothesis is clearly just as likely to be true as a hypothesis based on the belief that he does not think like us. And so you are left with one last straw to clutch at: your theory is logical provided we jettison human logic:

DAVID: The history of creation tells us how God the Creator did it. Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.
And
DAVID: Yyou try to make God logical to fit your human thinking, It doesn't work.

dhw: Let us remember that your theory as summarized above is your personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method. In contrast to my alternatives, apparently your theory is perfectly logical provided we do not use human logic to try and understand it. May I humbly suggest that if God “very well could think like us”, theories which ARE logical by human reasoning are more likely to be true than a theory which you as a human find illogical and which is based on the assumption that God does NOT think like us.

Rather than go through your garbled version of what I think and how I think, by spotting your distortions above and locally answering each one, I am answering in total here my series of logical points that lead to my conclusions:

First of all is the overwhelming evidence that God prefers to evolve, as in the history of the universe from the Big Bang to now, the evolving surface of the Earth and the start of life and its interlocking influence of the properties of the Earth. I view God as in charge starting his creation 13.78 byo and arriving at current humans with their big brained consciousness about 300,000 years ago. The stresses from environment were not severe enough to require humans to appear, as our closest relatives, the apes prove. That removes any Darwin theory from consideration as environmental tresses driving evolution. God, as designer, does the work. As Adler points out, consciousness is the obvious proof God exists, my shorthand for his 300+/- page book. It is obvious God took His own sweet time. He has no need to be swift, as you constantly wish with your illogical human thinking.

I simply look at history to tell me what God decided to do. He has His own reasons for evolving rather than direct creation as in Genesis. And Genesis word 'day' is a misinterpretation of the Hebrew word 'Yom', which really is any interval in time. You view Him from an impatient human view, of why not be quick? History says He wasn't.

Your problem is you cannot accept God as the Designer/creator. It is your problem, not mine, since you do not wish to follow my line of reasoning and arrive at what you call another mystery to answer the questions. I view the need for a designer as undeniable and irrefutable. God must exist to explain the designed complexity of living organisms. Not by chance. And design is what keeps you agnostic, as you admit. So how do you explain the obvious design? Your position doesn't, as you present a garbled humanized view of God in your attempt to approach Him. Your problem, not mine, noting that I started out as agnostic, but with an open mind in studying the design evidence.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, October 01, 2019, 09:39 (116 days ago) @ David Turell

David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)

“Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.

DAVID: Rather than go through your garbled version of what I think and how I think, by spotting your distortions above and locally answering each one, I am answering in total here my series of logical points that lead to my conclusions:

This is your established method of avoiding the illogical sections of your theory, as above.

DAVID: First of all is the overwhelming evidence that God prefers to evolve, as in the history of the universe from the Big Bang to now, the evolving surface of the Earth and the start of life and its interlocking influence of the properties of the Earth. I view God as in charge starting his creation 13.78 byo and arriving at current humans with their big brained consciousness about 300,000 years ago.

If we accept the existence of God, this is perfectly logical and has nothing to do with the illogical parts of your theory bolded above.

DAVID: The stresses from environment were not severe enough to require humans to appear, as our closest relatives, the apes prove. That removes any Darwin theory from consideration as environmental Stresses driving evolution.

We have no idea what “stresses” or opportunities may or may not have driven our ancestors from the trees. But attacking Darwin does not make the bolded theory any more logical.

DAVID: God, as designer, does the work. As Adler points out, consciousness is the obvious proof God exists, my shorthand for his 300+/- page book. It is obvious God took His own sweet time. He has no need to be swift, as you constantly wish with your illogical human thinking.

The argument for design/complexity/consciousness being proof of a designer is not the issue. Nor is the fact that evolution has taken time. Yes, it’s gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years. The issues which you are dodging are bolded above.

DAVID: I simply look at history to tell me what God decided to do. He has His own reasons for evolving rather than direct creation as in Genesis. And Genesis word 'day' is a misinterpretation of the Hebrew word 'Yom', which really is any interval in time. You view Him from an impatient human view, of why not be quick? History says He wasn't.

But history does not say that he set out with the aim and method bolded above. My alternatives offer logical explanations for the evolutionary bush, as you admit. No “impatience” involved.

DAVID: Your problem is you cannot accept God as the Designer/creator. It is your problem, not mine, since you do not wish to follow my line of reasoning and arrive at what you call another mystery to answer the questions. I view the need for a designer as undeniable and irrefutable. God must exist to explain the designed complexity of living organisms. Not by chance. And design is what keeps you agnostic, as you admit. So how do you explain the obvious design? Your position doesn't, as you present a garbled humanized view of God in your attempt to approach Him. Your problem, not mine, noting that I started out as agnostic, but with an open mind in studying the design evidence.

None of this even remotely justifies your own fixed belief in the theory of evolution bolded above.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 02, 2019, 00:25 (115 days ago) @ dhw

David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

dhw: You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)

“Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.

DAVID: Rather than go through your garbled version of what I think and how I think, by spotting your distortions above and locally answering each one, I am answering in total here my series of logical points that lead to my conclusions:

dhw: This is your established method of avoiding the illogical sections of your theory, as above.

DAVID: First of all is the overwhelming evidence that God prefers to evolve, as in the history of the universe from the Big Bang to now, the evolving surface of the Earth and the start of life and its interlocking influence of the properties of the Earth. I view God as in charge starting his creation 13.78 byo and arriving at current humans with their big brained consciousness about 300,000 years ago.

dhw: If we accept the existence of God, this is perfectly logical and has nothing to do with the illogical parts of your theory bolded above.

DAVID: The stresses from environment were not severe enough to require humans to appear, as our closest relatives, the apes prove. That removes any Darwin theory from consideration as environmental Stresses driving evolution.

We have no idea what “stresses” or opportunities may or may not have driven our ancestors from the trees. But attacking Darwin does not make the bolded theory any more logical.

DAVID: God, as designer, does the work. As Adler points out, consciousness is the obvious proof God exists, my shorthand for his 300+/- page book. It is obvious God took His own sweet time. He has no need to be swift, as you constantly wish with your illogical human thinking.

dhw: The argument for design/complexity/consciousness being proof of a designer is not the issue. Nor is the fact that evolution has taken time. Yes, it’s gone on for approx. 3.8 billion years. The issues which you are dodging are bolded above.

DAVID: I simply look at history to tell me what God decided to do. He has His own reasons for evolving rather than direct creation as in Genesis. And Genesis word 'day' is a misinterpretation of the Hebrew word 'Yom', which really is any interval in time. You view Him from an impatient human view, of why not be quick? History says He wasn't.

dhw: But history does not say that he set out with the aim and method bolded above. My alternatives offer logical explanations for the evolutionary bush, as you admit. No “impatience” involved.

DAVID: Your problem is you cannot accept God as the Designer/creator. It is your problem, not mine, since you do not wish to follow my line of reasoning and arrive at what you call another mystery to answer the questions. I view the need for a designer as undeniable and irrefutable. God must exist to explain the designed complexity of living organisms. Not by chance. And design is what keeps you agnostic, as you admit. So how do you explain the obvious design? Your position doesn't, as you present a garbled humanized view of God in your attempt to approach Him. Your problem, not mine, noting that I started out as agnostic, but with an open mind in studying the design evidence.

dhw: None of this even remotely justifies your own fixed belief in the theory of evolution bolded above.

This might as well be the end of this debate. I believe in God and the reasoning and positioning I have presented. We will always fully disagree on these points as our concepts of God totally differ. I find you just as illogical as you find me.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, October 02, 2019, 10:20 (114 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

dhw: You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)
“Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.

DAVID: Rather than go through your garbled version of what I think and how I think, by spotting your distortions above and locally answering each one, I am answering in total here my series of logical points that lead to my conclusions:

I shan’t reproduce the rest of the post, as it reiterates those parts of your theory which are not the subject of our disagreement.

DAVID: This might as well be the end of this debate. I believe in God and the reasoning and positioning I have presented. We will always fully disagree on these points as our concepts of God totally differ. I find you just as illogical as you find me.

I have offered you several alternative versions of your God’s possible purposes and methods, all of which you have accepted as logical but have dismissed because you believe we “should not apply human reasoning to the history”. Of course if we are to turn our backs on human reasoning, the debate concerning this particular theory can go no further. It’s important, however, not to confuse this issue with other aspects of your beliefs for which I have the highest respect, such as the evidence for design (dealt with in masterly fashion in your book The Atheist Delusion, and reinforced again and again on this website), the importance of psychic experiences like NDEs, and our shared belief in common descent. But whenever you make reference to the theory bolded above, I shall feel obliged to point out its illogicality!

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 02, 2019, 19:23 (114 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

dhw: You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)

dhw wishes to continue this discussion; fine. Lets review my position. I view God as Creator and boss of the universe. dhw has not denied this when he assumes a position as a theist. The result of my conclusion is that history will obviously tell us what God decided to do. This cannot be denied. I fully accept the Adler point that the advent of humans with unexplained consciousness proves God must exist. Consciousness cannot be explained through natural development by chance natural evolution. I don't question God's choice since history presents it. dhw's paragraph above is a total distortion of this reasoning, as he tries to misinterpret my direct quotes. My approach through a study of history does not require me to know why God made these choices. I can't know, but I do know we evolved, well beyond any surviving animal species.

dhw: “Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.[/i]

Yes we can humanly reason about God, but I have chosen to do it as in my first paragraph answer and no further, as all dhw has done is humanly guess as to God's possible motives. Just guesses, all logical at our human level, but worthless since they are just guesses. Why not simply accept what God has done as Creator, as the religious do? But then you are not a religious person, and you have distorted reasoning when you think you are acting in a theistic role.

dhw: It’s important, however, not to confuse this issue with other aspects of your beliefs for which I have the highest respect, such as the evidence for design (dealt with in masterly fashion in your book The Atheist Delusion, and reinforced again and again on this website), the importance of psychic experiences like NDEs, and our shared belief in common descent. But whenever you make reference to the theory bolded above, I shall feel obliged to point out its illogicality!

Thank you for the compliments. As for illogicality, it is yours not mine.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Thursday, October 03, 2019, 13:00 (113 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

dhw: You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)

DAVID: dhw wishes to continue this discussion; fine. Lets review my position. I view God as Creator and boss of the universe. dhw has not denied this when he assumes a position as a theist. The result of my conclusion is that history will obviously tell us what God decided to do. This cannot be denied. I fully accept the Adler point that the advent of humans with unexplained consciousness proves God must exist. Consciousness cannot be explained through natural development by chance natural evolution. I don't question God's choice since history presents it.

And with my theist hat on, I don’t question any of this either, but none of it covers your illogical theory of what constitutes “God’s choice”, as bolded above.

DAVID: dhw's paragraph above is a total distortion of this reasoning, as he tries to misinterpret my direct quotes. My approach through a study of history does not require me to know why God made these choices. I can't know, but I do know we evolved, well beyond any surviving animal species.

I also believe we evolved and have survived. Your interpretation of God’s “choices”, as the quotes make perfectly clear, is that he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take. THAT, as shown by your own words, is the theory that I dispute!

dhw: “Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.

DAVID: Yes we can humanly reason about God, but I have chosen to do it as in my first paragraph answer and no further, as all dhw has done is humanly guess as to God's possible motives. Just guesses, all logical at our human level, but worthless since they are just guesses.

Your theory, as bolded in your own words above, is just a guess, but is illogical at our human level, which is why you tell us that it is only logical if we do not apply human reasoning to the history!

DAVID: Why not simply accept what God has done as Creator, as the religious do? But then you are not a religious person, and you have distorted reasoning when you think you are acting in a theistic role.

If God exists, I accept that he has created the universe and life, but I do not accept your guess concerning his one and only goal and his method of achieving it. (See also “Feedback loops”.) You have agreed many times that my alternatives are logical, i.e. the reasoning is not distorted.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 03, 2019, 20:51 (113 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: David has chosen not to deal with the salient points of his theory which make it illogical, and he calls my summary a “garbled version”. Here in bold are the salient points again, and perhaps David would care to point out which of them are “garbled”.

dhw: You say your God is in total control, and H. sapiens was his one and only goal; God decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to fulfil his goal, therefore he had to specially design all the other life forms in order to cover the time involved. You have “no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. You deny that this is your theory, and so I have quoted your own words: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take.” You agree that this is your theory (“Of course.”)

DAVID: dhw wishes to continue this discussion; fine. Lets review my position. I view God as Creator and boss of the universe. dhw has not denied this when he assumes a position as a theist. The result of my conclusion is that history will obviously tell us what God decided to do. This cannot be denied. I fully accept the Adler point that the advent of humans with unexplained consciousness proves God must exist. Consciousness cannot be explained through natural development by chance natural evolution. I don't question God's choice since history presents it.

And with my theist hat on, I don’t question any of this either, but none of it covers your illogical theory of what constitutes “God’s choice”, as bolded above.

DAVID: dhw's paragraph above is a total distortion of this reasoning, as he tries to misinterpret my direct quotes. My approach through a study of history does not require me to know why God made these choices. I can't know, but I do know we evolved, well beyond any surviving animal species.

dhw: I also believe we evolved and have survived. Your interpretation of God’s “choices”, as the quotes make perfectly clear, is that he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take. THAT, as shown by your own words, is the theory that I dispute!

Since you accept God is in control and evolved all of life's bush, I don't understand how you can dispute my theory which is taken directly from recorded history.


dhw: “Humanizing” is your argument against alternative explanations, but you have admitted that “He very well could think like us, but it is only a guess, as your suppositions about His thoughts are.” Your final defence of your theory is that it is logical provided we do not attempt to apply human logic to it: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” And “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn't work.” No it doesn’t, and I suggest that if the theory is against human logic, and God “very well could think like us”, then maybe a logical theory has more chance of being right than your own illogical theory.

DAVID: Yes we can humanly reason about God, but I have chosen to do it as in my first paragraph answer and no further, as all dhw has done is humanly guess as to God's possible motives. Just guesses, all logical at our human level, but worthless since they are just guesses.

dhw: Your theory, as bolded in your own words above, is just a guess, but is illogical at our human level, which is why you tell us that it is only logical if we do not apply human reasoning to the history!

You are analyzing God at a human logic level which means you are humanizing Him. Applying human logic to his choices are just guesses.


DAVID: Why not simply accept what God has done as Creator, as the religious do? But then you are not a religious person, and you have distorted reasoning when you think you are acting in a theistic role.

dhw: If God exists, I accept that he has created the universe and life, but I do not accept your guess concerning his one and only goal and his method of achieving it. (See also “Feedback loops”.) You have agreed many times that my alternatives are logical, i.e. the reasoning is not distorted.

The problem is that they are just humanizing guesses.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Friday, October 04, 2019, 10:04 (113 days ago) @ David Turell

I am combining this thread with “feedback loops”, since they now overlap.

dhw: […] Your interpretation of God’s “choices”, as the quotes make perfectly clear, is that he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take. THAT, as shown by your own words, is the theory that I dispute!

DAVID: Since you accept God is in control and evolved all of life's bush, I don't understand how you can dispute my theory which is taken directly from recorded history.

There is no recorded history telling us even that God exists, let alone that he maintains total control, had only one aim etc. etc. as bolded above! The only recorded history of life is that there has been a bush of different organisms extant and extinct!

DAVID: Why not simply accept what God has done as Creator, as the religious do? But then you are not a religious person, and you have distorted reasoning when you think you are acting in a theistic role.

dhw: If God exists, I accept that he has created the universe and life, but I do not accept your guess concerning his one and only goal and his method of achieving it. You have agreed many times that my alternatives are logical, i.e. the reasoning is not distorted.

DAVID: The problem is that they are just humanizing guesses.

Your own guess is that your God’s “choice” is incomprehensible to human logic. However, you have agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, so at least my various alternative guesses have the merit of making sense to both of us.

dhw: […] you believe every decision made not only by brainless bacteria but also by some organisms (I presume you exclude humans and other large organisms) with brains was preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, to be passed on by the very first cells. These decisions apply to all the natural wonders you have listed, […] even though your God’s one and only intention was to specially design H. sapiens. You agree that this seems illogical (you have “no idea” why he chose this method),

DAVID: Your constant distortion: My 'no idea' simply means I don't guess at His reasons for his choices, not that I think it is illogical. I'm sure God is perfectly logical.

But you guess at his choices! And then you tell us: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” No, human logic doesn’t work if you apply human reasoning to your guess at his choices! You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Sounds to me as though your human logic has failed to come up with any explanation of the choice you have imposed on your God.

dhw: Since you are not prepared to use human reasoning, the discussion could well end there, but it is bound to be reopened whenever you try to justify your preprogramming theory.

DAVID: I don't try to apply human logic to it, that is the point, which for some unknown reason you refuse to recognize.

How do you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at your God’s choice if you haven’t tried to apply it?

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, October 04, 2019, 18:18 (112 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Since you accept God is in control and evolved all of life's bush, I don't understand how you can dispute my theory which is taken directly from recorded history.

dhw: There is no recorded history telling us even that God exists, let alone that he maintains total control, had only one aim etc. etc. as bolded above! The only recorded history of life is that there has been a bush of different organisms extant and extinct!

Our difference is I believe God is in charge of the history. Thus we will disagree.


DAVID: Why not simply accept what God has done as Creator, as the religious do? But then you are not a religious person, and you have distorted reasoning when you think you are acting in a theistic role.

dhw: If God exists, I accept that he has created the universe and life, but I do not accept your guess concerning his one and only goal and his method of achieving it. You have agreed many times that my alternatives are logical, i.e. the reasoning is not distorted.

DAVID: The problem is that they are just humanizing guesses.

dhw: Your own guess is that your God’s “choice” is incomprehensible to human logic. However, you have agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, so at least my various alternative guesses have the merit of making sense to both of us.

Yes they do at a human level of logic.


dhw: […] you believe every decision made not only by brainless bacteria but also by some organisms (I presume you exclude humans and other large organisms) with brains was preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, to be passed on by the very first cells. These decisions apply to all the natural wonders you have listed, […] even though your God’s one and only intention was to specially design H. sapiens. You agree that this seems illogical (you have “no idea” why he chose this method),

DAVID: Your constant distortion: My 'no idea' simply means I don't guess at His reasons for his choices, not that I think it is illogical. I'm sure God is perfectly logical.

dhw: But you guess at his choices!

But I don't guess. I take the position God is in charge and therefore the course of history mirror his choices.

dhw: And then you tell us: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” No, human logic doesn’t work if you apply human reasoning to your guess at his choices! You wrote: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?” Sounds to me as though your human logic has failed to come up with any explanation of the choice you have imposed on your God.

The difference in our positions is my view of God as above.


dhw: Since you are not prepared to use human reasoning, the discussion could well end there, but it is bound to be reopened whenever you try to justify your preprogramming theory.

DAVID: I don't try to apply human logic to it, that is the point, which for some unknown reason you refuse to recognize.

dhw: How do you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at your God’s choice if you haven’t tried to apply it?

Note my statements about God's role, as I believe it.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Saturday, October 05, 2019, 11:22 (111 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] Your interpretation of God’s “choices”, as the quotes make perfectly clear, is that he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take. THAT, as shown by your own words, is the theory that I dispute!

DAVID: Since you accept God is in control and evolved all of life's bush, I don't understand how you can dispute my theory which is taken directly from recorded history.

dhw: There is no recorded history telling us even that God exists, let alone that he maintains total control, had only one aim etc. etc. as bolded above! The only recorded history of life is that there has been a bush of different organisms extant and extinct!

DAVID: Our difference is I believe God is in charge of the history. Thus we will disagree.

If your God decided to invent a mechanism which would enable organisms to make their own designs (with the proviso that he could always dabble if he wanted to), he would still be “in charge”. Our difference is in the bold above, which apparently is only logical if we abandon human reasoning, as in this next exchange:

dhw: Your own guess is that your God’s “choice” is incomprehensible to human logic. However, you have agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, so at least my various alternative guesses have the merit of making sense to both of us.

DAVID: Yes they do at a human level of logic.

That is your only defence of your illogical guess: in order for it to be logical, we must abandon all human logic.

DAVID My 'no idea' simply means I don't guess at His reasons for his choices, not that I think it is illogical. I'm sure God is perfectly logical.

dhw: But you guess at his choices!

DAVID: But I don't guess. I take the position God is in charge and therefore the course of history mirror his choices.

The position you take is bolded above, and it is such a wild guess that you can only justify it by saying that we mustn’t apply human logic!

DAVID: I don't try to apply human logic to it […]

dhw: How do you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at your God’s choice if you haven’t tried to apply it?

DAVID: Note my statements about God's role, as I believe it.

I have noted them and I have replied to every single one of them. So do please tell us how you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at God’s choice, even though you acknowledge that God “very well could think like us.”

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 05, 2019, 18:41 (111 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] Your interpretation of God’s “choices”, as the quotes make perfectly clear, is that [/b] he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take[/b]. THAT, as shown by your own words, is the theory that I dispute!

DAVID: Since you accept God is in control and evolved all of life's bush, I don't understand how you can dispute my theory which is taken directly from recorded history.

dhw: There is no recorded history telling us even that God exists, let alone that he maintains total control, had only one aim etc. etc. as bolded above! The only recorded history of life is that there has been a bush of different organisms extant and extinct!

DAVID: Our difference is I believe God is in charge of the history. Thus we will disagree.

dhw: If your God decided to invent a mechanism which would enable organisms to make their own designs (with the proviso that he could always dabble if he wanted to), he would still be “in charge”. Our difference is in the bold above, which apparently is only logical if we abandon human reasoning, as in this next exchange:

dhw: Your own guess is that your God’s “choice” is incomprehensible to human logic. However, you have agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, so at least my various alternative guesses have the merit of making sense to both of us.

DAVID: Yes they do at a human level of logic.

dhw: That is your only defence of your illogical guess: in order for it to be logical, we must abandon all human logic.

DAVID My 'no idea' simply means I don't guess at His reasons for his choices, not that I think it is illogical. I'm sure God is perfectly logical.

dhw: But you guess at his choices!

DAVID: But I don't guess. I take the position God is in charge and therefore the course of history mirror his choices.

dhw: The position you take is bolded above, and it is such a wild guess that you can only justify it by saying that we mustn’t apply human logic!

DAVID: I don't try to apply human logic to it […]

dhw: How do you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at your God’s choice if you haven’t tried to apply it?

DAVID: Note my statements about God's role, as I believe it.

dhw: I have noted them and I have replied to every single one of them. So do please tell us how you know that human logic cannot be applied to your guess at God’s choice, even though you acknowledge that God “very well could think like us.”

Your distortion of my theory : " he is in total control, had only one aim, decided not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to specially design every non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, is answered in the other thread on monarchs:

You've simply repeated your illogical distortions, implying God should have been humanly impatient and gotten right to His goal of producing humans. Instead it is obvious to me God, in charge, chose to evolve us over time and had to design the bush of life to arrange for the energy needed for the time period involved, 3.8 billion years. Note the bush is also the result of evolving life from bacteria to humans. His choice of methodology is obvious, and yes, we do not know His reasons, nor can we. You like to guess and complain about Him, when it is clearly what He has done.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Sunday, October 06, 2019, 10:22 (110 days ago) @ David Turell

Under “monarch adaptation”:

dhw: I agree with you that these mutations could not have been by chance. But I don’t understand why a designer whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would, 3.8 billion years ago, have provided the first cells with a programme for these three mutations in the monarch butterfly. Clearly the cell communities of the monarch’s immediate ancestor are what changed (mutated), and so an alternative to divine programming and/or dabbling might have been the intelligence (possibly God-given) of the cells themselves enabling them to find new ways to survive.

DAVID: That is your theory, not mine. The monarchs are necessary part of their econiche and therefore part of God's design.

dhw: Yes, the alternative is my suggested explanation, and yes, all organisms could be called a “necessary part of their econiche” until they become extinct and the econiche changes. You seem to have forgotten the theory which I find so illogical, so let me remind you yet again: “He knew these designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, i.e. 3.X billion years NOT fulfilling his actual goal, which was to specially design piece after piece of hominin and homo until he finally specially designed H. sapiens – and you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a goal, but it’s quite logical provided we humans don’t try to figure out its logic.

DAVID: You've simply repeated your illogical distortions, implying God should have been humanly impatient and gotten right to His goal of producing humans. Instead it is obvious to me God, in charge, chose to evolve us over time and had to design the bush of life to arrange for the energy needed for the time period involved, 3.8 billion years. Note the bush is also the result of evolving life from bacteria to humans. His choice of methodology is obvious, and yes, we do not know His reasons, nor can we. You like to guess and complain about Him, when it is clearly what He has done.

I am not implying that your God should have been humanly impatient, I am not querying the known fact that evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years and that humans came very late on the scene, and I am not complaining about God. I am complaining about your illogical assumption that he only had one goal, but for reasons you cannot imagine decided not to pursue it for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to design the bush of life”, with each non-human innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder being an “interim goal” in order to cover the time he had decided to take. I have offered you several perfectly logical alternative reasons for the bush, all of which by your own admission fit in with the history of life. I see no reason why you should reject them all because of your assumption that your God has a purpose and method which by your own admission defy human logic, especially since you even agree that “he very well could think like us”.

Another example, under “Nature’s wonders: echolocation
"Remarkably, the researchers found that their unbiased analysis homed in on the cochlear ganglion as the single most affected tissue among echolocating mammals. In particular, 25 "convergent" amino acid changes occurred in 18 genes known to be involved in the development of the cochlear ganglion. Only two of the 25 changes had been previously identified in past echolocation studies." (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Chance evolution with chance mutations could not have achieved this result where diverse species all develop the same changes in the same genes; this is what Simon Conway -Morris calls convergence as a proof of God's control.

An excellent example of convergent evolution. I don’t know why it has to be “under God’s control”. It makes perfect sense for organisms to work out similar solutions to similar problems, and if God exists, then he would have set up the mechanisms that enable organisms to do this. What doesn’t make perfect sense, yet again, is to argue that God only wanted to design H. sapiens, decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore either did one dabble after another, or provided the first cells with programmes to be passed on for each of these examples of echolocation in order to cover the time he had decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal. This is the illogical “guess” which I keep complaining about.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 06, 2019, 19:36 (110 days ago) @ dhw

Under “monarch adaptation”:

dhw: I agree with you that these mutations could not have been by chance. But I don’t understand why a designer whose only purpose was to design H. sapiens would, 3.8 billion years ago, have provided the first cells with a programme for these three mutations in the monarch butterfly. Clearly the cell communities of the monarch’s immediate ancestor are what changed (mutated), and so an alternative to divine programming and/or dabbling might have been the intelligence (possibly God-given) of the cells themselves enabling them to find new ways to survive.

DAVID: That is your theory, not mine. The monarchs are necessary part of their econiche and therefore part of God's design.

dhw: Yes, the alternative is my suggested explanation, and yes, all organisms could be called a “necessary part of their econiche” until they become extinct and the econiche changes. You seem to have forgotten the theory which I find so illogical, so let me remind you yet again: “He knew these designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, i.e. 3.X billion years NOT fulfilling his actual goal, which was to specially design piece after piece of hominin and homo until he finally specially designed H. sapiens – and you have “no idea” why he would have chosen such a method to achieve such a goal, but it’s quite logical provided we humans don’t try to figure out its logic.

DAVID: You've simply repeated your illogical distortions, implying God should have been humanly impatient and gotten right to His goal of producing humans. Instead it is obvious to me God, in charge, chose to evolve us over time and had to design the bush of life to arrange for the energy needed for the time period involved, 3.8 billion years. Note the bush is also the result of evolving life from bacteria to humans. His choice of methodology is obvious, and yes, we do not know His reasons, nor can we. You like to guess and complain about Him, when it is clearly what He has done.

dhw: I am not implying that your God should have been humanly impatient, I am not querying the known fact that evolution has so far lasted 3.8 billion years and that humans came very late on the scene, and I am not complaining about God. I am complaining about your illogical assumption that he only had one goal, but for reasons you cannot imagine decided not to pursue it for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to design the bush of life”, with each non-human innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder being an “interim goal” in order to cover the time he had decided to take. I have offered you several perfectly logical alternative reasons for the bush, all of which by your own admission fit in with the history of life. I see no reason why you should reject them all because of your assumption that your God has a purpose and method which by your own admission defy human logic, especially since you even agree that “he very well could think like us”.

Another example, under “Nature’s wonders: echolocation
"Remarkably, the researchers found that their unbiased analysis homed in on the cochlear ganglion as the single most affected tissue among echolocating mammals. In particular, 25 "convergent" amino acid changes occurred in 18 genes known to be involved in the development of the cochlear ganglion. Only two of the 25 changes had been previously identified in past echolocation studies." (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Chance evolution with chance mutations could not have achieved this result where diverse species all develop the same changes in the same genes; this is what Simon Conway -Morris calls convergence as a proof of God's control.

dhw: An excellent example of convergent evolution. I don’t know why it has to be “under God’s control”. It makes perfect sense for organisms to work out similar solutions to similar problems, and if God exists, then he would have set up the mechanisms that enable organisms to do this. What doesn’t make perfect sense, yet again, is to argue that God only wanted to design H. sapiens, decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore either did one dabble after another, or provided the first cells with programmes to be passed on for each of these examples of echolocation in order to cover the time he had decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal. This is the illogical “guess” which I keep complaining about.

Same brief logical response. I assume God is in charge of what happened historically as He created our current reality. That humans are an extremely different result expected from a natural process of evolution makes them extremely strong evidence as to God's intent from the beginning. I know you have not read Adler and have rejected his religious philosophy, but he cannot be rejected out of hand.

As for convergence, a similar result with similar genes is not like to be the result of a chance mutation method of evolution, and reeks of design.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Monday, October 07, 2019, 08:49 (110 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Chance evolution with chance mutations could not have achieved this result where diverse species all develop the same changes in the same genes; this is what Simon Conway -Morris calls convergence as a proof of God's control.

dhw: An excellent example of convergent evolution. I don’t know why it has to be “under God’s control”. It makes perfect sense for organisms to work out similar solutions to similar problems, and if God exists, then he would have set up the mechanisms that enable organisms to do this. What doesn’t make perfect sense, yet again, is to argue that God only wanted to design H. sapiens, decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore either did one dabble after another, or provided the first cells with programmes to be passed on for each of these examples of echolocation in order to cover the time he had decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal. This is the illogical “guess” which I keep complaining about.

DAVID: Same brief logical response. I assume God is in charge of what happened historically as He created our current reality. That humans are an extremely different result expected from a natural process of evolution makes them extremely strong evidence as to God's intent from the beginning. I know you have not read Adler and have rejected his religious philosophy, but he cannot be rejected out of hand.

Yet again: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: As for convergence, a similar result with similar genes is not like to be the result of a chance mutation method of evolution, and reeks of design.

You know perfectly well that I reject both chance mutations and your illogical belief as summarized above, and propose instead (theistic version) that your God may have invented a mechanism (cellular intelligence) that enabled organisms to do their own designing. I accept that this is as unproven as your own theory, but it too would have God as the creator of life and its history, and it avoids all the pitfalls that leave you with “no idea why he chose to evolve humans over time”.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, October 07, 2019, 17:33 (109 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Chance evolution with chance mutations could not have achieved this result where diverse species all develop the same changes in the same genes; this is what Simon Conway -Morris calls convergence as a proof of God's control.

dhw: An excellent example of convergent evolution. I don’t know why it has to be “under God’s control”. It makes perfect sense for organisms to work out similar solutions to similar problems, and if God exists, then he would have set up the mechanisms that enable organisms to do this. What doesn’t make perfect sense, yet again, is to argue that God only wanted to design H. sapiens, decided not to do so for 3.X billion years, and therefore either did one dabble after another, or provided the first cells with programmes to be passed on for each of these examples of echolocation in order to cover the time he had decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal. This is the illogical “guess” which I keep complaining about.

DAVID: Same brief logical response. I assume God is in charge of what happened historically as He created our current reality. That humans are an extremely different result expected from a natural process of evolution makes them extremely strong evidence as to God's intent from the beginning. I know you have not read Adler and have rejected his religious philosophy, but he cannot be rejected out of hand.

dhw: Yet again: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”.

Constant repeating of your illogical mantra dos not make it logical. All I've said about Adler is his book does not discuss my theory, but my theory is based on Adler's philosophic theism as it refers to our obvious difference..


DAVID: As for convergence, a similar result with similar genes is not like to be the result of a chance mutation method of evolution, and reeks of design.

dhw: You know perfectly well that I reject both chance mutations and your illogical belief as summarized above, and propose instead (theistic version) that your God may have invented a mechanism (cellular intelligence) that enabled organisms to do their own designing. I accept that this is as unproven as your own theory, but it too would have God as the creator of life and its history, and it avoids all the pitfalls that leave you with “no idea why he chose to evolve humans over time”.

Again, distortion: I don't question God's choices of mechanism, which is why I have 'no idea'. You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct. With the belief God is in charge of creation History tells us exactly what He did.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 13:30 (108 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: Constant repeating of your illogical mantra dos not make it logical.

I have not repeated any mantra of my own. I have merely repeated all the sections of your own illogical mantra.

DAVID: All I've said about Adler is his book does not discuss my theory, but my theory is based on Adler's philosophic theism as it refers to our obvious difference.

I couldn’t care less what your theory is based on. Since it can only be called logical if we abandon human logic, I suspect that most philosophers, theistic or otherwise, would dismiss it. If Adler doesn’t even discuss it, there is no point in constantly bringing him into our own discussion.

DAVID: As for convergence, a similar result with similar genes is not like to be the result of a chance mutation method of evolution, and reeks of design.

dhw: You know perfectly well that I reject both chance mutations and your illogical belief as summarized above, and propose instead (theistic version) that your God may have invented a mechanism (cellular intelligence) that enabled organisms to do their own designing. I accept that this is as unproven as your own theory, but it too would have God as the creator of life and its history, and it avoids all the pitfalls that leave you with “no idea why he chose to evolve humans over time”.

DAVID: Again, distortion: I don't question God's choices of mechanism, which is why I have 'no idea'. You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct. With the belief God is in charge of creation History tells us exactly what He did.

History tells us the result – the great bush of life. Once again: it does not tell us one single aspect of the theory bolded above, and “you can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.” The very fact that your proposal requires a suspension of all human logic does not even endow it with any credibility for me as a human!:-(

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 15:54 (108 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: Constant repeating of your illogical mantra dos not make it logical.

dhw: I have not repeated any mantra of my own. I have merely repeated all the sections of your own illogical mantra.

DAVID: All I've said about Adler is his book does not discuss my theory, but my theory is based on Adler's philosophic theism as it refers to our obvious difference.

dhw: I couldn’t care less what your theory is based on. Since it can only be called logical if we abandon human logic, I suspect that most philosophers, theistic or otherwise, would dismiss it. If Adler doesn’t even discuss it, there is no point in constantly bringing him into our own discussion.

He is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.


DAVID: As for convergence, a similar result with similar genes is not like to be the result of a chance mutation method of evolution, and reeks of design.

dhw: You know perfectly well that I reject both chance mutations and your illogical belief as summarized above, and propose instead (theistic version) that your God may have invented a mechanism (cellular intelligence) that enabled organisms to do their own designing. I accept that this is as unproven as your own theory, but it too would have God as the creator of life and its history, and it avoids all the pitfalls that leave you with “no idea why he chose to evolve humans over time”.

DAVID: Again, distortion: I don't question God's choices of mechanism, which is why I have 'no idea'. You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct. With the belief God is in charge of creation History tells us exactly what He did.

dhw: History tells us the result – the great bush of life. Once again: it does not tell us one single aspect of the theory bolded above, and “you can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.” The very fact that your proposal requires a suspension of all human logic does not even endow it with any credibility for me as a human!:-(

Of course history tells us what God produced. It doesn't give us His reasons, which we must guess at. It is your logic that is absent. The bold above produced some of my guesses at which you laugh. Shouldn't I laugh at yours?

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, October 09, 2019, 12:02 (107 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)
0
DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities which he never discusses.

DAVID: […] I don't question God's choices of mechanism, which is why I have 'no idea'. You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct. With the belief God is in charge of creation History tells us exactly what He did.

dhw: History tells us the result – the great bush of life. Once again: it does not tell us one single aspect of the theory bolded above, and “you can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.” The very fact that your proposal requires a suspension of all human logic does not even endow it with any credibility for me as a human! :-(

DAVID: Of course history tells us what God produced. It doesn't give us His reasons, which we must guess at. It is your logic that is absent. The bold above produced some of my guesses at which you laugh. Shouldn't I laugh at yours?

The little face is not laughing. You complain that my different proposals, all of which you acknowledge to be logical if we apply human reasoning, can’t be proved, and I am pointing out that your guess, which requires abandoning human reasoning, can’t be proved either.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 09, 2019, 15:49 (107 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)
0
DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

dhw: I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities which he never discusses.

Yes, you do. You have consciousness evolving from earlier states.


DAVID: […] I don't question God's choices of mechanism, which is why I have 'no idea'. You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct. With the belief God is in charge of creation History tells us exactly what He did.

dhw: History tells us the result – the great bush of life. Once again: it does not tell us one single aspect of the theory bolded above, and “you can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.” The very fact that your proposal requires a suspension of all human logic does not even endow it with any credibility for me as a human! :-(

DAVID: Of course history tells us what God produced. It doesn't give us His reasons, which we must guess at. It is your logic that is absent. The bold above produced some of my guesses at which you laugh. Shouldn't I laugh at yours?

dhw: The little face is not laughing. You complain that my different proposals, all of which you acknowledge to be logical if we apply human reasoning, can’t be proved, and I am pointing out that your guess, which requires abandoning human reasoning, can’t be proved either.

You verbiage laughs. And you forget human logic does not explain God. Again keep it simple: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Thursday, October 10, 2019, 10:24 (106 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

dhw: I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities which he never discusses.

DAVID: Yes, you do. You have consciousness evolving from earlier states.

You persist in trying to distinguish between conscious and consciousness by saying that our fellow animals are conscious but only humans have consciousness. You are making a mockery of language. Only humans have extreme degrees of consciousness in the form of self-awareness, conceptualisation, creative imagination etc. The fact that I believe these evolved from earlier states of consciousness does not in any way minimize the “vast difference”, and it is no defence of the logical incongruities bolded above.

DAVID: […] You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.

Dhw: […] You complain that my different proposals, all of which you acknowledge to be logical if we apply human reasoning, can’t be proved, and I am pointing out that your guess, which requires abandoning human reasoning, can’t be proved either.

DAVID: And you forget human logic does not explain God. Again keep it simple: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

The fact that human logic does not explain God is one reason why I remain agnostic, but this particular discussion is not about the existence of God but about your fixed belief in a theistic theory which you can only defend by telling us that we must abandon human logic because you know he doesn’t think like us although “he very well could think like us”. You also insist on telling us why he created what he did, his one and only purpose having been to create H. sapiens, although for reasons unknown he decided to spend 3.X billion years creating the non-human evolutionary bush instead. Meanwhile you reject any alternative which has your God creating evolution but which offers different reasons why he created what he did; you agree that these are humanly logical but you reject them because they make him think like a human, even though – once again – “he very well could think like us”.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 10, 2019, 21:08 (106 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I do not reject your argument that design/complexity provides evidence for the existence of God, which embraces Adler’s example of the human mind. But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”. (dhw’s bold)

DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

dhw: I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities which he never discusses.

DAVID: Yes, you do. You have consciousness evolving from earlier states.

dhw: You persist in trying to distinguish between conscious and consciousness by saying that our fellow animals are conscious but only humans have consciousness. You are making a mockery of language. Only humans have extreme degrees of consciousness in the form of self-awareness, conceptualisation, creative imagination etc. The fact that I believe these evolved from earlier states of consciousness does not in any way minimize the “vast difference”, and it is no defence of the logical incongruities bolded above.

You are calling Adler a poor philosopher. I'm still with him. The 'vast difference' is all that counts. I have agreed that monkeys have a smidgen in that it is obvious they have some sense of what other monkeys are thinking (theory of mind) but smidgens is all they have.


DAVID: […] You can propose all you wish about God, while having no way of proving you might be even slightly correct.

Dhw: […] You complain that my different proposals, all of which you acknowledge to be logical if we apply human reasoning, can’t be proved, and I am pointing out that your guess, which requires abandoning human reasoning, can’t be proved either.

DAVID: And you forget human logic does not explain God. Again keep it simple: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

dhw; The fact that human logic does not explain God is one reason why I remain agnostic, but this particular discussion is not about the existence of God but about your fixed belief in a theistic theory which you can only defend by telling us that we must abandon human logic because you know he doesn’t think like us although “he very well could think like us”. You also insist on telling us why he created what he did, his one and only purpose having been to create H. sapiens, although for reasons unknown he decided to spend 3.X billion years creating the non-human evolutionary bush instead. Meanwhile you reject any alternative which has your God creating evolution but which offers different reasons why he created what he did; you agree that these are humanly logical but you reject them because they make him think like a human, even though – once again – “he very well could think like us”.

I reject your illogical approach (in bold above) to God, because I simply say God created everything and history therefore tells the story. You simply wonder why He was so patient, and extend the idea that He should have gotten to the evolution of humans sooner. Remember I start with God as the driver of all. I understand you question that. You have accepted at times that if God ran evolution, He obviously was in change, but then you never reach my final conclusion and detour into an irrational side road of why did He wait? .

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Friday, October 11, 2019, 13:19 (105 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

dhw: I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities [I summarized them earlier] which he never discusses.

DAVID: You are calling Adler a poor philosopher. I'm still with him. The 'vast difference' is all that counts. I have agreed that monkeys have a smidgen in that it is obvious they have some sense of what other monkeys are thinking (theory of mind) but smidgens is all they have.

I am not calling Adler anything. I have no quarrel with the argument that human consciousness is so complex that it can be used as evidence for God’s existence. You are simply trying to divert attention away from the list of bolded incongruities (see yesterday's post)that make YOUR theory (nothing to do with Adler, who never discusses it) so illogical.

DAVID: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

dhw: […] You also insist on telling us why he created what he did, his one and only purpose having been to create H. sapiens, although for reasons unknown he decided to spend 3.X billion years creating the non-human evolutionary bush instead. […]

DAVID: I reject your illogical approach (in bold above) to God, because I simply say God created everything and history therefore tells the story.

The bold above is YOUR illogical approach! History is the bush: the purpose for creating the bush is the reason “why”!

DAVID: You simply wonder why He was so patient, and extend the idea that He should have gotten to the evolution of humans sooner. Remember I start with God as the driver of all. I understand you question that. You have accepted at times that if God ran evolution, He obviously was in change, but then you never reach my final conclusion and detour into an irrational side road of why did He wait?

It is not a matter of patience, but of logic, and logic suggests that if he was totally in charge and only had one purpose, he WOULD have got to the evolution of humans sooner, and even you admit that you have no idea why he didn’t (“I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”). Because of this inexplicable postponement which you have thrust into his thinking, he “had to” specially design 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life. I therefore challenge your assumption that he only had one purpose, but I offer alternative explanations for the evolutionary bush, all of which you reject because although they are perfectly logical, you have a fixed belief that your God doesn’t think like us, even though he “very well could think like us”!

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, October 11, 2019, 19:29 (105 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Friday, October 11, 2019, 19:49

DAVID: [Adler] is part of my reasoning that God is in charge. He recognizes our vast difference when you constantly try to smudge it.

dhw: I don’t smudge the vast difference (see the “consciousness” thread), and I don’t see the point in your harping on about Adler and totally ignoring the above list of incongruities [I summarized them earlier] which he never discusses.

DAVID: You are calling Adler a poor philosopher. I'm still with him. The 'vast difference' is all that counts. I have agreed that monkeys have a smidgen in that it is obvious they have some sense of what other monkeys are thinking (theory of mind) but smidgens is all they have.

dhw: I am not calling Adler anything. I have no quarrel with the argument that human consciousness is so complex that it can be used as evidence for God’s existence. You are simply trying to divert attention away from the list of bolded incongruities (see yesterday's post)that make YOUR theory (nothing to do with Adler, who never discusses it) so illogical.

You agree Adler's approach is logical. Thanks. Your incongruities are your illogicality, not mine.


DAVID: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

dhw: […] You also insist on telling us why he created what he did, his one and only purpose having been to create H. sapiens, although for reasons unknown he decided to spend 3.X billion years creating the non-human evolutionary bush instead. […]

DAVID: I reject your illogical approach (in bold above) to God, because I simply say God created everything and history therefore tells the story.

dhw: The bold above is YOUR illogical approach! History is the bush: the purpose for creating the bush is the reason “why”!

Totally twisted: God wanted humans and used the bush to create them. He runs everything. His choice of method cannot be questioned, in my theology.


DAVID: You simply wonder why He was so patient, and extend the idea that He should have gotten to the evolution of humans sooner. Remember I start with God as the driver of all. I understand you question that. You have accepted at times that if God ran evolution, He obviously was in change, but then you never reach my final conclusion and detour into an irrational side road of why did He wait?

dhw: It is not a matter of patience, but of logic, and logic suggests that if he was totally in charge and only had one purpose, he WOULD have got to the evolution of humans sooner, and even you admit that you have no idea why he didn’t (“I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”). Because of this inexplicable postponement which you have thrust into his thinking, he “had to” specially design 3.X billion years’ worth of non-human life.

Same silliness. I believe God is in charge and history tells us how He created humans. Again your total argument implies He should have been impatient to do it. It is the same weird thought as to why God made the universe so big if all He wanted was an Earth to start life? I have no way of knowing His reasons. Perhaps it was required.

dhw: I therefore challenge your assumption that he only had one purpose, but I offer alternative explanations for the evolutionary bush, all of which you reject because although they are perfectly logical, you have a fixed belief that your God doesn’t think like us, even though he “very well could think like us”!

The key to my approach is Adler and our specialness, and you've agreed that is a good argument for God.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Saturday, October 12, 2019, 12:24 (104 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You are calling Adler a poor philosopher.

dhw: I am not calling Adler anything. I have no quarrel with the argument that human consciousness is so complex that it can be used as evidence for God’s existence. You are simply trying to divert attention away from the list of bolded incongruities (see yesterday's post) that make YOUR theory (nothing to do with Adler, who never discusses it) so illogical.

DAVID: You agree Adler's approach is logical. Thanks. Your incongruities are your illogicality, not mine.

You force me to repeat the list of your incongruities:
But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal.And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: I believe God created/ran evolution and the history exposes what He did, not why.

dhw: […] You also insist on telling us why he created what he did, his one and only purpose having been to create H. sapiens, although for reasons unknown he decided to spend 3.X billion years creating the non-human evolutionary bush instead. […]

DAVID: I reject your illogical approach (in bold above) to God, because I simply say God created everything and history therefore tells the story.

dhw: The bold above is YOUR illogical approach! History is the bush: the purpose for creating the bush is the reason “why”!

DAVID: Totally twisted: God wanted humans and used the bush to create them. He runs everything. His choice of method cannot be questioned, in my theology.

No twisting! The bush is the history, “God wanted humans” is your interpretation of the purpose (reason why), and you have no idea why, if he runs everything, he decided not to create what he wanted, but “had to” (your words) create the non-human bush – not in order to create humans, but in order to cover the time until he did create humans!

[…]
dhw: I therefore challenge your assumption that he only had one purpose, but I offer alternative explanations for the evolutionary bush, all of which you reject because although they are perfectly logical, you have a fixed belief that your God doesn’t think like us, even though he “very well could think like us”!

DAVID: The key to my approach is Adler and our specialness, and you've agreed that is a good argument for God.

But it is no argument at all for the incongruities I have listed. Adler’s “key” is to the existence of a designer God, not to the incongruous theory bolded above.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 13, 2019, 05:10 (104 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You agree Adler's approach is logical. Thanks. Your incongruities are your illogicality, not mine.

dhw: You force me to repeat the list of your incongruities:
But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal.And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us

[/i]

Same old problem. I simply think God is in charge and chose to evolve humans over time. Nothing incongruous about that.

dhw: The bold above is YOUR illogical approach! History is the bush: the purpose for creating the bush is the reason “why”!

DAVID: Totally twisted: God wanted humans and used the bush to create them. He runs everything. His choice of method cannot be questioned, in my theology.

dhw: No twisting! The bush is the history, “God wanted humans” is your interpretation of the purpose (reason why), and you have no idea why, if he runs everything, he decided not to create what he wanted, but “had to” (your words) create the non-human bush – not in order to create humans, but in order to cover the time until he did create humans!

Same nutty objection. If God is in charge He cbose to evolv e humans. That is what happened


[…]
dhw: I therefore challenge your assumption that he only had one purpose, but I offer alternative explanations for the evolutionary bush, all of which you reject because although they are perfectly logical, you have a fixed belief that your God doesn’t think like us, even though he “very well could think like us”!

DAVID: The key to my approach is Adler and our specialness, and you've agreed that is a good argument for God.

dhw: But it is no argument at all for the incongruities I have listed. Adler’s “key” is to the existence of a designer God, not to the incongruous theory bolded above.

No incongruities as I view it. God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What yo u do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Sunday, October 13, 2019, 10:54 (103 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You agree Adler's approach is logical. Thanks. Your incongruities are your illogicality, not mine.

dhw: You force me to repeat the list of your incongruities:
But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us.

DAVID: Same old problem. I simply think God is in charge and chose to evolve humans over time. Nothing incongruous about that.
As usual, you leave out approximately half the items in the above list. (See also below.) Your other replies repeat the same diluted version of your theory:

DAVID: If God is in charge He chose to evolve humans. That is what happened
DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 13, 2019, 15:57 (103 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You agree Adler's approach is logical. Thanks. Your incongruities are your illogicality, not mine.

dhw: You force me to repeat the list of your incongruities:
But you have repeatedly admitted that Adler does NOT argue that H. sapiens was your always-in-total-control God’s intent from the beginning, that for some unknown reason he decided not to fulfil that intent for 3.X billion years and therefore had to preprogramme or dabble every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in life’s history as interim goals in order to cover the time before starting on the fulfilment of his one and only goal. And I doubt very much that Adler would tell us this theory is perfectly logical provided we do not try to apply human logic, and that any alternative to this theory must be wrong because it entails “humanizing” God, although God “very well could think like us.

DAVID: Same old problem. I simply think God is in charge and chose to evolve humans over time. Nothing incongruous about that.
As usual, you leave out approximately half the items in the above list. (See also below.) Your other replies repeat the same diluted version of your theory:

DAVID: If God is in charge He chose to evolve humans. That is what happened
DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

dhw: You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

My beliefs remain the same.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Monday, October 14, 2019, 12:57 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If God is in charge He chose to evolve humans. That is what happened
DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

dhw: You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

DAVID: My beliefs remain the same.

Fair enough, so long as you stick to your agreement that in order to stick to the above beliefs (which you keep leaving out whenever you respond), you must abandon all human reasoning, and you also accept the fact that my humanly logical alternatives are possible because God may very well think like us.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, October 14, 2019, 18:49 (102 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: If God is in charge He chose to evolve humans. That is what happened
DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

dhw: You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

DAVID: My beliefs remain the same.

dhw: Fair enough, so long as you stick to your agreement that in order to stick to the above beliefs (which you keep leaving out whenever you respond), you must abandon all human reasoning, and you also accept the fact that my humanly logical alternatives are possible because God may very well think like us.

God may or may not follow human reasoning. We cannot know, only guess. That humans were His final goal is shown by our very special evolution and the arrival of human consciousness. My beliefs will continue and I view them as logical.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 10:10 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

dhw: You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

DAVID: My beliefs remain the same.

dhw: Fair enough, so long as you stick to your agreement that in order to stick to the above beliefs (which you keep leaving out whenever you respond), you must abandon all human reasoning, and you also accept the fact that my humanly logical alternatives are possible because God may very well think like us.

DAVID: God may or may not follow human reasoning. We cannot know, only guess. That humans were His final goal is shown by our very special evolution and the arrival of human consciousness. My beliefs will continue and I view them as logical.

In relation to the incongruities, you have said quite openly: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” On the assumption that you are human, I don’t see how you can now claim that you view the collection of beliefs you keep omitting as “logical”. Your admission of illogicality is reinforced by your cry: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 15:14 (101 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God in charge chose to evolve. Perfectly simple. What you do is keep complaining about a God who isn't impatient and should immediately reach His goal. How do you know He should? We will go round and round with no end.

dhw: You have left out your belief that the creation of H. sapiens was his one and only goal, that he decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years and therefore “had to” specially design every non-human branch of the bush of life to keep life going, and that although you have no idea why he would have done so, it is logical provided we abandon human logic, and any other explanation of the bush and of his purpose can be dismissed as humanization, although it is possible that he does think like us.

DAVID: My beliefs remain the same.

dhw: Fair enough, so long as you stick to your agreement that in order to stick to the above beliefs (which you keep leaving out whenever you respond), you must abandon all human reasoning, and you also accept the fact that my humanly logical alternatives are possible because God may very well think like us.

DAVID: God may or may not follow human reasoning. We cannot know, only guess. That humans were His final goal is shown by our very special evolution and the arrival of human consciousness. My beliefs will continue and I view them as logical.

dhw: In relation to the incongruities, you have said quite openly: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” On the assumption that you are human, I don’t see how you can now claim that you view the collection of beliefs you keep omitting as “logical”. Your admission of illogicality is reinforced by your cry: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?

Remember, I refuse to recognize religious writing about God so as to use only history and science as a proof of God, as shown in my first book. I accept your theorizing about God's intentions the same as the Biblical writings, all conjectures. Karen Anderson 's book shows exactly what I mean, as each book, OT, NT and Quran all have different versions of His personality. All we know about evolution is God took His own sweet time.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:06 (101 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God may or may not follow human reasoning. We cannot know, only guess. That humans were His final goal is shown by our very special evolution and the arrival of human consciousness. My beliefs will continue and I view them as logical.

dhw: In relation to the incongruities, you have said quite openly: Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” On the assumption that you are human, I don’t see how you can now claim that you view the collection of beliefs you keep omitting as “logical”. Your admission of illogicality is reinforced by your cry: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?”[/i]

DAVID: Remember, I refuse to recognize religious writing about God so as to use only history and science as a proof of God, as shown in my first book. I accept your theorizing about God's intentions the same as the Biblical writings, all conjectures. Karen Anderson 's book shows exactly what I mean, as each book, OT, NT and Quran all have different versions of His personality. All we know about evolution is God took His own sweet time.

My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 18:35 (100 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God may or may not follow human reasoning. We cannot know, only guess. That humans were His final goal is shown by our very special evolution and the arrival of human consciousness. My beliefs will continue and I view them as logical.

dhw: In relation to the incongruities, you have said quite openly: Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” On the assumption that you are human, I don’t see how you can now claim that you view the collection of beliefs you keep omitting as “logical”. Your admission of illogicality is reinforced by your cry: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?”[/i]

DAVID: Remember, I refuse to recognize religious writing about God so as to use only history and science as a proof of God, as shown in my first book. I accept your theorizing about God's intentions the same as the Biblical writings, all conjectures. Karen Anderson 's book shows exactly what I mean, as each book, OT, NT and Quran all have different versions of His personality. All we know about evolution is God took His own sweet time.

dhw: My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

You are so confused. We can assume God thinks like we do, but we cannot prove that, only look at His works, and work out possible conclusions. The three religious books about God, per Karen Anderson, each show a different personality for God. She thinks the Quran is most adult in its approach, as it uses God's works to study Him. Since we have no other direct evidence, I agree with her. You agree our consciousness is very special. So are our physical capacities which are well beyond anything apes can do. I means to me we always were God's endpoint. I rely on expert opinions to reach my conclusions. What do you do?

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Thursday, October 17, 2019, 12:53 (99 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

DAVID: You are so confused. We can assume God thinks like we do, but we cannot prove that, only look at His works, and work out possible conclusions.

Agreed. That is why I have offered you several alternative interpretations of his works based on DIFFERENT interpretations of his thinking. You have agreed that they are logical, but you have a fixed belief in your own conclusions, which you admit require the abandonment of human reason.

DAVID: The three religious books about God, per Karen Anderson, each show a different personality for God. She thinks the Quran is most adult in its approach, as it uses God's works to study Him. Since we have no other direct evidence, I agree with her. You agree our consciousness is very special. So are our physical capacities which are well beyond anything apes can do. I means to me we always were God's endpoint. I rely on expert opinions to reach my conclusions. What do you do?

Why are you now bringing religious books into the discussion? Of course I agree that if your hidden God exists, the only evidence we have is his works. As above, all my alternatives are interpretations based on his works. But you have yet to name a single expert who insists that your own conclusions as bolded above are likely to be correct, bearing in mind that they require the abandonment of human reason.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 17, 2019, 22:49 (99 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

DAVID: You are so confused. We can assume God thinks like we do, but we cannot prove that, only look at His works, and work out possible conclusions.

dhw: Agreed. That is why I have offered you several alternative interpretations of his works based on DIFFERENT interpretations of his thinking. You have agreed that they are logical, but you have a fixed belief in your own conclusions, which you admit require the abandonment of human reason.

I've admitted nothing of the sort. See below. all fully reasoned.


DAVID: The three religious books about God, per Karen Anderson, each show a different personality for God. She thinks the Quran is most adult in its approach, as it uses God's works to study Him. Since we have no other direct evidence, I agree with her. You agree our consciousness is very special. So are our physical capacities which are well beyond anything apes can do. I means to me we always were God's endpoint. I rely on expert opinions to reach my conclusions. What do you do?

dhw: Why are you now bringing religious books into the discussion? Of course I agree that if your hidden God exists, the only evidence we have is his works. As above, all my alternatives are interpretations based on his works. But you have yet to name a single expert who insists that your own conclusions as bolded above are likely to be correct, bearing in mind that they require the abandonment of human reason.

My theories are mine based on my reading the religious books among lots of other points of view. Nothing wrong with all sorts of research when one starts at zero and blankly agnostic from bland acceptance. I have good valid logical reasons from all of my positions that disturb you. Your research is?

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Friday, October 18, 2019, 10:46 (98 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

And:

dhw: You have agreed that they [my alternatives] are logical, but you have a fixed belief in your own conclusions, which you admit require the abandonment of human reason.

DAVID: I've admitted nothing of the sort. See below. all fully reasoned.

Your "fully reasoned" comment is:
DAVID: My theories are mine based on my reading the religious books among lots of other points of view. Nothing wrong with all sorts of research when one starts at zero and blankly agnostic from bland acceptance. I have good valid logical reasons from all of my positions that disturb you. Your research is?

I admire the breadth of your research, but how can you claim that this provides you with “good valid logical reasons” for all the positions that disturb me, when you explicitly acknowledge that : “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” And “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?

If it is of any help to you, I gladly acknowledge that you have done far more reading than I have, I am indebted to you for passing on the fruits of your research as subject matter for us to discuss, and I freely acknowledge that for many years now, you have greatly enhanced my knowledge of the sciences. But I do not know how my own reading list is supposed to lend credence to your illogical theories and to discredit the logical alternatives I offer, so do please tell us the “good valid logical reasons” for the incongruities which demand the abandonment of human reasoning, and while you're at it, please explain why you dismiss my humanly logical alternatives as "humanizing" God, while you agree that he "very well could think like us".

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, October 18, 2019, 17:50 (98 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My objections to the incongruities of your theory, which demand the abandonment of human reason, have nothing whatsoever to do with religious writings about God. All we know about evolution is that it has gone on for approximately 3.8 billion years. That does not mean your God started off with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, decided to postpone his pet project for 3.X billion years and therefore had to specially design every branch of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he had decided to take before starting to fulfil his one and only purpose. I have offered you several alternatives to these incongruities, two of which actually allow for your anthropocentrism (experimentation, or the idea not occurring to him until late on). You reject them all, because we are supposed to accept that God doesn’t think like humans, although he very well may think like humans.

And:

dhw: You have agreed that they [my alternatives] are logical, but you have a fixed belief in your own conclusions, which you admit require the abandonment of human reason.

DAVID: I've admitted nothing of the sort. See below. all fully reasoned.

Your "fully reasoned" comment is:
DAVID: My theories are mine based on my reading the religious books among lots of other points of view. Nothing wrong with all sorts of research when one starts at zero and blankly agnostic from bland acceptance. I have good valid logical reasons from all of my positions that disturb you. Your research is?

dhw: I admire the breadth of your research, but how can you claim that this provides you with “good valid logical reasons” for all the positions that disturb me, when you explicitly acknowledge that : “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” And “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?

We cannot know how God thinks. I'll stick to the point that His personality is like no other person we know. It is all guesswork from studying His works. Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level. I'm human also, but that dos not mean you are correct in any sense. You guess, but can't believe your conclusions since they are simply suppositions.


dhw: If it is of any help to you, I gladly acknowledge that you have done far more reading than I have, I am indebted to you for passing on the fruits of your research as subject matter for us to discuss, and I freely acknowledge that for many years now, you have greatly enhanced my knowledge of the sciences. But I do not know how my own reading list is supposed to lend credence to your illogical theories and to discredit the logical alternatives I offer, so do please tell us the “good valid logical reasons” for the incongruities which demand the abandonment of human reasoning, and while you're at it, please explain why you dismiss my humanly logical alternatives as "humanizing" God, while you agree that he "very well could think like us".

It is your illogicality not mine. I honestly do not see the incongruities you have invented in your mind. We both use human reasoning, and you admit we cannot know God's reasoning. We cannot know why God chose the Big Bang and then evolved everything else until He got to H. sapiens. He has His reasons for the history He produced. We can only guess at His reasoning with our human reasoning we can produce all sorts of theories, which at their base are on only human reasoning. That is why I tell you you are humanizing God. And that is why I look primarily at what science tells us and don't make the guesses you make. I don't extrapolate from the history. The history provides the only real facts we have.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:28 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I admire the breadth of your research, but how can you claim that this provides you with “good valid logical reasons” for all the positions that disturb me, when you explicitly acknowledge that : “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history” and “You try to make God logical to fit your human thinking. It doesn’t work.” And “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time?

DAVID: We cannot know how God thinks. I'll stick to the point that His personality is like no other person we know. It is all guesswork from studying His works. Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level. I'm human also, but that dos not mean you are correct in any sense. You guess, but can't believe your conclusions since they are simply suppositions.

Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

dhw: […] do please tell us the “good valid logical reasons” for the incongruities which demand the abandonment of human reasoning, and while you're at it, please explain why you dismiss my humanly logical alternatives as "humanizing" God, while you agree that he "very well could think like us".

DAVID: It is your illogicality not mine. I honestly do not see the incongruities you have invented in your mind.

So when you admit that your theory requires the abandonment of human reasoning, you regard my logical human reasoning as illogical! When you admit that your theory is illogical, and you cry out that you have no idea why your God chose to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose (“I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”) and therefore had to specially design all the non-human branches of the evolutionary bush, you still don’t see the incongruities of your theory!

DAVID: […] We can only guess at His reasoning with our human reasoning we can produce all sorts of theories, which at their base are on only human reasoning. That is why I tell you you are humanizing God. And that is why I look primarily at what science tells us and don't make the guesses you make. I don't extrapolate from the history. The history provides the only real facts we have.

But you do extrapolate from the history, because you tell us that your God’s sole purpose was to create H. sapiens, but first he specially designed every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” [i.e. before embarking on the fulfilment of his one and only purpose]. And you tell us that you look primarily at what science tells us and you don’t make guesses!

DAVID: ( under “balance of nature”): another example of the importance of ecosystems and how tightly controlled they are and must not be disturbed by humans. But we humans are put in charge and must be careful in how we manage these systems.

I don’t know about “put in charge”, but we certainly have the power to destroy the balance.

DAVID: These had to be set up before H. sapiens arrived with the ability to learn to handle them. Yet dhw wants God to rush to create humans.

I do not question the importance of the balance of nature for the survival of any species, including humans. I question your theory that for 3.X billion years your God had to design loads and loads of different ecosystems, the vast majority of which are extinct and had nothing whatever to do with humans, because although humans were his only purpose, for reasons you cannot even begin to fathom he had decided not to design them for 3.X billion years.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 19, 2019, 19:28 (97 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We cannot know how God thinks. I'll stick to the point that His personality is like no other person we know. It is all guesswork from studying His works. Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level. I'm human also, but that does not mean you are correct in any sense. You guess, but can't believe your conclusions since they are simply suppositions.

dhw: Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special a nd our consciousnessc cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.


dhw: […] do please tell us the “good valid logical reasons” for the incongruities which demand the abandonment of human reasoning, and while you're at it, please explain why you dismiss my humanly logical alternatives as "humanizing" God, while you agree that he "very well could think like us".

DAVID: It is your illogicality not mine. I honestly do not see the incongruities you have invented in your mind.

dhw: So when you admit that your theory requires the abandonment of human reasoning, you regard my logical human reasoning as illogical! When you admit that your theory is illogical, and you cry out that you have no idea why your God chose to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose (“I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”) and therefore had to specially design all the non-human branches of the evolutionary bush, you still don’t see the incongruities of your theory!

My reasoning is explained above. I've never stopped reasoning. You are the one who invents all sorts of woolly possibilities, none of which are supported by the reality of the history of God's works.,


DAVID: […] We can only guess at His reasoning with our human reasoning we can produce all sorts of theories, which at their base are on only human reasoning. That is why I tell you you are humanizing God. And that is why I look primarily at what science tells us and don't make the guesses you make. I don't extrapolate from the history. The history provides the only real facts we have.

dhw: But you do extrapolate from the history, because you tell us that your God’s sole purpose was to create H. sapiens, but first he specially designed every single innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder: “He knew those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” [i.e. before embarking on the fulfilment of his one and only purpose]. And you tell us that you look primarily at what science tells us and you don’t make guesses!

And you ignore the specialness of humans, which no one can explain.


DAVID: ( under “balance of nature”): another example of the importance of ecosystems and how tightly controlled they are and must not be disturbed by humans. But we humans are put in charge and must be careful in how we manage these systems.

dhw: I don’t know about “put in charge”, but we certainly have the power to destroy the balance.

DAVID: These had to be set up before H. sapiens arrived with the ability to learn to handle them. Yet dhw wants God to rush to create humans.

dhw: I do not question the importance of the balance of nature for the survival of any species, including humans. I question your theory that for 3.X billion years your God had to design loads and loads of different ecosystems, the vast majority of which are extinct and had nothing whatever to do with humans, because although humans were his only purpose, for reasons you cannot even begin to fathom he had decided not to design them for 3.X billion years.

God made the proper preparations for humans. If He simply produced us and nothing else, that is the totally illogical extension of the points you constantly make, that are so illogical. The Earth was prepared for us over time, that is the logical thought.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Sunday, October 20, 2019, 10:15 (97 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We cannot know how God thinks. I'll stick to the point that His personality is like no other person we know. It is all guesswork from studying His works. Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level. I'm human also, but that does not mean you are correct in any sense. You guess, but can't believe your conclusions since they are simply suppositions. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. (Apologies for repeating points made on the consciousness hread. I will try to telescope these threads next time.)

DAVID: My reasoning is explained above. I've never stopped reasoning. You are the one who invents all sorts of woolly possibilities, none of which are supported by the reality of the history of God's works.

And yet you agreed above that my “suggestions are logical at a human level”! Only yours requires the abandonment of human reason.

dhw: I do not question the importance of the balance of nature for the survival of any species, including humans. I question your theory that for 3.X billion years your God had to design loads and loads of different ecosystems, the vast majority of which are extinct and had nothing whatever to do with humans, because although humans were his only purpose, for reasons you cannot even begin to fathom he had decided not to design them for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: God made the proper preparations for humans. If He simply produced us and nothing else, that is the totally illogical extension of the points you constantly make, that are so illogical. The Earth was prepared for us over time, that is the logical thought.

Of course he would have had to make the proper preparations for humans, but that does not mean that 3.X billion years' worth of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders were “interim goals”…as quoted above! Do you honestly believe that part of the preparation for H. sapiens was a wibbly-wobbly oojamiflip or a creepy-crawly what’sname that died out 3 billion years ago?

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 20, 2019, 23:10 (96 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

dhw: Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. (Apologies for repeating points made on the consciousness hread. I will try to telescope these threads next time.)

For me the word prime means just that. I'm with Adler. We were the prime goal. The universe, the Earth and all the bush of life had to be accomplished to allow us as the final result. I firmly believe we are the end point, and major evolution is over.


DAVID: My reasoning is explained above. I've never stopped reasoning. You are the one who invents all sorts of woolly possibilities, none of which are supported by the reality of the history of God's works.

dhw: And yet you agreed above that my “suggestions are logical at a human level”! Only yours requires the abandonment of human reason.

Not abandonment. My position is fully reasoned from my research


dhw: I do not question the importance of the balance of nature for the survival of any species, including humans. I question your theory that for 3.X billion years your God had to design loads and loads of different ecosystems, the vast majority of which are extinct and had nothing whatever to do with humans, because although humans were his only purpose, for reasons you cannot even begin to fathom he had decided not to design them for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: God made the proper preparations for humans. If He simply produced us and nothing else, that is the totally illogical extension of the points you constantly make, that are so illogical. The Earth was prepared for us over time, that is the logical thought.

dhw: Of course he would have had to make the proper preparations for humans, but that does not mean that 3.X billion years' worth of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders were “interim goals”…as quoted above! Do you honestly believe that part of the preparation for H. sapiens was a wibbly-wobbly oojamiflip or a creepy-crawly what’sname that died out 3 billion years ago?

You know the answer. God evolved starting with single-celled organisms, and worked up to us.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Monday, October 21, 2019, 14:17 (95 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

dhw: Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: For me the word prime means just that. I'm with Adler. We were the prime goal. The universe, the Earth and all the bush of life had to be accomplished to allow us as the final result. I firmly believe we are the end point, and major evolution is over.

The bold – which means every life form etc. had to be specially designed in order to cover the time he had decided to take before designing us, his only goal - is precisely the incongruity you refuse to recognize or, when you do recognize it, you say we must abandon human logic for it to make sense. The two quotes that I have bolded above could hardly make it clearer.

DAVID: The Earth was prepared for us over time, that is the logical thought.

dhw: Of course he would have had to make the proper preparations for humans, but that does not mean that 3.X billion years' worth of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders were “interim goals”…as quoted above! Do you honestly believe that part of the preparation for H. sapiens was a wibbly-wobbly oojamiflip or a creepy-crawly what’sname that died out 3 billion years ago?

DAVID: You know the answer. God evolved starting with single-celled organisms, and worked up to us.

That does not explain why he decided to spend 3.X billion years designing billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (i.e. "all the bush of life") before starting to design us.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, October 21, 2019, 17:44 (95 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yes, they are alternative theistic explanations of the course and purpose of evolution, and you agree that they are logical. When I challenge your own guess, you acknowledge that in order to believe it, you must abandon human reasoning when you apply it to the history. I don’t know how you can stick to your one fixed belief when as far as you, a human being, are concerned it is illogical.

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

dhw: Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: For me the word prime means just that. I'm with Adler. We were the prime goal. The universe, the Earth and all the bush of life had to be accomplished to allow us as the final result. I firmly believe we are the end point, and major evolution is over.

dhw: The bold – which means every life form etc. had to be specially designed in order to cover the time he had decided to take before designing us, his only goal - is precisely the incongruity you refuse to recognize or, when you do recognize it, you say we must abandon human logic for it to make sense. The two quotes that I have bolded above could hardly make it clearer.

Again, your incongruity, not mine. God prepared the earth for humans with the bush of life. All makes sense, except to you, as you do not accept humans as the end point.


DAVID: The Earth was prepared for us over time, that is the logical thought.

dhw: Of course he would have had to make the proper preparations for humans, but that does not mean that 3.X billion years' worth of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders were “interim goals”…as quoted above! Do you honestly believe that part of the preparation for H. sapiens was a wibbly-wobbly oojamiflip or a creepy-crawly what’sname that died out 3 billion years ago?

DAVID: You know the answer. God evolved starting with single-celled organisms, and worked up to us.

dhw: That does not explain why he decided to spend 3.X billion years designing billions of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (i.e. "all the bush of life") before starting to design us.

God chose to evolve us. The history shows his plan which prepares the Earth for us. We need the bush of life, and you seem to ignore that.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 10:59 (94 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

dhw: Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: For me the word prime means just that. I'm with Adler. We were the prime goal. The universe, the Earth and all the bush of life had to be accomplished to allow us as the final result. I firmly believe we are the end point, and major evolution is over.

dhw: The bold – which means every life form etc. had to be specially designed in order to cover the time he had decided to take before designing us, his only goal - is precisely the incongruity you refuse to recognize or, when you do recognize it, you say we must abandon human logic for it to make sense. The two quotes that I have bolded above could hardly make it clearer.

DAVID: Again, your incongruity, not mine. God prepared the earth for humans with the bush of life. All makes sense, except to you, as you do not accept humans as the end point.

“End point” is ambiguous. It is not the same as the one and only purpose. You keep acknowledging that you have no idea why your God chose to spend 3.X billion years specially designing a bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, but apparently this is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. I’m sorry, but if we cannot apply human reasoning to the history, then for humans like me and you, it does not make sense.

DAVID (UNDER “TOAD MIMICS VIPER HEAD”): this must require several specialized mutations. I think the toad was helped.

So either your God did a dabble or 3.8 billion years ago he preprogrammed the toad’s camouflage, because although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, it wouldn’t have been possible without a toad’s head that imitates a viper’s head (plus the rest of the bush of non-human life over 3.X billion years of history).

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 15:13 (94 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 15:21

DAVID: I've never abandoned reason. The only guess I've made about God's intentions is humans were a prime goal. You accept our specialness, which can't be denied, and then attempt to reduce its importance. We are not just naked apes. We are extremely special and our consciousness cannot be explained by any theory of materialistic evolution.

dhw: Nobody can explain consciousness at any level. Again you say “a” prime purpose, but you have never yet offered us any other prime purpose. Your theory that your God decided to delay fulfilling his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years, and all other life forms etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” is the one which requires the abandonment of human reason: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: For me the word prime means just that. I'm with Adler. We were the prime goal. The universe, the Earth and all the bush of life had to be accomplished to allow us as the final result. I firmly believe we are the end point, and major evolution is over.

dhw: The bold – which means every life form etc. had to be specially designed in order to cover the time he had decided to take before designing us, his only goal - is precisely the incongruity you refuse to recognize or, when you do recognize it, you say we must abandon human logic for it to make sense. The two quotes that I have bolded above could hardly make it clearer.

DAVID: Again, your incongruity, not mine. God prepared the earth for humans with the bush of life. All makes sense, except to you, as you do not accept humans as the end point.

dhw: “End point” is ambiguous. It is not the same as the one and only purpose. You keep acknowledging that you have no idea why your God chose to spend 3.X billion years specially designing a bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, but apparently this is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. I’m sorry, but if we cannot apply human reasoning to the history, then for humans like me and you, it does not make sense.

God has reasons behind the history He created. THAT is logical, and that is something you cannot debate. Guesses as to the reasons are nothing but pure guesses. My point is why bother.


DAVID (UNDER “TOAD MIMICS VIPER HEAD”): this must require several specialized mutations. I think the toad was helped.

dhw: So either your God did a dabble or 3.8 billion years ago he preprogrammed the toad’s camouflage, because although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, it wouldn’t have been possible without a toad’s head that imitates a viper’s head (plus the rest of the bush of non-human life over 3.X billion years of history).

All econiches are important in the balance of nature as provided by God, as He controlled the process of evolution. See new balance of nature entry today.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 11:49 (93 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: God prepared the earth for humans with the bush of life. All makes sense, except to you, as you do not accept humans as the end point.

dhw: “End point” is ambiguous. It is not the same as the one and only purpose. You keep acknowledging that you have no idea why your God chose to spend 3.X billion years specially designing a bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, but apparently this is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. I’m sorry, but if we cannot apply human reasoning to the history, then for humans like me and you, it does not make sense.

DAVID: God has reasons behind the history He created. THAT is logical, and that is something you cannot debate. Guesses as to the reasons are nothing but pure guesses. My point is why bother.

Of course it’s logical. Your point is not why bother, because it is your own irrational guess outlined above that we are debating!

DAVID (UNDER “TOAD MIMICS VIPER HEAD”): this must require several specialized mutations. I think the toad was helped.

dhw: So either your God did a dabble or 3.8 billion years ago he preprogrammed the toad’s camouflage, because although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, it wouldn’t have been possible without a toad’s head that imitates a viper’s head (plus the rest of the bush of non-human life over 3.X billion years of history).

DAVID: All econiches are important in the balance of nature as provided by God, as He controlled the process of evolution. See new balance of nature entry today.
DAVID: This shows how God set up econiches for balance in nature. Special plants for giant dinosaurs, milkweed for monarchs. The bush of life is an absolute requirement for the evolutionary appearance of humans. Perhaps dhw will understand this explanation as to why God took all that time to reach humans. He seems confused to me.

All econiches depend on balance, and when the balance changes, the econiche changes, and the history of life is the history of comings and goings which, until some 3.X billion years ago, had nothing to do with humans. You are trying to conflate the history of life with the history of human evolution. Yes, A bush of life in the form of an econiche is essential for humans, just as it is/was for all species that ever lived. That does not mean that THE bush of life throughout life’s history was necessary for humans! You have ignored your own explanation! Once more: all of these non-human organisms and econiches were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” – i.e. before he started to design the only thing he actually wanted to design, namely us. And you “have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 20:01 (93 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: God prepared the earth for humans with the bush of life. All makes sense, except to you, as you do not accept humans as the end point.

dhw: “End point” is ambiguous. It is not the same as the one and only purpose. You keep acknowledging that you have no idea why your God chose to spend 3.X billion years specially designing a bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders “to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”, but apparently this is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. I’m sorry, but if we cannot apply human reasoning to the history, then for humans like me and you, it does not make sense.

You may be a wordsmith, but for me endpoint and final purpose are exactly the same in meaning. Humans are God's final goal. He evolved organisms to get there as history tells us.


DAVID: God has reasons behind the history He created. THAT is logical, and that is something you cannot debate. Guesses as to the reasons are nothing but pure guesses. My point is why bother.

dhw: Of course it’s logical. Your point is not why bother, because it is your own irrational guess outlined above that we are debating!

Using history is not an illogical guess, nor is our specialness which makes the point.


DAVID (UNDER “TOAD MIMICS VIPER HEAD”): this must require several specialized mutations. I think the toad was helped.

dhw: So either your God did a dabble or 3.8 billion years ago he preprogrammed the toad’s camouflage, because although his one and only purpose was to specially design H. sapiens, it wouldn’t have been possible without a toad’s head that imitates a viper’s head (plus the rest of the bush of non-human life over 3.X billion years of history).

DAVID: All econiches are important in the balance of nature as provided by God, as He controlled the process of evolution. See new balance of nature entry today.

DAVID: This shows how God set up econiches for balance in nature. Special plants for giant dinosaurs, milkweed for monarchs. The bush of life is an absolute requirement for the evolutionary appearance of humans. Perhaps dhw will understand this explanation as to why God took all that time to reach humans. He seems confused to me.

dhw: All econiches depend on balance, and when the balance changes, the econiche changes, and the history of life is the history of comings and goings which, until some 3.X billion years ago, had nothing to do with humans. You are trying to conflate the history of life with the history of human evolution.

Of course it is. What is evolution about but creations for the future from the past?

dhw: Yes, A bush of life in the form of an econiche is essential for humans, just as it is/was for all species that ever lived. That does not mean that THE bush of life throughout life’s history was necessary for humans! You have ignored your own explanation! Once more: all of these non-human organisms and econiches were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” – i.e. before he started to design the only thing he actually wanted to design, namely us. And you “have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”.

Stop the illogical repetitions. They make no sense to me. Of course in using evolution to create, He created interim animals and eco-niches over the time involved. Of course the bush of life was necessary for the creation of humans which were His goal, since they are God's endpoint. I don't ever intend to explain His reasoning, and it is obvious you can't as you constantly humanize Him, and attempt to distort the history of His works, which tell us exactly what He decided to do and how to do it.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Thursday, October 24, 2019, 10:36 (92 days ago) @ David Turell

Again I am telescoping threads to avoid some of the repetition.

DAVID: Humans are God's final goal. He evolved organisms to get there as history tells us.

Humans may be the last product of evolution (itself a guess), but that does not mean every preceding life form, lifestyle and natural wonder was specially designed to cover the time your God decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal, and it does not alter the fact that you can only accept your own theory by NOT applying human reason to the history.

dhw: Yes, A bush of life in the form of an econiche is essential for humans, just as it is/was for all species that ever lived. That does not mean that THE bush of life throughout life’s history was necessary for humans! You have ignored your own explanation! Once more: all of these non-human organisms and econiches were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” – i.e. before he started to design the only thing he actually wanted to design, namely us. And you “have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time.

DAVID: Stop the illogical repetitions. They make no sense to me. Of course in using evolution to create, He created interim animals and eco-niches over the time involved. Of course the bush of life was necessary for the creation of humans which were His goal, since they are God's endpoint. I don't ever intend to explain His reasoning, and it is obvious you can't as you constantly humanize Him, and attempt to distort the history of His works, which tell us exactly what He decided to do and how to do it.

What illogical repetitions? I have repeated YOUR interpretation of his reasoning, but you yourself find it so unreasonable that you tell us that it is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I do not distort the history, and indeed you have always acknowledged that my various alternatives fit in with it (“Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level”), but you try to dismiss them as “humanizing”, even though you admit that your God “very well could think like us”. I understand your frustration, but I do not understand your attempts to distance yourself from your own acknowledgement of the problems associated with your theory.

DAVID: You constantly refuse to follow logical reasoning. If God is in charge, history shows us what He did, not why. Guessing why is pure guessing. What does your guessing prove. Nothing!

But it is you who guess that the reason why your God (whose very existence is a guess) created life was to produce H. sapiens, and every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder up until 3.X billion years ago was an “interim goal” to cover the time he had decided to take before embarking on fulfilling his one and only purpose. All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

dhw: I have always balanced my acceptance of your logical design argument with the argument that we do not solve one mystery by creating another. I find your eternal, sourceless, immaterial conscious mind just as difficult to believe in as the ability of chance to assemble the first living cells.

DAVID: You have a right to this position, and the right to guess, but guessing in worthless, whether you accept God or not.

And yet you have written two brilliant books to support one of your guesses (that God exists), and you continue to delve into all the mysteries, as you provide us with a constant stream of articles detailing the latest attempts to solve them. I remain extremely grateful for these, and do not regard them as worthless, even though they are guesses. And I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website!:-(

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 24, 2019, 18:48 (92 days ago) @ dhw

Again I am telescoping threads to avoid some of the repetition.

DAVID: Humans are God's final goal. He evolved organisms to get there as history tells us.

dhw: Humans may be the last product of evolution (itself a guess), but that does not mean every preceding life form, lifestyle and natural wonder was specially designed to cover the time your God decided to take before pursuing his one and only goal, and it does not alter the fact that you can only accept your own theory by NOT applying human reason to the history.

You always fail to understand that I simply look at history to see what God did.


dhw: Yes, A bush of life in the form of an econiche is essential for humans, just as it is/was for all species that ever lived. That does not mean that THE bush of life throughout life’s history was necessary for humans! You have ignored your own explanation! Once more: all of these non-human organisms and econiches were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” – i.e. before he started to design the only thing he actually wanted to design, namely us. And you “have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time.

DAVID: Stop the illogical repetitions. They make no sense to me. Of course in using evolution to create, He created interim animals and eco-niches over the time involved. Of course the bush of life was necessary for the creation of humans which were His goal, since they are God's endpoint. I don't ever intend to explain His reasoning, and it is obvious you can't as you constantly humanize Him, and attempt to distort the history of His works, which tell us exactly what He decided to do and how to do it.

dhw: What illogical repetitions? I have repeated YOUR interpretation of his reasoning, but you yourself find it so unreasonable that you tell us that it is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I do not distort the history, and indeed you have always acknowledged that my various alternatives fit in with it (“Of course I can agree with you that your suggestions are logical at a human level”), but you try to dismiss them as “humanizing”, even though you admit that your God “very well could think like us”. I understand your frustration, but I do not understand your attempts to distance yourself from your own acknowledgement of the problems associated with your theory.

DAVID: You constantly refuse to follow logical reasoning. If God is in charge, history shows us what He did, not why. Guessing why is pure guessing. What does your guessing prove. Nothing!

dhw; But it is you who guess that the reason why your God (whose very existence is a guess) created life was to produce H. sapiens, and every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder up until 3.X billion years ago was an “interim goal” to cover the time he had decided to take before embarking on fulfilling his one and only purpose. All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

Not a guess. Design requires a designer.


dhw: I have always balanced my acceptance of your logical design argument with the argument that we do not solve one mystery by creating another. I find your eternal, sourceless, immaterial conscious mind just as difficult to believe in as the ability of chance to assemble the first living cells.

DAVID: You have a right to this position, and the right to guess, but guessing in worthless, whether you accept God or not.

dhw: And yet you have written two brilliant books to support one of your guesses (that God exists), and you continue to delve into all the mysteries, as you provide us with a constant stream of articles detailing the latest attempts to solve them. I remain extremely grateful for these, and do not regard them as worthless, even though they are guesses. And I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website!:-(

I don't think we should stop. I constantly can show overwhelming evidence of design which you recognize and keeps you in confusion:-) By the way Amazon just sold a copy of my first book.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Friday, October 25, 2019, 10:59 (91 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You always fail to understand that I simply look at history to see what God did.

No you don’t. History tells us only that there has been a vast bush of diversified life forms extinct and extant, with humans the latest species to evolve. See our next exchange:

DAVID: You constantly refuse to follow logical reasoning. If God is in charge, history shows us what He did, not why. Guessing why is pure guessing. What does your guessing prove. Nothing!

dhw: But it is you who guess that the reason why your God (whose very existence is a guess) created life was to produce H. sapiens, and every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder up until 3.X billion years ago was an “interim goal” to cover the time he had decided to take before embarking on fulfilling his one and only purpose. All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

DAVID: Not a guess. Design requires a designer.

Your whole theory of evolution is a guess. The existence of God is a guess too, because although design requires a designer, the designer does not have to be a single, unknown, sourceless, eternal mind! An atheist can guess that all the designs we see around us are the products of a chance combination of materials which by sheer good fortune led to life and intelligence capable of doing its own designing. No, I don’t believe it, but it is no more and no less fanciful than an inexplicable, hidden intelligence that was always simply there.

DAVID: […] guessing in worthless, whether you accept God or not.

dhw: And yet you have written two brilliant books to support one of your guesses (that God exists), and you continue to delve into all the mysteries, as you provide us with a constant stream of articles detailing the latest attempts to solve them. I remain extremely grateful for these, and do not regard them as worthless, even though they are guesses. And I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website! :-(

DAVID: I don't think we should stop. I constantly can show overwhelming evidence of design which you recognize and keeps you in confusion :-) By the way Amazon just sold a copy of my first book.

Delighted to hear this piece of news, though I wish they had sold thousands of copies of your second book! I would not say I am confused. I think I have a clear vision of the alternative explanations of life and evolution. My problem is that I find none of them sufficiently convincing to believe in! I would say that there are so many gaps in our knowledge that belief in any one theory demands irrational faith, and I think you would agree since you state categorically that your own theory is not illogical provided “one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I would not want us to stop either – but I reserve the right to use my human reasoning when considering all the proposed solutions to all the unsolved mysteries!

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, October 25, 2019, 23:00 (91 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You always fail to understand that I simply look at history to see what God did.

No you don’t. History tells us only that there has been a vast bush of diversified life forms extinct and extant, with humans the latest species to evolve. See our next exchange:

DAVID: You constantly refuse to follow logical reasoning. If God is in charge, history shows us what He did, not why. Guessing why is pure guessing. What does your guessing prove. Nothing!

dhw: But it is you who guess that the reason why your God (whose very existence is a guess) created life was to produce H. sapiens, and every other life form, lifestyle and natural wonder up until 3.X billion years ago was an “interim goal” to cover the time he had decided to take before embarking on fulfilling his one and only purpose. All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

DAVID: Not a guess. Design requires a designer.

Your whole theory of evolution is a guess. The existence of God is a guess too, because although design requires a designer, the designer does not have to be a single, unknown, sourceless, eternal mind! An atheist can guess that all the designs we see around us are the products of a chance combination of materials which by sheer good fortune led to life and intelligence capable of doing its own designing. No, I don’t believe it, but it is no more and no less fanciful than an inexplicable, hidden intelligence that was always simply there.

DAVID: […] guessing in worthless, whether you accept God or not.

dhw: And yet you have written two brilliant books to support one of your guesses (that God exists), and you continue to delve into all the mysteries, as you provide us with a constant stream of articles detailing the latest attempts to solve them. I remain extremely grateful for these, and do not regard them as worthless, even though they are guesses. And I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website! :-(

DAVID: I don't think we should stop. I constantly can show overwhelming evidence of design which you recognize and keeps you in confusion :-) By the way Amazon just sold a copy of my first book.

dhw: Delighted to hear this piece of news, though I wish they had sold thousands of copies of your second book! I would not say I am confused. I think I have a clear vision of the alternative explanations of life and evolution. My problem is that I find none of them sufficiently convincing to believe in! I would say that there are so many gaps in our knowledge that belief in any one theory demands irrational faith, and I think you would agree since you state categorically that your own theory is not illogical provided “one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I would not want us to stop either – but I reserve the right to use my human reasoning when considering all the proposed solutions to all the unsolved mysteries!

Yes, lets continue. By the way I get no benefit from the sales at this point, but love that the word is spread.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Saturday, October 26, 2019, 12:51 (90 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

DAVID: Not a guess. Design requires a designer.

dhw: Your whole theory of evolution is a guess. The existence of God is a guess too, because although design requires a designer, the designer does not have to be a single, unknown, sourceless, eternal mind! An atheist can guess that all the designs we see around us are the products of a chance combination of materials which by sheer good fortune led to life and intelligence capable of doing its own designing. No, I don’t believe it, but it is no more and no less fanciful than an inexplicable, hidden intelligence that was always simply there.

DAVID: […] guessing is worthless, whether you accept God or not.

dhw: [. ..] I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website!

DAVID: I don't think we should stop. I constantly can show overwhelming evidence of design which you recognize and keeps you in confusion By the way Amazon just sold a copy of my first book.

dhw: Delighted to hear this piece of news, though I wish they had sold thousands of copies of your second book! I would not say I am confused. I think I have a clear vision of the alternative explanations of life and evolution. My problem is that I find none of them sufficiently convincing to believe in! I would say that there are so many gaps in our knowledge that belief in any one theory demands irrational faith, and I think you would agree since you state categorically that your own theory is not illogical provided “one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I would not want us to stop either – but I reserve the right to use my human reasoning when considering all the proposed solutions to all the unsolved mysteries!

DAVID: Yes, lets continue. By the way I get no benefit from the sales at this point, but love that the word is spread.

It’s always good to know that people read your work! And yes, of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 26, 2019, 15:26 (90 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] All theories concerning the existence of God, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness etc. are guesses which prove nothing.

DAVID: Not a guess. Design requires a designer.

dhw: Your whole theory of evolution is a guess. The existence of God is a guess too, because although design requires a designer, the designer does not have to be a single, unknown, sourceless, eternal mind! An atheist can guess that all the designs we see around us are the products of a chance combination of materials which by sheer good fortune led to life and intelligence capable of doing its own designing. No, I don’t believe it, but it is no more and no less fanciful than an inexplicable, hidden intelligence that was always simply there.

DAVID: […] guessing is worthless, whether you accept God or not.

dhw: [. ..] I do not think it is worthless to apply human logic in assessing the possible validity of people’s guesses. That is the nature of all our discussions. If guessing and discussing the guesses is worthless, we may as well close down this website!

DAVID: I don't think we should stop. I constantly can show overwhelming evidence of design which you recognize and keeps you in confusion By the way Amazon just sold a copy of my first book.

dhw: Delighted to hear this piece of news, though I wish they had sold thousands of copies of your second book! I would not say I am confused. I think I have a clear vision of the alternative explanations of life and evolution. My problem is that I find none of them sufficiently convincing to believe in! I would say that there are so many gaps in our knowledge that belief in any one theory demands irrational faith, and I think you would agree since you state categorically that your own theory is not illogical provided “one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”! I would not want us to stop either – but I reserve the right to use my human reasoning when considering all the proposed solutions to all the unsolved mysteries!

DAVID: Yes, lets continue. By the way I get no benefit from the sales at this point, but love that the word is spread.

dhw: It’s always good to know that people read your work! And yes, of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

Of course apply your reasoning, so I can comment with my reasoning.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Sunday, October 27, 2019, 08:59 (90 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

DAVID: Of course apply your reasoning, so I can comment with my reasoning.

It’s important, however, to note that in order to believe in your own personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method, your reasoning is that “nothing illogical is required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and any alternative theory is to be dismissed because in your view it “humanizes” your God, although he “very well could think like us”.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 27, 2019, 17:14 (89 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

DAVID: Of course apply your reasoning, so I can comment with my reasoning.

dhw: It’s important, however, to note that in order to believe in your own personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method, your reasoning is that “nothing illogical is required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and any alternative theory is to be dismissed because in your view it “humanizes” your God, although he “very well could think like us”.

Same reply. History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Monday, October 28, 2019, 10:27 (88 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

DAVID: Of course apply your reasoning, so I can comment with my reasoning.

dhw: It’s important, however, to note that in order to believe in your own personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method, your reasoning is that “nothing illogical is required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and any alternative theory is to be dismissed because in your view it “humanizes” your God, although he “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: Same reply. History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.
;-)

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, October 28, 2019, 13:58 (88 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] of course we should continue to consider all aspects of these fascinating subjects – and once more I can only thank you for bringing our attention to all the latest articles and discoveries. But please don’t complain if I apply my human reason in my attempts to understand their explanatory significance.

DAVID: Of course apply your reasoning, so I can comment with my reasoning.

dhw: It’s important, however, to note that in order to believe in your own personal interpretation of your God’s purpose and method, your reasoning is that “nothing illogical is required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and any alternative theory is to be dismissed because in your view it “humanizes” your God, although he “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: Same reply. History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

dhw: So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the his
;-)

Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 10:35 (87 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Same reply. History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

dhw: So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.

DAVID: Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

Of course I don’t forget it. Nor do I forget the billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, every one of which you tell us had to be specially designed by your God. And I don’t forget that the reason why you think he had to specially design them all was that he decided not to fulfil his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years etc., and you have no idea why, but it’s logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history. I seem to have pointed that out before.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 13:50 (87 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Same reply. History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

dhw: So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.

DAVID: Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

dhw: Of course I don’t forget it. Nor do I forget the billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, every one of which you tell us had to be specially designed by your God. And I don’t forget that the reason why you think he had to specially design them all was that he decided not to fulfil his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years etc., and you have no idea why, but it’s logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history. I seem to have pointed that out before.

You have distorted my thinking as usual.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 11:32 (86 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID (under “early mammals”): Your theories about God are all reasonable if you assume God didn't really know what He was doing or what purposes He had in mind when He created the universe.

dhw: I gave you alternatives. The first was that he knew exactly what he was doing, and enjoyed experimenting with different life forms, i.e. if he exists, he created the universe and life for his own enjoyment, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings (your very own image). What is wrong with that as a purpose? “Didn’t know what he was doing” is a negative view of my suggestion that if his purpose really was to create a creature that could think like himself, he had to experiment in order to get it. Why is this such anathema to you?

DAVID: How do you definitely know God thinks like we do?

dhw: I don’t even “definitely know” that God exists, let alone how he thinks – and nor do you! That is why I offer alternative explanations, whereas you stick rigidly to the only one that requires the abandonment of human logic.

You did not explain why the above alternatives were anathema to you.

DAVID: History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

dhw: So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.

DAVID: Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

dhw: Of course I don’t forget it. Nor do I forget the billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, every one of which you tell us had to be specially designed by your God. And I don’t forget that the reason why you think he had to specially design them all was that he decided not to fulfil his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years etc., and you have no idea why, but it’s logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history. I seem to have pointed that out before.

DAVID: You have distorted my thinking as usual.

If you think the above is a distortion of your thinking, then please tell us precisely which points you disown, and I will produce the relevant quote in your very own words.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 14:26 (86 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID (under “early mammals”): Your theories about God are all reasonable if you assume God didn't really know what He was doing or what purposes He had in mind when He created the universe.

dhw: I gave you alternatives. The first was that he knew exactly what he was doing, and enjoyed experimenting with different life forms, i.e. if he exists, he created the universe and life for his own enjoyment, much as a painter enjoys his own paintings (your very own image). What is wrong with that as a purpose? “Didn’t know what he was doing” is a negative view of my suggestion that if his purpose really was to create a creature that could think like himself, he had to experiment in order to get it. Why is this such anathema to you?

DAVID: How do you definitely know God thinks like we do?

dhw: I don’t even “definitely know” that God exists, let alone how he thinks – and nor do you! That is why I offer alternative explanations, whereas you stick rigidly to the only one that requires the abandonment of human logic.

dhw: You did not explain why the above alternatives were anathema to you.

They are humanized versions of how God might think or express purposes, as I implied.


DAVID: History shows God's work, not His reasons, but I recognize you love to guess.

dhw: So do you. Just a reminder: Your guess is that your God’s only purpose was to design H.sapiens, but he decided not to do so for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design every earlier, non-human life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in order to cover the time he had decided to take, but this is logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.

DAVID: Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

dhw: Of course I don’t forget it. Nor do I forget the billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, every one of which you tell us had to be specially designed by your God. And I don’t forget that the reason why you think he had to specially design them all was that he decided not to fulfil his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years etc., and you have no idea why, but it’s logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history. I seem to have pointed that out before.

DAVID: You have distorted my thinking as usual.

dhw: If you think the above is a distortion of your thinking, then please tell us precisely which points you disown, and I will produce the relevant quote in your very own words.

You know full well the bush of life is required to maintain all of life's energy sources, and if God decided to evolve man from bacteria, we know the exact time it took. You continually debate God's choice of method, which implies you wonder why He waited and didn't just do direct creation as in Genesis. I don't do that. i just look at the history of his works. Fully logical, while you conjure up woolly possibilities, while you cannot possibly know how He thinks

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Thursday, October 31, 2019, 11:18 (85 days ago) @ David Turell

I have offered theistic alternatives to David’s anthropocentric theory (summarized below), explaining the higgledy-piggledy non-human bush of life: a) that God (if he exists) designed all the different life forms for his own enjoyment, or (b) he was experimenting in order to create a being like himself.

dhw: You did not explain why the above alternatives were anathema to you.

DAVID: They are humanized versions of how God might think or express purposes, as I implied.

And you have also agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, which means that my alternatives “very well” could be as valid as your own fixed belief, which is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: Your usual reply. You recognize our specialness by giving it lip service, and then forget how different we really are. Evolution as a natural event does not explain our arrival. We were designed.

dhw: Of course I don’t forget it. Nor do I forget the billions of other life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders, every one of which you tell us had to be specially designed by your God. And I don’t forget that the reason why you think he had to specially design them all was that he decided not to fulfil his one and only purpose for 3.X billion years etc., and you have no idea why, but it’s logical so long as we do not apply human logic to the history.

DAVID: You have distorted my thinking as usual.

dhw: If you think the above is a distortion of your thinking, then please tell us precisely which points you disown, and I will produce the relevant quote in your very own words.

DAVID: You know full well the bush of life is required to maintain all of life's energy sources, and if God decided to evolve man from bacteria, we know the exact time it took. You continually debate God's choice of method, which implies you wonder why He waited and didn't just do direct creation as in Genesis. I don't do that. i just look at the history of his works. Fully logical, while you conjure up woolly possibilities, while you cannot possibly know how He thinks.

You don’t "just look at the history", you acknowledge that your interpretation of that history defies human logic, and you agree that my very precise alternatives are logical. Nobody can know how he thinks, which is why I offer various alternatives. You have accused me of distorting your thinking. Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:
1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.
5) Your explanation is perfectly logical, so long as we do not apply our human logic to the actual history of life.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 31, 2019, 18:51 (85 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You did not explain why the above alternatives were anathema to you.

DAVID: They are humanized versions of how God might think or express purposes, as I implied.

dhw: And you have also agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, which means that my alternatives “very well” could be as valid as your own fixed belief, which is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

I've agreed human logic cab invent your scenarios.


DAVID: You know full well the bush of life is required to maintain all of life's energy sources, and if God decided to evolve man from bacteria, we know the exact time it took. You continually debate God's choice of method, which implies you wonder why He waited and didn't just do direct creation as in Genesis. I don't do that. i just look at the history of his works. Fully logical, while you conjure up woolly possibilities, while you cannot possibly know how He thinks.

dhw: You don’t "just look at the history", you acknowledge that your interpretation of that history defies human logic, and you agree that my very precise alternatives are logical.

It doesn't defy human logic. I just accept history and don't psychoanalyze God, which you are constantly employed in.

> dhw: Nobody can know how he thinks, which is why I offer various alternatives. You have accused me of distorting your thinking. Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:

1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

Usual distortions. It is obvious He chose to evolve us.

dhw: 5) Your explanation is perfectly logical, so long as we do not apply our human logic to the actual history of life.

Same Distortion. I don't try to apply logic. I simply accept what He did as history shows us.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Friday, November 01, 2019, 10:29 (84 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You did not explain why the above alternatives were anathema to you.

DAVID: They are humanized versions of how God might think or express purposes, as I implied.

dhw: And you have also agreed that your God “very well could think like us”, which means that my alternatives “very well” could be as valid as your own fixed belief, which is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: I've agreed human logic can invent your scenarios.

You have agreed that these particular scenarios provide a “humanly” logical explanation for the history of the bush of life if there is a God who created it, and that your God could well think in this manner. But you prefer your own explanation, which defies human logic.

DAVID: It doesn't defy human logic. […]

You force me to quote you. Referring to your theory: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.

dhw: Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:
1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: Usual distortions. It is obvious He chose to evolve us.

Your comment does not tell us which of these points is a distortion. Reminder: according to you, all the preceding life forms, econiches etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” (i.e. before “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose).

dhw: 5) Your explanation is perfectly logical, so long as we do not apply our human logic to the actual history of life.

DAVID: Same Distortion. I don't try to apply logic. I simply accept what He did as history shows us.

See the bolded quote above re logic. History shows us that there has been a a vast bush of life forms extinct and extant. History does not show us any of points 1-3, and you yourself have provided points 4-5.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Friday, November 01, 2019, 17:42 (84 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've agreed human logic can invent your scenarios.

dhw:You have agreed that these particular scenarios provide a “humanly” logical explanation for the history of the bush of life if there is a God who created it, and that your God could well think in this manner. But you prefer your own explanation, which defies human logic.

DAVID: It doesn't defy human logic. […]

dhw: You force me to quote you. Referring to your theory: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.

Not a refutation at all. All I've said is that I don't question His works, and don't study it logically, because that is not required if all one does is study the history of His works.


dhw: Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:
1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: Usual distortions. It is obvious He chose to evolve us.

dhw: Your comment does not tell us which of these points is a distortion. Reminder: according to you, all the preceding life forms, econiches etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” (i.e. before “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose).

One, two and three are my beliefs. Number four is your distorted description of his decision to evolve us, which is simply God chose to evolve us over the time it took, with no worry on His part over your so-called delay. You silly distortion implies He should have created us directly, if He could, something we can not know if He can or wanted to do.


dhw: 5) Your explanation is perfectly logical, so long as we do not apply our human logic to the actual history of life.

DAVID: Same Distortion. I don't try to apply logic. I simply accept what He did as history shows us.

dhw: See the bolded quote above re logic. History shows us that there has been a a vast bush of life forms extinct and extant. History does not show us any of points 1-3, and you yourself have provided points 4-5.

My proof of 'one' is the complexity of the designs, which you recognize but cannot explain except by your pipe-dreams of cellular intelligence. "Two" is Adler's book of logical reasons. I've answered 'three' above regarding the issue of direct creation

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Saturday, November 02, 2019, 12:12 (83 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw:You have agreed that these particular scenarios provide a “humanly” logical explanation for the history of the bush of life if there is a God who created it, and that your God could well think in this manner. But you prefer your own explanation, which defies human logic.

DAVID: It doesn't defy human logic. […]

dhw: You force me to quote you. Referring to your theory: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.”

DAVID: Not a refutation at all. All I've said is that I don't question His works, and don't study it logically, because that is not required if all one does is study the history of His works.

If he exists, the history of his works is the great bush of life extinct and extant, with humans the latest and most complex branch. You have studied the history and concluded points 1, 2 and 3. This theory, according to you, is not illogical so long as “one does not apply human reasoning" to it.

dhw: Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:
1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: Usual distortions. It is obvious He chose to evolve us.

dhw: Your comment does not tell us which of these points is a distortion. Reminder: according to you, all the preceding life forms, econiches etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” (i.e. before “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose).

DAVID: One, two and three are my beliefs.

Thank you. No distortion there, then.

DAVID: Number four is your distorted description of his decision to evolve us, which is simply God chose to evolve us over the time it took, with no worry on His part over your so-called delay. You silly distortion implies He should have created us directly, if He could, something we can not know if He can or wanted to do.

You have repeatedly told us that your God is in total control, the bolded quote says that he decided to take (not had to take) 3.X billion years, and you say “I have no idea why God decided to evolve humans over time”. According to you, it was this incomprehensibe decision which meant he “had to” design the whole preceding bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (“establish the necessary food supply”) to “cover the time”. No distortion.

DAVID: My proof of 'one' is the complexity of the designs, which you recognize but cannot explain except by your pipe-dreams of cellular intelligence.

We are discussing the illogicality of your combination of beliefs, not my alternatives. So far, you have confirmed each of the points above.

DAVID: "Two" is Adler's book of logical reasons.

You have repeatedly told us that Adler does not cover your theory at all, except for the argument that human complexity provides evidence for God’s existence.

DAVID: I've answered 'three' above regarding the issue of direct creation.

I have answered your answer above.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 02, 2019, 18:49 (83 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You force me to quote you. Referring to your theory: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.”

DAVID: Not a refutation at all. All I've said is that I don't question His works, and don't study it logically, because that is not required if all one does is study the history of His works.

dhw: If he exists, the history of his works is the great bush of life extinct and extant, with humans the latest and most complex branch. You have studied the history and concluded points 1, 2 and 3. This theory, according to you, is not illogical so long as “one does not apply human reasoning" to it.

There is no need to apply human reasoning if His works are accepted as the known history.


dhw: Please tell me which of these points is a distortion:
1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

DAVID: Usual distortions. It is obvious He chose to evolve us.

dhw: Your comment does not tell us which of these points is a distortion. Reminder: according to you, all the preceding life forms, econiches etc. were “interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take” (i.e. before “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose).

DAVID: One, two and three are my beliefs.

dhw: Thank you. No distortion there, then.

DAVID: Number four is your distorted description of his decision to evolve us, which is simply God chose to evolve us over the time it took, with no worry on His part over your so-called delay. You silly distortion implies He should have created us directly, if He could, something we can not know if He can or wanted to do.

dhw: You have repeatedly told us that your God is in total control, the bolded quote says that he decided to take (not had to take) 3.X billion years, and you say “I have no idea why God decided to evolve humans over time”. According to you, it was this incomprehensibe decision which meant he “had to” design the whole preceding bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (“establish the necessary food supply”) to “cover the time”. No distortion.

I've admitted I do not know if He was forced to make that decision, but He decided. It is incomprehensible only to you, with your use of human logic, not God's.


DAVID: My proof of 'one' is the complexity of the designs, which you recognize but cannot explain except by your pipe-dreams of cellular intelligence.

We are discussing the illogicality of your combination of beliefs, not my alternatives. So far, you have confirmed each of the points above.

DAVID: "Two" is Adler's book of logical reasons.

dhw: You have repeatedly told us that Adler does not cover your theory at all, except for the argument that human complexity provides evidence for God’s existence.

Adler does not discuss methods of evolution, only that we are God's purpose. My theory is a distillate of many sources.


DAVID: I've answered 'three' above regarding the issue of direct creation.

dhw: I have answered your answer above.

I know.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Sunday, November 03, 2019, 11:20 (82 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

dhw: This theory, according to you, is not illogical so long as “one does not apply human reasoning" to it.

DAVID: There is no need to apply human reasoning if His works are accepted as the known history.

The “known history” which we can all accept is the great bush of life, with H. sapiens as the latest and most complex branch. If we accept that this is God’s work, it is your interpretation of how and why he did this work which constitutes points 1, 2, and 3, and this combination of fixed beliefs – not the history – is what you admit is contrary to human reason.
dhw: You have repeatedly told us that your God is in total control, and that he decided to take (not had to take) 3.X billion years, and you say “I have no idea why God decided to evolve humans over time”. According to you, it was this incomprehensibe decision which meant he “had to” design the whole preceding bush of non-human life forms, lifestyles and natural wonders (“establish the necessary food supply”) to “cover the time”. No distortion.

DAVID: I've admitted I do not know if He was forced to make that decision, but He decided. It is incomprehensible only to you, with your use of human logic, not God's.

According to you, the decision is not illogical provided we do NOT apply human logic, and so unless you claim to be divine, it is incomprehensible to you. (That is why you have “no idea” why he would have made this decision.)

DAVID: Adler does not discuss methods of evolution, only that we are God's purpose. My theory is a distillate of many sources.

So no point in citing Adler as a supporter of your humanly incomprehensible and illogical theory.

I have transferred the next exchanges from “Evolution of Language”, since they have nothing to do with language.

DAVID: You are skipping over my point that the needs of a new species have to be anticipated in planning for the design of the species. The designer had to know in advance ears were necessary for the moth's like style. If moths had arrived without ears and couldn't pick up evidence of predators, they would not have survived. Survival needs have to be planned in advance. Species appear abruptly after gaps, no time given for modifications, remember Gould's point.

dhw: I have repeatedly answered this point on this thread and elsewhere! If you accept common descent, then moths with ears did not appear out of the blue – moths with ears descended from pre-moths without ears, just as whales descended from pre-whales without flippers.

DAVID: And what we are arguing is how did the adaptations happen. Speciation is a black box. You want the nebulous idea of cell committees with the ability to design. I know only minds design.

We are arguing about your insistence (now bolded above) that every innovation had to be planned in advance of the environmental changes it was meant to cope with. The rest of my post is devoted to explaining that moth ears and whale flippers would have evolved IN RESPONSE to new needs and not IN ANTICIPATION of them
.
dhw : No doubt many pre-eared moths did NOT survive either. That was why ears became necessary. Pure common sense, illustrated millions of times over by the history of life. No need for your “magic” - though highly selective (because most species have died out) - crystal ball process which you are so fixated on.

DAVID: Total non sequitur! Of course ears became necessary. The issue between us remains. How did that happen? Moths with ears are a slightly different new species, which requires design. Your answer for speciation is not my answer. As you have kindly noted my 'Atheist Delusion' book is a very strong argument for design.

Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here, as bolded, is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). As for how speciation happens, nobody knows. Your theory is that your God either dabbled or foresaw every future environmental change and/or problem, and preprogrammed the first cells with every response and/or solution, (though approx. 90% of species would be left to die). I propose (theistic version) that he gave cells the intelligence to work out their own designs. The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us.

Same point on the thread “Biological complexity: managing oxygen levels”: you insist that ants were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago to march and build bridges, and I propose that they worked it out when conditions required them to do so, and then passed their successful strategies on to succeeding generations.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 03, 2019, 15:46 (82 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: There is no need to apply human reasoning if His works are accepted as the known history.

The “known history” which we can all accept is the great bush of life, with H. sapiens as the latest and most complex branch. If we accept that this is God’s work, it is your interpretation of how and why he did this work which constitutes points 1, 2, and 3, and this combination of fixed beliefs – not the history – is what you admit is contrary to human reason.

It is not 'contrary to human reason'. I simply accept His works without question.

DAVID: I've admitted I do not know if He was forced to make that decision, but He decided. It is incomprehensible only to you, with your use of human logic, not God's.

dhw: According to you, the decision is not illogical provided we do NOT apply human logic, and so unless you claim to be divine, it is incomprehensible to you. (That is why you have “no idea” why he would have made this decision.)

I'm sorry your object to my reasonable approach, not to question God's thinking.


dhw: I have transferred the next exchanges from “Evolution of Language”, since they have nothing to do with language.


DAVID: And what we are arguing is how did the adaptations happen. Speciation is a black box. You want the nebulous idea of cell committees with the ability to design. I know only minds design.

dhw: We are arguing about your insistence (now bolded above) that every innovation had to be planned in advance of the environmental changes it was meant to cope with. The rest of my post is devoted to explaining that moth ears and whale flippers would have evolved IN RESPONSE to new needs and not IN ANTICIPATION of them

How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

.
dhw : No doubt many pre-eared moths did NOT survive either. That was why ears became necessary. Pure common sense, illustrated millions of times over by the history of life. No need for your “magic” - though highly selective (because most species have died out) - crystal ball process which you are so fixated on.

DAVID: Total non sequitur! Of course ears became necessary. The issue between us remains. How did that happen? Moths with ears are a slightly different new species, which requires design. Your answer for speciation is not my answer. As you have kindly noted my 'Atheist Delusion' book is a very strong argument for design.

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here, as bolded, is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). As for how speciation happens, nobody knows. Your theory is that your God either dabbled or foresaw every future environmental change and/or problem, and preprogrammed the first cells with every response and/or solution, (though approx. 90% of species would be left to die). I propose (theistic version) that he gave cells the intelligence to work out their own designs. The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us.

That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems


dhw: Same point on the thread “Biological complexity: managing oxygen levels”: you insist that ants were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago to march and build bridges, and I propose that they worked it out when conditions required them to do so, and then passed their successful strategies on to succeeding generations.

Your view is possible. The bridge study said each ant always did the same thing. Hold on the neighbors.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Monday, November 04, 2019, 11:41 (81 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 1) You believe that your God specially designed every single new life form, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life.
2) His one and only purpose was to design H. sapiens.
3) He decided to delay fulfilling that purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore had to design the whole preceding bush of life in order to cover the time he had decided to take.
4) You have no idea why he decided to delay fulfilling his purpose for 3.X billion years.

This theory, according to you, is not illogical so long as “one does not apply human reasoning" to it.

DAVID: It is not 'contrary to human reason'. I simply accept His works without question.

His works, if he exists, are the bush of life, with humans as the latest species. You have accepted that points 1 – 3 form the basis of your theory concerning his purpose and method. Your own comment on this was: “Nothing illogical required if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history.” What else could that mean if it doesn’t mean “contrary to human reasoning”?

DAVID: I'm sorry you object to my reasonable approach, not to question God's thinking.

It is not God’s thinking but your own which I am questioning, and you have told us that your theory is not illogical so long as we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history. Are you telling us that you are divine? Why don’t you just agree with yourself and acknowledge that even though your theory defies human logic, and is one of several possible explanations of how and why evolution happened, it’s the only one you’re prepared to believe.

xxxxxx

dhw: We are arguing about your insistence […] that every innovation had to be planned in advance of the environmental changes it was meant to cope with. The rest of my post is devoted to explaining that moth ears and whale flippers would have evolved IN RESPONSE to new needs and not IN ANTICIPATION of them

DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. (They remain bacteria, but I’m simply describing the process: organisms react to new problems; solutions are not provided in advance.) Pre-whales may have entered the water because food was scarce on land; pre-eared moths may have begun hunting by night because so many were being killed during the day. The environmental change then triggered the anatomical changes which led to speciation: marine life led to flippers replacing legs; hunting in the dark required enhanced sensitivity to sound – hence the ears.

DAVID: […] The issue between us remains. How did that happen? Moths with ears are a slightly different new species, which requires design. Your answer for speciation is not my answer. As you have kindly noted my 'Atheist Delusion' book is a very strong argument for design.

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here […] is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). As for how speciation happens, nobody knows. Your theory is that your God either dabbled or foresaw every future environmental change and/or problem, and preprogrammed the first cells with every response and/or solution, (though approx. 90% of species would be left to die). I propose (theistic version) that he gave cells the intelligence to work out their own designs. The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us. (Now bolded by dhw – see below.)

DAVID: That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems.

Yes, design requires minds. You say only God has a mind - apart from humans - and I suggest (theistic version) that he may have created cellular minds (though of course nothing like our own). No, advance design is not required to handle new problems. You say you believe in common descent: this means that each new species is formed from existing species. When existing species are confronted with a new problem, either they solve it or they die. (New conditions may also offer new opportunities to existing organisms.) The RESULT of this interaction – i.e. the interaction only begins when conditions change - between organism and environment may be minor changes (adaptations) or major changes (innovations), though there is no clear borderline between the two. As above, bacteria continue to die until they find a counter to new medicines; pre-whale leg cells are restructured to form flippers BECAUSE they have adopted a marine way of life; pre-eared moth cells (I have no idea which ones) are restructured to form ears BECAUSE they have adopted a nocturnal way of life. And now I can only refer you back to my previous post, with the two theories and my comments bolded.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Monday, November 04, 2019, 15:30 (81 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm sorry you object to my reasonable approach, not to question God's thinking.

dhw: It is not God’s thinking but your own which I am questioning, and you have told us that your theory is not illogical so long as we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history. Are you telling us that you are divine? Why don’t you just agree with yourself and acknowledge that even though your theory defies human logic, and is one of several possible explanations of how and why evolution happened, it’s the only one you’re prepared to believe.

Please accept that I view God in change and running the show as He wishes. That is the faith you cannot accept. Remember faith jumps a chasm.


xxxxxx

DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

dhw: The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. (They remain bacteria, but I’m simply describing the process: organisms react to new problems; solutions are not provided in advance.) Pre-whales may have entered the water because food was scarce on land; pre-eared moths may have begun hunting by night because so many were being killed during the day. The environmental change then triggered the anatomical changes which led to speciation: marine life led to flippers replacing legs; hunting in the dark required enhanced sensitivity to sound – hence the ears.

To my knowledge, no one describes pre-ear moths. As Gould noted to his consternation, the fossil record shows giant gaps, no itty-bitty changes as Darwin assumed. You want the pipe-dream of minor adaptation morphing into new species. There is n o fossil su[port for your Darwin hope. Darwin gave us a concept of evolution with common descent, nothing more.


DAVID: […] The issue between us remains. How did that happen? Moths with ears are a slightly different new species, which requires design. Your answer for speciation is not my answer. As you have kindly noted my 'Atheist Delusion' book is a very strong argument for design.

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here […] is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). As for how speciation happens, nobody knows. Your theory is that your God either dabbled or foresaw every future environmental change and/or problem, and preprogrammed the first cells with every response and/or solution, (though approx. 90% of species would be left to die). I propose (theistic version) that he gave cells the intelligence to work out their own designs. The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us. (Now bolded by dhw – see below.)

DAVID: That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems.

dhw: Yes, design requires minds. You say only God has a mind - apart from humans - and I suggest (theistic version) that he may have created cellular minds (though of course nothing like our own). No, advance design is not required to handle new problems. You say you believe in common descent: this means that each new species is formed from existing species. When existing species are confronted with a new problem, either they solve it or they die. (New conditions may also offer new opportunities to existing organisms.) The RESULT of this interaction – i.e. the interaction only begins when conditions change - between organism and environment may be minor changes (adaptations) or major changes (innovations), though there is no clear borderline between the two.

There is a clear line. New species have clearly unexplained new features. That they fit the new requirements of their lives is not an explanation of how it happened. That is your constant plea, which is totally illogical, as illustrated below:

dhw: As above, bacteria continue to die until they find a counter to new medicines; pre-whale leg cells are restructured to form flippers BECAUSE they have adopted a marine way of life; pre-eared moth cells (I have no idea which ones) are restructured to form ears BECAUSE they have adopted a nocturnal way of life. And now I can only refer you back to my previous post, with the two theories and my comments bolded.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Tuesday, November 05, 2019, 12:24 (80 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Why don’t you just agree with yourself and acknowledge that even though your theory defies human logic, and is one of several possible explanations of how and why evolution happened, it’s the only one you’re prepared to believe.

DAVID: Please accept that I view God in change and running the show as He wishes. That is the faith you cannot accept. Remember faith jumps a chasm.

Of course if he exists he would run the show as he wishes. No faith required for that reasoning. What I cannot accept is the 3-point combination of your beliefs regarding how and why he runs the show – an explanation which in your own words requires “nothing illogical if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. Yes, your faith in that illogical and unreasonable theory does indeed jump a chasm.
xxxxxx
DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

dhw: The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. [..] Pre-whales may have entered the water because food was scarce on land; pre-eared moths may have begun hunting by night because so many were being killed during the day. The environmental change then triggered the anatomical changes which led to speciation: marine life led to flippers replacing legs; hunting in the dark required enhanced sensitivity to sound – hence the ears.

DAVID: To my knowledge, no one describes pre-ear moths. As Gould noted to his consternation, the fossil record shows giant gaps, no itty-bitty changes as Darwin assumed. You want the pipe-dream of minor adaptation morphing into new species. There is no fossil support for your Darwin hope. Darwin gave us a concept of evolution with common descent, nothing more.

Some websites say that “many moths have ears”, so presumably there are some diurnal ones that don’t. In any case, since you believe in common descent, you will agree that eared moths must have descended from some kind of moth. The whale record shows transitional forms, but can we really expect to find fossils of all stages of every new species? And nobody knows the mechanism that enables organisms to speciate. Has anyone found your God’s 3.8-billion-year-old computer programmes for every undabbled innovation, life style and natural wonder, or sliced open a bacterium and discovered a programme to resist every future as yet undiscovered bacteria-killer?

DAVID: […] The issue between us remains. How did that happen? […]

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here […] is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). […] The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us.

DAVID: That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems.

dhw: Yes, design requires minds. You say only God has a mind - apart from humans - and I suggest (theistic version) that he may have created cellular minds (though of course nothing like our own). No, advance design is not required to handle new problems. [..] When existing species are confronted with a new problem, either they solve it or they die. (New conditions may also offer new opportunities to existing organisms.) The RESULT of this interaction – i.e. the interaction only begins when conditions change - between organism and environment may be minor changes (adaptations) or major changes (innovations), though there is no clear borderline between the two.

DAVID: There is a clear line. New species have clearly unexplained new features. That they fit the new requirements of their lives is not an explanation of how it happened. That is your constant plea, which is totally illogical […]

Is the transformation of an existing leg into a flipper an unexplained new feature or an adaptation? That is why I say the borderlines are not clear. And once again: nobody can explain how the changes happened, but why is it “totally illogical” to suggest that organisms change in response to new conditions and not in anticipation of them, when we know for a fact that minor adaptations respond to changes and do not precede them? And why is cellular intelligence (possibly divinely designed) as a theoretical “how” less logical than your theory of 3.8-billion-year-old computer programmes and/or divine dabbling for every innovation, lifestyle, strategy and natural wonder?

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 05, 2019, 18:25 (80 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Please accept that I view God in change and running the show as He wishes. That is the faith you cannot accept. Remember faith jumps a chasm.

dhw: Of course if he exists he would run the show as he wishes. No faith required for that reasoning. What I cannot accept is the 3-point combination of your beliefs regarding how and why he runs the show – an explanation which in your own words requires “nothing illogical if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. Yes, your faith in that illogical and unreasonable theory does indeed jump a chasm.

The bold above shows your illogical thinking. God in charge produced what He wanted to appear.

xxxxxx

DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

dhw: The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. [..]

I found an article which said earless moths did exist, but our discussion started with an article that said eared moths predated bats by many years, as if planned:

"Their findings show that flowering plants did drive much of these insects’ diversity. In a surprise twist, however, multiple moth lineages evolved “ears” millions of years before the existence of bats, previously credited with triggering moths’ development of hearing organs."

https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/moths-ears-developed-millions-of-years-before-bat...


dhw: Some websites say that “many moths have ears”, so presumably there are some diurnal ones that don’t. In any case, since you believe in common descent, you will agree that eared moths must have descended from some kind of moth.

This website describes earless moths with different defenses:

https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/z93-221#.XcG8wXdFyzc


DAVID: […] The issue between us remains. How did that happen? […]

dhw: Once more, you have forgotten that the issue here […] is your ANTICIPATION theory (as opposed to RESPONSE). […] The rest of your post repeats and dismisses my theory, and glosses over the incredible complexities of your own by simply insisting that “only minds design”, which is not the issue between us.

DAVID: That only minds design is exactly the issue. Advance design is required for new species to handle new problems.

dhw: Yes, design requires minds. You say only God has a mind - apart from humans - and I suggest (theistic version) that he may have created cellular minds (though of course nothing like our own). No, advance design is not required to handle new problems. [..] When existing species are confronted with a new problem, either they solve it or they die. (New conditions may also offer new opportunities to existing organisms.) The RESULT of this interaction – i.e. the interaction only begins when conditions change - between organism and environment may be minor changes (adaptations) or major changes (innovations), though there is no clear borderline between the two.

DAVID: There is a clear line. New species have clearly unexplained new features. That they fit the new requirements of their lives is not an explanation of how it happened. That is your constant plea, which is totally illogical […]

dhw: Is the transformation of an existing leg into a flipper an unexplained new feature or an adaptation? That is why I say the borderlines are not clear. And once again: nobody can explain how the changes happened, but why is it “totally illogical” to suggest that organisms change in response to new conditions and not in anticipation of them, when we know for a fact that minor adaptations respond to changes and do not precede them? And why is cellular intelligence (possibly divinely designed) as a theoretical “how” less logical than your theory of 3.8-billion-year-old computer programmes and/or divine dabbling for every innovation, lifestyle, strategy and natural wonder?

That is no answer as to why moths have ears well before bats appeared or why our huge brains predated much of its latter use. A flipper is distantly related to a leg, both of which have markedly different functions, as both provide different forms of locomotion. That both provide locomotion does not make the changes a simple adaptation.

David's theory of evolution

by dhw, Wednesday, November 06, 2019, 08:33 (80 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Please accept that I view God in change and running the show as He wishes. That is the faith you cannot accept. Remember faith jumps a chasm.

dhw: Of course if he exists he would run the show as he wishes. No faith required for that reasoning. What I cannot accept is the 3-point combination of your beliefs regarding how and why he runs the show – an explanation which in your own words requires “nothing illogical if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. Yes, your faith in that illogical and unreasonable theory does indeed jump a chasm.

DAVID: The bold above shows your illogical thinking. God in charge produced what He wanted to appear.

Of course he did. What is illogical about my agreement with your statement? The illogicality which you yourself acknowledge is your interpretation of his wishes and how he runs the show! According to you, His wish was to produce H. sapiens, and he ran the show by deciding (you have "no idea why") not to produce H. sapiens for 3.X billion years, which meant he “had to” produce the rest of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he’d decide to take before fulfilling his wish.

DAVID: How does a new species survive if problems are not prepared for in advance? The predators would have a feast and the newly arrived guys would be gone.

dhw: The new species is the RESULT of the old species finding solutions to the new problems. Millions of bacteria die when we invent a new killer, but they don’t all die, and the survivors eventually find a solution. [..]

DAVID: I found an article which said earless moths did exist, but our discussion started with an article that said eared moths predated bats by many years, as if planned:

It does not say “as if planned”, by which you mean your God gave some moths ears in preparation for when they would become nocturnal and then have to cope with bats. What makes you think that a sense of hearing would not have been useful for diurnal moths?

dhw: Is the transformation of an existing leg into a flipper an unexplained new feature or an adaptation? That is why I say the borderlines are not clear. And once again: nobody can explain how the changes happened, but why is it “totally illogical” to suggest that organisms change in response to new conditions and not in anticipation of them, when we know for a fact that minor adaptations respond to changes and do not precede them? And why is cellular intelligence (possibly divinely designed) as a theoretical “how” less logical than your theory of 3.8-billion-year-old computer programmes and/or divine dabbling for every innovation, lifestyle, strategy and natural wonder?

DAVID: That is no answer as to why moths have ears well before bats appeared…

Because maybe a sense of hearing was useful even in daytime, for instance to hear approaching predators. Why do you think your God would have given them ears well before he produced bats? “Wow,” said God, gazing into his crystal ball, “I’ve got them damn bats comin’ in a million years’ time. I’d better give them there moths ears now before...um...before I forget.(?)”

DAVID: ...or why our huge brains predated much of its latter use. A flipper is distantly related to a leg, both of which have markedly different functions, as both provide different forms of locomotion. That both provide locomotion does not make the changes a simple adaptation.

Why do you think early H. sapiens should have known everything we know today? Of course it predated much of its latter use! That does not mean your God gave pre-sapiens a huge brain and the new sapiens sat around for centuries acting just like pre-sapiens. I have suggested that the expanded brain was caused by the pre-sapiens brain cells responding to new concepts and/or conditions that exceeded the capacity of the existing brain.

I did not say the whale leg was a “simple” adaptation. Do you believe or not believe that the whale’s ancestors had legs, and do you believe that in due course those legs became flippers? Such transformations may be complex, which is why I have said it is sometimes difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation. I note that you have not responded to the rest of my comment.

David's theory of evolution

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 00:35 (79 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course if he exists he would run the show as he wishes. No faith required for that reasoning. What I cannot accept is the 3-point combination of your beliefs regarding how and why he runs the show – an explanation which in your own words requires “nothing illogical if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. Yes, your faith in that illogical and unreasonable theory does indeed jump a chasm.

DAVID: The bold above shows your illogical thinking. God in charge produced what He wanted to appear.

dhw: Of course he did. What is illogical about my agreement with your statement? The illogicality which you yourself acknowledge is your interpretation of his wishes and how he runs the show! According to you, His wish was to produce H. sapiens, and he ran the show by deciding (you have "no idea why") not to produce H. sapiens for 3.X billion years, which meant he “had to” produce the rest of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he’d decide to take before fulfilling his wish.

Logically evolution is everything you have described. Of course humans were the main goal per Adler. See my new entry about an early ape whose body foretells the future use.

DAVID: I found an article which said earless moths did exist, but our discussion started with an article that said eared moths predated bats by many years, as if planned:

dhw: It does not say “as if planned”, by which you mean your God gave some moths ears in preparation for when they would become nocturnal and then have to cope with bats. What makes you think that a sense of hearing would not have been useful for diurnal moths?

Earless moths survived, according to the article by not being nocturnal.

DAVID: That is no answer as to why moths have ears well before bats appeared…

dhw: Because maybe a sense of hearing was useful even in daytime, for instance to hear approaching predators. Why do you think your God would have given them ears well before he produced bats? “Wow,” said God, gazing into his crystal ball, “I’ve got them damn bats comin’ in a million years’ time. I’d better give them there moths ears now before...um...before I forget.(?)”

This is only one of many findings of pre-planning I have presented. see the new one. And note George dos not like your cellular intelligence theory.


DAVID: ...or why our huge brains predated much of its latter use. A flipper is distantly related to a leg, both of which have markedly different functions, as both provide different forms of locomotion. That both provide locomotion does not make the changes a simple adaptation.

dhw: Why do you think early H. sapiens should have known everything we know today? Of course it predated much of its latter use!

Just my point!

dhw: That does not mean your God gave pre-sapiens a huge brain and the new sapiens sat around for centuries acting just like pre-sapiens. I have suggested that the expanded brain was caused by the pre-sapiens brain cells responding to new concepts and/or conditions that exceeded the capacity of the existing brain.

So the existing brain grew by 200 cc by no planned design for the connected parts? You think the existing neurons knew what to design. Pipe dream is all I can consider this. Design required.


dhw: I did not say the whale leg was a “simple” adaptation. Do you believe or not believe that the whale’s ancestors had legs, and do you believe that in due course those legs became flippers? Such transformations may be complex, which is why I have said it is sometimes difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation. I note that you have not responded to the rest of my comment.

God designed teh changes, as design is required.

David's theory of evolution Part One

by dhw, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 11:37 (78 days ago) @ David Turell

PART ONE

GEORGE: I don't think I've heard of this theory that "intelligent cells or cell communities" have "their own special form of consciousness" that guides their evolution before, but it sounds rather like reviving elan vital or a form of pan-psychism. It seems to me that postulating such things without proof is unnecessary, since natural selection is adequate.

DAVID: Again, I agree. It is a vast stretch of what is known.

George has never heard of the theory, whereas David knows all about it and is prepared to dismiss it in favour of a divine 3.8-billion-year computer programme for every undabbled innovation, lifestyle, strategy, natural wonder in life’s history.

For George: you only have to google cellular (or bacterial) intelligence to find a whole host of entries. Scientists such as the Nobel prizewinner Barbara McClintock, Lynn Margulis, Albrecht-Buehler, James A Shapiro, all of whom have spent a lifetime studying cellular behaviour, inform us that cells are sentient, cognitive, communicative, thinking, decision-making beings. When asked why bacterial intelligence was a controversial subject, Shapiro responded: “Large organisms chauvinism, so we like to think that only we can do things in a cognitive way.” A couple more quotes picked up at random:

Brian J. Ford: It is argued here that the essential processes of cognition, response and decision-making inherent in living cells transcend conventional modelling, and microscopic studies of organisms like the shell-building amoebae and the rhodophyte alga Antithamnion reveal a level of cellular intelligence that is unrecognized by science and is not amenable to computer analysis.
(I would suggest that science is becoming increasingly disposed towards recognizing cellular intelligence.)

John Lieff: The Emperor of Cells – How intelligent are Cancer Cells?
Microbes have abilities to make decisions, communicate, and solve problems.
While microbes appear to have a type of cognition, the neuron has been observed to be vastly more complex with its own intelligent activity, an entire civilization by comparison to a microbe.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 11:44 (78 days ago) @ dhw

Part two

DAVID: As far as your Shapiro comment is concerned, why do humans have the brain they have with consciousness? You always look to demands from new conditions. Early humans lived just like apes on ground and also in trees (Lucy evidence). Apes are still the same and we are here as sapiens. Explain the evolutionary drive! There is no natural explanation.
And:
DAVID: God in charge produced what He wanted to appear.

dhw: Of course he did. The illogicality which you yourself acknowledge is your interpretation of his wishes and how he runs the show! According to you, His wish was to produce H. sapiens, and he ran the show by deciding (you have "no idea why") not to produce H. sapiens for 3.X billion years, which meant he “had to” produce the rest of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he’d decide to take before fulfilling his wish.

DAVID: Logically evolution is everything you have described. Of course humans were the main goal per Adler. See my new entry about an early ape whose body foretells the future use.

QUOTE (from “New fossil foretells the human future”): “'Given that all living apes use bipedalism to some degree – often in the trees, but also on the ground – it is not unreasonable to suggest that bipedalism evolved much earlier in hominoid evolution than we previously thought."

DAVID: Tell me this is not an advance change well before bipedalism was really needed. Gone is the theory that savanna appearance forced the change.

Sometimes you complain that there are no transitional forms, but the moment you are confronted with transitional forms, you flounder for an explanation. Does it not occur to you that in some areas some of our ancestors would have made a good living staying up in the trees, whereas in different areas others would have found it advantageous to be up in the trees AND to be down on the ground? And eventually some of those ancestors found that ground dwelling was vastly more advantageous, and so just like pre-whales that decided to live entirely in the water, these particular pre-humans decided to live entirely on the ground, and bipedalism took over – while elsewhere, apes stayed the same. You seem to think that all apes were huddled up in one place all under the same unchanging environmental conditions. And do please tell us why your God – who you insist wanted nothing but H. sapiens - would have popped in to fiddle here, fiddle there, half and half, itty-bitty changes, before at long last coming up with the only species he ever really wanted – bipedalling H. sapiens?

DAVID: I found an article which said earless moths did exist, but our discussion started with an article that said eared moths predated bats by many years, as if planned:

dhw: It does not say “as if planned”, by which you mean your God gave some moths ears in preparation for when they would become nocturnal and then have to cope with bats. What makes you think that a sense of hearing would not have been useful for diurnal moths?

DAVID: Earless moths survived, according to the article by not being nocturnal.

So some diurnal moths survived without ears, some diurnal moths survived with ears, and nocturnal moths were jolly glad to have ears.

DAVID: That is no answer as to why moths have ears well before bats appeared…

dhw: Because maybe a sense of hearing was useful even in daytime, for instance to hear approaching predators. Why do you think your God would have given them ears well before he produced bats? “Wow,” said God, gazing into his crystal ball, “I’ve got them damn bats comin’ in a million years’ time. I’d better give them there moths ears now before...um...before I forget.(?)”

DAVID: This is only one of many findings of pre-planning I have presented. see the new one. And note George does not like your cellular intelligence theory.

Thank you for withdrawing the eared moths as an example of your God’s pre-planning. All your many “findings of pre-planning” have been dealt with in the same way, and I have dealt with the new one above. George doesn’t know anything about the (not just “my”) cellular intelligence theory. He still believes in chance and unknown physical laws. Note to George: the interaction between cellular intelligence and changing environmental conditions as the driving force behind evolution is an alternative to random mutations. Natural selection only determines which anatomical changes survive and which do not. The concept itself is neither theistic nor atheistic, as it does not deal with the origin of cellular intelligence.

dhw: I have suggested that the expanded brain was caused by the pre-sapiens brain cells responding to new concepts and/or conditions that exceeded the capacity of the existing brain.

DAVID: So the existing brain grew by 200 cc by no planned design for the connected parts? You think the existing neurons knew what to design. Pipe dream is all I can consider this. Design required.

The parts are always connected, and yes, the neurons are key players in coordinating the brain’s response to new demands, either by expansion or by complexification. (Note the John Lieff quote about neurons.) Yes, design required – as in cellular communities responding intelligently to new conditions – but no to divine dabbling in anticipation of any need for change.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 15:28 (78 days ago) @ dhw

Part two

DAVID: As far as your Shapiro comment is concerned, why do humans have the brain they have with consciousness? You always look to demands from new conditions. Early humans lived just like apes on ground and also in trees (Lucy evidence). Apes are still the same and we are here as sapiens. Explain the evolutionary drive! There is no natural explanation.
And:
DAVID: God in charge produced what He wanted to appear.

dhw: Of course he did. The illogicality which you yourself acknowledge is your interpretation of his wishes and how he runs the show! According to you, His wish was to produce H. sapiens, and he ran the show by deciding (you have "no idea why") not to produce H. sapiens for 3.X billion years, which meant he “had to” produce the rest of the non-human bush in order to cover the time he’d decide to take before fulfilling his wish.

DAVID: Logically evolution is everything you have described. Of course humans were the main goal per Adler. See my new entry about an early ape whose body foretells the future use.

QUOTE (from “New fossil foretells the human future”): “'Given that all living apes use bipedalism to some degree – often in the trees, but also on the ground – it is not unreasonable to suggest that bipedalism evolved much earlier in hominoid evolution than we previously thought."

DAVID: Tell me this is not an advance change well before bipedalism was really needed. Gone is the theory that savanna appearance forced the change.

dhw: Sometimes you complain that there are no transitional forms, but the moment you are confronted with transitional forms, you flounder for an explanation. Does it not occur to you that in some areas some of our ancestors would have made a good living staying up in the trees, whereas in different areas others would have found it advantageous to be up in the trees AND to be down on the ground?

I never flounder. Good just-so Darwinian explanation. These 11.6 myo apes liked the ground so much they just invented bipedal legs. Glad you could read their minds. I though major necessity of environmental change caused major speciation as in the savanna theory.

dhw: And eventually some of those ancestors found that ground dwelling was vastly more advantageous, and so just like pre-whales that decided to live entirely in the water, these particular pre-humans decided to live entirely on the ground, and bipedalism took over – while elsewhere, apes stayed the same. You seem to think that all apes were huddled up in one place all under the same unchanging environmental conditions. And do please tell us why your God – who you insist wanted nothing but H. sapiens - would have popped in to fiddle here, fiddle there, half and half, itty-bitty changes, before at long last coming up with the only species he ever really wanted – bipedalling H. sapiens?

Remember a God in charge does what He wants to and history tells us the real story. You forget my view of God is that He chose to evolve humans.

David's theory of evolution Part Three

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 15:29 (78 days ago) @ David Turell


DAVID: I found an article which said earless moths did exist, but our discussion started with an article that said eared moths predated bats by many years, as if planned:

dhw: It does not say “as if planned”, by which you mean your God gave some moths ears in preparation for when they would become nocturnal and then have to cope with bats. What makes you think that a sense of hearing would not have been useful for diurnal moths?

DAVID: Earless moths survived, according to the article by not being nocturnal.

dhw: So some diurnal moths survived without ears, some diurnal moths survived with ears, and nocturnal moths were jolly glad to have ears.

DAVID: That is no answer as to why moths have ears well before bats appeared…

dhw: Because maybe a sense of hearing was useful even in daytime, for instance to hear approaching predators. Why do you think your God would have given them ears well before he produced bats? “Wow,” said God, gazing into his crystal ball, “I’ve got them damn bats comin’ in a million years’ time. I’d better give them there moths ears now before...um...before I forget.(?)”

DAVID: This is only one of many findings of pre-planning I have presented. see the new one. And note George does not like your cellular intelligence theory.

dhw: Thank you for withdrawing the eared moths as an example of your God’s pre-planning. All your many “findings of pre-planning” have been dealt with in the same way, and I have dealt with the new one above. George doesn’t know anything about the (not just “my”) cellular intelligence theory. He still believes in chance and unknown physical laws. Note to George: the interaction between cellular intelligence and changing environmental conditions as the driving force behind evolution is an alternative to random mutations. Natural selection only determines which anatomical changes survive and which do not. The concept itself is neither theistic nor atheistic, as it does not deal with the origin of cellular intelligence.

dhw: I have suggested that the expanded brain was caused by the pre-sapiens brain cells responding to new concepts and/or conditions that exceeded the capacity of the existing brain.

DAVID: So the existing brain grew by 200 cc by no planned design for the connected parts? You think the existing neurons knew what to design. Pipe dream is all I can consider this. Design required.

dhw: The parts are always connected, and yes, the neurons are key players in coordinating the brain’s response to new demands, either by expansion or by complexification. (Note the John Lieff quote about neurons.) Yes, design required – as in cellular communities responding intelligently to new conditions – but no to divine dabbling in anticipation of any need for change.

I do not interpret Lieff as you do. See my comment

David's theory of evolution Part Two A

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 15:40 (78 days ago) @ David Turell

Another comment on the upright European Apes:

https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/1/messages/APUcRWw-KweGXcOy8AiTUMWToZI

"Two legs good
An ancient ape may have walked on two legs long before the earliest hominin to do so. In a clay pit in Germany, researchers found 37 bones belonging to four individuals of a species new to science, which has been called Danuvius guggenmosi. Surprisingly, its legs resemble those of humans, suggesting it was able to stand upright with straight legs. Dated to 11.6 million years ago, the fossils are much older than the oldest known hominins that might have been bipedal. That means bipedal walking may have evolved about 5 million years earlier than we thought, and in Europe, not Africa."

Comment: What neither of us discussed is that it is possible God gave these apes human legs 11.6 myo and they migrated to Africa and hybridized with apes int o early hominins about 6-8 myo. Makes more sense than apes jumped to the ground and self-invented the legs through necessity ( from the Darwin viewpoint). God is a clever evolution maker.

David's theory of evolution Part Two B

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 07, 2019, 20:48 (78 days ago) @ David Turell

Another article has turned up describing a 10 million year old possibly upright ape in Europe, after commenting on the new discovery of the 11.6 myo bipedal ape:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03418-2?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_c...

"The latest study comes a few weeks after a separate research team, which Begun was part of, described a 10-million-year-old pelvis belonging to another ancient European ape, Rudapithecus hungaricus. Features of the pelvis implied R. hungaricus also had a long and flexible lower back, indicating it too might have been a tree-dwelling biped6. This raises the possibility that today’s knuckle-walking chimps and gorillas evolved from a bipedal ancestor, and that modern humans might have inherited bipedalism directly from animals such as D. guggenmosi.

"But David Alba, a palaeontologist at the Catalan Institute of Palaeontology in Barcelona, Spain, cautions against seeing D. guggenmosi’s way of moving as a precursor to our walking style. That, he thinks, is “too specific and might be an overinterpretation” — particularly given that Böhme and Begun’s team has not yet conducted an evolutionary analysis to determine how, or whether, D. guggenmosi is related to hominins.

"DeSilva says that it would be unwise to assume a direct line of descent, because D. guggenmosi is much older than the earliest known hominin fossils. But the discovery of D. guggenmosi is important even if it turns out not to represent a staging post on the path to hominin bipedalism, he says, because that would suggest apes evolved bipedalism more than once. D. guggenmosi could then provide clues about the kinds of conditions that encourage apes to walk on two feet."

Comment: this fits my thought that evolution demonstrates drives toward goals, and in my view conducted by God. Bipedalism was a driven goal.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Friday, November 08, 2019, 09:24 (77 days ago) @ David Turell

Part Two

Dhw: ...do please tell us why your God – who you insist wanted nothing but H. sapiens - would have popped in to fiddle here, fiddle there, half and half, itty-bitty changes, before at long last coming up with the only species he ever really wanted – bipedalling H. sapiens?

DAVID: Remember a God in charge does what He wants to and history tells us the real story. You forget my view of God is that He chose to evolve humans.

Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that your theory that he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take is only logical if we do “not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

DAVID: What neither of us discussed is that it is possible God gave these apes human legs 11.6 myo and they migrated to Africa and hybridized with apes into early hominins about 6-8 myo. Makes more sense than apes jumped to the ground and self-invented the legs through necessity ( from the Darwin viewpoint). God is a clever evolution maker.

How would bipedal apes mating with ordinary apes make them into hominins? They would simply be apes with human legs, ape legs, or indescribable legs! Your other comment is dealt with above.

QUOTE: “the discovery of D. guggenmosi is important even if it turns out not to represent a staging post on the path to hominin bipedalism, he says, because that would suggest BBBapes evolved bipedalism more than once. D. guggenmosi could then provide clues about BBBthe kinds of conditions that encourage apes to walk on two feet."

DAVID: this fits my thought that evolution demonstrates drives toward goals, and in my view conducted by God. Bipedalism was a driven goal.

It directly demonstrates my thought that different groups of apes evolved bipedalism according to the different conditions that encouraged them to walk on two legs. Of course evolution is driven by goals: all organisms share the goal of survival, which means coping with or exploiting the conditions as efficiently as possible: hence flippers, moth ears, human legs, and every other adaptation/innovation you can think of. I see absolutely no reference to your theory that your God’s only aim was to produce H. sapiens, or that your God made every change in advance of the environmental changes which either demanded or allowed for new ways of surviving.

QUOTES (from “Complexity of mammalian backbones”: As part of our study, we found that modern mammals with the most complex backbones also usually have the highest activity levels,” says co-author Stephanie Pierce, also from Harvard.
“'And some changes in backbone complexity evolved at about the same time that other features associated with a more active lifestyle evolved, like fur or specialised muscles for breathing.”
“This study helps us answer an age-old question – how did life become so complex?” says Jones.

DAVID: this article certainly shows my theory that there is a drive to increased complexity that controls evolution. The authors are using Darwin-think but there is no evidence in their study as to how it happened or why it happened. They just assumed it naturally happened, and chance nature simply chose to be more complex. The need for design is obvious. As God controlled evolution, these were necessary steps to create humans.

I see no mention of chance. They are simply giving us the facts, and what they say here supports my theory that anatomical changes are linked to activity. The statement “as God controlled evolution” is an assumption (a) that God exists, and (b) that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation etc. not just along the human line of descent but for every single species that ever lived. And of course it begs the still unanswered question asked at the beginning of this post.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Friday, November 08, 2019, 15:03 (77 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Remember a God in charge does what He wants to and history tells us the real story. You forget my view of God is that He chose to evolve humans.


dhw: Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that your theory that he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take is only logical if we do “not apply human reasoning to the actual history”.

The bold is the only logical part of your statement. The rest wants a humanized God.


DAVID: What neither of us discussed is that it is possible God gave these apes human legs 11.6 myo and they migrated to Africa and hybridized with apes into early hominins about 6-8 myo. Makes more sense than apes jumped to the ground and self-invented the legs through necessity ( from the Darwin viewpoint). God is a clever evolution maker.

dhw: How would bipedal apes mating with ordinary apes make them into hominins? They would simply be apes with human legs, ape legs, or indescribable legs! Your other comment is dealt with above.

Hybridization is an accepted form of evolution.


QUOTE: “the discovery of D. guggenmosi is important even if it turns out not to represent a staging post on the path to hominin bipedalism, he says, because that would suggest BBBapes evolved bipedalism more than once. D. guggenmosi could then provide clues about BBBthe kinds of conditions that encourage apes to walk on two feet."

DAVID: this fits my thought that evolution demonstrates drives toward goals, and in my view conducted by God. Bipedalism was a driven goal.

dhw: It directly demonstrates my thought that different groups of apes evolved bipedalism according to the different conditions that encouraged them to walk on two legs. Of course evolution is driven by goals: all organisms share the goal of survival, which means coping with or exploiting the conditions as efficiently as possible: hence flippers, moth ears, human legs, and every other adaptation/innovation you can think of.

You still fail to see adaptation is not speciation. Gould's gaps are real.

QUOTES (from “Complexity of mammalian backbones”: As part of our study, we found that modern mammals with the most complex backbones also usually have the highest activity levels,” says co-author Stephanie Pierce, also from Harvard.
“'And some changes in backbone complexity evolved at about the same time that other features associated with a more active lifestyle evolved, like fur or specialised muscles for breathing.”
“This study helps us answer an age-old question – how did life become so complex?” says Jones.

DAVID: this article certainly shows my theory that there is a drive to increased complexity that controls evolution. The authors are using Darwin-think but there is no evidence in their study as to how it happened or why it happened. They just assumed it naturally happened, and chance nature simply chose to be more complex. The need for design is obvious. As God controlled evolution, these were necessary steps to create humans.

dhw: I see no mention of chance. They are simply giving us the facts, and what they say here supports my theory that anatomical changes are linked to activity. The statement “as God controlled evolution” is an assumption (a) that God exists, and (b) that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation etc. not just along the human line of descent but for every single species that ever lived. And of course it begs the still unanswered question asked at the beginning of this post.

Of course new activities are allowed by new body parts. That doesn't explain how the new body abilities and forms appeared. You are still pure Darwin in thought. Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 10:36 (76 days ago) @ David Turell

Part Two

DAVID: You still fail to see adaptation is not speciation. Gould's gaps are real.

I keep repeating that nobody knows how speciation comes about, but adaptation gives us a clue as to a possible and perfectly logical explanation, as illustrated by the whale. The gaps become less of a problem if you accept the idea that intelligent cells (as opposed to random mutations) are responsible for designing responses to changing conditions. We know that in some (though not all) cases, adaptation has to be swift to ensure survival.

dhw: Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that [..] he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take.[/i]

DAVID: The bold is the only logical part of your statement. The rest wants a humanized God.

The rest is a summary of your theory, which you tell us is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and your flaccid “humanizing” complaint is countered by your own agreement that your God “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: What neither of us discussed is that it is possible God gave these apes human legs 11.6 myo and they migrated to Africa and hybridized with apes into early hominins about 6-8 myo. Makes more sense than apes jumped to the ground and self-invented the legs through necessity ( from the Darwin viewpoint). God is a clever evolution maker.

dhw: How would bipedal apes mating with ordinary apes make them into hominins? They would simply be apes with human legs, ape legs, or indescribable legs! Your other comment is dealt with above.

DAVID: Hybridization is an accepted form of evolution.

Of course it is. Only you happened to create a pretty silly form of it: apes with human legs mated with ape-legged apes to produce early hominins! I’d have thought apes with human legs were the hominin ancestors, whereas apes with ape legs would not contribute anything new at all to the human lineage.

QUOTES (from “Complexity of mammalian backbones”: As part of our study, we found that modern mammals with the most complex backbones also usually have the highest activity levels […] “'And some changes in backbone complexity evolved at about the same time that other features associated with a more active lifestyle evolved, like fur or specialised muscles for breathing.”

DAVID: this article certainly shows my theory that there is a drive to increased complexity that controls evolution. […] The need for design is obvious. As God controlled evolution, these were necessary steps to create humans.

dhw: […] They are simply giving us the facts, and what they say here supports my theory that anatomical changes are linked to activity. The statement “as God controlled evolution” is an assumption (a) that God exists, and (b) that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation etc. not just along the human line of descent but for every single species that ever lived.

DAVID: Of course new activities are allowed by new body parts. That doesn't explain how the new body abilities and forms appeared. You are still pure Darwin in thought. Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

I keep explaining that in my hypothesis, new body abilities and forms appear AS A RESULT of new activities. If that is “pure Darwin”, so be it. The word “Darwin” does not make an argument invalid. And you should have understood by now that in my hypothesis the new body abilities and forms are designed by the cell communities, and I accept the possibility that the ability to do this designing may have been given to them by your God – but for reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to accept the possibility that your God might have designed the mechanism to give them this ability.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 19:14 (76 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You still fail to see adaptation is not speciation. Gould's gaps are real.

dhw: bI keep repeating that nobody knows how speciation comes about, but adaptation gives us a clue as to a possible and perfectly logical explanation, as illustrated by the whale. The gaps become less of a problem if you accept the idea that intelligent cells (as opposed to random mutations) are responsible for designing responses to changing conditions. We know that in some (though not all) cases, adaptation has to be swift to ensure survival.

Whale gaps are huge, and swift adaptations are still not speciation. You are grasping at straws.


dhw: Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that [..] he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take.[/i]

DAVID: The bold is the only logical part of your statement. The rest wants a humanized God.

dhw: The rest is a summary of your theory, which you tell us is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and your flaccid “humanizing” complaint is countered by your own agreement that your God “very well could think like us”.

But we do not know if God thinks like you do. All supposition. History presents the facts.


DAVID: What neither of us discussed is that it is possible God gave these apes human legs 11.6 myo and they migrated to Africa and hybridized with apes into early hominins about 6-8 myo. Makes more sense than apes jumped to the ground and self-invented the legs through necessity ( from the Darwin viewpoint). God is a clever evolution maker.

dhw: How would bipedal apes mating with ordinary apes make them into hominins? They would simply be apes with human legs, ape legs, or indescribable legs! Your other comment is dealt with above.

DAVID: Hybridization is an accepted form of evolution.

dhw: Of course it is. Only you happened to create a pretty silly form of it: apes with human legs mated with ape-legged apes to produce early hominins! I’d have thought apes with human legs were the hominin ancestors, whereas apes with ape legs would not contribute anything new at all to the human lineage.

Silly. Remember something has to be the in between model!


QUOTES (from “Complexity of mammalian backbones”: As part of our study, we found that modern mammals with the most complex backbones also usually have the highest activity levels […] “'And some changes in backbone complexity evolved at about the same time that other features associated with a more active lifestyle evolved, like fur or specialised muscles for breathing.”

DAVID: this article certainly shows my theory that there is a drive to increased complexity that controls evolution. […] The need for design is obvious. As God controlled evolution, these were necessary steps to create humans.

dhw: […] They are simply giving us the facts, and what they say here supports my theory that anatomical changes are linked to activity. The statement “as God controlled evolution” is an assumption (a) that God exists, and (b) that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation etc. not just along the human line of descent but for every single species that ever lived.

DAVID: Of course new activities are allowed by new body parts. That doesn't explain how the new body abilities and forms appeared. You are still pure Darwin in thought. Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

dhw: I keep explaining that in my hypothesis, new body abilities and forms appear AS A RESULT of new activities. If that is “pure Darwin”, so be it. The word “Darwin” does not make an argument invalid. And you should have understood by now that in my hypothesis the new body abilities and forms are designed by the cell communities, and I accept the possibility that the ability to do this designing may have been given to them by your God – but for reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to accept the possibility that your God might have designed the mechanism to give them this ability.

I've accepted it in the past as an inventive mechanism from God with guidelines. You don't like guidelines as it gives your version of God too much control. Your agnosticism is showing up as usual.

David's theory of evolution: speciation is designed

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 19:55 (76 days ago) @ David Turell

This is a Darwinian article about primate femurs as adaptation to environment. It is pure supposition which parallels dhw thinking:

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-fossil-apes-world-monkeys-ancestor.html

"In terms of their body plan, Old World monkeys—a group that includes primates like baboons and macaques—are generally considered more similar to ancestral species than apes are. But a new study that analyzes the first well-preserved femur of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, suggests that as far as locomotion goes, apes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.

"'Our study shows that Aegyptopithecus preserves an ancient hip morphology not present in living anthropoid primates," said Sergio Almécija, a paleoanthropologist, who is first author on the study. "As far as the hip is concerned, it seems that apes, humans, and Old World monkeys have all parted ways long ago—which would explain why they move around so differently today."

"The fossil analyzed in the study was discovered in 2009 and is the most complete femur of Aegyptopithecus, a 15-lb (7-kg) likely tree-dwelling species that lived in Egypt about 30 million years ago, close to the time when hominoids (the group that includes apes and humans) split from the larger group that includes Old World monkeys. A well-preserved femur allowed researchers to glean details about the hip joint, a major anatomical region for inferring locomotion, using a combination of 3-D morphometric analysis and evolutionary modeling.

***

"The results indicate that the ancestral hip joint is, from an evolutionary perspective, as far from the hip joint of modern Old World monkeys as from those of the great apes—suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.

"In addition, evolutionary modeling suggests that living great apes—including orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas—may have independently developed similar hip joint anatomy that allows wide-ranging, flexible movement through their arboreal habitats.

"'What I find really exciting about the modeling approach is that we can develop better hypotheses about what drove the divergence of apes and monkeys, and the emerging picture is that navigating the environment is one of the key factors," said Ashley Hammond, assistant curator in the Division of Anthropology and an author on the study."

Comment: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 09, 2019, 20:20 (76 days ago) @ David Turell

It is a long chapter in his new book:

http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/bk/ns1.htm

"The idea of natural selection seems so straightforward and conclusive that it forces its way into the receptive mind without much need for evidence. August Weismann, whose importance for nineteenth-century evolutionary theory has been considered second only to Darwin’s, rather famously wrote in 1893 that we must accept natural selection as the explanation for the wondrous adaptation of organisms to their environments “because it is the only possible explanation we can conceive”.

***

"And, indeed, over-estimation of the explanatory power of natural selection may be why Darwin’s contemporary, the geologist Charles Lyell, accused him of “deifying” the theory.1 A century later, in 1971, Lila Gatlin, a biochemist and mathematical biologist who figured centrally in developing the conception of life as an “information processing system”, could summarize contemporary usage by saying, “the words ‘natural selection’ play a role in the vocabulary of the evolutionary biologist similar to the word ‘God’ in ordinary language”. Such is the power of logical constructions over the human mind.

***

" We heard Elliot Sober marvel at the “explanatory power” of a simple proposition: “if the organisms in a population differ in their ability to survive and reproduce, and if the characteristics that affect these abilities are transmitted from parents to offspring, then the population will evolve.”

"This is a strange claim, given that it is flatly false — false in the sense that nothing in the logic of the theory tells us that populations must evolve in a manner that yields new species or fundamental changes of “type”. We know that healthy populations do exhibit plasticity, variation, and adaptability — a spruce tree growing in the lowlands will differ greatly from one growing near the alpine treeline, and one tree will differ from its neighbor — but this variability does not by itself imply the evolutionary origin of the diverse forms of life on earth.

***

"I can think of no fundamental question about evolution whose answer is suggested by the advertised formula for natural selection. Everything depends on what the amazingly diverse sorts of organism actually do as they respond to and shape their environments. Contrary to Susan Blackmore’s exultant insight, nothing in the “algorithmic logic” of natural selection tells us that evolution must have happened — and, given that it has happened, the logic by itself tells us little about what we should expect to find in the fossil record. We may ask then, “What, in truth, is being celebrated as the revolutionary principle of natural selection?”

***

"Every organism’s life and death encompasses and, so to speak, “sums up” a vast range of purposive activities, not only on its own part, but also on the part of many other organisms. One might feel, therefore, that the “theory” of the survival of the fittest can explain just about everything. Certainly the overall pattern of births and deaths must yield the observed evolutionary outcome! Actually, it just is that outcome — it is the pattern we need to explain — which doesn’t yet give us much of a theory.

“'Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.” (Lynn Margulis [2011],

***

"the philosopher of biology, Denis Walsh — after noting the indisputable yet ignored truth that “organisms are fundamentally purposive entities” — expressed his perplexity by asking, “Why should the phenomenon [of agency] that demarcates the domain of biology be off-limits to biology?” (my bold)

"And yet, even Walsh, wonderfully insightful as he is, proceeds to characterize the organism’s agency in a strictly materialistic manner, as if it could be understood without accepting at face value the inner dimensions of life — cognition, thinking, intention, volition. We are given agency without agency, life without life. Such is our way today. It is my intention in the following discussion of evolution to articulate a different point of view, taking life in its own terms. And I see no reason to exclude what we know most directly — and in a higher key, so to speak — through our own existence as organisms.

"This higher key offers us many possibilities for an immediate, inner understanding of our experience, which is hardly grounds for excluding ourselves, or our understanding of the meanings of life, from a science of organisms. "

Comment: Talbott is brilliant and beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Sunday, November 10, 2019, 13:33 (75 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: This is a Darwinian article about primate femurs as adaptation to environment. It is pure supposition which parallels dhw thinking:
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-fossil-apes-world-monkeys-ancestor.html

QUOTES: a new study that analyzes the first well-preserved femur of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, suggests that as far as locomotion goes, bbbapes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.
The results indicate that the ancestral hip joint is, from an evolutionary perspective, as far from the hip joint of modern Old World monkeys as from those of the great apes—suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.
(dhw’s bold)

DAVID: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection.

I greatly appreciate your willingness to publish articles that support my proposals and directly contradict your own. Thank you. Of course nobody knows what is the mechanism that engineers the changes, but how refreshing to hear you accept the logic of what you always try to dismiss as “Darwinian” thought – your only reason for rejecting it being that it is “Darwinian”.

QUOTE: “'Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.” (Lynn Margulis [2011].

The perfect summary by a remarkable scientist who, incidentally, was a champion of cellular intelligence.

TALBOTT: "And yet, even Walsh, wonderfully insightful as he is, proceeds to characterize the organism’s agency in a strictly materialistic manner, as if it could be understood without accepting at face value the inner dimensions of life — cognition, thinking, intention, volition. We are given agency without agency, life without life. Such is our way today. It is my intention in the following discussion of evolution to articulate a different point of view, taking life in its own terms. And I see no reason to exclude what we know most directly — and in a higher key, so to speak — through our own existence as organisms.

DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 10, 2019, 15:30 (75 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: This is a Darwinian article about primate femurs as adaptation to environment. It is pure supposition which parallels dhw thinking:
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-fossil-apes-world-monkeys-ancestor.html

QUOTES: a new study that analyzes the first well-preserved femur of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis, a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, suggests that as far as locomotion goes, bbbapes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.
The results indicate that the ancestral hip joint is, from an evolutionary perspective, as far from the hip joint of modern Old World monkeys as from those of the great apes—suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.
(dhw’s bold)

DAVID: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection.

dhw: I greatly appreciate your willingness to publish articles that support my proposals and directly contradict your own. Thank you. Of course nobody knows what is the mechanism that engineers the changes, but how refreshing to hear you accept the logic of what you always try to dismiss as “Darwinian” thought – your only reason for rejecting it being that it is “Darwinian”.

Darwinian thought generally presents natural selection as a magical force of creation. Talbott derides That form of thinking.


QUOTE: “'Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.” (Lynn Margulis [2011].

dhw: The perfect summary by a remarkable scientist who, incidentally, was a champion of cellular intelligence.

TALBOTT: "And yet, even Walsh, wonderfully insightful as he is, proceeds to characterize the organism’s agency in a strictly materialistic manner, as if it could be understood without accepting at face value the inner dimensions of life — cognition, thinking, intention, volition. We are given agency without agency, life without life. Such is our way today. It is my intention in the following discussion of evolution to articulate a different point of view, taking life in its own terms. And I see no reason to exclude what we know most directly — and in a higher key, so to speak — through our own existence as organisms.

DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

dhw: I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

I don'think you have read all Talbott proposes. What he says is we know new species fit new requirements and we have no idea how that might happen. Talbott literally demands that we include agency on an equal basis.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Monday, November 11, 2019, 10:44 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: […] apes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.
[…] suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.

DAVID: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection.

dhw: I greatly appreciate your willingness to publish articles that support my proposals and directly contradict your own. Thank you. Of course nobody knows what is the mechanism that engineers the changes, but how refreshing to hear you accept the logic of what you always try to dismiss as “Darwinian” thought – your only reason for rejecting it being that it is “Darwinian”.

DAVID: Darwinian thought generally presents natural selection as a magical force of creation. Talbott derides That form of thinking.

You were trying to dismiss the Darwinian idea that evolution was driven by the need to adapt to different environments. You and I have long since agreed that NS is not creative, and you have ignored the Margulis quote, which was no doubt predated by others (including ourselves) who had noticed this obvious fact: “Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.” (Lynn Margulis [2011].

DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and is beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

dhw: I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

DAVID: I don't think you have read all Talbott proposes. What he says is we know new species fit new requirements and we have no idea how that might happen. Talbott literally demands that we include agency on an equal basis.

And I am delighted to hear that the environment might demand new species, as bolded. I keep emphasizing that nobody knows how it happens, and as an agnostic I have always included agency on an equal basis. You try to argue even when I agree with you and Talbott!

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Monday, November 11, 2019, 15:58 (74 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTES: […] apes and Old World monkeys each evolved a way of moving that was different from the ancestral species as they adapted to different niches in their environments.
[…] suggesting that each group evolved a distinct way of moving as they specialized for success in different environmental niches.

DAVID: it all sounds very logical, but it is pure conjecture, since it does not explain how the new species were designed. See next entry re' Stephen L. Talbott on natural selection.

dhw: I greatly appreciate your willingness to publish articles that support my proposals and directly contradict your own. Thank you. Of course nobody knows what is the mechanism that engineers the changes, but how refreshing to hear you accept the logic of what you always try to dismiss as “Darwinian” thought – your only reason for rejecting it being that it is “Darwinian”.

DAVID: Darwinian thought generally presents natural selection as a magical force of creation. Talbott derides That form of thinking.

dhw: You were trying to dismiss the Darwinian idea that evolution was driven by the need to adapt to different environments. You and I have long since agreed that NS is not creative, and you have ignored the Margulis quote, which was no doubt predated by others (including ourselves) who had noticed this obvious fact: “Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create.” (Lynn Margulis [2011].

I included her quote in my first entry.


DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and is beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

dhw: I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

DAVID: I don't think you have read all Talbott proposes. What he says is we know new species fit new requirements and we have no idea how that might happen. Talbott literally demands that we include agency on an equal basis.

dhw: And I am delighted to hear that the environment might demand new species, as bolded. I keep emphasizing that nobody knows how it happens, and as an agnostic I have always included agency on an equal basis. You try to argue even when I agree with you and Talbott!

My contention and Talbott's is the amazing purposefulness that new species show in their new adaptations. And yes we all do not have proof of how it happens.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 08:27 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and is beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

dhw: I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

DAVID: I don't think you have read all Talbott proposes. What he says is we know new species fit new requirements and we have no idea how that might happen. Talbott literally demands that we include agency on an equal basis.

dhw: And I am delighted to hear that the environment might demand new species, as bolded. I keep emphasizing that nobody knows how it happens, and as an agnostic I have always included agency on an equal basis. You try to argue even when I agree with you and Talbott!

DAVID: My contention and Talbott's is the amazing purposefulness that new species show in their new adaptations. And yes we all do not have proof of how it happens.

Of course new species show purposefulness in their new adaptations, and I’m so pleased that you continue to use the word adaptations (see also my post on Part Two), thereby confirming my argument that we cannot always distinguish between adaptation and innovation, and so the mechanism which produces small adaptations may well be the same mechanism that produces the large adaptations which lead to speciation. And yes again, the obvious purpose is to enable the organism to improve its chances of survival. And yes again, nobody knows how it happens. Hallelujah, we are all in agreement.:-)

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 15:45 (73 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Talbott is brilliant and is beloved by ID folks, where I found this reference. Environment does not make new species, though it might demand them as he notes. And why shouldn't we accept agency outside biology? The entire chapter is worth a read.

dhw: I have never claimed that environment makes species, but am delighted to read that Talbott confirms the proposal that the environment might demand new species – rejected by you, since you believe that your God makes all the changes in advance of environmental change. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to take into account the possibility of agency outside biology – as I myself do when allowing for a God to have designed the intelligent cell. There is absolutely nothing here that I would disagree with or that contradicts my own views of evolution.

DAVID: I don't think you have read all Talbott proposes. What he says is we know new species fit new requirements and we have no idea how that might happen. Talbott literally demands that we include agency on an equal basis.

dhw: And I am delighted to hear that the environment might demand new species, as bolded. I keep emphasizing that nobody knows how it happens, and as an agnostic I have always included agency on an equal basis. You try to argue even when I agree with you and Talbott!

DAVID: My contention and Talbott's is the amazing purposefulness that new species show in their new adaptations. And yes we all do not have proof of how it happens.

dhw: Of course new species show purposefulness in their new adaptations, and I’m so pleased that you continue to use the word adaptations (see also my post on Part Two), thereby confirming my argument that we cannot always distinguish between adaptation and innovation, and so the mechanism which produces small adaptations may well be the same mechanism that produces the large adaptations which lead to speciation. And yes again, the obvious purpose is to enable the organism to improve its chances of survival. And yes again, nobody knows how it happens. Hallelujah, we are all in agreement.:-)

Not so fast. Purposefulness suggests purposeful design, and you still blur the line between between adaptations within species and designed changed that form new species. You never comment on Gould's gaps do you? Ignoring their importance is not a good debate form.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 11:12 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course new species show purposefulness in their new adaptations, and I’m so pleased that you continue to use the word adaptations (see also my post on Part Two), thereby confirming my argument that we cannot always distinguish between adaptation and innovation, and so the mechanism which produces small adaptations may well be the same mechanism that produces the large adaptations which lead to speciation. And yes again, the obvious purpose is to enable the organism to improve its chances of survival. And yes again, nobody knows how it happens. Hallelujah, we are all in agreement. :-)

DAVID: Not so fast. Purposefulness suggests purposeful design, and you still blur the line between between adaptations within species and designed changed that form new species.

I have agreed that purposefulness suggests purposeful design, with cell communities redesigning themselves in order to enhance their chances of survival. And yes, I am the one who pointed out that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between adaptations and species-forming innovations, e.g. from pre-whale leg to whale flipper. You also used the word “adaptations”, as welcomed by me (bolded above).

DAVID: You never comment on Gould's gaps do you? Ignoring their importance is not a good debate form.

I have always accepted Gould’s punctuated equilibrium, in which long periods of stasis may be broken by “jumps”, presumably triggered by environmental changes. We cannot expect a continuous line of fossils recording every single transition, but my explanation – which for some reason you seem to have forgotten – is that intelligent designers (the cell communities) would be able to design major adaptations/innovations without there being a line of transitional stages.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 19:33 (72 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Of course new species show purposefulness in their new adaptations, and I’m so pleased that you continue to use the word adaptations (see also my post on Part Two), thereby confirming my argument that we cannot always distinguish between adaptation and innovation, and so the mechanism which produces small adaptations may well be the same mechanism that produces the large adaptations which lead to speciation. And yes again, the obvious purpose is to enable the organism to improve its chances of survival. And yes again, nobody knows how it happens. Hallelujah, we are all in agreement. :-)

DAVID: Not so fast. Purposefulness suggests purposeful design, and you still blur the line between between adaptations within species and designed changed that form new species.

dhw: I have agreed that purposefulness suggests purposeful design, with cell communities redesigning themselves in order to enhance their chances of survival. And yes, I am the one who pointed out that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between adaptations and species-forming innovations, e.g. from pre-whale leg to whale flipper. You also used the word “adaptations”, as welcomed by me (bolded above).

DAVID: You never comment on Gould's gaps do you? Ignoring their importance is not a good debate form.

dhw: I have always accepted Gould’s punctuated equilibrium, in which long periods of stasis may be broken by “jumps”, presumably triggered by environmental changes. We cannot expect a continuous line of fossils recording every single transition, but my explanation – which for some reason you seem to have forgotten – is that intelligent designers (the cell communities) would be able to design major adaptations/innovations without there being a line of transitional stages.

And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. You cell committees cannot do that. They simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Thursday, November 14, 2019, 12:29 (71 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You never comment on Gould's gaps do you? Ignoring their importance is not a good debate form.

dhw: I have always accepted Gould’s punctuated equilibrium, in which long periods of stasis may be broken by “jumps”, presumably triggered by environmental changes. We cannot expect a continuous line of fossils recording every single transition, but my explanation – which for some reason you seem to have forgotten – is that intelligent designers (the cell communities) would be able to design major adaptations/innovations without there being a line of transitional stages.

DAVID: And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. Your cell committees cannot do that.

It implies no such thing. All it tells us is that these organisms solved the problems (or exploited the opportunities) arising from new conditions. I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: They [cells] simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

I do not believe that all cells inherited 3.8-billion-year-old programmes to adapt and innovate in advance of all the environmental conditions that they would encounter for the rest of time. As for Shapiro, I don’t know exactly what he studied, and I haven’t read his book, but according to the reviews I quoted, his theory of natural genetic engineering “replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification”. And Shapiro calls “evolution (and cells) ‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’ and ‘thoughtful”’. You are of course at liberty to call his theory a “giant illogical extrapolation”, but do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 14, 2019, 15:31 (71 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: You never comment on Gould's gaps do you? Ignoring their importance is not a good debate form.

dhw: I have always accepted Gould’s punctuated equilibrium, in which long periods of stasis may be broken by “jumps”, presumably triggered by environmental changes. We cannot expect a continuous line of fossils recording every single transition, but my explanation – which for some reason you seem to have forgotten – is that intelligent designers (the cell communities) would be able to design major adaptations/innovations without there being a line of transitional stages.

DAVID: And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. Your cell committees cannot do that.

dhw: It implies no such thing. All it tells us is that these organisms solved the problems (or exploited the opportunities) arising from new conditions. I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.


DAVID: They [cells] simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

dhw: I do not believe that all cells inherited 3.8-billion-year-old programmes to adapt and innovate in advance of all the environmental conditions that they would encounter for the rest of time. As for Shapiro, I don’t know exactly what he studied, and I haven’t read his book, but according to the reviews I quoted, his theory of natural genetic engineering “replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification”. And Shapiro calls “evolution (and cells) ‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’ and ‘thoughtful”’. You are of course at liberty to call his theory a “giant illogical extrapolation”, but do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

Your problem is you unfortunately haven't taken the time to read the books. Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree. The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work. Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are..

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Friday, November 15, 2019, 11:08 (70 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. Your cell committees cannot do that.

dhw: It implies no such thing. All it tells us is that these organisms solved the problems (or exploited the opportunities) arising from new conditions. I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.

A disgraceful slur, and you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: They [cells] simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

dhw: […] do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

DAVID: Your problem is you unfortunately haven't taken the time to read the books. Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems…. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

DAVID: Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are.

Of course they are different, but both must be able to respond to changing conditions. And of course they will do so in different ways, but all of these different ways demand the ability to process information, communicate, take decisions etc., and all of these abilities denote intelligence. You prefer to believe that they all denote a 3.8-billion-year-old set of computer programmes which deal with every type of problem for the rest of time, and which bacteria and cell communities somehow manage to switch on when required (or in the context of speciation, BEFORE required).

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Friday, November 15, 2019, 19:06 (70 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And I have said the fossils that appear after the gaps have solved the problems of their new existence, which obviously implies the ability to foretell future needs and pre-design for them. Your cell committees cannot do that.

dhw: It implies no such thing. All it tells us is that these organisms solved the problems (or exploited the opportunities) arising from new conditions. I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.

dhw: A disgraceful slur, and you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

If they were clearly thinking, they would all be ID scientists who agree with me.


DAVID: They [cells] simply produce what they are programmed to produce. Your favorite Shapiro simply studied bacteria living on their own, not multicellular cells, which you have used to make a giant illogical extrapolation.

dhw: […] do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

DAVID: Your problem is you unfortunately haven't taken the time to read the books. Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

dhw: I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems…. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

dhw: So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

None of the book is contorted. Your theories taken from Shapiro's conclusions about free-living bacteria are the problem. They cannot be transferred to multicellular organisms, where Shapiro has done no work.


DAVID: Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are.

dhw: Of course they are different, but both must be able to respond to changing conditions. And of course they will do so in different ways, but all of these different ways demand the ability to process information, communicate, take decisions etc., and all of these abilities denote intelligence. You prefer to believe that they all denote a 3.8-billion-year-old set of computer programmes which deal with every type of problem for the rest of time, and which bacteria and cell communities somehow manage to switch on when required (or in the context of speciation, BEFORE required).

All I can rely upon is all the automaticity I was taught in medical school and in subsequent experience in practice.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Saturday, November 16, 2019, 13:45 (69 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.

dhw: A disgraceful slur, and you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: If they were clearly thinking, they would all be ID scientists who agree with me.

I hope you’re joking. Meanwhile, you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

dhw: […] do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

DAVID: […] Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

dhw: I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS bb an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems”…. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

dhw: So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

DAVID: None of the book is contorted. Your theories taken from Shapiro's conclusions about free-living bacteria are the problem. They cannot be transferred to multicellular organisms, where Shapiro has done no work.

What Shapiro has studied is irrelevant to your claim that the above bolds are an illogical contortion of his theory.

DAVID: Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are.

dhw: Of course they are different, but both must be able to respond to changing conditions. And of course they will do so in different ways, but all of these different ways demand the ability to process information, communicate, take decisions etc., and all of these abilities denote intelligence. […]

DAVID: All I can rely upon is all the automaticity I was taught in medical school and in subsequent experience in practice.

Perhaps research has advanced since you were in medical school, and a practising physician is certainly no better qualified than a practising microbiologist to tell us whether intelligent behaviour results from a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or from autonomous intelligence.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 16, 2019, 15:21 (69 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I wonder how many biologists would support your contention that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: Most scientists are unthinking Darwinists.

dhw: A disgraceful slur, and you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: If they were clearly thinking, they would all be ID scientists who agree with me.

dhw: I hope you’re joking. Meanwhile, you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

All ID folks believe new specie are designed. When I chatted with Behe at a conference, I firmly believed he believed that.


dhw: […] do tell me why it is illogical to propose that cells modify themselves, are cognitive, sentient and thoughtful, and may therefore be capable of creating their own designs. The fact that you disagree does not make the proposal illogical.

DAVID: […] Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

dhw: I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS bb an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems”…. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

dhw: So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

DAVID: None of the book is contorted. Your theories taken from Shapiro's conclusions about free-living bacteria are the problem. They cannot be transferred to multicellular organisms, where Shapiro has done no work.

What Shapiro has studied is irrelevant to your claim that the above bolds are an illogical contortion of his theory.

DAVID: Your comment misses my point that free-living bacteria are not the same as cells in a multicellular organism and must be able to respond to a different set of changing conditions. Your extrapolation biologically illogically mixes apples and potatoes and what they do and what they are.

dhw: Of course they are different, but both must be able to respond to changing conditions. And of course they will do so in different ways, but all of these different ways demand the ability to process information, communicate, take decisions etc., and all of these abilities denote intelligence. […]

DAVID: All I can rely upon is all the automaticity I was taught in medical school and in subsequent experience in practice.

dhw: Perhaps research has advanced since you were in medical school, and a practising physician is certainly no better qualified than a practising microbiologist to tell us whether intelligent behaviour results from a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or from autonomous intelligence.

But I've read the research since I left medical school, and changed from agnostic to theism.. Remember my books! Acting intelligently never means the actor is intelligent. Try remembering that principle as you watch one of your plays.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Sunday, November 17, 2019, 11:44 (68 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Meanwhile, you still haven’t named a single scientist who tells us that new organisms arrive before the conditions to which they will one day be suited.

DAVID: All ID folks believe new species are designed. When I chatted with Behe at a conference, I firmly believed he believed that.

Of course they do. My question was which of them believes they arrived BEFORE the conditions to which they would one day be suited.

DAVID: […] Shapiro's theory is a wonderful piece of research with which I completely agree.

dhw: I’m sure Shapiro would be as delighted as I am that you agree. The theory is encapsulated in the review I quoted earlier: the bottom line of Shapiro’s book is (biological) evolution itself IS an ‘intelligent’ (‘cognitive’, ‘sentient’, ‘thoughtful’ are the words he uses) process. In the words of the first paragraph “life requires cognition at all levels” and in the concluding paragraphs: [21st view of evolution implies] “a shift from thinking about gradual selection of localized random changes to sudden genome structuring by sensory network-influenced cell systems” …. It replaces the ‘invisible hands’ of geological time and natural selection with cognitive networks and cellular functions of self modification.

DAVID: The bold above is your illogical and contorted extension of his work.

dhw: So please tell us which of these bolded statements is the reviewer’s illogical and contorted extension of Shapiro’s book.

Once again you refuse to answer.

DAVID: All I can rely upon is all the automaticity I was taught in medical school and in subsequent experience in practice.

dhw: Perhaps research has advanced since you were in medical school, and a practising physician is certainly no better qualified than a practising microbiologist to tell us whether intelligent behaviour results from a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or from autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: But I've read the research since I left medical school, and changed from agnostic to theism. Remember my books!

I know you changed. You can be a theist and still believe in cellular intelligence. I have revisited the section on Shapiro’s theory in your excellent book The Atheist Delusion. On pages 141-144 you have reproduced ALL the quotes concerning the ability of intelligent cells to self-modify to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”, and have showered him with praise (“Shapiro’s book is an amazing documentation of all the work in the epigenetic field”), although you have pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present must have been built in the distant past”. Note that it is the ability to respond to the present (as opposed to speciation taking place BEFORE conditions change), and you are echoing my own theistic version that the ability would have been designed by your God. Your current volte face as regards the content and quality of his research is almost as confusing as quantum theory.

(Under “David’s Theory of Evolution Part One”:)
DAVID: You are the one who is using a singular opinion and contort it into a possible fact. I have a whole bunch of ID folks with me at Uncommondescent.com.

dhw: If theories are not “possible facts”, they will disappear immediately. ID folks are with you on the need for design, but cellular intelligence does not in any way contradict the idea of design: it only contradicts your belief that every undabbled lifestyle, strategy, econiche and natural wonder was specially preprogrammed by your God 3.8 billion years ago, and every innovation took place in anticipation of and not in response to changing conditions. Belief in cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion”, but you simply refuse to give any credence to the views of some scientists, including the highly praised Shapiro, who have spent a lifetime studying cells.

DAVID: Their odds of being right are 50/50 just like mine. We can only look at the cells and what they do.

Agreed. So even by your standards, cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion” but is a “possible fact”.

DAVID: (under “Biological complexity”): I would note dhw's favorite Albrecht- Buehler thought the Golgi body was the brains of the cell. Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

Is the Golgi body synonymous with the centrosome, then? And yes of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 17, 2019, 19:29 (68 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All ID folks believe new species are designed. When I chatted with Behe at a conference, I firmly believed he believed that.

dhw: Of course they do. My question was which of them believes they arrived BEFORE the conditions to which they would one day be suited.

Their view of design is that the animals are designed for future problems in advance..


DAVID: But I've read the research since I left medical school, and changed from agnostic to theism. Remember my books!

dhw: I know you changed. You can be a theist and still believe in cellular intelligence. I have revisited the section on Shapiro’s theory in your excellent book The Atheist Delusion. On pages 141-144 you have reproduced ALL the quotes concerning the ability of intelligent cells to self-modify to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”, and have showered him with praise (“Shapiro’s book is an amazing documentation of all the work in the epigenetic field”), although you have pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present must have been built in the distant past”. Note that it is the ability to respond to the present (as opposed to speciation taking place BEFORE conditions change), and you are echoing my own theistic version that the ability would have been designed by your God. Your current volte face as regards the content and quality of his research is almost as confusing as quantum theory.

What you are skipping is the point I have made that Shapiro's work is on free-living bacteria, which cannot translate to cells in a multicellular organism.


(Under “David’s Theory of Evolution Part One”:)
DAVID: You are the one who is using a singular opinion and contort it into a possible fact. I have a whole bunch of ID folks with me at Uncommondescent.com.

dhw: If theories are not “possible facts”, they will disappear immediately. ID folks are with you on the need for design, but cellular intelligence does not in any way contradict the idea of design: it only contradicts your belief that every undabbled lifestyle, strategy, econiche and natural wonder was specially preprogrammed by your God 3.8 billion years ago, and every innovation took place in anticipation of and not in response to changing conditions. Belief in cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion”, but you simply refuse to give any credence to the views of some scientists, including the highly praised Shapiro, who have spent a lifetime studying cells.

DAVID: Their odds of being right are 50/50 just like mine. We can only look at the cells and what they do.

dhw: Agreed. So even by your standards, cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion” but is a “possible fact”.

Possible is not probable.


DAVID: (under “Biological complexity”): I would note dhw's favorite Albrecht- Buehler thought the Golgi body was the brains of the cell. Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

dhw: Is the Golgi body synonymous with the centrosome, then? And yes of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

The Golgi body is not the centrosome. They are closer together and more than likely work together. This means the Golgi is not the sole 'brain',

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Monday, November 18, 2019, 08:18 (68 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: All ID folks believe new species are designed. When I chatted with Behe at a conference, I firmly believed he believed that.

dhw: Of course they do. My question was which of them believes they arrived BEFORE the conditions to which they would one day be suited.

DAVID: Their view of design is that the animals are designed for future problems in advance.

Of course if they share your belief that all species were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, everything was planned in advance, so just to clarify: do they believe that as you now claim, evolutionary innovations actually happen before the existence of the future conditions which they are meant to deal with (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before pre-whales entered the water), or do they agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

DAVID: But I've read the research since I left medical school, and changed from agnostic to theism. Remember my books!

dhw: I know you changed. You can be a theist and still believe in cellular intelligence. I have revisited the section on Shapiro’s theory in your excellent book The Atheist Delusion. On pages 141-144 you have reproduced ALL the quotes concerning the ability of intelligent cells to self-modify to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”, and have showered him with praise (“Shapiro’s book is an amazing documentation of all the work in the epigenetic field”), […] Your current volte face as regards the content and quality of his research is almost as confusing as quantum theory.

DAVID: What you are skipping is the point I have made that Shapiro's work is on free-living bacteria, which cannot translate to cells in a multicellular organism.

But you yourself have quoted multiple passages in which he refers to cellular intelligence as being able to “self-modify” to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”. Why don’t you deal with the theory itself instead of trying to withdraw your fulsome praise and now denigrate the theory because you think his research was limited to bacteria. It’s a non-argument. I have no doubt that just like you, he has drawn on the research of other scientists in the field as well as his own.

dhw: Belief in cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion”, but you simply refuse to give any credence to the views of some scientists, including the highly praised Shapiro, who have spent a lifetime studying cells.

DAVID: Their odds of being right are 50/50 just like mine. We can only look at the cells and what they do.

dhw: Agreed. So even by your standards, cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion” but is a “possible fact”.

DAVID: Possible is not probable.

That becomes a matter of personal judgement. Meanwhile, cellular intelligence is not a “singular opinion”, and I would say 50/50 is evens, so even by your standards it has the same chance of being right as your own theory.

DAVID: (under “Biological complexity”): I would note dhw's favorite Albrecht- Buehler thought the Golgi body was the brains of the cell. Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

dhw: Is the Golgi body synonymous with the centrosome, then? And yes of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

DAVID: The Golgi body is not the centrosome. They are closer together and more than likely work together. This means the Golgi is not the sole 'brain'.

Thank you. Albrecht-Buehler thought the centrosome was the brain equivalent. And please note my response to your emphasis on automaticity.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Monday, November 18, 2019, 15:20 (67 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All ID folks believe new species are designed. When I chatted with Behe at a conference, I firmly believed he believed that.

dhw: Of course they do. My question was which of them believes they arrived BEFORE the conditions to which they would one day be suited.

DAVID: Their view of design is that the animals are designed for future problems in advance.

dhw: Of course if they share your belief that all species were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, everything was planned in advance, so just to clarify: do they believe that as you now claim, evolutionary innovations actually happen before the existence of the future conditions which they are meant to deal with (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before pre-whales entered the water), or do they agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

The bold refers to adaptive ability, not speciation. You continually morph my ideas into your thinking .

DAVID: What you are skipping is the point I have made that Shapiro's work is on free-living bacteria, which cannot translate to cells in a multicellular organism.

dhw: But you yourself have quoted multiple passages in which he refers to cellular intelligence as being able to “self-modify” to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”. Why don’t you deal with the theory itself instead of trying to withdraw your fulsome praise and now denigrate the theory because you think his research was limited to bacteria.

It was limited to bacteria and you have avoided answering my comment that it is not related to DNA adaptive function in multicellular organisms enough to cause speciation.

DAVID: (under “Biological complexity”): I would note dhw's favorite Albrecht- Buehler thought the Golgi body was the brains of the cell. Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

dhw: Is the Golgi body synonymous with the centrosome, then? And yes of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

DAVID: The Golgi body is not the centrosome. They are closer together and more than likely work together. This means the Golgi is not the sole 'brain'.

dhw: Thank you. Albrecht-Buehler thought the centrosome was the brain equivalent. And please note my response to your emphasis on automaticity.

You appear to be saying as usual cells can think and make decisions that look automatic. Of course I disagree.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 12:57 (66 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: [ID-ers] view of design is that the animals are designed for future problems in advance.

dhw: […] just to clarify: do they believe that as you now claim, evolutionary innovations actually happen before the existence of the future conditions which they are meant to deal with (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before pre-whales entered the water), or do they agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

DAVID: The bold refers to adaptive ability, not speciation. You continually morph my ideas into your thinking.

You were commenting on Shapiro’s theory, and even quoted his belief that: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You lavished praise on the book, and pointed out that “His emphasis is on systems using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past.” The quotes make it abundantly clear that he is not talking only about adaptations but about the novelties that lead to speciation, and your only caveat is that this ability must have been built in the distant past.
Would you now please answer my question whether ID-ers believe that all evolutionary innovations actually took place before the arrival of the conditions they were meant to deal with (e.g. God turning legs into flippers before pre-whales entered the water)?

DAVID: What you are skipping is the point I have made that Shapiro's work is on free-living bacteria, which cannot translate to cells in a multicellular organism.

dhw: But you yourself have quoted multiple passages in which he refers to cellular intelligence as being able to “self-modify” to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”. Why don’t you deal with the theory itself instead of trying to withdraw your fulsome praise and now denigrate the theory because you think his research was limited to bacteria.

DAVID: It was limited to bacteria and you have avoided answering my comment that it is not related to DNA adaptive function in multicellular organisms enough to cause speciation.

It is your opinion that the ability to adapt cannot cause the innovations that lead to speciation, and the above quote proposes the exact opposite. Please reread the other quotes you reproduce on pages 142-143, especially those that mention innovations and inventions. And please focus on Shapiro’s theory and not on what you think he may or may not have studied.

DAVID: Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

dhw: …of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

DAVID: You appear to be saying as usual cells can think and make decisions that look automatic. Of course I disagree.

No, they look intelligent. You insist that they are automatic, although you agree that you have a 50% chance of being wrong.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 14:24 (66 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: [ID-ers] view of design is that the animals are designed for future problems in advance.

dhw: […] just to clarify: do they believe that as you now claim, evolutionary innovations actually happen before the existence of the future conditions which they are meant to deal with (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before pre-whales entered the water), or do they agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

DAVID: The bold refers to adaptive ability, not speciation. You continually morph my ideas into your thinking.

dhw: You were commenting on Shapiro’s theory, and even quoted his belief that: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You lavished praise on the book, and pointed out that “His emphasis is on systems using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past.” The quotes make it abundantly clear that he is not talking only about adaptations but about the novelties that lead to speciation, and your only caveat is that this ability must have been built in the distant past.
Would you now please answer my question whether ID-ers believe that all evolutionary innovations actually took place before the arrival of the conditions they were meant to deal with (e.g. God turning legs into flippers before pre-whales entered the water)?

His findings in bacteria are extremely important, but still apply only to bacteria, as no further connection to multicellular cells has been shown. IDr's certainly agree God designed flippers for water use.


DAVID: What you are skipping is the point I have made that Shapiro's work is on free-living bacteria, which cannot translate to cells in a multicellular organism.

dhw: But you yourself have quoted multiple passages in which he refers to cellular intelligence as being able to “self-modify” to the point of creating “evolutionary novelty”. Why don’t you deal with the theory itself instead of trying to withdraw your fulsome praise and now denigrate the theory because you think his research was limited to bacteria.

DAVID: It was limited to bacteria and you have avoided answering my comment that it is not related to DNA adaptive function in multicellular organisms enough to cause speciation.

dhw: It is your opinion that the ability to adapt cannot cause the innovations that lead to speciation, and the above quote proposes the exact opposite. Please reread the other quotes you reproduce on pages 142-143, especially those that mention innovations and inventions. And please focus on Shapiro’s theory and not on what you think he may or may not have studied.

All of Shapiro's work was on bacteria.


DAVID: Seems like there are other parts also at work automatically.

dhw: …of course there are parts that work automatically. The “brain” - whether human, dog, crow, ant or cellular equivalent – absorbs information from the outside world automatically; the processing, communication and decision-making are then done intelligently, and the implementation of decisions again involves automatic obedience.

DAVID: You appear to be saying as usual cells can think and make decisions that look automatic. Of course I disagree.

dhw: No, they look intelligent. You insist that they are automatic, although you agree that you have a 50% chance of being wrong.

That is my view.

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by dhw, Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 11:21 (65 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] do they [Id-ers] agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

DAVID: The bold refers to adaptive ability, not speciation. You continually morph my ideas into your thinking.

dhw: You were commenting on Shapiro’s theory, and even quoted his belief that: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You lavished praise on the book, and pointed out that “His emphasis is on systems using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past.” The quotes make it abundantly clear that he is not talking only about adaptations but about the novelties that lead to speciation, and your only caveat is that this ability must have been built in the distant past.

DAVID: His findings in bacteria are extremely important, but still apply only to bacteria, as no further connection to multicellular cells has been shown.

You claimed that your comment about ability to respond to the present only concerned adaptation, but the context is clearly Shapiro’s belief that speciation arises from intelligent cellular responses to current conditions. Your only response to the whole theory, which you praised so highly and unreservedly in your book is that Shapiro specializes in the study of bacteria. Do you really believe he wrote his book without any knowledge of cellular behaviour? Your own book quotes author after author on all kinds of subjects. Are your arguments invalid because you are not an astrophysicist, a microbiologist, a philosopher? Our theories always incorporate the findings of others. It’s called research.

dhw: Would you now please answer my question whether ID-ers believe that all evolutionary innovations actually took place before the arrival of the conditions they were meant to deal with (e.g. God turning legs into flippers before pre-whales entered the water)?

DAVID: IDr's certainly agree God designed flippers for water use.

I think even atheists and agnostics would agree that flippers are for water use. Stop being evasive. You claim that your God changes organs and organisms (legs into flippers) before the new environmental conditions which require such changes actually exist. Do you know of anyone who supports this belief?

David's theory of evolution: Stephen Talbott's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 19:03 (65 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] do they [Id-ers] agree with the view you offered in your admirable book that organisms have “the ability to respond to the present” – though this “must have been built in the distant past”?

DAVID: The bold refers to adaptive ability, not speciation. You continually morph my ideas into your thinking.

dhw: You were commenting on Shapiro’s theory, and even quoted his belief that: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You lavished praise on the book, and pointed out that “His emphasis is on systems using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past.” The quotes make it abundantly clear that he is not talking only about adaptations but about the novelties that lead to speciation, and your only caveat is that this ability must have been built in the distant past.

DAVID: His findings in bacteria are extremely important, but still apply only to bacteria, as no further connection to multicellular cells has been shown.

dhw: You claimed that your comment about ability to respond to the present only concerned adaptation, but the context is clearly Shapiro’s belief that speciation arises from intelligent cellular responses to current conditions.

Shapiro never said that bacterial control of its DNA caused speciation. It modified bacterial responsiveness, nothing more.

dhw: Your only response to the whole theory, which you praised so highly and unreservedly in your book is that Shapiro specializes in the study of bacteria. Do you really believe he wrote his book without any knowledge of cellular behaviour?

Of course Shapiro has a massive, vast knowledge of biological behavior at all levels, but you can't extrapolate his bacterial findings into your pet theories. He never brought his findings to a point to claim they were the source of speciation.


dhw: Would you now please answer my question whether ID-ers believe that all evolutionary innovations actually took place before the arrival of the conditions they were meant to deal with (e.g. God turning legs into flippers before pre-whales entered the water)?

DAVID: IDr's certainly agree God designed flippers for water use.

dhw: I think even atheists and agnostics would agree that flippers are for water use. Stop being evasive. You claim that your God changes organs and organisms (legs into flippers) before the new environmental conditions which require such changes actually exist. Do you know of anyone who supports this belief?

Why do I have to repeat all IDER's think everything is designed in advance? That is the whole point of their philosophy, and I agree with them.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, November 21, 2019, 10:27 (64 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Shapiro never said that bacterial control of its DNA caused speciation. It modified bacterial responsiveness, nothing more.
And:
DAVID: Of course Shapiro has a massive, vast knowledge of biological behavior at all levels, but you can't extrapolate his bacterial findings into your pet theories. He never brought his findings to a point to claim they were the source of speciation.

We are not discussing what Shapiro did NOT say! In your book you quoted passage after passage in which he specifically argues that CELLS are cognitive, sentient beings with “sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities”, and “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You praised his theory in your book with no reservations at all, but pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present [my bold] must have been built in the distant past.” Yet now all you can say is that Shapiro studied bacteria.

You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.

DAVID: Why do I have to repeat all IDER's think everything is designed in advance? That is the whole point of their philosophy, and I agree with them.

So do they believe that their God designed organisms to speciate BEFORE conditions changed (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before the pre-whale entered the water) or do they believe that speciation took place in RESPONSE to changes in the environment?

DAVID (under “speciation through hybridization”): […] When we discuss speciation, what I am really referring to is a real advance to a new level with a different sort of organism. In our short time on Earth we really cannot see it and have no idea how the Cambrian Explosion can occur, which ended with 30 final phyla,shrunk from about 56 originals.

I agree with you completely. All too often, minor variations are equated with speciation, which I’m sure is why Shapiro is careful to emphasize “evolutionary novelty” which arises from processes which "respond to stimuli", as opposed to anticipating stimuli.

QUOTE (from"early snakes had hind legs"): "These primitive snakes with little legs weren't just a transient evolutionary stage on the way to something better. Rather, they had a highly successful body plan that persisted across many millions of years, and diversified into a range of terrestrial, burrowing and aquatic niches," says Professor Lee."

This important observation would apply equally to whales. Each “transient” form is a species in itself, and it’s only with hindsight and the discovery of new fossils that we can see how common descent actually proceeds. Evolution is clearly a mixture of jumps and gradual refinements, both of which must respond to and be suited to the environmental conditions in which organisms find themselves.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 21, 2019, 19:45 (64 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Shapiro never said that bacterial control of its DNA caused speciation. It modified bacterial responsiveness, nothing more.
And:
DAVID: Of course Shapiro has a massive, vast knowledge of biological behavior at all levels, but you can't extrapolate his bacterial findings into your pet theories. He never brought his findings to a point to claim they were the source of speciation.

dhw: We are not discussing what Shapiro did NOT say! In your book you quoted passage after passage in which he specifically argues that CELLS are cognitive, sentient beings with “sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities”, and “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You praised his theory in your book with no reservations at all, but pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present [my bold] must have been built in the distant past.” Yet now all you can say is that Shapiro studied bacteria.

But that is what happened. Bacteria who are out on their own and must handle their own affairs. Yet I think his work is fabulous because it offers hints as to how speciation might happen. Remember I also raised the issue that Shapiro was president of his Temple, and I wonder about his beliefs in God and God's role in all of this. And, yes, since bacteria are at the start of life, the mechanism must be from the distant past. I've not changed in my views. Your assumptions are all eschew.


dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.

DAVID: Why do I have to repeat all IDER's think everything is designed in advance? That is the whole point of their philosophy, and I agree with them.

dhw: So do they believe that their God designed organisms to speciate BEFORE conditions changed (e.g. pre-whale legs turned into flippers before the pre-whale entered the water) or do they believe that speciation took place in RESPONSE to changes in the environment?

From my reading I believe they accept design before hand.


DAVID (under “speciation through hybridization”): […] When we discuss speciation, what I am really referring to is a real advance to a new level with a different sort of organism. In our short time on Earth we really cannot see it and have no idea how the Cambrian Explosion can occur, which ended with 30 final phyla,shrunk from about 56 originals.

dhw: I agree with you completely. All too often, minor variations are equated with speciation, which I’m sure is why Shapiro is careful to emphasize “evolutionary novelty” which arises from processes which "respond to stimuli", as opposed to anticipating stimuli.

Shapiro is certainly looking for answers, but doesn't have a solid one s yet.


QUOTE (from"early snakes had hind legs"): "These primitive snakes with little legs weren't just a transient evolutionary stage on the way to something better. Rather, they had a highly successful body plan that persisted across many millions of years, and diversified into a range of terrestrial, burrowing and aquatic niches," says Professor Lee."

dhw: This important observation would apply equally to whales. Each “transient” form is a species in itself, and it’s only with hindsight and the discovery of new fossils that we can see how common descent actually proceeds. Evolution is clearly a mixture of jumps and gradual refinements, both of which must respond to and be suited to the environmental conditions in which organisms find themselves.

Yes, the new organisms are obviously suited to environment conditions. Our debate is when changes occur, either before or after.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, November 22, 2019, 09:48 (63 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: We are not discussing what Shapiro did NOT say! In your book you quoted passage after passage in which he specifically argues that CELLS are cognitive, sentient beings with “sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities”, and “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” You praised his theory in your book with no reservations at all, but pointed out that “the ability to respond to the present [my bold] must have been built in the distant past.” Yet now all you can say is that Shapiro studied bacteria.

DAVID: But that is what happened. Bacteria who are out on their own and must handle their own affairs. Yet I think his work is fabulous because it offers hints as to how speciation might happen. Remember I also raised the issue that Shapiro was president of his Temple, and I wonder about his beliefs in God and God's role in all of this. And, yes, since bacteria are at the start of life, the mechanism must be from the distant past. I've not changed in my views. Your assumptions are all eschew.

What assumptions are you talking about? Shapiro’s theory is quite explicit: that cells are cognitive beings and are capable of creating the “novelties” of evolution. This is not a “hint”, it is a clearly expressed theory, which you have consistently opposed (as is your right) when I have put it to you. We all know that bacteria are “out on their own”. So what? His theory concerns cells in general. You wonder about his religious beliefs. So what? And of course the mechanism must have been there in the distant past, since evolution began in the distant past. You consider his work on a full-blown theory “as to how speciation might happen” is fabulous. Either your current fierce opposition to that theory is “all eschew”, or your praise of it was “all eschew”.

dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.

DAVID: From my reading I believe they accept design before hand.

Of course design must precede implementation! But as you say later: "Yes, the new organisms are obviously suited to environment conditions. Our debate is when changes occur, either before or after." So do you know of any ID-ers who argue that evolutionary innovations take place before the environmental changes they have to cope with?

dhw:. All too often, minor variations are equated with speciation, which I’m sure is why Shapiro is careful to emphasize “evolutionary novelty” which arises from processes which "respond to stimuli", as opposed to anticipating stimuli.

DAVID: Shapiro is certainly looking for answers, but doesn't have a solid one s yet.

Nobody has a “solid one”. Otherwise there would be no discussion.

dhw (under “Evolution: earliest mammals”): The article could support the experimenting designer, but you have a fixed belief in a designer who knows everything in advance. The article also fits in with the hypothesis of cellular design, but you have a fixed belief that cells are incapable of “evolutionary novelty” (Shapiro). But it is pleasing to note your acknowledgement that we cannot know. All the more reason why we should keep an open mind.

DAVID: And I have interpreted Shapiro for you, so you can realize he has only studied free-living bacteria looking for possible speciation mechanisms. Bacteria have reasonable change options so they can survive.

You have attempted to ignore the whole of Shapiro’s argument as quoted at the beginning of this post, on the grounds that he specializes in bacteria. That is not an interpretation!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, November 22, 2019, 22:45 (63 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: We are not discussing what Shapiro did NOT say!

DAVID: But that is what happened. Bacteria who are out on their own and must handle their own affairs. Yet I think his work is fabulous because it offers hints as to how speciation might happen. Remember I also raised the issue that Shapiro was president of his Temple, and I wonder about his beliefs in God and God's role in all of this. And, yes, since bacteria are at the start of life, the mechanism must be from the distant past. I've not changed in my views. Your assumptions are all eschew.

dhw: What assumptions are you talking about? Shapiro’s theory is quite explicit: that cells are cognitive beings and are capable of creating the “novelties” of evolution. This is not a “hint”, it is a clearly expressed theory, which you have consistently opposed (as is your right) when I have put it to you. We all know that bacteria are “out on their own”. So what? His theory concerns cells in general. o what? And of course the mechanism must have been there in the distant past, since evolution began in the distant past. You consider his work on a full-blown theory “as to how speciation might happen” is fabulous. Either your current fierce opposition to that theory is “all eschew”, or your praise of it was “all eschew”.

The problem is your assumption about Shapiro' theory. My point is that all he did was study mainly E. coli molecular genetics. That he described and it is exquisite work. The rest of his book is an attempt to say that somehow this points to a way that the genome might cause speciation. He mentions lots of other studies that give some support. His theory is applied to whole organisms and there lies the problem. A whole multicellular organism is organized like a corporation. Most of it functions day by day automatically and smoothly. But it is run by a president, his board. At some point this group makes a change because it is better for the corporation. The genome is the president and the board. My view of speciation is that it must be decided by some currently unknown layer of the central genome, layers of organization we are still discovering. Since all cells have the same DNA but modified for individual function, we still have no idea where the central command post is. Cells do not control the genome. It is the other way around. Perhaps the genome can't do it either and it requires God. thus my thinking. There is no room for your imagined committees.


dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.

DAVID: From my reading I believe they accept design before hand.

dhw: Of course design must precede implementation! But as you say later: "Yes, the new organisms are obviously suited to environment conditions. Our debate is when changes occur, either before or after." So do you know of any ID-ers who argue that evolutionary innovations take place before the environmental changes they have to cope with?

They all do. Design always comes first.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 10:03 (62 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Your assumptions are all eschew.

dhw: What assumptions are you talking about? Shapiro’s theory is quite explicit: that cells are cognitive beings and are capable of creating the “novelties” of evolution. This is not a “hint”, it is a clearly expressed theory, which you have consistently opposed (as is your right) when I have put it to you. We all know that bacteria are “out on their own”. So what? His theory concerns cells in general. And of course the mechanism must have been there in the distant past, since evolution began in the distant past. You consider his work on a full-blown theory “as to how speciation might happen” is fabulous. Either your current fierce opposition to that theory is “all eschew”, or your praise of it was “all eschew”.

DAVID: The problem is your assumption about Shapiro' theory. My point is that all he did was study mainly E. coli molecular genetics. That he described and it is exquisite work. The rest of his book is an attempt to say that somehow this points to a way that the genome might cause speciation. He mentions lots of other studies that give some support. His theory is applied to whole organisms and there lies the problem. A whole multicellular organism is organized like a corporation. Most of it functions day by day automatically and smoothly. But it is run by a president, his board. At some point this group makes a change because it is better for the corporation. The genome is the president and the board. My view of speciation is that it must be decided by some currently unknown layer of the central genome, layers of organization we are still discovering. Since all cells have the same DNA but modified for individual function, we still have no idea where the central command post is. Cells do not control the genome. It is the other way around. Perhaps the genome can't do it either and it requires God. thus my thinking. There is no room for your imagined committees.

You started out by trying to discredit Shapiro’s theory because his speciality is bacteria. Now you are repeating the theory, but instead of my terminology – the whole organism is a community of cell communities– you say it’s organized like a corporation, which means “a group of companies acting together as a single organization”. What’s the difference? And how does your “board” differ from your own would-be mocking term “committee”? Is there such a thing as the “central genome”? The genome is the total genetic complement of a cell or an organism. We don’t know where the central command post of individual cells or of the total genome is, but Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells are intelligent beings and cooperate to create the evolutionary novelties which lead to speciation. Your “perhaps the genome (i.e. the cell communities) can’t do it” is a very welcome concession, since it means that perhaps it/they can. Thank you for now agreeing that perhaps Shapiro is right (and me too). “It requires God” is presumably a reference to your theory that hidden in the unknown layers of the genome are the billions of computer programmes which your God planted in the very first cells for every single undabbled “novelty”, lifestyle, econiche, strategy, bacterial response and natural wonder for the rest of life’s history. I’m so glad that you have now relegated this previously fixed belief to the level of “perhaps”.
Please see “making new evolutionary innovations” for an important addition to this discussion.

dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.[…]

DAVID: They all do. Design always comes first.

Yes of course, design has to come before the implementation of design. But do your ID-ers believe as you do that the designs become physical reality before the environmental changes which the innovations are designed to cope with (e.g. pre-whale legs turn into fins before the pre-whale enters the water)?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 18:41 (62 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The problem is your assumption about Shapiro' theory. My point is that all he did was study mainly E. coli molecular genetics. That he described and it is exquisite work. The rest of his book is an attempt to say that somehow this points to a way that the genome might cause speciation. He mentions lots of other studies that give some support. His theory is applied to whole organisms and there lies the problem. A whole multicellular organism is organized like a corporation. Most of it functions day by day automatically and smoothly. But it is run by a president, his board. At some point this group makes a change because it is better for the corporation. The genome is the president and the board. My view of speciation is that it must be decided by some currently unknown layer of the central genome, layers of organization we are still discovering. Since all cells have the same DNA but modified for individual function, we still have no idea where the central command post is. Cells do not control the genome. It is the other way around. Perhaps the genome can't do it either and it requires God. thus my thinking. There is no room for your imagined committees.

dhw: You started out by trying to discredit Shapiro’s theory because his speciality is bacteria. Now you are repeating the theory, but instead of my terminology – the whole organism is a community of cell communities– you say it’s organized like a corporation, which means “a group of companies acting together as a single organization”. What’s the difference? And how does your “board” differ from your own would-be mocking term “committee”? Is there such a thing as the “central genome”? The genome is the total genetic complement of a cell or an organism. We don’t know where the central command post of individual cells or of the total genome is, but Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells are intelligent beings and cooperate to create the evolutionary novelties which lead to speciation.

The problem for you and Shapiro is that all the cells in a multicellular organism have jobs to do, and their individual DNA's are altered/adjusted for that and produce automatic productive jobs. No one has ever discovered a 'central command post' which is why research is now looking at different obvious patterns in DNA organization and storage mechanisms (isochores, for example). It is that command post which must do the speciation, or as my 'perhaps' really means God must do the alterations.

> dhw: Your “perhaps the genome (i.e. the cell communities) can’t do it” is a very welcome concession, since it means that perhaps it/they can. Thank you for now agreeing that perhaps Shapiro is right (and me too). “It requires God” is presumably a reference to your theory that hidden in the unknown layers of the genome are the billions of computer programmes which your God planted in the very first cells for every single undabbled “novelty”, lifestyle, econiche, strategy, bacterial response and natural wonder for the rest of life’s history. I’m so glad that you have now relegated this previously fixed belief to the level of “perhaps”.

Again going to huge lengths to find me backing off my point. The 'perhaps was just a lead in comment to get back to my theory which is that God speciates. Until we prove that the genome can do it on its own, God stays my choice since complex design anticipating the future is required

Please see “making new evolutionary innovations” for an important addition to this discussion.

dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.[…]

DAVID: They all do. Design always comes first.

dhw: Yes of course, design has to come before the implementation of design. But do your ID-ers believe as you do that the designs become physical reality before the environmental changes which the innovations are designed to cope with (e.g. pre-whale legs turn into fins before the pre-whale enters the water)?

ID folks believe God designs all advances in evolution. Behe actually thinks the original DNA contained all the information needed from the beginning and God operates by deletion of genes.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 13:24 (61 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You started out by trying to discredit Shapiro’s theory because his speciality is bacteria. Now you are repeating the theory, but instead of my terminology – the whole organism is a community of cell communities– you say it’s organized like a corporation, which means “a group of companies acting together as a single organization”. What’s the difference? And how does your “board” differ from your own would-be mocking term “committee”? Is there such a thing as the “central genome”? The genome is the total genetic complement of a cell or an organism. We don’t know where the central command post of individual cells or of the total genome is, but Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells are intelligent beings and cooperate to create the evolutionary novelties which lead to speciation.

DAVID: The problem for you and Shapiro is that all the cells in a multicellular organism have jobs to do, and their individual DNA's are altered/adjusted for that and produce automatic productive jobs. No one has ever discovered a 'central command post' which is why research is now looking at different obvious patterns in DNA organization and storage mechanisms (isochores, for example). It is that command post which must do the speciation, or as my 'perhaps' really means God must do the alterations.

You have completely ignored my response to your comment concerning board/committees/ communities and have then repeated my own statement that we don’t know where the central command post is, though I include individual cells as well as all the communities. Of course all the cells are now in place, since the speciation has already happened!

dhw: Your “perhaps the genome (i.e. the cell communities) can’t do it” is a very welcome concession, since it means that perhaps it/they can. Thank you for now agreeing that perhaps Shapiro is right (and me too). […]

DAVID: Again going to huge lengths to find me backing off my point. The 'perhaps was just a lead in comment to get back to my theory which is that God speciates. Until we prove that the genome can do it on its own, God stays my choice since complex design anticipating the future is required.

Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”. God speciates is presumably your shorthand for your God providing the first cells with detailed programmes for all undabbled innovations (not to mention lifestyles, strategies, econiches and natural wonders) for the rest of time.

dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.[…]

DAVID: They all do. Design always comes first.

dhw: Yes of course, design has to come before the implementation of design. But do your ID-ers believe as you do that the designs become physical reality before the environmental changes which the innovations are designed to cope with (e.g. pre-whale legs turn into fins before the pre-whale enters the water)?

DAVID: ID folks believe God designs all advances in evolution. Behe actually thinks the original DNA contained all the information needed from the beginning and God operates by deletion of genes.

And you still refuse to say whether any ID-ers share your belief that the physical implementation of their God’s designs takes place before or after the arrival of the conditions which the innovations are designed to cope with. May I presume that none of them do?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 21:00 (61 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The problem for you and Shapiro is that all the cells in a multicellular organism have jobs to do, and their individual DNA's are altered/adjusted for that and produce automatic productive jobs. No one has ever discovered a 'central command post' which is why research is now looking at different obvious patterns in DNA organization and storage mechanisms (isochores, for example). It is that command post which must do the speciation, or as my 'perhaps' really means God must do the alterations.

dhw: You have completely ignored my response to your comment concerning board/committees/ communities and have then repeated my own statement that we don’t know where the central command post is, though I include individual cells as well as all the communities. Of course all the cells are now in place, since the speciation has already happened!

And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.


dhw: Your “perhaps the genome (i.e. the cell communities) can’t do it” is a very welcome concession, since it means that perhaps it/they can. Thank you for now agreeing that perhaps Shapiro is right (and me too). […]

DAVID: Again going to huge lengths to find me backing off my point. The 'perhaps was just a lead in comment to get back to my theory which is that God speciates. Until we prove that the genome can do it on its own, God stays my choice since complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”. God speciates is presumably your shorthand for your God providing the first cells with detailed programmes for all undabbled innovations (not to mention lifestyles, strategies, econiches and natural wonders) for the rest of time.

All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.


dhw: You also claim that ID-ers share your belief that your God implemented the novelties IN ANTICIPATION of environmental change, as opposed to IN RESPONSE to it.[…]

DAVID: They all do. Design always comes first.

dhw: Yes of course, design has to come before the implementation of design. But do your ID-ers believe as you do that the designs become physical reality before the environmental changes which the innovations are designed to cope with (e.g. pre-whale legs turn into fins before the pre-whale enters the water)?

DAVID: ID folks believe God designs all advances in evolution. Behe actually thinks the original DNA contained all the information needed from the beginning and God operates by deletion of genes.

dhw: And you still refuse to say whether any ID-ers share your belief that the physical implementation of their God’s designs takes place before or after the arrival of the conditions which the innovations are designed to cope with. May I presume that none of them do?

How many times do I have to write it? Before!!! Or as Behe believes, God deletes genes at the time of change, design already built in. IDer's believe God designs all new species. And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, November 25, 2019, 13:38 (60 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have completely ignored my response to your comment concerning board/committees/ communities and have then repeated my own statement that we don’t know where the central command post is […] Of course all the cells are now in place, since the speciation has already happened!

DAVID: And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.

Of course it is. If it doesn’t function under new circumstances, the organism will become extinct! But I suggest that speciation takes place as a result of organisms enabling themselves to function adequately.

DAVID: […] complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”.

DAVID: All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.

You persist in ignoring the fact that you were commenting on your own quotes from Shapiro: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification and cell fusions” and: “Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption.” Novelty and innovation go beyond adaptation (though see my comments elsewhere on the difficulty of identifying a borderline between the two processes).

dhw: And you still refuse to say whether any ID-ers share your belief that the physical implementation of their God’s designs takes place before or after the arrival of the conditions which the innovations are designed to cope with. […]

DAVID: How many times do I have to write it? Before!!! Or as Behe believes, God deletes genes at the time of change, design already built in. IDer's believe God designs all new species.

You have only told us that ID-ers believe God designs all new species, and of course design precedes implementation of design. This does not mean that physical implementation precedes the environmental changes it is meant to cope with (e.g. the pre-whale’s legs turning into flippers BEFORE it entered the water). Same problem with Behe’s theory: are new species physically completed in anticipation of new conditions or in response to them?

DAVID: And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

“I thought I’d cured you” of forever moaning about Darwin. Look at your first statement in this post: “After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.” Look at the Shapiro quote: his natural genetic engineers “respond to stimuli”. How the heck do you know that new species arrived without environmental changes? Gould’s gaps relate to long periods of stasis, with sudden bursts of innovation, usually caused by environmental change.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, November 25, 2019, 14:32 (60 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.

dhw: Of course it is. If it doesn’t function under new circumstances, the organism will become extinct! But I suggest that speciation takes place as a result of organisms enabling themselves to function adequately.

That can be simple adaptation, not speciation.


DAVID: […] complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”.

DAVID: All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.

dhw: You persist in ignoring the fact that you were commenting on your own quotes from Shapiro: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification and cell fusions” and: “Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption.” Novelty and innovation go beyond adaptation (though see my comments elsewhere on the difficulty of identifying a borderline between the two processes).

True.You are ignoring my point that Shapiro's extrapolation to multicellular organisms is not anywhere near proof.


dhw: And you still refuse to say whether any ID-ers share your belief that the physical implementation of their God’s designs takes place before or after the arrival of the conditions which the innovations are designed to cope with. […]

DAVID: How many times do I have to write it? Before!!! Or as Behe believes, God deletes genes at the time of change, design already built in. IDer's believe God designs all new species.

dhw: You have only told us that ID-ers believe God designs all new species, and of course design precedes implementation of design. This does not mean that physical implementation precedes the environmental changes it is meant to cope with (e.g. the pre-whale’s legs turning into flippers BEFORE it entered the water). Same problem with Behe’s theory: are new species physically completed in anticipation of new conditions or in response to them?

My interpretation is the designs are meant to fit the future needs. Behe's deletion theory fits that way of thinking.


DAVID: And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

dhw: “I thought I’d cured you” of forever moaning about Darwin. Look at your first statement in this post: “After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.” Look at the Shapiro quote: his natural genetic engineers “respond to stimuli”. How the heck do you know that new species arrived without environmental changes? Gould’s gaps relate to long periods of stasis, with sudden bursts of innovation, usually caused by environmental change.\\

You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 10:58 (59 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.

dhw: Of course it is. If it doesn’t function under new circumstances, the organism will become extinct! But I suggest that speciation takes place as a result of organisms enabling themselves to function adequately.

DAVID: That can be simple adaptation, not speciation.

Yes, it “can be” adaptation, but the point at issue is whether the same process can also lead to speciation.

DAVID: […] complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”.

DAVID: All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.

dhw: You persist in ignoring the fact that you were commenting on your own quotes from Shapiro: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification and cell fusions” and: “Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

DAVID: True.You are ignoring my point that Shapiro's extrapolation to multicellular organisms is not anywhere near proof.

Thank you for acknowledging your mistake. I’m sure Shapiro’s evidence for cellular intelligence in multicellular organisms is not confined to his own research on bacteria, and in any case, if the theory were proven, it would no longer be a theory but a fact.

dhw: You have only told us that ID-ers believe God designs all new species, and of course design precedes implementation of design. This does not mean that physical implementation precedes the environmental changes it is meant to cope with (e.g. the pre-whale’s legs turning into flippers BEFORE it entered the water). Same problem with Behe’s theory: are new species physically completed in anticipation of new conditions or in response to them?

DAVID: My interpretation is the designs are meant to fit the future needs. Behe's deletion theory fits that way of thinking.

But you simply refuse to tell us whether any ID-ers believe as you do that the physical implementation of the design takes place before the environmental changes which the design is meant to cope with. I can only interpret your repeated avoidance of this question as meaning that you have no support for this particular belief.

DAVID: And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

dhw: “I thought I’d cured you” of forever moaning about Darwin. Look at your first statement in this post: “After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.” Look at the Shapiro quote: his natural genetic engineers “respond to stimuli”. How the heck do you know that new species arrived without environmental changes? Gould’s gaps relate to long periods of stasis, with sudden bursts of innovation, usually caused by environmental change.

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 15:41 (59 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: And that is the point. After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.

dhw: Of course it is. If it doesn’t function under new circumstances, the organism will become extinct! But I suggest that speciation takes place as a result of organisms enabling themselves to function adequately.

DAVID: That can be simple adaptation, not speciation.

Yes, it “can be” adaptation, but the point at issue is whether the same process can also lead to speciation.

DAVID: […] complex design anticipating the future is required.

dhw: Complex design anticipating the future is NOT required if, as you yourself wrote in your book, the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears”.

DAVID: All you have described from my book is the ability to adapt, within the same species.

dhw: You persist in ignoring the fact that you were commenting on your own quotes from Shapiro: “Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification and cell fusions” and: “Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

DAVID: True.You are ignoring my point that Shapiro's extrapolation to multicellular organisms is not anywhere near proof.

dhw: Thank you for acknowledging your mistake. I’m sure Shapiro’s evidence for cellular intelligence in multicellular organisms is not confined to his own research on bacteria, and in any case, if the theory were proven, it would no longer be a theory but a fact.

dhw: You have only told us that ID-ers believe God designs all new species, and of course design precedes implementation of design. This does not mean that physical implementation precedes the environmental changes it is meant to cope with (e.g. the pre-whale’s legs turning into flippers BEFORE it entered the water). Same problem with Behe’s theory: are new species physically completed in anticipation of new conditions or in response to them?

DAVID: My interpretation is the designs are meant to fit the future needs. Behe's deletion theory fits that way of thinking.

dhw: But you simply refuse to tell us whether any ID-ers believe as you do that the physical implementation of the design takes place before the environmental changes which the design is meant to cope with. I can only interpret your repeated avoidance of this question as meaning that you have no support for this particular belief.

I've avoided nothing. As above IDer's believe animals are designed as new species appear before the appear. They think just as I do, based on what they write.


DAVID: And it is obvious many new species arrive without environmental changes. Think if Gould's gaps. You persist in looking for way to have new species appear only by adaptation to new challenges. That is your Darwinist training coming out again. I thought I'd cured you of that.

dhw: “I thought I’d cured you” of forever moaning about Darwin. Look at your first statement in this post: “After speciation, which we do not understand, everything is designed to be in the proper place for adequate function under new circumstances.” Look at the Shapiro quote: his natural genetic engineers “respond to stimuli”. How the heck do you know that new species arrived without environmental changes? Gould’s gaps relate to long periods of stasis, with sudden bursts of innovation, usually caused by environmental change.

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

dhw: Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.

Our disagreement continues.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 08:58 (59 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: But you simply refuse to tell us whether any ID-ers believe as you do that the physical implementation of the design takes place before the environmental changes which the design is meant to cope with. I can only interpret your repeated avoidance of this question as meaning that you have no support for this particular belief.

DAVID: I've avoided nothing. As above IDer's believe animals are designed as new species appear before the appear. They think just as I do, based on what they write.

As this sentence makes no sense at all, perhaps you can try again?

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

dhw: Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.

DAVID: Our disagreement continues.

Does it? Please tell me what you disagree with in the above.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 15:34 (58 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But you simply refuse to tell us whether any ID-ers believe as you do that the physical implementation of the design takes place before the environmental changes which the design is meant to cope with. I can only interpret your repeated avoidance of this question as meaning that you have no support for this particular belief.

DAVID: I've avoided nothing. As above IDer's believe animals are designed as new species appear before the appear. They think just as I do, based on what they write.

As this sentence makes no sense at all, perhaps you can try again?

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

dhw: Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.

DAVID: Our disagreement continues.

dhw: Does it? Please tell me what you disagree with in the above.

I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, November 28, 2019, 12:05 (57 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You've forgotten Gould also recognized the large gaps in the fossil record, without itty-bitty steps demanded an explanation, so he invented punc-inc hiding animals away in a limited area where they would be suddenly forced to change. A neat human just-so story. Those gaps means or fits directed speciation.

dhw: Everyone recognizes the gaps in the fossil record. I see nothing wrong with the theory that speciation may have happened in localized areas – environmental change is not always global. And yes, environmental change may well force evolutionary change, or organisms would not survive, and it may also offer new opportunities which again will stimulate change. How can gaps mean “directed speciation”? They mean either that no fossils have been found, or that innovations happened very quickly – whether through a divine dabble/programme or through the responses of intelligent cell communities “using information as it appears, not rigid ancient instructions laid down in the past”, as you wrote so approvingly in your book.

DAVID: Our disagreement continues.

dhw: Does it? Please tell me what you disagree with in the above.

DAVID: I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation.

Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

Transferred from “David’s theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro’s view”:

dhw: Thank you for confirming that Shapiro’s theory is just as I have presented it, and that he must have done a lot of research outside his own specialist field. So please stop harping on about the fact that his own research was confined to bacteria. That is irrelevant.

DAVID: It is not irrelevant since he tries to plug it into major evolution processes as you do and it is just a theory that has not received any support I can find.

dhw: He obviously plugs it into major evolution processes using the research of others (“references to current research”) who are as convinced as he is that cells are cognitive, sentient, intelligent beings. The rest of his theory (and mine) grows from this one basic premise, and the fact that his personal research is confined to bacteria does not invalidate the argument. Of course it is “just a theory”, as is the existence of your God, and your belief in a 3.8-billion-year-old set of programmes for all undabbled innovations. We can only test the feasibility of each theory that is proposed. I do not regard the theorist’s main field of research as relevant to the reasonableness of his theory.

DAVID: The reason I explained his field is to show how he developed his theory, and I do not know if it can be applied to multicellular evolution. However his research is an important addition to all the research. Note it also helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory.

He obviously developed his theory from his own research into bacterial behaviour and other people’s research into cellular intelligence, but yes, it is a theory and not a fact. I would say it is an important addition to all the other theories. It doesn’t “destroy” common descent or natural selection (though we all agree this is not a creative force), which constitute “most of Darwin’s theory”, so why yet another silly and irrelevant snipe at poor old Charles?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 28, 2019, 18:21 (57 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation.

dhw: Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

Intelligence is immaterial. Tell me where the cells got it.


Transferred from “David’s theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro’s view”:

dhw: Thank you for confirming that Shapiro’s theory is just as I have presented it, and that he must have done a lot of research outside his own specialist field. So please stop harping on about the fact that his own research was confined to bacteria. That is irrelevant.

DAVID: It is not irrelevant since he tries to plug it into major evolution processes as you do and it is just a theory that has not received any support I can find.

dhw: He obviously plugs it into major evolution processes using the research of others (“references to current research”) who are as convinced as he is that cells are cognitive, sentient, intelligent beings. The rest of his theory (and mine) grows from this one basic premise, and the fact that his personal research is confined to bacteria does not invalidate the argument. Of course it is “just a theory”, as is the existence of your God, and your belief in a 3.8-billion-year-old set of programmes for all undabbled innovations. We can only test the feasibility of each theory that is proposed. I do not regard the theorist’s main field of research as relevant to the reasonableness of his theory.

DAVID: The reason I explained his field is to show how he developed his theory, and I do not know if it can be applied to multicellular evolution. However his research is an important addition to all the research. Note it also helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory.

dhw: He obviously developed his theory from his own research into bacterial behaviour and other people’s research into cellular intelligence, but yes, it is a theory and not a fact. I would say it is an important addition to all the other theories. It doesn’t “destroy” common descent or natural selection (though we all agree this is not a creative force), which constitute “most of Darwin’s theory”, so why yet another silly and irrelevant snipe at poor old Charles?

I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, November 29, 2019, 10:26 (56 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation.

dhw: Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. Tell me where the cells got it.

You are asking me to solve one of the many mysteries that no human has yet managed to solve: the source of life, of consciousness, of speciation [...] Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial intelligence. Not very helpful, is it?

DAVID: The reason I explained his field is to show how he developed his theory, and I do not know if it can be applied to multicellular evolution. However his research is an important addition to all the research. Note it also helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory.

dhw: He obviously developed his theory from his own research into bacterial behaviour and other people’s research into cellular intelligence, but yes, it is a theory and not a fact. I would say it is an important addition to all the other theories. It doesn’t “destroy” common descent or natural selection (though we all agree this is not a creative force), which constitute “most of Darwin’s theory”, so why yet another silly and irrelevant snipe at poor old Charles?

DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. There are major parts of Darwin’s theory that you think are obviously right, and I really hate to see you making such general statements, as they put you on the same blinkered level as the dumb folks who believe those parts you think are obviously wrong.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, November 29, 2019, 19:55 (56 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I can agree that environmental change can cause extinction (Raup) as with the dinosaurs allowing other existing species to slowly evolve. We appeared 64 million years later. Lack of intermediate fossils? The Cambrian gap gets bigger. Gould's gaps haven't gone away. All we see is adaptation of existing species, so we cannot easily explain speciation.

dhw: Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. Tell me where the cells got it.

dhw: You are asking me to solve one of the many mysteries that no human has yet managed to solve: the source of life, of consciousness, of speciation [...] Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial intelligence. Not very helpful, is it?

My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.


DAVID: The reason I explained his field is to show how he developed his theory, and I do not know if it can be applied to multicellular evolution. However his research is an important addition to all the research. Note it also helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory.

dhw: He obviously developed his theory from his own research into bacterial behaviour and other people’s research into cellular intelligence, but yes, it is a theory and not a fact. I would say it is an important addition to all the other theories. It doesn’t “destroy” common descent or natural selection (though we all agree this is not a creative force), which constitute “most of Darwin’s theory”, so why yet another silly and irrelevant snipe at poor old Charles?

DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

dhw: Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. There are major parts of Darwin’s theory that you think are obviously right, and I really hate to see you making such general statements, as they put you on the same blinkered level as the dumb folks who believe those parts you think are obviously wrong.

The only part of Darwin's theory that is left is common descent. None of his supposed methodology is supported.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, November 30, 2019, 13:01 (55 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. Tell me where the cells got it.

dhw: You are asking me to solve one of the many mysteries that no human has yet managed to solve: the source of life, of consciousness, of speciation [...] Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial intelligence. Not very helpful, is it?

DAVID: My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.

I know that is your suggestion. You asked me where cells got their immaterial intelligence from. Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial consciousness/intelligence. So where did immaterial consciousness/intelligence come from? Your cop-out answer will have to be the usual “first cause”. Why is that a more likely solution than a chance combination of eternally shifting first-cause materials and energy, or rudimentary consciousness being present in first cause materials and energy?

DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

dhw: Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. There are major parts of Darwin’s theory that you think are obviously right, and I really hate to see you making such general statements, as they put you on the same blinkered level as the dumb folks who believe those parts you think are obviously wrong.

DAVID: The only part of Darwin's theory that is left is common descent. None of his supposed methodology is supported.

I thought you were really sniping at the dumb followers. Now you want to argue about Darwin himself. Common descent is the basis of the theory, with natural selection explaining why organisms do or don't survive, and random mutations plus gradual refinements are the methodology. The methodology is not “most of the theory”. And so your perpetual sniping at Darwin leads us way off the subject, which started out as Shapiro’s theory of natural genetic engineering as the methodology.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 30, 2019, 16:16 (55 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Nobody can explain speciation, and that is why we have different theories. Do you disagree that speciation may have been local, and that environmental change may have triggered not only adaptation for survival but also innovation to exploit new opportunities? As for the gaps, either we haven’t found fossils, or the structures of cell communities changed relatively quickly. You believe the changes came through your God’s dabbling/preprogramming, and Shapiro proposes (as do I) that it was through cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Intelligence is immaterial. Tell me where the cells got it.

dhw: You are asking me to solve one of the many mysteries that no human has yet managed to solve: the source of life, of consciousness, of speciation [...] Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial intelligence. Not very helpful, is it?

DAVID: My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.

dhw: I know that is your suggestion. You asked me where cells got their immaterial intelligence from. Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial consciousness/intelligence. So where did immaterial consciousness/intelligence come from? Your cop-out answer will have to be the usual “first cause”. Why is that a more likely solution than a chance combination of eternally shifting first-cause materials and energy, or rudimentary consciousness being present in first cause materials and energy?

I believe 'chance' which is the basis of your theory as absolutely impossible, based on the biological design I find:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13252-9

Just glance at this article describing a universal joint in flagella made up from specialized proteins. There are universal joints in autos, we design. I can't condense it because the diagrams make the point.


DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

dhw: Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. There are major parts of Darwin’s theory that you think are obviously right, and I really hate to see you making such general statements, as they put you on the same blinkered level as the dumb folks who believe those parts you think are obviously wrong.

DAVID: The only part of Darwin's theory that is left is common descent. None of his supposed methodology is supported.

dhw: I thought you were really sniping at the dumb followers. Now you want to argue about Darwin himself. Common descent is the basis of the theory, with natural selection explaining why organisms do or don't survive, and random mutations plus gradual refinements are the methodology. The methodology is not “most of the theory”. And so your perpetual sniping at Darwin leads us way off the subject, which started out as Shapiro’s theory of natural genetic engineering as the methodology.

From Darwin I only accept that evolution and common descent happened but that natural selection is only a nice theory, but is not proven. I can't shake your staunch Darwinism.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, December 01, 2019, 08:42 (55 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.

dhw: I know that is your suggestion. You asked me where cells got their immaterial intelligence from. Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial consciousness/intelligence. So where did immaterial consciousness/intelligence come from? Your cop-out answer will have to be the usual “first cause”. Why is that a more likely solution than a chance combination of eternally shifting first-cause materials and energy, or rudimentary consciousness being present in first cause materials and energy?

DAVID: I believe 'chance' which is the basis of your theory as absolutely impossible, based on the biological design I find:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13252-9
Just glance at this article describing a universal joint in flagella made up from specialized proteins. There are universal joints in autos, we design. I can't condense it because the diagrams make the point.

I don’t know how often you want me to acknowledge the case for design, but you simply do not understand agnosticism. Chance is NOT the basis of my theory. I do not have a theory! I do not believe in chance any more than you do. But for me, chance is on the same level of “impossibility” as an unknown, eternal first-cause immaterial intelligence that can create a material universe out of itself, and as the “rudimentary consciousness” of first-cause materials. Once more: I cannot believe in any of these three explanations, and so I remain agnostic.

DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

dhw: Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. […]

DAVID: The only part of Darwin's theory that is left is common descent. None of his supposed methodology is supported.

dhw: I thought you were really sniping at the dumb followers. Now you want to argue about Darwin himself. Common descent is the basis of the theory, with natural selection explaining why organisms do or don't survive, and random mutations plus gradual refinements are the methodology. The methodology is not “most of the theory”. […]

DAVID: From Darwin I only accept that evolution and common descent happened but that natural selection is only a nice theory, but is not proven. I can't shake your staunch Darwinism.

Natural selection is simple common sense: nature will see to it that whatever is useful is
likely to survive, and if something is not useful, it is likely to die out. You accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and common descent, and you reject his methodology of chance mutations and gradual refinement. So do I. You propose divine preprogramming and/or divine dabbling as the methodology, and Shapiro proposes “natural genetic engineering”, which is the theory we have been discussing. I like it. You don’t. Your hatred of Darwin is a red herring.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 01, 2019, 15:18 (54 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.

dhw: I know that is your suggestion. You asked me where cells got their immaterial intelligence from. Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial consciousness/intelligence. So where did immaterial consciousness/intelligence come from? Your cop-out answer will have to be the usual “first cause”. Why is that a more likely solution than a chance combination of eternally shifting first-cause materials and energy, or rudimentary consciousness being present in first cause materials and energy?

DAVID: I believe 'chance' which is the basis of your theory as absolutely impossible, based on the biological design I find:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13252-9
Just glance at this article describing a universal joint in flagella made up from specialized proteins. There are universal joints in autos, we design. I can't condense it because the diagrams make the point.

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to acknowledge the case for design, but you simply do not understand agnosticism. Chance is NOT the basis of my theory. I do not have a theory! I do not believe in chance any more than you do. But for me, chance is on the same level of “impossibility” as an unknown, eternal first-cause immaterial intelligence that can create a material universe out of itself, and as the “rudimentary consciousness” of first-cause materials. Once more: I cannot believe in any of these three explanations, and so I remain agnostic.

I guess I need to find reasonable answers, and you just wonder.


DAVID: I've admitted poor old Charles didn't know what he didn't know. I'm really sniping at the dumb folks who still believe parts of his theories that are obviously wrong.

dhw: Then do please say so rather than pretend that one particular argument has “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory”. […]

DAVID: The only part of Darwin's theory that is left is common descent. None of his supposed methodology is supported.

dhw: I thought you were really sniping at the dumb followers. Now you want to argue about Darwin himself. Common descent is the basis of the theory, with natural selection explaining why organisms do or don't survive, and random mutations plus gradual refinements are the methodology. The methodology is not “most of the theory”. […]

DAVID: From Darwin I only accept that evolution and common descent happened but that natural selection is only a nice theory, but is not proven. I can't shake your staunch Darwinism.

dhw: Natural selection is simple common sense: nature will see to it that whatever is useful is
likely to survive, and if something is not useful, it is likely to die out. You accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and common descent, and you reject his methodology of chance mutations and gradual refinement. So do I. You propose divine preprogramming and/or divine dabbling as the methodology, and Shapiro proposes “natural genetic engineering”, which is the theory we have been discussing. I like it. You don’t. Your hatred of Darwin is a red herring.

Common sense natural selection is a tautology called survival of the fittest. I have never hated Darwin, besides his racism, which I wonder if your recognize it.. I only hate his unreasoning current followers And their stupid persistence.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, December 02, 2019, 13:49 (53 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My suggestion as always is that consciousness came first. It is the same breed of cat as immaterial intelligence and it can design whatever is needed.

dhw: I know that is your suggestion. You asked me where cells got their immaterial intelligence from. Your own answer is that immaterial intelligence comes from immaterial consciousness/intelligence. So where did immaterial consciousness/intelligence come from? Your cop-out answer will have to be the usual “first cause”. Why is that a more likely solution than a chance combination of eternally shifting first-cause materials and energy, or rudimentary consciousness being present in first cause materials and energy?

DAVID: I believe 'chance' which is the basis of your theory as absolutely impossible, based on the biological design I find:

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to acknowledge the case for design, but you simply do not understand agnosticism. Chance is NOT the basis of my theory. I do not have a theory! I do not believe in chance any more than you do. But for me, chance is on the same level of “impossibility” as an unknown, eternal first-cause immaterial intelligence that can create a material universe out of itself, and as the “rudimentary consciousness” of first-cause materials. Once more: I cannot believe in any of these three explanations, and so I remain agnostic.

DAVID: I guess I need to find reasonable answers, and you just wonder.

You have admitted time and again that your particular answer requires a leap of faith (not reason). The same applies to all the answers, although many atheists fail to admit it. In my view, none of the answers are any more or any less reasonable than the others.

DAVID: From Darwin I only accept that evolution and common descent happened but that natural selection is only a nice theory, but is not proven. I can't shake your staunch Darwinism.

dhw: Natural selection is simple common sense: nature will see to it that whatever is useful is likely to survive, and if something is not useful, it is likely to die out. You accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and common descent, and you reject his methodology of chance mutations and gradual refinement. So do I. You propose divine preprogramming and/or divine dabbling as the methodology, and Shapiro proposes “natural genetic engineering”, which is the theory we have been discussing. I like it. You don’t. Your hatred of Darwin is a red herring.

DAVID: Common sense natural selection is a tautology called survival of the fittest.

That does not invalidate it as an explanation of part of the process of speciation.

DAVID: I have never hated Darwin, besides his racism, which I wonder if your recognize it. I only hate his unreasoning current followers And their stupid persistence.

I don’t know why you insist on constantly changing the subject to Darwin. Look at the heading of this thread. You brought him in on the pretence that Shapiro’s research “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory” – and I pointed out that it didn’t. If you wish to start another thread on the subject of Darwin (and the accusation that he was “racist”, which was demolished to your satisfaction some years ago under “Darwinism and atheism”), feel free.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 03, 2019, 00:48 (53 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I guess I need to find reasonable answers, and you just wonder.


dhw: You have admitted time and again that your particular answer requires a leap of faith (not reason). The same applies to all the answers, although many atheists fail to admit it. In my view, none of the answers are any more or any less reasonable than the others.

I know.


DAVID: From Darwin I only accept that evolution and common descent happened but that natural selection is only a nice theory, but is not proven. I can't shake your staunch Darwinism.

dhw: Natural selection is simple common sense: nature will see to it that whatever is useful is likely to survive, and if something is not useful, it is likely to die out. You accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and common descent, and you reject his methodology of chance mutations and gradual refinement. So do I. You propose divine preprogramming and/or divine dabbling as the methodology, and Shapiro proposes “natural genetic engineering”, which is the theory we have been discussing. I like it. You don’t. Your hatred of Darwin is a red herring.

DAVID: Common sense natural selection is a tautology called survival of the fittest.

That does not invalidate it as an explanation of part of the process of speciation.

DAVID: I have never hated Darwin, besides his racism, which I wonder if your recognize it. I only hate his unreasoning current followers And their stupid persistence.

dhw: I don’t know why you insist on constantly changing the subject to Darwin. Look at the heading of this thread. You brought him in on the pretence that Shapiro’s research “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory” – and I pointed out that it didn’t. If you wish to start another thread on the subject of Darwin (and the accusation that he was “racist”, which was demolished to your satisfaction some years ago under “Darwinism and atheism”), feel free.

My fight is with unthinking Darwinists. During Darwin's time many of his contemporaries fully disagreed with him with arguments I use.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, December 03, 2019, 10:51 (52 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I have never hated Darwin, besides his racism, which I wonder if your recognize it. I only hate his unreasoning current followers And their stupid persistence.

dhw: I don’t know why you insist on constantly changing the subject to Darwin. Look at the heading of this thread. You brought him in on the pretence that Shapiro’s research “helped to destroy most of the Darwin theory” – and I pointed out that it didn’t. If you wish to start another thread on the subject of Darwin (and the accusation that he was “racist”, which was demolished to your satisfaction some years ago under “Darwinism and atheism”), feel free.

DAVID: My fight is with unthinking Darwinists. During Darwin's time many of his contemporaries fully disagreed with him with arguments I use.

I have pointed that out many times. This website arose out of my own critique of what I consider to be Dawkins’ “unthinking Darwinism”. However, there is no need to bring that into every thread, and it is no excuse for repeating personal attacks on Darwin himself, as you have done with your racist slur.

Transferred from “Evolutionary Innovations”:
DAVID: Shapiro did fabulous work. He is a wonderful scientist. You have made him 'poor' by what I think is misusing his theories, and you haven't read the book, only reviews.

dhw: You have quoted him abundantly in your own book, and his theory is that “living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”, they “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”, and “evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”. That IS his theory. How am I misusing it?

DAVID: As I have over the years my concepts have altered. I should have emphasized that his work on bacteria was something he tried to extrapolate to further understanding of the genetic role in further evolution/speciation. He was not discussing the everyday function of multicellular cells.

He was formulating the above theory which I have repeated, and I have asked you how I have misused his theory.

DAVID: you have grabbed and run with his theories when I don't think from my readings of his articles that he would agree with your conclusions.

I have quoted his conclusions, which you reproduced in your book, and they exactly express my own theory. Since I agree with him, please tell me which of my conclusions he would disagree with.

DAVID: We do know that in multicellular organisms, stem cells adjust DNA to make many different functioning styles of cells with different jobs. This is an exact replica of what bacteria do and therefore they are a forerunner of that stem cell ability! And that may be all that Shapiro has shown. That is not in any way the solution to the problem of speciation.

dhw: It is a theory concerning how speciation may have occurred. If it’s true, it solves the problem. […]

DAVID: I'll continue: the chemical signals represent information/instructions, not thought in design or planning design. Cell A might ask cell B to produce something which B knows how to do from the instructions it carries.

Yes, that is your prejudiced conclusion, though you agree that cellular intelligence has a 50/50 chance of being correct.

DAVID: You made no comment about my idea that stem cells might represent Shapiro's bacterial work as part of how evolution produced complexity in organisms.

This is a brand new topic, and I am all ears (see “Mammalian pregnancy”).

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 01:02 (52 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My fight is with unthinking Darwinists. During Darwin's time many of his contemporaries fully disagreed with him with arguments I use.

dhw: I have pointed that out many times. This website arose out of my own critique of what I consider to be Dawkins’ “unthinking Darwinism”. However, there is no need to bring that into every thread, and it is no excuse for repeating personal attacks on Darwin himself, as you have done with your racist slur.

Darwin thought Africans were inferior. Perhaps that was OK in his time. It is claimed that Nazi racial cleansing was based in his works, which isn't his fault.


Transferred from “Evolutionary Innovations”:
DAVID: Shapiro did fabulous work. He is a wonderful scientist. You have made him 'poor' by what I think is misusing his theories, and you haven't read the book, only reviews.

dhw: You have quoted him abundantly in your own book, and his theory is that “living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”, they “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”, and “evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”. That IS his theory. How am I misusing it?

DAVID: As I have over the years my concepts have altered. I should have emphasized that his work on bacteria was something he tried to extrapolate to further understanding of the genetic role in further evolution/speciation. He was not discussing the everyday function of multicellular cells.

dhw: He was formulating the above theory which I have repeated, and I have asked you how I have misused his theory.

DAVID: you have grabbed and run with his theories when I don't think from my readings of his articles that he would agree with your conclusions.

dhw: I have quoted his conclusions, which you reproduced in your book, and they exactly express my own theory. Since I agree with him, please tell me which of my conclusions he would disagree with.

You have applied it to multicellular organisms and claim cells in those organisms can design future advanced forms. Shapiro never went that far, so you have bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution.


DAVID: We do know that in multicellular organisms, stem cells adjust DNA to make many different functioning styles of cells with different jobs. This is an exact replica of what bacteria do and therefore they are a forerunner of that stem cell ability! And that may be all that Shapiro has shown. That is not in any way the solution to the problem of speciation.

dhw: It is a theory concerning how speciation may have occurred. If it’s true, it solves the problem. […]

DAVID: I'll continue: the chemical signals represent information/instructions, not thought in design or planning design. Cell A might ask cell B to produce something which B knows how to do from the instructions it carries.

dhw: Yes, that is your prejudiced conclusion, though you agree that cellular intelligence has a 50/50 chance of being correct.

50/50 is the probability I have presented, which is what the evidence allows so far. Thus it is open to interpretation using other points in living biochemistry, since all we ever see is exchanging info through a series of expressed proteins with the desired results to keep life going.


DAVID: You made no comment about my idea that stem cells might represent Shapiro's bacterial work as part of how evolution produced complexity in organisms.

dhw: This is a brand new topic, and I am all ears (see “Mammalian pregnancy”).

I'll look around. It is a promising subject.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 12:29 (51 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My fight is with unthinking Darwinists. During Darwin's time many of his contemporaries fully disagreed with him with arguments I use.

dhw: I have pointed that out many times. This website arose out of my own critique of what I consider to be Dawkins’ “unthinking Darwinism”. However, there is no need to bring that into every thread, and it is no excuse for repeating personal attacks on Darwin himself, as you have done with your racist slur.

DAVID: Darwin thought Africans were inferior. Perhaps that was OK in his time. It is claimed that Nazi racial cleansing was based in his works, which isn't his fault.

I have found the thread on which this vicious slur was demolished: November 10 2012, under “Darwin and atheism”. It ended with your comment: “Thank you for this interpretation. I am educated.” You have forgotten your education. Here is another more recent demolition drawing on the same material. But I do wish you wouldn’t allow your obsessive antipathy towards Darwin and Darwinism to keep sidetracking us. (You have done the same on the thread concerning dark energy, which again has nothing to do with Darwinism.)

Was Darwin a racist, and does evolution promote racism ...
https://www.skeptical-science.com/people/darwin-racist-evolution-promote-racism-darwin...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

DAVID: Shapiro did fabulous work. He is a wonderful scientist. You have made him 'poor' by what I think is misusing his theories, and you haven't read the book, only reviews.

dhw: You have quoted him abundantly in your own book, and his theory is that “living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”, they “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”, and “evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”. That IS his theory. How am I misusing it?

DAVID: you have grabbed and run with his theories when I don't think from my readings of his articles that he would agree with your conclusions.

dhw: I have quoted his conclusions, which you reproduced in your book, and they exactly express my own theory. Since I agree with him, please tell me which of my conclusions he would disagree with.

DAVID: You have applied it to multicellular organisms and claim cells in those organisms can design future advanced forms. Shapiro never went that far, so you have bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution.

I have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms”, and I see nothing in the above quotes about such forms. Over and over again I have stressed that the designs are IN RESPONSE to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them. The crystal ball is part of your own theory. Please note that Shapiro includes “multicellular structures”, and please tell me which of my conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: I'll continue: the chemical signals represent information/instructions, not thought in design or planning design. Cell A might ask cell B to produce something which B knows how to do from the instructions it carries.

dhw: Yes, that is your prejudiced conclusion, though you agree that cellular intelligence has a 50/50 chance of being correct.

DAVID: 50/50 is the probability I have presented, which is what the evidence allows so far. Thus it is open to interpretation using other points in living biochemistry, since all we ever see is exchanging info through a series of expressed proteins with the desired results to keep life going.

In other words, the intelligent behaviour of cells may be caused by your God’s instructions or by their own intelligence.

DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 16:02 (51 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My fight is with unthinking Darwinists. During Darwin's time many of his contemporaries fully disagreed with him with arguments I use.

dhw: I have pointed that out many times. This website arose out of my own critique of what I consider to be Dawkins’ “unthinking Darwinism”. However, there is no need to bring that into every thread, and it is no excuse for repeating personal attacks on Darwin himself, as you have done with your racist slur.

DAVID: Darwin thought Africans were inferior. Perhaps that was OK in his time. It is claimed that Nazi racial cleansing was based in his works, which isn't his fault.

dhw:I have found the thread on which this vicious slur was demolished: November 10 2012, under “Darwin and atheism”. It ended with your comment: “Thank you for this interpretation. I am educated.” You have forgotten your education. Here is another more recent demolition drawing on the same material. But I do wish you wouldn’t allow your obsessive antipathy towards Darwin and Darwinism to keep sidetracking us. (You have done the same on the thread concerning dark energy, which again has nothing to do with Darwinism.)

Was Darwin a racist, and does evolution promote racism ...
https://www.skeptical-science.com/people/darwin-racist-evolution-promote-racism-darwin...

I am denied access to that site. From my memory I remember my comment about being educated but cannot remember the context. Obviously evolution does not promote racism, but Darwin's views were used to promote racism, but then Darwin is misused by his ardent followers.


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

DAVID: Shapiro did fabulous work. He is a wonderful scientist. You have made him 'poor' by what I think is misusing his theories, and you haven't read the book, only reviews.

dhw: You have quoted him abundantly in your own book, and his theory is that “living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”, they “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”, and “evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”. That IS his theory. How am I misusing it?

DAVID: you have grabbed and run with his theories when I don't think from my readings of his articles that he would agree with your conclusions.

dhw: I have quoted his conclusions, which you reproduced in your book, and they exactly express my own theory. Since I agree with him, please tell me which of my conclusions he would disagree with.

DAVID: You have applied it to multicellular organisms and claim cells in those organisms can design future advanced forms. Shapiro never went that far, so you have bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution.

dhw: I have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms”, and I see nothing in the above quotes about such forms. Over and over again I have stressed that the designs are IN RESPONSE to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them. The crystal ball is part of your own theory. Please note that Shapiro includes “multicellular structures”, and please tell me which of my conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

If designs are in response to 'environmental changes' and some may be, it is you who keep implying that cells communicate and create those responses, which are new designs, which is speciation. So if you "have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms"" the designs must appear by magic or by a different process, and all we know of currently is minor adaptability within species. So your have no theory, and 'environment drives it' does not in any way tell us anything about how it might have happened. Only a driver. As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.


DAVID: I'll continue: the chemical signals represent information/instructions, not thought in design or planning design. Cell A might ask cell B to produce something which B knows how to do from the instructions it carries.

dhw: Yes, that is your prejudiced conclusion, though you agree that cellular intelligence has a 50/50 chance of being correct.

DAVID: 50/50 is the probability I have presented, which is what the evidence allows so far. Thus it is open to interpretation using other points in living biochemistry, since all we ever see is exchanging info through a series of expressed proteins with the desired results to keep life going.

dhw: In other words, the intelligent behaviour of cells may be caused by your God’s instructions or by their own intelligence.

Exactly. Take your choice.


DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

d hw: Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

Multicellular organisms can adapt.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, December 05, 2019, 10:26 (50 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Shapiro did fabulous work. He is a wonderful scientist. You have made him 'poor' by what I think is misusing his theories, and you haven't read the book, only reviews.

dhw: You have quoted him abundantly in your own book, and his theory is that “living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”, they “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics”, and “evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”. That IS his theory. How am I misusing it?
[...]
DAVID: You have applied it to multicellular organisms and claim cells in those organisms can design future advanced forms. Shapiro never went that far, so you have bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution.

dhw: I have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms”, and I see nothing in the above quotes about such forms. Over and over again I have stressed that the designs are IN RESPONSE to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them. The crystal ball is part of your own theory. Please note that Shapiro includes “multicellular structures”, and please tell me which of my conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: If designs are in response to 'environmental changes' and some may be, it is you who keep implying that cells communicate and create those responses, which are new designs, which is speciation.

That is precisely Shapiro’s theory as summarized in the bolded quotes above, and it exactly mirrors my own proposal. He also specifies that the innovative processes “respond to stimuli that place the core organism objectives of survival, growth and proliferation in peril…primarily at times of major ecological disruption.” (That = environmental changes.)

DAVID: So if you "have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms"" the designs must appear by magic or by a different process, and all we know of currently is minor adaptability within species. So your have no theory, and 'environment drives it' does not in any way tell us anything about how it might have happened. Only a driver.

There is no magic, and there is no different process. When conditions change, we know some organisms die and others adapt. Adaptation means making changes to the structure of the cells. Innovation also means making changes to the structure of the cells. We do not know how these changes occur: your theory is that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every single one; Shapiro argues that the cells are intelligent enough to make the changes themselves, and this is also my proposal. Environmental change is the stimulus or trigger, and adaptation and innovation are the response, only we do not have proof that the process extends as far as innovation, which is why the proposal is a theory and not a fact. Now please tell me which of these conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: 50/50 is the probability I have presented, which is what the evidence allows so far. Thus it is open to interpretation using other points in living biochemistry, since all we ever see is exchanging info through a series of expressed proteins with the desired results to keep life going.

dhw: In other words, the intelligent behaviour of cells may be caused by your God’s instructions or by their own intelligence.

DAVID: Exactly. Take your choice.

Or keep an open mind.

DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

dhw: Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

DAVID: Multicellular organisms can adapt.

I know. But my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 05, 2019, 16:02 (50 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms”, and I see nothing in the above quotes about such forms. Over and over again I have stressed that the designs are IN RESPONSE to environmental changes, not in anticipation of them. The crystal ball is part of your own theory. Please note that Shapiro includes “multicellular structures”, and please tell me which of my conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: If designs are in response to 'environmental changes' and some may be, it is you who keep implying that cells communicate and create those responses, which are new designs, which is speciation.

dhw: That is precisely Shapiro’s theory as summarized in the bolded quotes above, and it exactly mirrors my own proposal. He also specifies that the innovative processes “respond to stimuli that place the core organism objectives of survival, growth and proliferation in peril…primarily at times of major ecological disruption.” (That = environmental changes.)

I understand that you and he agree upon the influence of environmental changes in causing innovative processes. I also agree at the level of species adaptation, bot that does not tell us how species appear.


DAVID: So if you "have repeatedly denied that cells design “future advanced forms"" the designs must appear by magic or by a different process, and all we know of currently is minor adaptability within species. So your have no theory, and 'environment drives it' does not in any way tell us anything about how it might have happened. Only a driver.

There is no magic, and there is no different process. When conditions change, we know some organisms die and others adapt. Adaptation means making changes to the structure of the cells. Innovation also means making changes to the structure of the cells. We do not know how these changes occur: your theory is that your God preprogrammed or dabbled every single one; Shapiro argues that the cells are intelligent enough to make the changes themselves, and this is also my proposal. Environmental change is the stimulus or trigger, and adaptation and innovation are the response, only we do not have proof that the process extends as far as innovation, which is why the proposal is a theory and not a fact. Now please tell me which of these conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

I've disagreed with one of it. We simply do not know how species appear, and I think God does it and aa a designer, because of the complexity of changes required.


DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

dhw: Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

Wrong. The book tries to fit his theory in to current research by referencing supporting findings in current research.


DAVID: 50/50 is the probability I have presented, which is what the evidence allows so far. Thus it is open to interpretation using other points in living biochemistry, since all we ever see is exchanging info through a series of expressed proteins with the desired results to keep life going.

dhw: In other words, the intelligent behaviour of cells may be caused by your God’s instructions or by their own intelligence.

DAVID: Exactly. Take your choice.

dhw: Or keep an open mind.

DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

dhw: Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

DAVID: Multicellular organisms can adapt.

dhw: I know. But my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

But no proof they can actually design a new species. Designer required.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, December 06, 2019, 13:00 (49 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If designs are in response to 'environmental changes' and some may be, it is you who keep implying that cells communicate and create those responses, which are new designs, which is speciation.

dhw: That is precisely Shapiro’s theory as summarized in the bolded quotes above, and it exactly mirrors my own proposal. He also specifies that the innovative processes “respond to stimuli that place the core organism objectives of survival, growth and proliferation in peril…primarily at times of major ecological disruption.” (That = environmental changes.)

DAVID: I understand that you and he agree upon the influence of environmental changes in causing innovative processes. I also agree at the level of species adaptation, but that does not tell us how species appear.

This is his (and my) THEORY about how new species appear, just as divine preprogramming and or dabbling is your THEORY about how new species appear.

dhw: Now please tell me which of these conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: I've disagreed with one of it. We simply do not know how species appear, and I think God does it and aa a designer, because of the complexity of changes required.

That is you disagreeing with Shapiro and me. You had accused me of “misusing his theories”, said I had “bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution” and you did not think “he would agree with your conclusions”. May I take it you have now withdrawn these remarks?

DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

dhw: Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: Wrong. The book tries to fit his theory in to current research by referencing supporting findings in current research.

In other words, he refers to findings in current research that support his theory, and his theory is NOT based only on his research into bacteria. You are arguing for the sake of arguing!

DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

dhw: Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

DAVID: Multicellular organisms can adapt.

dhw: I know. But my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be
inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

DAVID: But no proof they can actually design a new species. Designer required.

Back you go to “no proof”. Once more: if a theory was proven, it would become a fact. Your observation that single cells can be inventive supports the THEORY that multiple cells may also be inventive.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, December 06, 2019, 14:16 (49 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Now please tell me which of these conclusions Shapiro would disagree with.

DAVID: I've disagreed with one of it. We simply do not know how species appear, and I think God does it and aa a designer, because of the complexity of changes required.

dhw: That is you disagreeing with Shapiro and me. You had accused me of “misusing his theories”, said I had “bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution” and you did not think “he would agree with your conclusions”. May I take it you have now withdrawn these remarks?

I'll stick with this:


DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

dhw: Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: Wrong. The book tries to fit his theory in to current research by referencing supporting findings in current research.

dhw: In other words, he refers to findings in current research that support his theory, and his theory is NOT based only on his research into bacteria. You are arguing for the sake of arguing!

OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.


DAVID (under “pathogenic bacteria”): S protein is a great tool for Strep on the attack. That bacteria can be this inventive supports Shapiro's findings.

dhw: Thank you for this article and your comment. The inventiveness of single-celled organisms ties in very neatly with the proposal that multicellular organisms may also be inventive.

DAVID: Multicellular organisms can adapt.

dhw: I know. But my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be
inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

DAVID: But no proof they can actually design a new species. Designer required.

dhw: Back you go to “no proof”. Once more: if a theory was proven, it would become a fact. Your observation that single cells can be inventive supports the THEORY that multiple cells may also be inventive.

I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea. I repeat it obviously requires design for the new complexity. Since you cannot accept a designer, you look hopefully to magic cells to do it without Him. Or you give a sop to theism by offering that God made intelligent cells doing it on their own. All a game on your part. Either way God is in charge.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, December 07, 2019, 10:32 (48 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw (re Shapiro): You had accused me of “misusing his theories”, said I had “bastardized his contribution to research in the process of evolution” and you did not think “he would agree with your conclusions”. May I take it you have now withdrawn these remarks?

DAVID: I'll stick with this:
DAVID: As for Shapiro I have noted he used a large portion of his book to bring up multicellular research that fit his theory.

dhw: Thank you. That at last puts paid to your claim that his theory is based only on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: Wrong. The book tries to fit his theory in to current research by referencing supporting findings in current research.

dhw: In other words, he refers to findings in current research that support his theory, and his theory is NOT based only on his research into bacteria. You are arguing for the sake of arguing!

DAVID: OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.

So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

dhw: …my friend David has generously agreed that bacteria (single cells) can be inventive, and so it is perfectly logical to argue that when single cells combine with other single cells into multicellularity, they may continue to be inventive. Hallelujah!

DAVID: But no proof they can actually design a new species. Designer required.

dhw: Back you go to “no proof”. Once more: if a theory was proven, it would become a fact. Your observation that single cells can be inventive supports the THEORY that multiple cells may also be inventive.

DAVID: I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea.

I do not recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence as the mechanism for evolutionary innovation. Yes, we know that cells and cell communities adapt, and you are merely pointing out that you don’t believe they can innovate, whereas Shapiro’s theory is that they can.

DAVID: I repeat it obviously requires design for the new complexity. Since you cannot accept a designer, you look hopefully to magic cells to do it without Him. Or you give a sop to theism by offering that God made intelligent cells doing it on their own. All a game on your part. Either way God is in charge.

And now you scoot back to your own beliefs, refusing to accept the possibility that your God might have had a different purpose and method from those that you believe in. No, cellular intelligence designed by God is not a “sop” to theism. (You have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew. As an agnostic, I never exclude the possibility of a God.) Nor is it a game. But yes, either way, if God exists he is in charge. My theistic proposal is that his decision was to design autonomous cellular intelligence in order to give evolution free rein (with the freedom to dabble). Your decision is that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation throughout life’s history for the sole purpose of creating us. See “David’s theory of evolution” for your own verdict on the illogicality of your theory.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 07, 2019, 17:17 (48 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.

dhw: So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.


DAVID: I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea.

dhw: I do not recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence as the mechanism for evolutionary innovation. Yes, we know that cells and cell communities adapt, and you are merely pointing out that you don’t believe they can innovate, whereas Shapiro’s theory is that they can.

Darwin said itty-bitty adaptations would lead to new species. Why do you persist in reinterpreting what I plainly write? Shapiro's theory says he MIGHT be showing a way to understand speciation in a more completely understandable way. Cells' ability to manipulate DNA is merely a clue as to the process. Stem cells do act like he describes, but the change has to happen in germ cells for a difference in future forms to happen.


DAVID: I repeat it obviously requires design for the new complexity. Since you cannot accept a designer, you look hopefully to magic cells to do it without Him. Or you give a sop to theism by offering that God made intelligent cells doing it on their own. All a game on your part. Either way God is in charge.

dhw: And now you scoot back to your own beliefs, refusing to accept the possibility that your God might have had a different purpose and method from those that you believe in. No, cellular intelligence designed by God is not a “sop” to theism. (You have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew. As an agnostic, I never exclude the possibility of a God.) Nor is it a game. But yes, either way, if God exists he is in charge. My theistic proposal is that his decision was to design autonomous cellular intelligence in order to give evolution free rein (with the freedom to dabble). Your decision is that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single innovation throughout life’s history for the sole purpose of creating us. See “David’s theory of evolution” for your own verdict on the illogicality of your theory.

I've commented on my view of God in the other thread.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, December 08, 2019, 08:11 (48 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.

dhw: So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.

It is not a decision but a theory. And why do you persist in ignoring what he wrote? “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Put the two together and you have Shapiro’s theory and mine that cells are so intelligent that they can invent new species. And of course he is attaching his own findings to research done by others. Studying other scientists’ findings is also research (look at your own books), and that is normal practice when scientists form a theory!

DAVID: I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea.

dhw: I do not recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence as the mechanism for evolutionary innovation. Yes, we know that cells and cell communities adapt, and you are merely pointing out that you don’t believe they can innovate, whereas Shapiro’s theory is that they can.

DAVID: Darwin said itty-bitty adaptations would lead to new species. Why do you persist in reinterpreting what I plainly write? Shapiro's theory says he MIGHT be showing a way to understand speciation in a more completely understandable way. Cells' ability to manipulate DNA is merely a clue as to the process. Stem cells do act like he describes, but the change has to happen in germ cells for a difference in future forms to happen.

We are arguing about Shapiro’s theory (which of course is a "MIGHT" and not a fact) that cellular intelligence is responsible for evolutionary “novelty”. Darwin’s idea was that random mutations were responsible. Why bother to mention Darwin when you are trying to discredit Shapiro through your belief that cells are NOT intelligent enough to innovate?

QUOTE (from “Shapiro’s theory extended”): “It’s fascinating . . . that a single cell that is not a neuron has everything you need to make a decision.”

DAVID: What is amazing these research folks don't seem to know Shapiro's work and are surprised by these behaviors that mimic his bacterial studies. Obviously I think all single-celled organisms are programmed for survival with automatic responses, just like bacteria.

Once again I’d like to thank and commend you for presenting articles that can be used in support of a theory you reject. More and more evidence is coming to light that cells/cell communities of all kinds are capable of autonomous intelligent behaviour.

DAVID: (under “Nature’s wonders”): They [plants] can squeal at a level we cannot hear when stressed, among other abilities:
https://www.livescience.com/plants-squeal-when-stressed.html?utm_source=Selligent&u...

We know that plants communicate – a vital feature of intelligence. The evidence continues to mount.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 08, 2019, 15:58 (47 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: OF course his theory is based on his bacterial work. The other references try to show how his theory might fit into evotionaary studis in how speciation works. All theories do that.

dhw: So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.

dhw: It is not a decision but a theory. And why do you persist in ignoring what he wrote? “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Put the two together and you have Shapiro’s theory and mine that cells are so intelligent that they can invent new species. And of course he is attaching his own findings to research done by others. Studying other scientists’ findings is also research (look at your own books), and that is normal practice when scientists form a theory!

All it is is a hopeful theory. It can still all be just programmed automatic responses


DAVID: I'm as clear as you and Shapiro are that multicellular organisms can adapt to current changes. All I'm pointing out is that doesn't seem to lead to speciation, which was Darwin's idea.

dhw: I do not recall Darwin ever mentioning cellular intelligence as the mechanism for evolutionary innovation. Yes, we know that cells and cell communities adapt, and you are merely pointing out that you don’t believe they can innovate, whereas Shapiro’s theory is that they can.

DAVID: Darwin said itty-bitty adaptations would lead to new species. Why do you persist in reinterpreting what I plainly write? Shapiro's theory says he MIGHT be showing a way to understand speciation in a more completely understandable way. Cells' ability to manipulate DNA is merely a clue as to the process. Stem cells do act like he describes, but the change has to happen in germ cells for a difference in future forms to happen.

dhw: We are arguing about Shapiro’s theory (which of course is a "MIGHT" and not a fact) that cellular intelligence is responsible for evolutionary “novelty”. Darwin’s idea was that random mutations were responsible. Why bother to mention Darwin when you are trying to discredit Shapiro through your belief that cells are NOT intelligent enough to innovate?

Darwin also thought tiny adaptations lead to new species from his study of breeding animals. That is what I referred to,


QUOTE (from “Shapiro’s theory extended”): “It’s fascinating . . . that a single cell that is not a neuron has everything you need to make a decision.”

DAVID: What is amazing these research folks don't seem to know Shapiro's work and are surprised by these behaviors that mimic his bacterial studies. Obviously I think all single-celled organisms are programmed for survival with automatic responses, just like bacteria.

dhw: Once again I’d like to thank and commend you for presenting articles that can be used in support of a theory you reject. More and more evidence is coming to light that cells/cell communities of all kinds are capable of autonomous intelligent behaviour.

And it all ca be preprogramed


DAVID: (under “Nature’s wonders”): They [plants] can squeal at a level we cannot hear when stressed, among other abilities:
https://www.livescience.com/plants-squeal-when-stressed.html?utm_source=Selligent&u...

dhw: We know that plants communicate – a vital feature of intelligence. The evidence continues to mount.

Or programmed responses

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, December 09, 2019, 09:50 (46 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.

dhw: It is not a decision but a theory. And why do you persist in ignoring what he wrote? “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Put the two together and you have Shapiro’s theory and mine that cells are so intelligent that they can invent new species. And of course he is attaching his own findings to research done by others. Studying other scientists’ findings is also research (look at your own books), and that is normal practice when scientists form a theory!

DAVID: All it is is a hopeful theory. It can still all be just programmed automatic responses.

Just to set the record straight, then: I have not misused or bastardized his theory, there is nothing for him to disagree with in my own conclusions, and it is not true that his theory is based only on his bacterial research. And yes, it is a theory. Why “hopeful”? And why “all it is”? Your fixed belief that God exists, and that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single evolutionary innovation for thousands of millions of years solely in order to produce H. sapiens,is also a theory. If “all it is is a hopeful theory” applies to Shapiro’s theory, it also applies to yours.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, December 09, 2019, 15:09 (46 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So (a) I have not misused or bastardized his theories, and you can’t think of any of my conclusions that he would disagree with, and b) since he uses current research on multicellularity to support his theory of speciation, it is not true to say that his theory of speciation is based solely on his research into bacteria.

DAVID: If Shapiro tries to use his findings on bacteria to look for some way for speciation to occur, he is attaching his findings to current research he has not done. Of course you have bastardized his theories by deciding cells are so intelligent they can invent new species.

dhw: It is not a decision but a theory. And why do you persist in ignoring what he wrote? “Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.” Put the two together and you have Shapiro’s theory and mine that cells are so intelligent that they can invent new species. And of course he is attaching his own findings to research done by others. Studying other scientists’ findings is also research (look at your own books), and that is normal practice when scientists form a theory!

DAVID: All it is is a hopeful theory. It can still all be just programmed automatic responses.

dhw: Just to set the record straight, then: I have not misused or bastardized his theory, there is nothing for him to disagree with in my own conclusions, and it is not true that his theory is based only on his bacterial research. And yes, it is a theory. Why “hopeful”? And why “all it is”? Your fixed belief that God exists, and that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single evolutionary innovation for thousands of millions of years solely in order to produce H. sapiens,is also a theory. If “all it is is a hopeful theory” applies to Shapiro’s theory, it also applies to yours.

Just look at the bold: " Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

The first part is true without question. The second part about evolutionary novelty is also true, but the two parts are totally disconnected. We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

Magic embryology tells us about underlying programming. New species require new programming. See my new entry.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 10:07 (45 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Just to set the record straight, then: I have not misused or bastardized his theory, there is nothing for him to disagree with in my own conclusions, and it is not true that his theory is based only on his bacterial research. And yes, it is a theory. Why “hopeful”? And why “all it is”? Your fixed belief that God exists, and that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single evolutionary innovation for thousands of millions of years solely in order to produce H. sapiens,is also a theory. If “all it is is a hopeful theory” applies to Shapiro’s theory, it also applies to yours.

DAVID: Just look at the bold: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.”

DAVID: The first part is true without question. The second part about evolutionary novelty is also true, but the two parts are totally disconnected.

But Shapiro’s theory is that they are not disconnected! His theory is that intelligent cells produce evolutionary innovations! However, I am delighted that at long last you have acknowledged that Part One is true, and that living cells possess all the attributes of intelligence.

DAVID: We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

Nobody knows the origin of intelligence or how it works, but what on earth would be the point of telling us that cells are intelligent and cells produce evolutionary innovations if the two observations are not meant to be combined? You have now switched from attacking me for bastardizing Shapiro’s theory, and from pretending that it is only based on his research into bacteria, to attacking the theory itself, though if you accept part one, I really can’t follow your reasoning.

DAVID: Magic embryology tells us about underlying programming. New species require new programming. See my new entry.

Of course new species require new programming. Shapiro’s point is that the cells programme themselves. That is the meaning of “cellular self-modification”! The fact that you don’t believe it does not mean it isn’t true. It’s a THEORY which may be true.

QUOTE from your new entry: “researchers have much to learn about the signaling events that coordinate the collaborative cellular processes to create and repair complex anatomies.

A clear indication that cells collaborate.

QUOTE: "In the post-genomic era, it is becoming clear that the next step beyond identifying the genetically specified hardware of the body involves understanding the physiological software: the mechanisms that enable cells and tissues to make decisions and implement swarm dynamics that remodel organ-level structure. (David’s bold)

Yes indeed, in this article too we have cells making decisions. Thank you for the bold. Of course nobody knows how the process actually works – we don’t know the mechanisms by which we ourselves make decisions. Consciousness at all levels is one of the great mysteries, is it not?

DAVID:: These quotes are from an article that explains how a new lab is working on morphogenesis. The key points show that the missing ingredient is how the software makes new forms, and this can be applied to embryology and to the creation of new species. It requires the development of new software. It is not really magic. It must be new software, that is new information as the term 'computational layer' implies in computer terms. Those changed instructions must be put into stem cells, but also be centrally located to coordinate the whole new construction. New software must be created by precise planning and code-writing. Only a mind can create the new software.

And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 15:55 (45 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Just look at the bold: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.”

DAVID: The first part is true without question. The second part about evolutionary novelty is also true, but the two parts are totally disconnected.

dhw: But Shapiro’s theory is that they are not disconnected! His theory is that intelligent cells produce evolutionary innovations! However, I am delighted that at long last you have acknowledged that Part One is true, and that living cells possess all the attributes of intelligence.

Of course cells are cognitive and act purposefully from their programming. I'v e never disagreed with that thought. My disagreement is I'm sure they are programmed/designed to act that way. They didn't invent the programming.


DAVID: We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

dhw: Nobody knows the origin of intelligence or how it works, but what on earth would be the point of telling us that cells are intelligent and cells produce evolutionary innovations if the two observations are not meant to be combined? You have now switched from attacking me for bastardizing Shapiro’s theory, and from pretending that it is only based on his research into bacteria, to attacking the theory itself, though if you accept part one, I really can’t follow your reasoning.

Shapiro's theory attempts to bring bacterial ability to multicellular speciation. No one know if that is valid. I've said this before.


DAVID: Magic embryology tells us about underlying programming. New species require new programming. See my new entry.

dhw: Of course new species require new programming. Shapiro’s point is that the cells programme themselves. That is the meaning of “cellular self-modification”! The fact that you don’t believe it does not mean it isn’t true. It’s a THEORY which may be true.

Or false.


QUOTE from your new entry: “researchers have much to learn about the signaling events that coordinate the collaborative cellular processes to create and repair complex anatomies.

dhw: A clear indication that cells collaborate.

Or there is new design. The quote is Darwinist scientists discussing..


QUOTE: "In the post-genomic era, it is becoming clear that the next step beyond identifying the genetically specified hardware of the body involves understanding the physiological software: the mechanisms that enable cells and tissues to make decisions and implement swarm dynamics that remodel organ-level structure. (David’s bold)

dhw: Yes indeed, in this article too we have cells making decisions. Thank you for the bold. Of course nobody knows how the process actually works – we don’t know the mechanisms by which we ourselves make decisions. Consciousness at all levels is one of the great mysteries, is it not?

Software has to be designed by a mind. Of course you don't see that.


DAVID:: These quotes are from an article that explains how a new lab is working on morphogenesis. The key points show that the missing ingredient is how the software makes new forms, and this can be applied to embryology and to the creation of new species. It requires the development of new software. It is not really magic. It must be new software, that is new information as the term 'computational layer' implies in computer terms. Those changed instructions must be put into stem cells, but also be centrally located to coordinate the whole new construction. New software must be created by precise planning and code-writing. Only a mind can create the new software.

dhw: And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 10:07 (44 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Just look at the bold: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities. […] Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

DAVID: The first part is true without question. The second part about evolutionary novelty is also true, but the two parts are totally disconnected.

dhw: But Shapiro’s theory is that they are not disconnected! His theory is that intelligent cells produce evolutionary innovations! However, I am delighted that at long last you have acknowledged that Part One is true, and that living cells possess all the attributes of intelligence.

DAVID: Of course cells are cognitive and act purposefully from their programming. I'v e never disagreed with that thought. My disagreement is I'm sure they are programmed/designed to act that way. They didn't invent the programming.

Cognitive means having the ability to know, understand, learn, make decisions etc. – all attributes of intelligence. You have always argued that their actions are automatic. An automaton doesn’t know, understand, learn or make decisions. By all means argue that this autonomous ability was designed by your God, but please don’t pretend that Shapiro’s theory is anything other than the autonomous ability of intelligent cells to invent evolutionary novelty and to self-modify.

DAVID: We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

dhw: Nobody knows the origin of intelligence or how it works, but what on earth would be the point of telling us that cells are intelligent and cells produce evolutionary innovations if the two observations are not meant to be combined? You have now switched from attacking me for bastardizing Shapiro’s theory, and from pretending that it is only based on his research into bacteria, to attacking the theory itself, though if you accept part one, I really can’t follow your reasoning.

DAVID: Shapiro's theory attempts to bring bacterial ability to multicellular speciation. No one know if that is valid. I've said this before.

And I have agreed over and over again that it is a THEORY, just like your God theory and your fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and method in creating life and evolution. No one knows if any of these theories are valid.

QUOTE: "In the post-genomic era, it is becoming clear that the next step beyond identifying the genetically specified hardware of the body involves understanding the physiological software: the mechanisms that enable cells and tissues to make decisions and implement swarm dynamics that remodel organ-level structure. (David’s bold)

dhw: Yes indeed, in this article too we have cells making decisions. Thank you for the bold. Of course nobody knows how the process actually works – we don’t know the mechanisms by which we ourselves make decisions. Consciousness at all levels is one of the great mysteries, is it not?

DAVID: Software has to be designed by a mind. Of course you don't see that.

You ignored my response, which was:
dhw: And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

DAVID: Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

Pure prejudice. You have said over and over again that there is a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 15:45 (44 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Of course cells are cognitive and act purposefully from their programming. I'v e never disagreed with that thought. My disagreement is I'm sure they are programmed/designed to act that way. They didn't invent the programming.

dhw" Cognitive means having the ability to know, understand, learn, make decisions etc. – all attributes of intelligence. You have always argued that their actions are automatic. An automaton doesn’t know, understand, learn or make decisions. By all means argue that this autonomous ability was designed by your God, but please don’t pretend that Shapiro’s theory is anything other than the autonomous ability of intelligent cells to invent evolutionary novelty and to self-modify.

Your evolutionary novelty in bacteria is simple adaptation to current challenges, for which they are programmed


DAVID: We do not know how part one becomes part two. Part one does not mean part two happens because of these intelligent actions on the part of the cells in one.

dhw: Nobody knows the origin of intelligence or how it works, but what on earth would be the point of telling us that cells are intelligent and cells produce evolutionary innovations if the two observations are not meant to be combined? You have now switched from attacking me for bastardizing Shapiro’s theory, and from pretending that it is only based on his research into bacteria, to attacking the theory itself, though if you accept part one, I really can’t follow your reasoning.

DAVID: Shapiro's theory attempts to bring bacterial ability to multicellular speciation. No one know if that is valid. I've said this before.

dhw: And I have agreed over and over again that it is a THEORY, just like your God theory and your fixed beliefs concerning your God’s purpose and method in creating life and evolution. No one knows if any of these theories are valid.

Something has to be valid.


QUOTE: "In the post-genomic era, it is becoming clear that the next step beyond identifying the genetically specified hardware of the body involves understanding the physiological software: the mechanisms that enable cells and tissues to make decisions and implement swarm dynamics that remodel organ-level structure. (David’s bold)

dhw: Yes indeed, in this article too we have cells making decisions. Thank you for the bold. Of course nobody knows how the process actually works – we don’t know the mechanisms by which we ourselves make decisions. Consciousness at all levels is one of the great mysteries, is it not?

DAVID: Software has to be designed by a mind. Of course you don't see that.

dhw: You ignored my response, which was:
dhw: And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

DAVID: Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

dhw: Pure prejudice. You have said over and over again that there is a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

That 50/50 means we look from the outside and reach conclusions. I'm no more prejudiced than you are, and I started my research from your position.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, December 12, 2019, 08:48 (44 days ago) @ David Turell

Under “Bacteria: chemical communication”, I asked you to explain why NEW drugs kill millions of bacteria, if all cells were “prepared” to deal with the damage.

DAVID: The answer you want is there is individual variation and some bacteria do not have the defensive protein, so they die.

So did your God leave it to chance to decide which of his bacteria would inherit his 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every single problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time?

DAVID: Of course cells are cognitive and act purposefully from their programming. I'v e never disagreed with that thought. My disagreement is I'm sure they are programmed/designed to act that way. They didn't invent the programming.

dhw: Cognitive means having the ability to know, understand, learn, make decisions etc. – all attributes of intelligence. You have always argued that their actions are automatic. An automaton doesn’t know, understand, learn or make decisions. By all means argue that this autonomous ability was designed by your God, but please don’t pretend that Shapiro’s theory is anything other than the autonomous ability of intelligent cells to invent evolutionary novelty and to self-modify.

DAVID: Your evolutionary novelty in bacteria is simple adaptation to current challenges, for which they are programmed

Just to clarify: you have agreed that cells (not just bacteria) are cognitive, and that “evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”, but you say “the two parts are totally disconnected”. Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that they are connected. Your own theory is that despite their cognitive powers, cells were programmed 3.8 billion years ago both to adapt and presumably also to produce “evolutionary novelty”.

DAVID: Software has to be designed by a mind. Of course you don't see that.

dhw: You ignored my response, which was:
dhw: And the basis of Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that cells/cell communities are cognitive entities with decision-making abilities etc., i.e. that they have their own minds which create the new software.

DAVID: Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

dhw: Pure prejudice. You have said over and over again that there is a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

DAVID: That 50/50 means we look from the outside and reach conclusions. I'm no more prejudiced than you are, and I started my research from your position.

You have made a definitive statement about minds. Shapiro is offering a THEORY (as am I) which you dismiss: that cells/cell communities are cognitive, sentient beings which make their own decisions and are capable of inventing their own “novelties”, as opposed to having every decision preprogrammed for them 3.8 billion years ago. During this discussion you have tried to dismiss his theory on the grounds that it is based solely on his research into bacteria, but it is not. You have accused me of bastardizing his theory, but I have not. And now you are repeating your own belief that despite being cognitive beings, cells don’t have “minds”, i.e. are not capable of knowing, understanding, learning, making decisions. If you mean they are programmed to be cognitive, then that = your God gave them the autonomous intelligence to act purposefully. If you mean that their purposeful actions have been programmed, then I don't see how you can agree that they are cognitive. Perhaps you would explain what you mean by "cognitive" and sort out this contradiction.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 12, 2019, 14:52 (43 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Under “Bacteria: chemical communication”, I asked you to explain why NEW drugs kill millions of bacteria, if all cells were “prepared” to deal with the damage.

DAVID: The answer you want is there is individual variation and some bacteria do not have the defensive protein, so they die.

dhw: So did your God leave it to chance to decide which of his bacteria would inherit his 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every single problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time?

We all know, including Darwin and you, that there is individual variation in species. God must have allowed it.

DAVID: Your evolutionary novelty in bacteria is simple adaptation to current challenges, for which they are programmed

dhw: Just to clarify: you have agreed that cells (not just bacteria) are cognitive, and that “evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”, but you say “the two parts are totally disconnected”. Shapiro’s theory (and mine) is that they are connected. Your own theory is that despite their cognitive powers, cells were programmed 3.8 billion years ago both to adapt and presumably also to produce “evolutionary novelty”.

Please think about multicellular cells. All of them have specific tasks in the various parts and are constantly functioning in those roles. You have never told me which of these always busy cells get together in committees to cause new species?


DAVID: Minds really appeared when neurons arrived. Only neurons make minds.

dhw: Pure prejudice. You have said over and over again that there is a 50/50 chance that you are wrong.

DAVID: That 50/50 means we look from the outside and reach conclusions. I'm no more prejudiced than you are, and I started my research from your position.

dhw: You have made a definitive statement about minds. Shapiro is offering a THEORY (as am I) which you dismiss: that cells/cell communities are cognitive, sentient beings which make their own decisions and are capable of inventing their own “novelties”, as opposed to having every decision preprogrammed for them 3.8 billion years ago. During this discussion you have tried to dismiss his theory on the grounds that it is based solely on his research into bacteria, but it is not. You have accused me of bastardizing his theory, but I have not. And now you are repeating your own belief that despite being cognitive beings, cells don’t have “minds”, i.e. are not capable of knowing, understanding, learning, making decisions. If you mean they are programmed to be cognitive, then that = your God gave them the autonomous intelligence to act purposefully. If you mean that their purposeful actions have been programmed, then I don't see how you can agree that they are cognitive. Perhaps you would explain what you mean by "cognitive" and sort out this contradiction.

Simple. Their programming makes them appear cognitive.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, December 13, 2019, 12:56 (42 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Under “Bacteria: chemical communication”, I asked you to explain why NEW drugs kill millions of bacteria, if all cells were “prepared” to deal with the damage.

DAVID: The answer you want is there is individual variation and some bacteria do not have the defensive protein, so they die.

dhw: So did your God leave it to chance to decide which of his bacteria would inherit his 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every single problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time?

DAVID: We all know, including Darwin and you, that there is individual variation in species. God must have allowed it.

Nice to hear that your always-in-control God allows variation within species. But you keep telling us that bacteria are all automatons with no minds of their own, merely obeying instructions, so are you saying he programmed some to fail and others to succeed? See your reply re “cognition”.

DAVID: Please think about multicellular cells. All of them have specific tasks in the various parts and are constantly functioning in those roles. You have never told me which of these always busy cells get together in committees to cause new species?

Of course they all have specific tasks once the new organ/organism has succeeded in functioning. All the cells affected by the innovation must communicate! How else would they be able to coordinate their new activities? Perhaps stem cells are the organizers. I’m hoping you will develop this idea, as you know far more about them than I do. (See below)

dhw: …now you are repeating your own belief that despite being cognitive beings, cells don’t have “minds”, i.e. are not capable of knowing, understanding, learning, making decisions. If you mean they are programmed to be cognitive, then that = your God gave them the autonomous intelligence to act purposefully. If you mean that their purposeful actions have been programmed, then I don't see how you can agree that they are cognitive. Perhaps you would explain what you mean by "cognitive" and sort out this contradiction.

DAVID: Simple. Their programming makes them appear cognitive.

Please look at this exchange:
SHAPIRO: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities."

DAVID: The first part is true without question.

So without question they are cognitive, but they are not cognitive because they are preprogrammed. Presumably this also means that since your God “allows variation”, some are programmed to appear cognitive (but are still robots) while others are programmed not to appear cognitive (they’re the ones that die). And you agree with Shapiro without question, but you do not agree with Shapiro.

DAVID (Under “role of stem cells”): It is logical that stem cells must play a major role in speciation, since they are the creators of functional cells. We still don't understand why or how the new stem cells arrived on the scene.

This seems to me to be a very important contribution to our discussion. Since stem cells can change their identity, they are obviously at the heart of the evolutionary process. Of course nobody knows how any cells “arrived on the scene”, but if cells are cognitive, sentient, communicating, decision-making beings, and some of them can change their identity, and they are faced with the new challenge of changing environments, we certainly have a broad hint as to how the mechanisms of evolution may work.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, December 13, 2019, 14:26 (42 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So did your God leave it to chance to decide which of his bacteria would inherit his 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every single problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time?


DAVID: We all know, including Darwin and you, that there is individual variation in species. God must have allowed it.

dhw: Nice to hear that your always-in-control God allows variation within species. But you keep telling us that bacteria are all automatons with no minds of their own, merely obeying instructions, so are you saying he programmed some to fail and others to succeed? See your reply re “cognition”.

Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.


DAVID: Please think about multicellular cells. All of them have specific tasks in the various parts and are constantly functioning in those roles. You have never told me which of these always busy cells get together in committees to cause new species?

dhw: Of course they all have specific tasks once the new organ/organism has succeeded in functioning. All the cells affected by the innovation must communicate! How else would they be able to coordinate their new activities? Perhaps stem cells are the organizers. I’m hoping you will develop this idea, as you know far more about them than I do. (See below)

dhw: …now you are repeating your own belief that despite being cognitive beings, cells don’t have “minds”, i.e. are not capable of knowing, understanding, learning, making decisions. If you mean they are programmed to be cognitive, then that = your God gave them the autonomous intelligence to act purposefully. If you mean that their purposeful actions have been programmed, then I don't see how you can agree that they are cognitive. Perhaps you would explain what you mean by "cognitive" and sort out this contradiction.

DAVID: Simple. Their programming makes them appear cognitive.

Please look at this exchange:
SHAPIRO: "Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully [..] They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities."

DAVID: The first part is true without question.

dhw: So without question they are cognitive, but they are not cognitive because they are preprogrammed. Presumably this also means that since your God “allows variation”, some are programmed to appear cognitive (but are still robots) while others are programmed not to appear cognitive (they’re the ones that die). And you agree with Shapiro without question, but you do not agree with Shapiro.

O f course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.


DAVID (Under “role of stem cells”): It is logical that stem cells must play a major role in speciation, since they are the creators of functional cells. We still don't understand why or how the new stem cells arrived on the scene.

dhw: This seems to me to be a very important contribution to our discussion. Since stem cells can change their identity, they are obviously at the heart of the evolutionary process. Of course nobody knows how any cells “arrived on the scene”, but if cells are cognitive, sentient, communicating, decision-making beings, and some of them can change their identity, and they are faced with the new challenge of changing environments, we certainly have a broad hint as to how the mechanisms of evolution may work.

In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting. The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions. Articles on this is mainly generalizations.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, December 14, 2019, 11:26 (41 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We all know, including Darwin and you, that there is individual variation in species. God must have allowed it.

dhw: Nice to hear that your always-in-control God allows variation within species. But you keep telling us that bacteria are all automatons with no minds of their own, merely obeying instructions, so are you saying he programmed some to fail and others to succeed? See your reply re “cognition”.

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

So God is not needed for their adaptations, and they find their own solutions (e.g. to new medicines) in order to remain themselves. How can they possibly do this without the cognitive faculties which until now you have insisted were merely preprogrammed instructions?

DAVID: Of course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.

You are playing with words. You agree that they are cognitive, but you insist that they are not cognitive because they are automatically obeying your God’s instructions.

dhw: Since stem cells can change their identity, they are obviously at the heart of the evolutionary process. Of course nobody knows how any cells “arrived on the scene”, but if cells are cognitive, sentient, communicating, decision-making beings, and some of them can change their identity, and they are faced with the new challenge of changing environments, we certainly have a broad hint as to how the mechanisms of evolution may work.

DAVID: In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting.

Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions. Articles on this is mainly generalizations.

Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 14, 2019, 15:55 (41 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

dhw: So God is not needed for their adaptations, and they find their own solutions (e.g. to new medicines) in order to remain themselves. How can they possibly do this without the cognitive faculties which until now you have insisted were merely preprogrammed instructions?

Obvious.. They have programmed instruction in how to make adaptations to new challenges.


DAVID: Of course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.

dhw: You are playing with words. You agree that they are cognitive, but you insist that they are not cognitive because they are automatically obeying your God’s instructions.

Whoa! Acting cognitively recognized what they look like they are doing automatically.


dhw: Since stem cells can change their identity, they are obviously at the heart of the evolutionary process. Of course nobody knows how any cells “arrived on the scene”, but if cells are cognitive, sentient, communicating, decision-making beings, and some of them can change their identity, and they are faced with the new challenge of changing environments, we certainly have a broad hint as to how the mechanisms of evolution may work.

DAVID: In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting.

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.


DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions. Articles on this is mainly generalizations.

dhw: Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required.

It is obvious once a new species exists it know fully how to make new copies. For me God speciates.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, December 15, 2019, 10:26 (40 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

dhw: So God is not needed for their adaptations, and they find their own solutions (e.g. to new medicines) in order to remain themselves. How can they possibly do this without the cognitive faculties which until now you have insisted were merely preprogrammed instructions?

DAVID: Obvious. They have programmed instruction in how to make adaptations to new challenges.

They vary “on their own” with adaptations and God is not needed for in species variation, but when they adapt (= in species variation), they are not on their own and they need God’s instructions. Don’t you find this confusing?

DAVID: Of course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.

dhw: You are playing with words. You agree that they are cognitive, but you insist that they are not cognitive because they are automatically obeying your God’s instructions.

DAVID: Whoa! Acting cognitively recognized what they look like they are doing automatically.

I don’t understand this sentence. What “recognized” what? “They act cognitively” means they know what they are doing. You now say they do not know what they are doing but act automatically. So they do not act cognitively. More confusion.

DAVID: In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting.

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions.

dhw: Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required.

DAVID: It is obvious once a new species exists it know fully how to make new copies. For me God speciates.

Of course it knows how to make new copies – otherwise the species would disappear. I was pointing out that your view of speciation is that all aspects were either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled by your God. Or does your version of God have any other means of speciating?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 15, 2019, 19:07 (40 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

dhw: So God is not needed for their adaptations, and they find their own solutions (e.g. to new medicines) in order to remain themselves. How can they possibly do this without the cognitive faculties which until now you have insisted were merely preprogrammed instructions?

DAVID: Obvious. They have programmed instruction in how to make adaptations to new challenges.

dhw: They vary “on their own” with adaptations and God is not needed for in species variation, but when they adapt (= in species variation), they are not on their own and they need God’s instructions. Don’t you find this confusing?

Not at all. Adaptations within a species are minor variations. Species are new innovations requiring design.


DAVID: Of course they act cognitively, but in my view it is automatic. We are playing with words.

dhw: You are playing with words. You agree that they are cognitive, but you insist that they are not cognitive because they are automatically obeying your God’s instructions.

DAVID: Whoa! Acting cognitively recognized what they look like they are doing automatically.

dhw: I don’t understand this sentence. What “recognized” what? “They act cognitively” means they know what they are doing. You now say they do not know what they are doing but act automatically. So they do not act cognitively. More confusion.

Simple. Acting cognitively can be an appearance from automaticity. My usual thought


DAVID: In my view God changes the stem cell programming for new species and for you they hold a committee meeting.

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

dhw: Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

God decided to evolve us. You complain about the delay, worried about by you. why?


DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions.

dhw: Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required.

DAVID: It is obvious once a new species exists it know fully how to make new copies. For me God speciates.

dhw: Of course it knows how to make new copies – otherwise the species would disappear. I was pointing out that your view of speciation is that all aspects were either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled by your God. Or does your version of God have any other means of speciating?

I still stick to the thought that God designs species

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, December 16, 2019, 10:14 (39 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

dhw: [Bacteria] vary “on their own” with adaptations and God is not needed for in species variation, but when they adapt (= in species variation), they are not on their own and they need God’s instructions. Don’t you find this confusing?

DAVID: Not at all. Adaptations within a species are minor variations. Species are new innovations requiring design.

This discussion concerns adaptation, not speciation. You said your God was not needed for adaptation/in species variation. I asked how bacteria could accomplish this without cognition. You replied that they had been given programmed instructions – which can only have come from your God! So they don’t vary “on their own” and your God IS needed for adaptation/in species variation. The confusion is not solved by the following exchange:

dhw: “They act cognitively” means they know what they are doing. You now say they do not know what they are doing but act automatically. So they do not act cognitively. More confusion.

DAVID: Simple. Acting cognitively can be an appearance from automaticity. My usual thought.

And you think I play word games!

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

dhw: Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

DAVID: God decided to evolve us. You complain about the delay, worried about by you. why?

I complain about your whole theory! And you still haven’t told us which part of my summary is twisted.

DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions.

dhw: Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required. […] Or does your version of God have any other means of speciating?

DAVID: I still stick to the thought that God designs species

I know you do. I’m simply confirming that this means 3.8 billion years ago he provided the first cells with programmes for every single undabbled life form etc. The very idea offers a somewhat different perspective on the nicely vague concept of design.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 00:55 (39 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once a species of bacteria appears they will then vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation.

dhw: [Bacteria] vary “on their own” with adaptations and God is not needed for in species variation, but when they adapt (= in species variation), they are not on their own and they need God’s instructions. Don’t you find this confusing?

DAVID: Not at all. Adaptations within a species are minor variations. Species are new innovations requiring design.

dhw: This discussion concerns adaptation, not speciation. You said your God was not needed for adaptation/in species variation. I asked how bacteria could accomplish this without cognition. You replied that they had been given programmed instructions – which can only have come from your God! So they don’t vary “on their own” and your God IS needed for adaptation/in species variation. The confusion is not solved by the following exchange:

dhw: “They act cognitively” means they know what they are doing. You now say they do not know what they are doing but act automatically. So they do not act cognitively. More confusion.

DAVID: Simple. Acting cognitively can be an appearance from automaticity. My usual thought.

dhw: And you think I play word games!

No word games. I'm trying to explain how I use the words: adaptation in my usage means a minor change to account for a new situation, but no species change. With innovation, I view this as a major alteration requiring a new species designation,as this: On 12/16 was the article about "Aegicetus [which] fits between the two, representing a moment when whales were just switching to exclusively tail-driven locomotion." A definite major anatomic change requiring a new species designation. You are attempting to smudge the difference.


dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

dhw: Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

DAVID: God decided to evolve us. You complain about the delay, worried about by you. why?

dhw: I complain about your whole theory! And you still haven’t told us which part of my summary is twisted.

The bold is your constant twist. He had lots to achieve to evolve us. He recognized it from the beginning as He made that decision. Why can't you grant Him the right to do things His way? History tells us how He did it. But then you do not recognize He is in change, and when you grudgingly suggest He could be in charge, you the go ahead and invent a humanistic God.


DAVID: The other problem is that in embryology there are other physico-chemical-electrical forces that have shown to play roles, so it is not just making cells with new functions.

dhw: Presumably you think these forces were also programmed 3.8 billion years ago to play their appropriate role in speciation – or God popped in to adjust these forces as required. […] Or does your version of God have any other means of speciating?

DAVID: I still stick to the thought that God designs species

dhw: I know you do. I’m simply confirming that this means 3.8 billion years ago he provided the first cells with programmes for every single undabbled life form etc. The very idea offers a somewhat different perspective on the nicely vague concept of design.

I'll stick with the biochemistry of life requires a designer at every stage.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 08:46 (39 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: This discussion concerns adaptation, not speciation. You said your God was not needed for adaptation/in species variation. I asked how bacteria could accomplish this without cognition. You replied that they had been given programmed instructions – which can only have come from your God! So they don’t vary “on their own” and your God IS needed for adaptation/in species variation.

DAVID: Simple. Acting cognitively can be an appearance from automaticity. My usual thought.

dhw: And you think I play word games!

DAVID: No word games. I'm trying to explain how I use the words: adaptation in my usage means a minor change to account for a new situation, but no species change. With innovation, I view this as a major alteration requiring a new species designation,as this: On 12/16 was the article about "Aegicetus [which] fits between the two, representing a moment when whales were just switching to exclusively tail-driven locomotion." A definite major anatomic change requiring a new species designation. You are attempting to smudge the difference.

This particular discussion concerned your statement that bacteria did not need God for their variations and adaptations, which could only mean that they acted cognitively (agreeing with Shapiro). You then went on to say that they were obeying your God’s instructions, which means they did need God. Word games. You have answered by switching the discussion to the other subject of how one distinguishes between adaptation and innovation. I’m happy to discuss this too, but your word game concerned your attempt to make “acting cognitively” mean “obeying God’s instructions”. The confusion remains.

On the subject of the whale’s tail, My proposal is that all changes require some kind of restructuring, and although it is easy to distinguish between major and minor adaptations, it is not easy to distinguish between major adaptations and innovations, precisely as in your example where you have an existing organ being adapted to perform a new function. Hence the proposal that the same mechanism is responsible both for adaptation (observable even now) and innovation (not observable now). Your vacillation over adaptations and cognition now seems to suggest that your God preprogrammes or dabbles every single one, as below:

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

dhw: Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

DAVID: The bold is your constant twist. He had lots to achieve to evolve us. He recognized it from the beginning as He made that decision. Why can't you grant Him the right to do things His way? History tells us how He did it. But then you do not recognize He is in change, and when you grudgingly suggest He could be in charge, you the go ahead and invent a humanistic God.

Do you or do you not believe that the only thing he wanted to achieve was us? If you believe we were his only goal, I have not twisted anything. The rest of your response is your usual assumption that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method is the only one possible, and I am denying him his right to do things your way. (See “David’s theory of evolution” for the illogicality of your way.)

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 15:10 (38 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And you think I play word games!

DAVID: No word games. I'm trying to explain how I use the words: adaptation in my usage means a minor change to account for a new situation, but no species change. With innovation, I view this as a major alteration requiring a new species designation,as this: On 12/16 was the article about "Aegicetus [which] fits between the two, representing a moment when whales were just switching to exclusively tail-driven locomotion." A definite major anatomic change requiring a new species designation. You are attempting to smudge the difference.

dhw: This particular discussion concerned your statement that bacteria did not need God for their variations and adaptations, which could only mean that they acted cognitively (agreeing with Shapiro). You then went on to say that they were obeying your God’s instructions, which means they did need God. Word games. You have answered by switching the discussion to the other subject of how one distinguishes between adaptation and innovation. I’m happy to discuss this too, but your word game concerned your attempt to make “acting cognitively” mean “obeying God’s instructions”. The confusion remains.

No confusion if you interpret my 'acting cognitively' as 'acting as if cognitive', automaticity gives the appearance of cognitive reactions, my usual theory.


dhw: On the subject of the whale’s tail, My proposal is that all changes require some kind of restructuring, and although it is easy to distinguish between major and minor adaptations, it is not easy to distinguish between major adaptations and innovations, precisely as in your example where you have an existing organ being adapted to perform a new function. Hence the proposal that the same mechanism is responsible both for adaptation (observable even now) and innovation (not observable now). Your vacillation over adaptations and cognition now seems to suggest that your God preprogrammes or dabbles every single one, as below:

dhw: Let’s spell it out then: according to you, every single innovation was either preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, with stem cells somehow knowing which programme to switch on at which time, or your God personally dabbled with the stem cells of each forerunner of every species (all organized and timed to fit in with his decision not to achieve the only thing he wanted to achieve, which was the production of us). Is that a fair summary of your fixed belief?

DAVID: Your usual twisted version of my beliefs.

dhw: Please specify which part of the above is “twisted”.

DAVID: The bold is your constant twist. He had lots to achieve to evolve us. He recognized it from the beginning as He made that decision. Why can't you grant Him the right to do things His way? History tells us how He did it. But then you do not recognize He is in change, and when you grudgingly suggest He could be in charge, you the go ahead and invent a humanistic God.

dhw: Do you or do you not believe that the only thing he wanted to achieve was us? If you believe we were his only goal, I have not twisted anything. The rest of your response is your usual assumption that your interpretation of your God’s purpose and method is the only one possible, and I am denying him his right to do things your way. (See “David’s theory of evolution” for the illogicality of your way.)

We are/were God's ultimate final goal and His purpose for evolving us. You asked me if there were other goals, and I've answered all were intermediate on the way to us. I consider us the final step, based on Adler's exposition.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 10:18 (37 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] your word game concerned your attempt to make “acting cognitively” mean “obeying God’s instructions”. The confusion remains.

DAVID: No confusion if you interpret my 'acting cognitively' as 'acting as if cognitive', automaticity gives the appearance of cognitive reactions, my usual theory.

Are you now saying that “acting” meant putting on a show? The context was perfectly clear: acting meant doing things, not pretending. You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

Under “Immunity complexity: Neurons and immune cells cooperate
"Earlier this month, Dr. Isacc Chiu of Harvard Medical School proposed that it was time to time to adopt an expanded understanding of how the nervous and immune systems function synergistically. The nervous system isn't a mere watchdog that spots danger and alerts the body. The nervous system is an active participant in fighting infections, Chiu said. (dhw's bold)

And there you have it in a nutshell: different cell communities cooperate (function synergistically) in working out solutions to new problems. And so theoretically it is perfectly feasible that this ability, while clearly being responsible for adaptation, might also be responsible for innovation. The following quotes are also very interesting:

"The innate system, while capable of annihilating infiltrators, lacks "memory" the mechanism required to remember the invader should it come calling again. Without this capacity, the body can't mount a response when a pathogen re-infects."

"Adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, develops over time. When it encounters re-infection with a foreign antigen, it "remembers" having seen the infiltrator in the past. Memory T cells are part of adaptive immunity. They quickly convert swarm the invader in a rapid response based on the "memory" of a past infection.”

This is also how bacteria work. They swarm, and “acquire immunity”, and “remember” past infections once they’ve solved the problem, and yet they are single-cell and have no neurons or memory T cells. One might be tempted to believe that since the single cell is just as capable of solving new problems as cooperating cell communities, cognition and sentience and information processing and communication skills and decision-making (all hallmarks of intelligence) are not confined to organisms with a brain.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 14:53 (37 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] your word game concerned your attempt to make “acting cognitively” mean “obeying God’s instructions”. The confusion remains.

DAVID: No confusion if you interpret my 'acting cognitively' as 'acting as if cognitive', automaticity gives the appearance of cognitive reactions, my usual theory.

dhw: Are you now saying that “acting” meant putting on a show? The context was perfectly clear: acting meant doing things, not pretending. You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.


Under “Immunity complexity: Neurons and immune cells cooperate
"Earlier this month, Dr. Isacc Chiu of Harvard Medical School proposed that it was time to time to adopt an expanded understanding of how the nervous and immune systems function synergistically. The nervous system isn't a mere watchdog that spots danger and alerts the body. The nervous system is an active participant in fighting infections, Chiu said. (dhw's bold)

dhw: And there you have it in a nutshell: different cell communities cooperate (function synergistically) in working out solutions to new problems. And so theoretically it is perfectly feasible that this ability, while clearly being responsible for adaptation, might also be responsible for innovation.

Not so fast. They are designed to act together.

dhw: The following quotes are also very interesting:

"The innate system, while capable of annihilating infiltrators, lacks "memory" the mechanism required to remember the invader should it come calling again. Without this capacity, the body can't mount a response when a pathogen re-infects."

"Adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, develops over time. When it encounters re-infection with a foreign antigen, it "remembers" having seen the infiltrator in the past. Memory T cells are part of adaptive immunity. They quickly convert swarm the invader in a rapid response based on the "memory" of a past infection.”

This is also how bacteria work. They swarm, and “acquire immunity”, and “remember” past infections once they’ve solved the problem, and yet they are single-cell and have no neurons or memory T cells. One might be tempted to believe that since the single cell is just as capable of solving new problems as cooperating cell communities, cognition and sentience and information processing and communication skills and decision-making (all hallmarks of intelligence) are not confined to organisms with a brain.

And I will still insist they act under automatic instructions. The multicellular immune/memory cooperative system is designed to work that way.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, December 19, 2019, 10:59 (36 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

DAVID: It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.

Obviously. So when you agreed “without question” that “living cells…are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully”, and bacteria “vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation”, you actually meant that living cells are not cognitive entities, and bacteria need God’s instructions for in species variation. But apparently I am the one who is playing word games.

QUOTE: "Earlier this month, Dr. Isacc Chiu of Harvard Medical School proposed that it was time to time to adopt an expanded understanding of how the nervous and immune systems function synergistically. The nervous system isn't a mere watchdog that spots danger and alerts the body. The nervous system is an active participant in fighting infections, Chiu said. (dhw's bold)

dhw: And there you have it in a nutshell: different cell communities cooperate (function synergistically) in working out solutions to new problems. And so theoretically it is perfectly feasible that this ability, while clearly being responsible for adaptation, might also be responsible for innovation.

DAVID: Not so fast. They are designed to act together.

That can mean your God designed the intelligence that enables them to act together. It does not mean that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single cooperative action in the history of life.

QUOTE: "Adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, develops over time. When it encounters re-infection with a foreign antigen, it "remembers" having seen the infiltrator in the past. Memory T cells are part of adaptive immunity. They quickly convert swarm the invader in a rapid response based on the "memory" of a past infection.”

dhw: This is also how bacteria work. They swarm, and “acquire immunity”, and “remember” past infections once they’ve solved the problem, and yet they are single-cell and have no neurons or memory T cells. One might be tempted to believe that since the single cell is just as capable of solving new problems as cooperating cell communities, cognition and sentience and information processing and communication skills and decision-making (all hallmarks of intelligence) are not confined to organisms with a brain.

DAVID: And I will still insist they act under automatic instructions. The multicellular immune/memory cooperative system is designed to work that way.

To work what way? The system may have been designed to work out its own solutions to problems as and when they arise. Your alternative, though you always fight shy of spelling it out or accuse me of misrepresentation, is that 3.8 billion years ago, your God preprogrammed the first cells with every solution to every problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time, or he pops in whenever a new problem arises. How else could the system receive its “automatic instructions”, and don’t you find this a little hard to swallow?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 19, 2019, 15:16 (36 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: And there you have it in a nutshell: different cell communities cooperate (function synergistically) in working out solutions to new problems. And so theoretically it is perfectly feasible that this ability, while clearly being responsible for adaptation, might also be responsible for innovation.

DAVID: Not so fast. They are designed to act together.

dhw: That can mean your God designed the intelligence that enables them to act together. It does not mean that he preprogrammed or dabbled every single cooperative action in the history of life.

God created the evolutionary process, as the designer. Preprogramming and dabbling are two obvious guesses as to how He performed His action.


QUOTE: "Adaptive immunity, also called acquired immunity, develops over time. When it encounters re-infection with a foreign antigen, it "remembers" having seen the infiltrator in the past. Memory T cells are part of adaptive immunity. They quickly convert swarm the invader in a rapid response based on the "memory" of a past infection.”

dhw: This is also how bacteria work. They swarm, and “acquire immunity”, and “remember” past infections once they’ve solved the problem, and yet they are single-cell and have no neurons or memory T cells. One might be tempted to believe that since the single cell is just as capable of solving new problems as cooperating cell communities, cognition and sentience and information processing and communication skills and decision-making (all hallmarks of intelligence) are not confined to organisms with a brain.

DAVID: And I will still insist they act under automatic instructions. The multicellular immune/memory cooperative system is designed to work that way.

dhw: To work what way? The system may have been designed to work out its own solutions to problems as and when they arise. Your alternative, though you always fight shy of spelling it out or accuse me of misrepresentation, is that 3.8 billion years ago, your God preprogrammed the first cells with every solution to every problem that bacteria would face for the rest of time, or he pops in whenever a new problem arises. How else could the system receive its “automatic instructions”, and don’t you find this a little hard to swallow?

It is difficult for you to accept my theories about how God acted to conduct evolution. I'll repeat the above comment: "God created the evolutionary process, as the designer. Preprogramming and dabbling are two obvious guesses as to how He performed His action." The meaning is simple. A God in charge runs things. Agnostics tend to be non-swallowers about this.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, December 20, 2019, 07:59 (36 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

DAVID: It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.

dhw: Obviously. So when you agreed “without question” that “living cells…are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully”, and bacteria “vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation”, you actually meant that living cells are not cognitive entities, and bacteria need God’s instructions for in species variation. But apparently I am the one who is playing word games.

I am only reproducing this because Shapiro’s clear statements are in such marked contrast to your own obfuscations. I can understand your reluctance to reply.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, December 20, 2019, 13:00 (35 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

DAVID: It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.

dhw: Obviously. So when you agreed “without question” that “living cells…are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully”, and bacteria “vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation”, you actually meant that living cells are not cognitive entities, and bacteria need God’s instructions for in species variation. But apparently I am the one who is playing word games.

dhe: I am only reproducing this because Shapiro’s clear statements are in such marked contrast to your own obfuscations. I can understand your reluctance to reply.

Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, December 21, 2019, 10:27 (34 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

DAVID: It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.

dhw: Obviously. So when you agreed “without question” that “living cells…are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully”, and bacteria “vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation”, you actually meant that living cells are not cognitive entities, and bacteria need God’s instructions for in species variation. But apparently I am the one who is playing word games.

dhw: I am only reproducing this because Shapiro’s clear statements are in such marked contrast to your own obfuscations. I can understand your reluctance to reply.

DAVID: Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

I do remember 50/50, which means it is absurd to dismiss the theory, but your agreement with Shapiro that living cells are cognitive entities, coupled with your view that living cells are not cognitive entities but merely obey God’s instructions, is somewhat confusing. The concept of cellular intelligence is in no way an attempt to avoid God, any more than it is an attempt to recognize God. The theory arises out of scientific observation and interpretation of cellular behaviour. Whether God designed the mechanism or not is a different question.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 21, 2019, 21:51 (34 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You know perfectly well that if a bacterium acts cognitively, the meaning is that it knows what it is doing – the exact opposite of automatically obeying instructions.

DAVID: It doesn't know what it is doing if it is acting from automatic instructions, as I believe.

dhw: Obviously. So when you agreed “without question” that “living cells…are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully”, and bacteria “vary on their own with adaptations. God is not needed for in species variation”, you actually meant that living cells are not cognitive entities, and bacteria need God’s instructions for in species variation. But apparently I am the one who is playing word games.

dhw: I am only reproducing this because Shapiro’s clear statements are in such marked contrast to your own obfuscations. I can understand your reluctance to reply.

DAVID: Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

dhw: I do remember 50/50, which means it is absurd to dismiss the theory, but your agreement with Shapiro that living cells are cognitive entities, coupled with your view that living cells are not cognitive entities but merely obey God’s instructions, is somewhat confusing. The concept of cellular intelligence is in no way an attempt to avoid God, any more than it is an attempt to recognize God. The theory arises out of scientific observation and interpretation of cellular behaviour. Whether God designed the mechanism or not is a different question.

It is not a different question. You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you. Where is your support for your extrapolations? I've got ID'rs for my theory. I'm simply naming their designer.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 11:30 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

Taken over from the Bechly thread:

DAVID: Only you want microorganisms to have minds.

dhw: Bacterial intelligence is not “my” theory. All these years I have been quoting scientists such as McClintock, Margulis, Buehler and now Shapiro, and I have asked you to consult the many websites on the subject of bacterial intelligence, but suddenly you think I am all alone! If you want more names, look under references and further reading:
Microbial intelligence - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbial_intelligence

dhw: You are getting confused. It’s your theory of evolution that leaves you out on your own.

DAVID: No it doesn't. The ID folks group is filled with many scientists. I've only introduced a few. Their belief, which I think you fully understand, is that a designer is required for all advances in evolution.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I accept the logic both of Adler and of ID. The rest of your post is devoted entirely to ID logic and the existence of God. That is NOT the issue between us, as you very well know. Neither Adler nor ID offer any support for your theory of evolution, which is – yet again - that an all-powerful, all-knowing God set out with the sole purpose of designing H. sapiens, but decided not to design H. sapiens for 3.X billion years and therefore designed every other life form as an interim goal in order to “establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. THAT is the theory which according to you yourself is only logical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”. (For further discussion on this, see “David’s theory of evolution Part Two".)

DAVID: Gould also recognize the big gaps in the fossil branching record which he noted had tips and nodes and no explanation for the gaps or the stasis. His explanations were a guess as a staunch Darwinist, in which he saw the deficiencies.

You can say that all explanations are a guess, since nobody knows the truth! Here’s a guess for you: stasis occurs when changes in the environment (which may be local or global) are minor enough not to require or allow for existing species to make major adaptations or to innovate. Major environmental changes (which may be local or global) will force or allow existing species to adapt, innovate or die. What is your explanation for the gaps and the stasis?

DAVID: Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

dhw: I do remember 50/50, which means it is absurd to dismiss the theory, but your agreement with Shapiro that living cells are cognitive entities, coupled with your view that living cells are not cognitive entities but merely obey God’s instructions, is somewhat confusing. The concept of cellular intelligence is in no way an attempt to avoid God, any more than it is an attempt to recognize God. The theory arises out of scientific observation and interpretation of cellular behaviour. Whether God designed the mechanism or not is a different question.

DAVID: It is not a different question. You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you. Where is your support for your extrapolations?

I don’t know why you persist in ignoring all the quotes in your own book. Here they are, yet again:
“...living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”.

They “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics.
"...evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”.

Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

Do please stop pretending that this does NOT propose cellular intelligence as the creator of evolutionary novelty (= innovations = speciation). You quoted all of this in your book, and commented that the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears” – in direct contrast to your theory that cells have been preprogrammed or dabbled with in advance to produce their innovations.

To sum up: I do not “want” microorganisms to have minds, and I am not alone in believing that they may have minds: this is a theory proposed by many scientists, some of whom are renowned experts in the field. Shapiro has used their findings and his to propose a theory of “natural genetic engineering” in which intelligent cells produce the innovations that cause speciation in response to environmental changes. I find the theory far more credible than your own, but acknowledge that it remains a theory and is unproven, just like every other theory of speciation. The theory, unlike your own, is confined to the mechanisms of evolution and does not attempt to speculate on the existence of a possible God or of his possible purpose.It does not, however, in any way preclude the existence of a God.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 22:38 (33 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Sunday, December 22, 2019, 22:47

dhw: You are getting confused. It’s your theory of evolution that leaves you out on your own.

DAVID: No it doesn't. The ID folks group is filled with many scientists. I've only introduced a few. Their belief, which I think you fully understand, is that a designer is required for all advances in evolution.

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I accept the logic both of Adler and of ID. The rest of your post is devoted entirely to ID logic and the existence of God. That is NOT the issue between us, as you very well know. Neither Adler nor ID offer any support for your theory of evolution,

My theory of evolution is that God ran it based on ID theory. Adler makes no point about that, but that our existence proves God. You accept dibs and dabs of ID and Adler

DAVID: Remember 50/50. Shapiro, you and I are on the outside and I have picked my view of Shapiro's work. You have your view, in an attempt to avoid God.

dhw; I don’t know why you persist in ignoring all the quotes in your own book. Here they are, yet again:
“...living cells are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully…”.

They “have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics.
"...evolutionary novelty arises from the prosecution of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification”.

Natural genetic engineering and other evolutionary innovative processes respond to stimuli [… ] primarily at times of ecological disruption […]

Do please stop pretending that this does NOT propose cellular intelligence as the creator of evolutionary novelty (= innovations = speciation). You quoted all of this in your book, and commented that the cognitive cellular networks have the ability to “respond to the present”, “using information as it appears” – in direct contrast to your theory that cells have been preprogrammed or dabbled with in advance to produce their innovations.

To sum up: I do not “want” microorganisms to have minds, and I am not alone in believing that they may have minds: this is a theory proposed by many scientists, some of whom are renowned experts in the field. Shapiro has used their findings and his to propose a theory of “natural genetic engineering” in which intelligent cells produce the innovations that cause speciation in response to environmental changes. I find the theory far more credible than your own, but acknowledge that it remains a theory and is unproven, just like every other theory of speciation. The theory, unlike your own, is confined to the mechanisms of evolution and does not attempt to speculate on the existence of a possible God or of his possible purpose.It does not, however, in any way preclude the existence of a God.

What you seem not to see is bacteria are live-on-their-own organisms. Of course their reactions look and seem intelligent. They were originally created by God with all of the Shapiro-discovered attributes in order to survive on their own. This is why the ID folks celebrate Shapiro's findings. They and I see Shapiro as supporting the need for a designer. These are onboard instructions in single cells from the designer. There must be 10-15 ID scientists who use this approach that I have read. If you did a little real ID reading/studying you might finally recognize the positions I come from. I think you have never researched ID on your own. How complete are your own studies?

Multicellular organisms have very specialized cells and only some are programmed to respond to new stimuli and circumstances. We still don't know if those animals know how to speciate on their own, or if they have some special cells with that ability. Shapiro touches none of that, nor does he extrapolate as you do. All his book does is tout his discoveries which should be touted as great additions to our knowledge. He is a great scientist as my quoting him shows. It is obvious you have no idea of my thought patterns as I relate to the presence of God.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, December 23, 2019, 09:52 (32 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Neither Adler nor ID offer any support for your theory of evolution,

DAVID: My theory of evolution is that God ran it based on ID theory. Adler makes no point about that, but that our existence proves God. You accept dibs and dabs of ID and Adler

Yes I do, and I keep repeating that the issue under discussion is NOT the existence of God, but how evolution works. In our last exchange, you wrote: “You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you.” I then reproduced all your own quotes from Shapiro to show that this is precisely what he proposes. I hope you will withdraw your remark.

dhw: To sum up: I do not “want” microorganisms to have minds, and I am not alone in believing that they may have minds: this is a theory proposed by many scientists, some of whom are renowned experts in the field. Shapiro has used their findings and his to propose a theory of “natural genetic engineering” in which intelligent cells produce the innovations that cause speciation in response to environmental changes. I find the theory far more credible than your own, but acknowledge that it remains a theory and is unproven, just like every other theory of speciation. The theory, unlike your own, is confined to the mechanisms of evolution and does not attempt to speculate on the existence of a possible God or of his possible purpose. It does not, however, in any way preclude the existence of a God.

DAVID: What you seem not to see is bacteria are live-on-their-own organisms. Of course their reactions look and seem intelligent. They were originally created by God with all of the Shapiro-discovered attributes in order to survive on their own.

Thank you. The attributes Shapiro describes are those of autonomous intelligence, and I have no objections to the suggestion that there may be a God who designed them. My objection is to the contradiction that follows:

DAVID: This is why the ID folks celebrate Shapiro's findings. They and I see Shapiro as supporting the need for a designer. These are onboard instructions in single cells from the designer.

Yes to the designer theory. However, it is YOUR theory that the attributes of cognition etc. are not signs of autonomous intelligence, but on the contrary bacteria are automatons and all their decisions throughout the course of history have been preprogrammed in the form of “onboard instructions”. (Please note: if single-celled organisms are indeed autonomous and intelligent, it is perfectly logical to assume that when cells combine, they combine their intelligences.)

DAVID: There must be 10-15 ID scientists who use this approach that I have read. If you did a little real ID reading/studying you might finally recognize the positions I come from. I think you have never researched ID on your own. How complete are your own studies?

Yet again: The argument does not revolve around the “need for a designer”, the logic of which I accept, but around the way in which evolution works. Nobody’s studies are complete, and of course I rely on others to provide me with information about theories and evidence. Please do not pretend that your arguments are valid and mine are invalid just because I haven’t read all the books you have read. That is as silly as pretending that my agnosticism disqualifies me from speculating about the nature, motives and methods of a God. Please respond to the arguments themselves. See our next exchange.

DAVID: Multicellular organisms have very specialized cells and only some are programmed to respond to new stimuli and circumstances. We still don't know if those animals know how to speciate on their own, or if they have some special cells with that ability. Shapiro touches none of that, nor does he extrapolate as you do.

Of course he extrapolates, and he concludes that the cells of which all animals are composed are responsible for “evolutionary innovation”. Not knowing which special cells are responsible does not invalidate the theory! But it is a theory, and we don’t know if the theory is correct.

DAVID: All his book does is tout his discoveries which should be touted as great additions to our knowledge. He is a great scientist as my quoting him shows. It is obvious you have no idea of my thought patterns as I relate to the presence of God.

And this great scientist has proposed a theory of “natural genetic engineering” based on his findings and those of others. Please do not pretend that this theory involves anything other than cellular intelligence as the designer of “evolutionary novelty”, i.e. speciation. I am all too aware of your thought patterns, and have reproduced them umpteen times. I will continue this part of the discussion on the thread that deals directly with your theory.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, December 23, 2019, 15:54 (32 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My theory of evolution is that God ran it based on ID theory. Adler makes no point about that, but that our existence proves God. You accept dibs and dabs of ID and Adler

dhw: Yes I do, and I keep repeating that the issue under discussion is NOT the existence of God, but how evolution works. In our last exchange, you wrote: “You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you.” I then reproduced all your own quotes from Shapiro to show that this is precisely what he proposes. I hope you will withdraw your remark.

The argument over evolution is the necessity for a designer on my part and your every other thing possible on your side, although you avoid chance. Considering the biological complexity I think design is logical.


DAVID: What you seem not to see is bacteria are live-on-their-own organisms. Of course their reactions look and seem intelligent. They were originally created by God with all of the Shapiro-discovered attributes in order to survive on their own.

dhw: Thank you. The attributes Shapiro describes are those of autonomous intelligence, and I have no objections to the suggestion that there may be a God who designed them. My objection is to the contradiction that follows:

DAVID: This is why the ID folks celebrate Shapiro's findings. They and I see Shapiro as supporting the need for a designer. These are onboard instructions in single cells from the designer.

dhw: Yes to the designer theory. However, it is YOUR theory that the attributes of cognition etc. are not signs of autonomous intelligence, but on the contrary bacteria are automatons and all their decisions throughout the course of history have been preprogrammed in the form of “onboard instructions”. (Please note: if single-celled organisms are indeed autonomous and intelligent, it is perfectly logical to assume that when cells combine, they combine their intelligences.)

Once again the so-called cell intelligence is an assumption from studies which watch out side the cell. The only evidence for cells combining to create intelligence is neurons in a brain.


DAVID: There must be 10-15 ID scientists who use this approach that I have read. If you did a little real ID reading/studying you might finally recognize the positions I come from. I think you have never researched ID on your own. How complete are your own studies?

Yet again: The argument does not revolve around the “need for a designer”, the logic of which I accept, but around the way in which evolution works.

But that is exactly the point. You accept the logic and then kick it out. I and ID demand logically that designer is the way it works. You want cell committees to do the job. I've pointed out that most multicellular cells have specifically programmed duties. Only stem or germ cells could possibly do your bidding by using Shapiro's DNA altering ability. But the gaps in the fossil record require large changes so we are back to cells creating complex designs. Evolution works because a designer does the job.

DAVID: All his book does is tout his discoveries which should be touted as great additions to our knowledge. He is a great scientist as my quoting him shows. It is obvious you have no idea of my thought patterns as I relate to the presence of God.

dhw: And this great scientist has proposed a theory of “natural genetic engineering” based on his findings and those of others. Please do not pretend that this theory involves anything other than cellular intelligence as the designer of “evolutionary novelty”, i.e. speciation. I am all too aware of your thought patterns, and have reproduced them umpteen times. I will continue this part of the discussion on the thread that deals directly with your theory.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 11:11 (31 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My theory of evolution is that God ran it based on ID theory. Adler makes no point about that, but that our existence proves God. You accept dibs and dabs of ID and Adler

dhw: Yes I do, and I keep repeating that the issue under discussion is NOT the existence of God, but how evolution works. In our last exchange, you wrote: “You are the one stretching cellular logical responses to stimuli and requirements onto the ability to create new species. Shapiro and the others do not say that to support you.” I then reproduced all your own quotes from Shapiro to show that this is precisely what he proposes. I hope you will withdraw your remark.

DAVID: The argument over evolution is the necessity for a designer on my part and your every other thing possible on your side, although you avoid chance. Considering the biological complexity I think design is logical.

Firstly, you keep telling me that Shapiro’s theory does not support mine, and I keep reminding you of the quotes that show the theories are the same. That was the point of the comment above, which you have rather ungraciously ignored. Secondly, you know perfectly well that I accept the design argument, allow for your God as designer, but am focusing on the way evolution works, whether there is a God or not.

DAVID: What you seem not to see is bacteria are live-on-their-own organisms. Of course their reactions look and seem intelligent. They were originally created by God with all of the Shapiro-discovered attributes in order to survive on their own.

dhw: Thank you. The attributes Shapiro describes are those of autonomous intelligence, and I have no objections to the suggestion that there may be a God who designed them. My objection is to the contradiction that follows:

DAVID: This is why the ID folks celebrate Shapiro's findings. They and I see Shapiro as supporting the need for a designer. These are onboard instructions in single cells from the designer.[/b]

dhw: Yes to the designer theory. However, it is YOUR theory that the attributes of cognition etc. are not signs of autonomous intelligence, but on the contrary bacteria are automatons and all their decisions throughout the course of history have been preprogrammed in the form of “onboard instructions”. (Please note: if single-celled organisms are indeed autonomous and intelligent, it is perfectly logical to assume that when cells combine, they combine their intelligences.)

DAVID: Once again the so-called cell intelligence is an assumption from studies which watch out side the cell. The only evidence for cells combining to create intelligence is neurons in a brain.

That is not a bad starting point for the argument that there is such a thing as cellular intelligence. Bacterial intelligence is another useful starting point for the argument that if single cell organisms are autonomously intelligent (as opposed to your God having planted “onboard instructions” in the very first cells for all undabbled bacterial decisions for the rest of time), then single cells that combine their intelligences may also be intelligent. Another useful starting point for the theory is the fact that despite your constant insistence that bacteria were indeed preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago for all their decisions, you admit that you have a 50/50 chance of being wrong.

dhw: Yet again: The argument does not revolve around the “need for a designer”, the logic of which I accept, but around the way in which evolution works.

DAVID: But that is exactly the point. You accept the logic and then kick it out. I and ID demand logically that designer is the way it works. You want cell committees to do the job. I've pointed out that most multicellular cells have specifically programmed duties. Only stem or germ cells could possibly do your bidding by using Shapiro's DNA altering ability. But the gaps in the fossil record require large changes so we are back to cells creating complex designs. Evolution works because a designer does the job.

I do not “want” anything, and I have emphatically not kicked out the logic of design! The theory is based on the belief of many scientists that cells are intelligent. Whether they are stem cells or germ cells is immaterial to the argument, and yes of course we are “back to cells creating complex designs” – that is the whole point of the theory. And the theory allows for your God to be the designer of the intelligent cell!

Thank you for the articles on “magic embryology” and “immunity complexity”. I agree that these mechanisms could not have arisen by chance and may be taken as evidence of design. We needn’t repeat the options concerning how the designing might have been done!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 15:36 (31 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The argument over evolution is the necessity for a designer on my part and your every other thing possible on your side, although you avoid chance. Considering the biological complexity I think design is logical.

dhw: Firstly, you keep telling me that Shapiro’s theory does not support mine, and I keep reminding you of the quotes that show the theories are the same. That was the point of the comment above, which you have rather ungraciously ignored. Secondly, you know perfectly well that I accept the design argument, allow for your God as designer, but am focusing on the way evolution works, whether there is a God or not.

We can both agree the study of evolution is fascinating. Shapiro's theories extrapolated from bacterial study are simply suggestive theories. He has no more idea how speciation occurs than we do. You wish for organisms doing self-design for the next step instead of a designer doing it. Perfect definition of an agnostic who refuses to accept the logic of the need for a designer, who therefore must exist.


DAVID: This is why the ID folks celebrate Shapiro's findings. They and I see Shapiro as supporting the need for a designer. These are onboard instructions in single cells from the designer.[/b]

dhw: Yes to the designer theory. However, it is YOUR theory that the attributes of cognition etc. are not signs of autonomous intelligence, but on the contrary bacteria are automatons and all their decisions throughout the course of history have been preprogrammed in the form of “onboard instructions”. (Please note: if single-celled organisms are indeed autonomous and intelligent, it is perfectly logical to assume that when cells combine, they combine their intelligences.)

DAVID: Once again the so-called cell intelligence is an assumption from studies which watch out side the cell. The only evidence for cells combining to create intelligence is neurons in a brain.

dhw: That is not a bad starting point for the argument that there is such a thing as cellular intelligence. Bacterial intelligence is another useful starting point for the argument that if single cell organisms are autonomously intelligent (as opposed to your God having planted “onboard instructions” in the very first cells for all undabbled bacterial decisions for the rest of time), then single cells that combine their intelligences may also be intelligent. Another useful starting point for the theory is the fact that despite your constant insistence that bacteria were indeed preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago for all their decisions, you admit that you have a 50/50 chance of being wrong.

The 50/50 is why we continue to debate. I have my side and you have yours. We will not agree.


dhw: Yet again: The argument does not revolve around the “need for a designer”, the logic of which I accept, but around the way in which evolution works.

DAVID: But that is exactly the point. You accept the logic and then kick it out. I and ID demand logically that designer is the way it works. You want cell committees to do the job. I've pointed out that most multicellular cells have specifically programmed duties. Only stem or germ cells could possibly do your bidding by using Shapiro's DNA altering ability. But the gaps in the fossil record require large changes so we are back to cells creating complex designs. Evolution works because a designer does the job.

dhw: I do not “want” anything, and I have emphatically not kicked out the logic of design! The theory is based on the belief of many scientists that cells are intelligent. Whether they are stem cells or germ cells is immaterial to the argument, and yes of course we are “back to cells creating complex designs” – that is the whole point of the theory. And the theory allows for your God to be the designer of the intelligent cell!

Thank you for the articles on “magic embryology” and “immunity complexity”. I agree that these mechanisms could not have arisen by chance and may be taken as evidence of design. We needn’t repeat the options concerning how the designing might have been done!

Thank you and truce. And my theory accepts God who designed a cell to act automatically intelligently.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, December 26, 2019, 08:12 (30 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The argument over evolution is the necessity for a designer on my part and your every other thing possible on your side, although you avoid chance. Considering the biological complexity I think design is logical.

dhw: Firstly, you keep telling me that Shapiro’s theory does not support mine, and I keep reminding you of the quotes that show the theories are the same. That was the point of the comment above, which you have rather ungraciously ignored. Secondly, you know perfectly well that I accept the design argument, allow for your God as designer, but am focusing on the way evolution works, whether there is a God or not.

DAVID: We can both agree the study of evolution is fascinating. Shapiro's theories extrapolated from bacterial study are simply suggestive theories. He has no more idea how speciation occurs than we do.

I keep agreeing that it is a theory (what is the difference between a theory and a suggestive theory?), just like your theory that there is a God and that your God designed the universe and every life form for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. So…firstly back to my original complaint: please acknowledge that Shapiro’s theory and mine are the same.

DAVID: You wish for organisms doing self-design for the next step instead of a designer doing it. Perfect definition of an agnostic who refuses to accept the logic of the need for a designer, who therefore must exist.

And secondly, I do not “wish” for anything. I find Shapiro’s theory very plausible, and you know as well as I do that it leaves open the possibility that there is a designer who designed the intelligent cell. The dispute here is over the logic of your personal interpretation of your God’s intentions and methods, not over the logic of his existence.

DAVID: Once again the so-called cell intelligence is an assumption from studies which watch out side the cell. The only evidence for cells combining to create intelligence is neurons in a brain.

dhw: That is not a bad starting point for the argument that there is such a thing as cellular intelligence. Bacterial intelligence is another useful starting point for the argument that if single cell organisms are autonomously intelligent (as opposed to your God having planted “onboard instructions” in the very first cells for all undabbled bacterial decisions for the rest of time), then single cells that combine their intelligences may also be intelligent. Another useful starting point for the theory is the fact that despite your constant insistence that bacteria were indeed preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago for all their decisions, you admit that you have a 50/50 chance of being wrong.

DAVID: The 50/50 is why we continue to debate. I have my side and you have yours. We will not agree.

True, but at least there are lots of useful, logical starting-points for Shapiro’s theory of evolution, whereas your own “suggestive theory” of evolution (NOT your theory of design) requires the abandonment of all human logic.

dhw: Thank you for the articles on “magic embryology” and “immunity complexity”. I agree that these mechanisms could not have arisen by chance and may be taken as evidence of design. We needn’t repeat the options concerning how the designing might have been done!

DAVID: Thank you and truce. And my theory accepts God who designed a cell to act automatically intelligently.

Let’s not equivocate: Your theory suggests a God who preprogrammed automatons with all the answers to all the problems they would meet for the rest of time, plus all the innovations that would lead to every single undabbled species, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder. Mine suggests that autonomously intelligent cells (possibly designed by your God) worked out the answers and designed all the innovations themselves.

Under “Biological complexity”:
QUOTE: In humans, the 20 members of the Rho family are scattered on the inner surface of cell membranes and act like small switches. When a signal from outside or inside the cell activates them, they stimulate other proteins to force the cytoskeleton to add or remove parts to its framework.

DAVID: The cells' genome contain information/instructions to initiate these automatic protein molecules to react with each other producing cellular skeletons. No thought involved.

The basic process underlying all intelligent activity is a decision followed by automatic reactions as the rest of the “body” or, in this case, the rest of the cells implement the decision. The human equivalent here would be you telling us that because the legs automatically obey the instruction from the brain to run, there is no thought involved. I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 26, 2019, 16:03 (29 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We can both agree the study of evolution is fascinating. Shapiro's theories extrapolated from bacterial study are simply suggestive theories. He has no more idea how speciation occurs than we do.

dhw: I keep agreeing that it is a theory (what is the difference between a theory and a suggestive theory?), just like your theory that there is a God and that your God designed the universe and every life form for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. So…firstly back to my original complaint: please acknowledge that Shapiro’s theory and mine are the same.

I've reread Shapiro pg 142-148. Your theories are basically the same as his, but I still don't accept it, with God in control. His quote: "this supposition requires rigorous testing." We will both agree. My comments about extrapolation from bacteria still fits. Shapiro recognizes the huge gaps in evolution.


DAVID: You wish for organisms doing self-design for the next step instead of a designer doing it. Perfect definition of an agnostic who refuses to accept the logic of the need for a designer, who therefore must exist.

dhw: And secondly, I do not “wish” for anything. I find Shapiro’s theory very plausible, and you know as well as I do that it leaves open the possibility that there is a designer who designed the intelligent cell. The dispute here is over the logic of your personal interpretation of your God’s intentions and methods, not over the logic of his existence.

DAVID: The 50/50 is why we continue to debate. I have my side and you have yours. We will not agree.

dhw: True, but at least there are lots of useful, logical starting-points for Shapiro’s theory of evolution, whereas your own “suggestive theory” of evolution (NOT your theory of design) requires the abandonment of all human logic.

Adler and I have used human logic to recognize God after finding evidence beyond a reason abler doubt. It is your form of logic that cannot reach that point.


dhw: Thank you for the articles on “magic embryology” and “immunity complexity”. I agree that these mechanisms could not have arisen by chance and may be taken as evidence of design. We needn’t repeat the options concerning how the designing might have been done!

DAVID: Thank you and truce. And my theory accepts God who designed a cell to act automatically intelligently.

dhw: Let’s not equivocate: Your theory suggests a God who preprogrammed automatons with all the answers to all the problems they would meet for the rest of time, plus all the innovations that would lead to every single undabbled species, econiche, lifestyle and natural wonder. Mine suggests that autonomously intelligent cells (possibly designed by your God) worked out the answers and designed all the innovations themselves.

Under “Biological complexity”:
QUOTE: In humans, the 20 members of the Rho family are scattered on the inner surface of cell membranes and act like small switches. When a signal from outside or inside the cell activates them, they stimulate other proteins to force the cytoskeleton to add or remove parts to its framework.

DAVID: The cells' genome contain information/instructions to initiate these automatic protein molecules to react with each other producing cellular skeletons. No thought involved.

dhw: The basic process underlying all intelligent activity is a decision followed by automatic reactions as the rest of the “body” or, in this case, the rest of the cells implement the decision. The human equivalent here would be you telling us that because the legs automatically obey the instruction from the brain to run, there is no thought involved. I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

Yes, I do.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, December 27, 2019, 12:37 (28 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We can both agree the study of evolution is fascinating. Shapiro's theories extrapolated from bacterial study are simply suggestive theories. He has no more idea how speciation occurs than we do.

dhw: I keep agreeing that it is a theory (what is the difference between a theory and a suggestive theory?), just like your theory that there is a God and that your God designed the universe and every life form for the sole purpose of producing H. sapiens. So…firstly back to my original complaint: please acknowledge that Shapiro’s theory and mine are the same.

DAVID: I've reread Shapiro pg 142-148. Your theories are basically the same as his, but I still don't accept it, with God in control. His quote: "this supposition requires rigorous testing." We will both agree. My comments about extrapolation from bacteria still fits. Shapiro recognizes the huge gaps in evolution.

I know you don’t accept it, you now know his theory and mine are the same, and I keep telling you it’s a theory, which of course means that it needs rigorous testing. Yes, the extrapolation still fits, but you have already confirmed that he has drawn on the research of other scientists to reach his conclusions. I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

DAVID: The 50/50 is why we continue to debate. I have my side and you have yours. We will not agree.

dhw: True, but at least there are lots of useful, logical starting-points for Shapiro’s theory of evolution, whereas your own “suggestive theory” of evolution (NOT your theory of design) requires the abandonment of all human logic.

DAVID: Adler and I have used human logic to recognize God after finding evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It is your form of logic that cannot reach that point.

I keep agreeing that the case for God’s existence (the designer) is perfectly logical! It is the COMBINATION of your beliefs that is not.

DAVID: The cells' genome contain information/instructions to initiate these automatic protein molecules to react with each other producing cellular skeletons. No thought involved.

dhw: […] I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

DAVID: Yes, I do.

Thank you. I appreciate your honesty, and would ask you please also to reflect on the thought processes that have to precede every decision whenever there are different possible actions, e.g. when new problems are to be solved.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, December 27, 2019, 15:35 (28 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I've reread Shapiro pg 142-148. Your theories are basically the same as his, but I still don't accept it, with God in control. His quote: "this supposition requires rigorous testing." We will both agree. My comments about extrapolation from bacteria still fits. Shapiro recognizes the huge gaps in evolution.

dhw: I know you don’t accept it, you now know his theory and mine are the same, and I keep telling you it’s a theory, which of course means that it needs rigorous testing. Yes, the extrapolation still fits, but you have already confirmed that he has drawn on the research of other scientists to reach his conclusions. I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

The point is absolutely established by your 'that intelligence can bridge gaps'. That is the design argument and my side believes intelligence is supplied and that intelligence cannot appear naturally in cells.


DAVID: The 50/50 is why we continue to debate. I have my side and you have yours. We will not agree.

dhw: True, but at least there are lots of useful, logical starting-points for Shapiro’s theory of evolution, whereas your own “suggestive theory” of evolution (NOT your theory of design) requires the abandonment of all human logic.

DAVID: Adler and I have used human logic to recognize God after finding evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It is your form of logic that cannot reach that point.

dhw: I keep agreeing that the case for God’s existence (the designer) is perfectly logical! It is the COMBINATION of your beliefs that is not.

I'm sorry for your illogical thinking.


DAVID: The cells' genome contain information/instructions to initiate these automatic protein molecules to react with each other producing cellular skeletons. No thought involved.

dhw: […] I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

DAVID: Yes, I do.

dhw: Thank you. I appreciate your honesty, and would ask you please also to reflect on the thought processes that have to precede every decision whenever there are different possible actions, e.g. when new problems are to be solved.

Back to my comment above. Cells don't think. They just look like it. Intelligence cannot appear out of nothing. A baby's brain has no intelligence at birth, but has the variable capacity to learn it. .

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, December 28, 2019, 11:03 (27 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his [Shapiro’s]/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

DAVID: The point is absolutely established by your 'that intelligence can bridge gaps'. That is the design argument and my side believes intelligence is supplied and that intelligence cannot appear naturally in cells.

I know what you believe and don’t believe, but that does not alter the logic of Shapiro’s/my theory: IF cells are intelligent, the gaps will be bridged far more quickly than by chance. It’s exactly the same logic as: IF God exists and preprogrammed every undabbled change 3.8 billion years ago, the gaps will be bridged etc. (NB that does not mean the rest of your theory concerning your God’s purpose and method is logical.)

DAVID: Adler and I have used human logic to recognize God after finding evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. It is your form of logic that cannot reach that point.

dhw: I keep agreeing that the case for God’s existence (the designer) is perfectly logical! It is the COMBINATION of your beliefs that is not.

DAVID: I'm sorry for your illogical thinking.

What illogical thinking? I have accepted the logic of the design theory, and you have accepted the logic of my alternatives to your own illogical combination of beliefs (all-knowing God, one purpose, inexplicably decides not to fulfil purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore has to design billions of non-human life forms, econiches etc. to keep life going).

dhw: […] I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

DAVID: Yes, I do.

dhw: Thank you. I appreciate your honesty, and would ask you please also to reflect on the thought processes that have to precede every decision whenever there are different possible actions, e.g. when new problems are to be solved.

DAVID: Back to my comment above. Cells don't think. They just look like it. Intelligence cannot appear out of nothing. A baby's brain has no intelligence at birth, but has the variable capacity to learn it.

You admit to picking on automatic reactions instead of the thought processes that must precede decisions, but then you revert to your fixed belief that cells only look as if they think, whereas in fact all their undabbled decisions were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago. And this, you say, is a 50/50 guess. I agree that intelligence cannot appear out of nothing. That is why we have various theories about how intelligence might have appeared – including the God theory that it never appeared at all but has simply always been there.

Thank you for the three entries under “biological complexity”. These are all valuable contributions to the design theory, which makes it so difficult for anyone with an open mind to accept the chance theory.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 28, 2019, 18:10 (27 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his [Shapiro’s]/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

DAVID: The point is absolutely established by your 'that intelligence can bridge gaps'. That is the design argument and my side believes intelligence is supplied and that intelligence cannot appear naturally in cells.

d hw: I know what you believe and don’t believe, but that does not alter the logic of Shapiro’s/my theory: IF cells are intelligent, the gaps will be bridged far more quickly than by chance. It’s exactly the same logic as: IF God exists and preprogrammed every undabbled change 3.8 billion years ago, the gaps will be bridged etc. (NB that does not mean the rest of your theory concerning your God’s purpose and method is logical.)

Your theory with Shapiro is logical but does the capability really exist? Only bacteria know and they are not talking. You do not understand the concept of God as I do. Our concepts totally differ.


DAVID: I'm sorry for your illogical thinking.

dhw: What illogical thinking? I have accepted the logic of the design theory, and you have accepted the logic of my alternatives to your own illogical combination of beliefs (all-knowing God, one purpose, inexplicably decides not to fulfil purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore has to design billions of non-human life forms, econiches etc. to keep life going).

Same diffuse thinking. You want a God to instantly produce what He wishes. He has the right to do things differently: logically as He is in charge then history tells us what He did and in what order.


dhw: […] I know you do not accept the theory that cells have the equivalent of a brain, but my point is that you always pick on the automatic actions as if they proved there was no thought directing them.

DAVID: Yes, I do.

dhw: Thank you. I appreciate your honesty, and would ask you please also to reflect on the thought processes that have to precede every decision whenever there are different possible actions, e.g. when new problems are to be solved.

DAVID: Back to my comment above. Cells don't think. They just look like it. Intelligence cannot appear out of nothing. A baby's brain has no intelligence at birth, but has the variable capacity to learn it.

dhw: You admit to picking on automatic reactions instead of the thought processes that must precede decisions, but then you revert to your fixed belief that cells only look as if they think, whereas in fact all their undabbled decisions were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago. And this, you say, is a 50/50 guess. I agree that intelligence cannot appear out of nothing. That is why we have various theories about how intelligence might have appeared – including the God theory that it never appeared at all but has simply always been there.

Good summary of our differences.


dhw: Thank you for the three entries under “biological complexity”. These are all valuable contributions to the design theory, which makes it so difficult for anyone with an open mind to accept the chance theory.

Keep it open. From my viewpoint the odds for God are 99/1

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, December 29, 2019, 10:45 (26 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his [Shapiro’s]/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

DAVID: The point is absolutely established by your 'that intelligence can bridge gaps'. That is the design argument and my side believes intelligence is supplied and that intelligence cannot appear naturally in cells.

dhw: I know what you believe and don’t believe, but that does not alter the logic of Shapiro’s/my theory: IF cells are intelligent, the gaps will be bridged far more quickly than by chance. It’s exactly the same logic as: IF God exists and preprogrammed every undabbled change 3.8 billion years ago, the gaps will be bridged etc. (NB that does not mean the rest of your theory concerning your God’s purpose and method is logical.)

DAVID: Your theory with Shapiro is logical but does the capability really exist? Only bacteria know and they are not talking. You do not understand the concept of God as I do. Our concepts totally differ.

Yet again, that is why it is a theory and not a fact, and we are discussing the logic of the different theories (or concepts). Thank you again for accepting that this one is logical. It is indeed totally different from your own theory, the illogicality of which you have sometimes recognized and sometimes denied. (See “David’s theory of evolution Part Two”.)

DAVID: I'm sorry for your illogical thinking.

dhw: What illogical thinking? I have accepted the logic of the design theory, and you have accepted the logic of my alternatives to your own illogical combination of beliefs (all-knowing God, one purpose, inexplicably decides not to fulfil purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore has to design billions of non-human life forms, econiches etc. to keep life going).

DAVID: Same diffuse thinking. You want a God to instantly produce what He wishes. He has the right to do things differently: logically as He is in charge then history tells us what He did and in what order.

Same old mantra, and here is the same old reply: It is not the history or his right to do what he wishes that are in dispute, but your interpretation of his wishes and how he has set about fulfilling them. I do not “want” anything except perhaps an end to your repeated claims that the above combination is logical even though you can’t explain the logic, and that any logical explanation of his wishes and method is to be rejected because it “humanizes” God, even though God “very well could think like us”. (See "David’s theory of evolution Part Two".)

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 29, 2019, 15:43 (26 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I doubt if many people have failed to recognize the gaps, but that does not invalidate his [Shapiro’s]/my theory since intelligence can bridge gaps far more quickly than chance.

DAVID: The point is absolutely established by your 'that intelligence can bridge gaps'. That is the design argument and my side believes intelligence is supplied and that intelligence cannot appear naturally in cells.

dhw: I know what you believe and don’t believe, but that does not alter the logic of Shapiro’s/my theory: IF cells are intelligent, the gaps will be bridged far more quickly than by chance. It’s exactly the same logic as: IF God exists and preprogrammed every undabbled change 3.8 billion years ago, the gaps will be bridged etc. (NB that does not mean the rest of your theory concerning your God’s purpose and method is logical.)

DAVID: Your theory with Shapiro is logical but does the capability really exist? Only bacteria know and they are not talking. You do not understand the concept of God as I do. Our concepts totally differ.

dhw:Yet again, that is why it is a theory and not a fact, and we are discussing the logic of the different theories (or concepts). Thank you again for accepting that this one is logical. It is indeed totally different from your own theory, the illogicality of which you have sometimes recognized and sometimes denied. (See “David’s theory of evolution Part Two”.)

DAVID: I'm sorry for your illogical thinking.

dhw: What illogical thinking? I have accepted the logic of the design theory, and you have accepted the logic of my alternatives to your own illogical combination of beliefs (all-knowing God, one purpose, inexplicably decides not to fulfil purpose for 3.X billion years and therefore has to design billions of non-human life forms, econiches etc. to keep life going).

DAVID: Same diffuse thinking. You want a God to instantly produce what He wishes. He has the right to do things differently: logically as He is in charge then history tells us what He did and in what order.

dhw: Same old mantra, and here is the same old reply: It is not the history or his right to do what he wishes that are in dispute, but your interpretation of his wishes and how he has set about fulfilling them. I do not “want” anything except perhaps an end to your repeated claims that the above combination is logical even though you can’t explain the logic, and that any logical explanation of his wishes and method is to be rejected because it “humanizes” God, even though God “very well could think like us”. (See "David’s theory of evolution Part Two".)

No one is watching, and our positions are in stone.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 11:45 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

Taken from the “grizzly bear” thread:
dhw: Either the cells work out a solution, or the organism dies – hence the long, long history of changing life forms. So much simpler and so much more logical than your theory. Ockham would rejoice. :-)

DAVID: Ockham as a priest would totally disagree with you, but your suggestion that doing without God is simpler than accepting him is an unreasonable denial of the need for very complex design as the bears demonstrate. This is why you cannot dismiss design arguments and sit on your fence.

You always accuse me of distorting your beliefs, though you can never pinpoint the distortion. The above is a complete distortion of my own theory. I have never suggested “doing without God”. I am an agnostic. And I have accepted the argument for evolutionary design. But I propose that the cells do the designing themselves, with your God as the possible designer of the cells and their intelligence. One mechanism for the whole of evolution. Though the mechanism itself, if the theory is true, is so complex that we have scarcely begun to understand it, nevertheless doesn't this give us a simple and logical explanation for the great bush? Compare it to your own theory, as below.

DAVID: Darwinists will say those [bears] that tried died but the smart ones stayed and slept. And skip over the very complex physiological design issue of no movement and no urine output as one set of examples of the problems to be overcome. Ockham would rejoice in the simple solution of God does it.

This is not a “simple solution”. It is a cop-out. How does God do it? According to your theory, 3.8 billion years ago he provided the first living cells with a programme for the evolution of bears plus their eventual winter hibernation (with no movement and no urine output), and for every other major adaptation, innovation, lifestyle, econiche, bacterial response to new problems, and natural wonder for the rest of time, apart from those he dabbled. All just to keep life going until the programme for his one and only goal, H. sapiens, switched itself on, or he began the roundabout process with lots of dabbles. Simple?

DAVID: As for smart cells, they can only make tiny adjustments , which is all we have demonstrated in the current science studies.

Once again, Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering” is a theory, and your own theory has not been “demonstrated” in current science studies either. So what does that prove?

DAVID: The gaps in the fossil record don't fit the theory, as Gould noted. What is also known is the North Pole was tropical with palm trees at in ancient time. Bears or their forebears could have moved as the climate changed, but some stayed and achieved the changes. I'll stick with God speciates, simple!

Gaps in the fossil record do not prove that your God exists, or that your God programmed or dabbled the whole of evolution, and your solution is anything but simple.

DAVID (under “Gunter Bechly”) : Upon close examination only gaps are present. Gradualism in the fossil record does not exist. The Cambrian explosion is the most famous gap, which Darwin, himself, despaired of. Gould desperately tried to solve the problem with an invention that is not correct, and as Bechly carefully notes in this very long article, which is worth fully reading, the inventive attempts are desperate and numerous. Note my bold. ID is not unreasonable about minor speciation events as Darwinists view them. Which means ID is worth reading and following, although it should be carefully noted they never name God as designer.

You and Bechly are simply repeating a problem which disappears if we accept the basic premise that cells/cell communities are intelligent. Major changes in the environment, local or global, may require or allow for major adaptations and/or innovations. The vast majority of species disappear because the mechanism can’t cope. (So much for your God’s designs.) But if the first cells contained a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which would result in the great bush of comings and goings that constitutes the history of life on Earth, you have a simple explanation of that history, and you can still have your God as the inventor of the mechanism. Does Bechly ever mention it?

Under: "Biological complexity: cell cytoplasm can self-organize"

The heading of this thread says it all. The autonomous ability of cells and cell communities to self-organize lies at the heart of my proposal and of Shapiro’s theory of "natural genetic engineering".

DAVID (under “coiling DNA in chromosomes”): Yet again we see protein molecules that act like they know what they are doing. They are controlled by the way they automatically fold and the way they are attracted by electrical charges, among other attributes. Protein molecules cannot think. And this is the key to understanding how cells work through automatically reacting molecules.

Yet again, the theory is not that every molecule has a brain equivalent, but that molecules are directed by thought. And once again, an analogy might be that when you decide to run, your legs automatically obey the instructions from your brain. I am not proposing that your legs have a brain. Yes, the molecules act as if something in the cell knows what it is doing. And maybe it does.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 18:44 (20 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Saturday, January 04, 2020, 19:02

dhw: You always accuse me of distorting your beliefs, though you can never pinpoint the distortion. The above is a complete distortion of my own theory. I have never suggested “doing without God”. I am an agnostic. And I have accepted the argument for evolutionary design. But I propose that the cells do the designing themselves, with your God as the possible designer of the cells and their intelligence. One mechanism for the whole of evolution. Though the mechanism itself, if the theory is true, is so complex that we have scarcely begun to understand it, nevertheless doesn't this give us a simple and logical explanation for the great bush?

We have long agreed that God might have given whole organisms the ability to make new species, our only disagreement in that I see God as very directly purposeful and allows invention within His guidelines.


DAVID: Darwinists will say those [bears] that tried died but the smart ones stayed and slept. And skip over the very complex physiological design issue of no movement and no urine output as one set of examples of the problems to be overcome. Ockham would rejoice in the simple solution of God does it.

dhw: This is not a “simple solution”. It is a cop-out. How does God do it?

Your distortions are always obvious. What you call my theories are self-admitted guesses as you well know. All I really stick with is God is on charge and does it but his unknown mechanisms.

DAVID: The gaps in the fossil record don't fit the theory, as Gould noted. What is also known is the North Pole was tropical with palm trees at in ancient time. Bears or their forebears could have moved as the climate changed, but some stayed and achieved the changes. I'll stick with God speciates, simple!

dhw: Gaps in the fossil record do not prove that your God exists, or that your God programmed or dabbled the whole of evolution, and your solution is anything but simple.

The gaps require design to be jumped by evolution


DAVID (under “Gunter Bechly”) : Upon close examination only gaps are present. Gradualism in the fossil record does not exist. The Cambrian explosion is the most famous gap, which Darwin, himself, despaired of. Gould desperately tried to solve the problem with an invention that is not correct, and as Bechly carefully notes in this very long article, which is worth fully reading, the inventive attempts are desperate and numerous. Note my bold. ID is not unreasonable about minor speciation events as Darwinists view them. Which means ID is worth reading and following, although it should be carefully noted they never name God as designer.

dhw: You and Bechly are simply repeating a problem which disappears if we accept the basic premise that cells/cell communities are intelligent. Major changes in the environment, local or global, may require or allow for major adaptations and/or innovations. The vast majority of species disappear because the mechanism can’t cope. (So much for your God’s designs.)

God plans for death as part of life's process. Cells are programmed to die (apoptosis) just as old animals move on to make room for the new.

dhw: But if the first cells contained a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which would result in the great bush of comings and goings that constitutes the history of life on Earth, you have a simple explanation of that history, and you can still have your God as the inventor of the mechanism. Does Bechly ever mention it?

He implies God as a promoter of ID. I think he would kindly smile at your theory,


DAVID (under “coiling DNA in chromosomes”): Yet again we see protein molecules that act like they know what they are doing. They are controlled by the way they automatically fold and the way they are attracted by electrical charges, among other attributes. Protein molecules cannot think. And this is the key to understanding how cells work through automatically reacting molecules.

dhw: Yet again, the theory is not that every molecule has a brain equivalent, but that molecules are directed by thought. And once again, an analogy might be that when you decide to run, your legs automatically obey the instructions from your brain. I am not proposing that your legs have a brain. Yes, the molecules act as if something in the cell knows what it is doing. And maybe it does.

Molecules are not attacked to brains, like legs in running. The cell simply follows designed information/instructions. See the new entry on information not by chance. Also note the entry two days ago on cytoplasm self-organizing obviously builtin.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 12:52 (19 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I propose that the cells do the designing themselves, with your God as the possible designer of the cells and their intelligence. One mechanism for the whole of evolution.

DAVID: We have long agreed that God might have given whole organisms the ability to make new species, our only disagreement in that I see God as very directly purposeful and allows invention within His guidelines.

If God exists, I also see him as very directly purposeful, but disagree with your idea of his purpose (solely to produce H. sapiens), and the only guidelines you have ever proposed are a 3.8-billion-year-old programme for every undabbled life form, econiche, strategy, lifestyle and natural wonder, whereas my idea (as unproven as your own) of “allowing invention” is the exact opposite: the autonomous ability of cell communities to do their own designing and inventing.

DAVID: Ockham would rejoice in the simple solution of God does it.

dhw: This is not a “simple solution”. It is a cop-out. How does God do it?

DAVID: Your distortions are always obvious. What you call my theories are self-admitted guesses as you well know. All I really stick with is God is on charge and does it but his unknown mechanisms.

If this were true, we would not be having these discussions. You stick with the above “guidelines” (preprogramming and/or dabbling), and with your fixed belief that all of these programmes and dabbles were designed to cover the time your God had inexplicably decided to take before fulfilling his one and only purpose of producing us.

dhw: Gaps in the fossil record do not prove that your God exists, or that your God programmed or dabbled the whole of evolution, and your solution is anything but simple.

DAVID: The gaps require design to be jumped by evolution.

The jumps are not a problem if we accept the theory of cellular intelligence. Human intelligence has produced astonishing jumps in technology. Think of the world as it was even fifty years ago compared to now. A sudden change in the environment will demand or allow a sudden change in organisms within that environment.

DAVID (under “Gunter Bechly”) : Upon close examination only gaps are present. Gradualism in the fossil record does not exist. The Cambrian explosion is the most famous gap […].

dhw: You and Bechly are simply repeating a problem which disappears if we accept the basic premise that cells/cell communities are intelligent. Major changes in the environment, local or global, may require or allow for major adaptations and/or innovations. The vast majority of species disappear because the mechanism can’t cope. (So much for your God’s designs.)

DAVID: God plans for death as part of life's process. Cells are programmed to die (apoptosis) just as old animals move on to make room for the new.

This takes us back to your problem of the extent to which your God plans every environmental change, local and global, that causes extinction or triggers adaptation and/or invention. In fact your own theory even has him specially preparing some organisms in advance of the environmental changes and therefore presumably passing the death sentence on those species that do not survive.

dhw: But if the first cells contained a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which would result in the great bush of comings and goings that constitutes the history of life on Earth, you have a simple explanation of that history, and you can still have your God as the inventor of the mechanism. Does Bechly ever mention it?

DAVID: He implies God as a promoter of ID. I think he would kindly smile at your theory,

I don’t have a problem with the argument that your God promotes ID. I object to your argument that he preprogrammed or dabbled everything listed above, and did so for the single purpose you attribute to him. If Bechly knows about Shapiro’s theory, then I would expect a reasoned response rather than a fatuous smile.

DAVID (under “coiling DNA in chromosomes”): Yet again we see protein molecules that act like they know what they are doing. […]

dhw: Yet again, the theory is not that every molecule has a brain equivalent, but that molecules are directed by thought. And once again, an analogy might be that when you decide to run, your legs automatically obey the instructions from your brain. I am not proposing that your legs have a brain. Yes, the molecules act as if something in the cell knows what it is doing. And maybe it does.

DAVID: Molecules are not attacked to brains, like legs in running. The cell simply follows designed information/instructions. See the new entry on information not by chance. Also note the entry two days ago on cytoplasm self-organizing obviously builtin.

I have dealt separately with the hackneyed theme of information, and I pointed out that self-organization lies at the heart of Shapiro’s theory and mine. This proposes that although cells do not have brains as such, they have the equivalent, and instead of following a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for everything they do, they use their brain equivalent to issue their own instructions.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 05, 2020, 19:38 (19 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Gaps in the fossil record do not prove that your God exists, or that your God programmed or dabbled the whole of evolution, and your solution is anything but simple.

DAVID: The gaps require design to be jumped by evolution.

dhw: The jumps are not a problem if we accept the theory of cellular intelligence. Human intelligence has produced astonishing jumps in technology. Think of the world as it was even fifty years ago compared to now. A sudden change in the environment will demand or allow a sudden change in organisms within that environment.

You cannot compare human intelligence with what we know about cell activity. Cells do not have human brains. Your theory is a giant stretch of credulity.


DAVID (under “Gunter Bechly”) : Upon close examination only gaps are present. Gradualism in the fossil record does not exist. The Cambrian explosion is the most famous gap […].

dhw: You and Bechly are simply repeating a problem which disappears if we accept the basic premise that cells/cell communities are intelligent. Major changes in the environment, local or global, may require or allow for major adaptations and/or innovations. The vast majority of species disappear because the mechanism can’t cope. (So much for your God’s designs.)

DAVID: God plans for death as part of life's process. Cells are programmed to die (apoptosis) just as old animals move on to make room for the new.

dhw: This takes us back to your problem of the extent to which your God plans every environmental change, local and global, that causes extinction or triggers adaptation and/or invention. In fact your own theory even has him specially preparing some organisms in advance of the environmental changes and therefore presumably passing the death sentence on those species that do not survive.

We know 99% of all species are gone, which allows complexity the room to advance.


dhw: But if the first cells contained a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which would result in the great bush of comings and goings that constitutes the history of life on Earth, you have a simple explanation of that history, and you can still have your God as the inventor of the mechanism. Does Bechly ever mention it?

DAVID: He implies God as a promoter of ID. I think he would kindly smile at your theory,

dhw: I don’t have a problem with the argument that your God promotes ID. I object to your argument that he preprogrammed or dabbled everything listed above, and did so for the single purpose you attribute to him. If Bechly knows about Shapiro’s theory, then I would expect a reasoned response rather than a fatuous smile.

I'm sure he know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.


DAVID (under “coiling DNA in chromosomes”): Yet again we see protein molecules that act like they know what they are doing. […]

dhw: Yet again, the theory is not that every molecule has a brain equivalent, but that molecules are directed by thought. And once again, an analogy might be that when you decide to run, your legs automatically obey the instructions from your brain. I am not proposing that your legs have a brain. Yes, the molecules act as if something in the cell knows what it is doing. And maybe it does.

DAVID: Molecules are not attacked to brains, like legs in running. The cell simply follows designed information/instructions. See the new entry on information not by chance. Also note the entry two days ago on cytoplasm self-organizing obviously builtin.

dhw: I have dealt separately with the hackneyed theme of information, and I pointed out that self-organization lies at the heart of Shapiro’s theory and mine. This proposes that although cells do not have brains as such, they have the equivalent, and instead of following a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for everything they do, they use their brain equivalent to issue their own instructions.

Your 'hackneyed theme' shows how much you do not accept the obvious concept of information. Embryology tells us that organisms can reproduce exact replicas. the only way is following the information that contains the formation instructions. Is the genome a multilayered code carrying information, or not?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, January 06, 2020, 10:43 (18 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The gaps require design to be jumped by evolution.

dhw: The jumps are not a problem if we accept the theory of cellular intelligence. Human intelligence has produced astonishing jumps in technology. Think of the world as it was even fifty years ago compared to now. A sudden change in the environment will demand or allow a sudden change in organisms within that environment.

DAVID: You cannot compare human intelligence with what we know about cell activity. Cells do not have human brains. Your theory is a giant stretch of credulity.

I am using human intelligence as an analogy to illustrate how intelligence can make jumps. Of course cells don’t have human brains, but that does not mean they are not intelligent. Remember your 50/50 odds?

DAVID: God plans for death as part of life's process. Cells are programmed to die (apoptosis) just as old animals move on to make room for the new.

dhw: This takes us back to your problem of the extent to which your God plans every environmental change, local and global, that causes extinction or triggers adaptation and/or invention. In fact your own theory even has him specially preparing some organisms in advance of the environmental changes and therefore presumably passing the death sentence on those species that do not survive.

DAVID: We know 99% of all species are gone, which allows complexity the room to advance.

So did your God plan/dabble every environmental change, local and global, and preprogramme/dabble which of his special designs would perish or survive each change during the 3.X billion years he had decided to spend not pursuing his one and only goal of producing H. sapiens?

dhw: I don’t have a problem with the argument that your God promotes ID. I object to your argument that he preprogrammed or dabbled everything listed above, and did so for the single purpose you attribute to him. If Bechly knows about Shapiro’s theory, then I would expect a reasoned response rather than a fatuous smile.

DAVID: I'm sure he know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.

Sorry, but what is FUBAR? And please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory. (Do you want me to repeat all the quotes?)

dhw: I have dealt separately with the hackneyed theme of information, and I pointed out that self-organization lies at the heart of Shapiro’s theory and mine. This proposes that although cells do not have brains as such, they have the equivalent, and instead of following a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for everything they do, they use their brain equivalent to issue their own instructions.

DAVID: Your 'hackneyed theme' shows how much you do not accept the obvious concept of information. Embryology tells us that organisms can reproduce exact replicas. the only way is following the information that contains the formation instructions. Is the genome a multilayered code carrying information, or not?

Of course I accept the obvious concept of information, and everything you can think of carries information! But it takes intelligence to translate information into instructions (i.e. to use information). You think the intelligence is God’s. It may have been at the beginning of life. But I suggest that the intelligence which runs evolution is that of the cells themselves, possibly designed by your God, and your God’s design would have included the ability not only to replicate but also to vary. Otherwise there would have been no evolution. “Information” explains nothing. The great question is what uses the information?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, January 06, 2020, 16:15 (18 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am using human intelligence as an analogy to illustrate how intelligence can make jumps. Of course cells don’t have human brains, but that does not mean they are not intelligent. Remember your 50/50 odds?

I do and so should you.


DAVID: We know 99% of all species are gone, which allows complexity the room to advance.

So did your God plan/dabble every environmental change, local and global, and preprogramme/dabble which of his special designs would perish or survive each change during the 3.X billion years he had decided to spend not pursuing his one and only goal of producing H. sapiens?

dhw: I don’t have a problem with the argument that your God promotes ID. I object to your argument that he preprogrammed or dabbled everything listed above, and did so for the single purpose you attribute to him. If Bechly knows about Shapiro’s theory, then I would expect a reasoned response rather than a fatuous smile.

DAVID: I'm sure he know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.

dhw: Sorry, but what is FUBAR? And please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory. (Do you want me to repeat all the quotes?)

Google FUBAR for full meaning. It is US troop slang in WWII for when things are wrong. Shapiro's theory relates to speciation mechanisms based on bacteria self-adjusting and editing their DNA. Multicellular cells change by following their DNA instructions. You have those cells adjust themselves on their own.


dhw: I have dealt separately with the hackneyed theme of information, and I pointed out that self-organization lies at the heart of Shapiro’s theory and mine. This proposes that although cells do not have brains as such, they have the equivalent, and instead of following a 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme for everything they do, they use their brain equivalent to issue their own instructions.

DAVID: Your 'hackneyed theme' shows how much you do not accept the obvious concept of information. Embryology tells us that organisms can reproduce exact replicas. the only way is following the information that contains the formation instructions. Is the genome a multilayered code carrying information, or not?

dhw: Of course I accept the obvious concept of information, and everything you can think of carries information! But it takes intelligence to translate information into instructions (i.e. to use information).

Basic misuse of the information concept. Information that is descriptive is not information that guides actions. Both types of information require interpretation by minds but in life by receptive mechanisms that respond automatically to the instructions

dhw: You think the intelligence is God’s. It may have been at the beginning of life. But I suggest that the intelligence which runs evolution is that of the cells themselves, possibly designed by your God, and your God’s design would have included the ability not only to replicate but also to vary. Otherwise there would have been no evolution. “Information” explains nothing. The great question is what uses the information?

Your very limited concept of information explains nothing. Information exists in many forms.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 11:04 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I'm sure he [Betchly] know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.

dhw: Sorry, but what is FUBAR? And please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory. (Do you want me to repeat all the quotes?)

DAVID: Google FUBAR for full meaning. It is US troop slang in WWII for when things are wrong. Shapiro's theory relates to speciation mechanisms based on bacteria self-adjusting and editing their DNA. Multicellular cells change by following their DNA instructions. You have those cells adjust themselves on their own.

You simply refuse to take any notice of what you yourself have quoted in "The Atheist Delusion". Here we go again:
SHAPIRO: Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities.
SHAPIRO: Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cells and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

Cognitive entities which create evolutionary novelties by modifying themselves are cells which adjust themselves on their own. I have not stretched Shapiro. Yet another of your straw men.

dhw: Of course I accept the obvious concept of information, and everything you can think of carries information! But it takes intelligence to translate information into instructions (i.e. to use information).

DAVID: Basic misuse of the information concept. Information that is descriptive is not information that guides actions. Both types of information require interpretation by minds but in life by receptive mechanisms that respond automatically to the instructions.

Part of the muddle caused by this whole information discussion is the indiscriminate use of the word itself. Information as I define it is non-active facts and details which are present in all things. It takes intelligence to extrapolate and use these facts and details. Once more: Instructions can only be compiled by the intelligent user of information. Your claim that “in life” all organisms respond automatically to “the instructions” (presumably issued by your God) is an absurd generalization based on your rigid belief that only humans are able to invent anything. Even the poor old weaverbird has to have lessons in nest-building, as does every other organism that produces a “natural wonder”!

dhw: You think the intelligence is God’s. It may have been at the beginning of life. But I suggest that the intelligence which runs evolution is that of the cells themselves, possibly designed by your God, and your God’s design would have included the ability not only to replicate but also to vary. Otherwise there would have been no evolution. “Information” explains nothing. The great question is what uses the information?

DAVID: Your very limited concept of information explains nothing. Information exists in many forms.

Then in order to clarify your thoughts, perhaps you should distinguish between those many forms and their functions and range of influence. Meanwhile, I will continue to argue that information itself produces nothing, and so it is absurd to say that “information is the source of life”. You have now actually told us (on the “information” thread) that your God is “intelligent information”! So now information has a conscious mind! No wonder this whole concept causes such confusion. I think I prefer your earlier definition of him as pure conscious energy.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 18:21 (17 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I'm sure he [Betchly] know Shapiro's work as very valuable, but won't stretch it as you do, FUBAR.

dhw: Sorry, but what is FUBAR? And please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory. (Do you want me to repeat all the quotes?)

DAVID: Google FUBAR for full meaning. It is US troop slang in WWII for when things are wrong. Shapiro's theory relates to speciation mechanisms based on bacteria self-adjusting and editing their DNA. Multicellular cells change by following their DNA instructions. You have those cells adjust themselves on their own.

dhw: You simply refuse to take any notice of what you yourself have quoted in "The Atheist Delusion". Here we go again:
SHAPIRO: Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities.
SHAPIRO: Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cells and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

I fully accept the quotes as fully accurate. It is interpretation where we differ. I am using multicellular cells showing known processes. You are using Shapiro's bacterial studies and his theory as to how that might impinge on speciation of multicellular organisms to grant those cells abilities that are not proven or even theorized by many ID scientists. Look at Lynn Margulis comment on the book: "[Shapiro's] explains the processes that proceeded people by at least 3,000 million years...Shapiro's careful, authoritative narrative...is entirely scientific and should interest all of us who care about the evolution of the genetic system." Doesn't sound as if she applied it to current thoughts about speciation. His book appeared in 2011, and was probably written in 2009. It is now 2020 and with 20/20 vision it can be said it is a great contribution, but has not yet contributed to the solution of the question of how speciation happens. And you keep stretching.


dhw: Cognitive entities which create evolutionary novelties by modifying themselves are cells which adjust themselves on their own. I have not stretched Shapiro. Yet another of your straw men.

It is your stretch not mine, and the straw theory is your scarecrow. Shapiro extrapolated and you have swallowed it. There has been no advance from his fine work, because there are no followups to it, and perhaps there cannot be any. Time passes and proves value!


dhw: Of course I accept the obvious concept of information, and everything you can think of carries information! But it takes intelligence to translate information into instructions (i.e. to use information).

DAVID: Basic misuse of the information concept. Information that is descriptive is not information that guides actions. Both types of information require interpretation by minds but in life by receptive mechanisms that respond automatically to the instructions.

dhw: Part of the muddle caused by this whole information discussion is the indiscriminate use of the word itself. Information as I define it is non-active facts and details which are present in all things. It takes intelligence to extrapolate and use these facts and details. Once more: Instructions can only be compiled by the intelligent user of information.

A non-answer to my statement. Your statement is true, except the bold. The intelligent user reads and acts on the instructions it has or receives.


dhw: You think the intelligence is God’s. It may have been at the beginning of life. But I suggest that the intelligence which runs evolution is that of the cells themselves, possibly designed by your God, and your God’s design would have included the ability not only to replicate but also to vary. Otherwise there would have been no evolution. “Information” explains nothing. The great question is what uses the information?

DAVID: Your very limited concept of information explains nothing. Information exists in many forms.

dhw: Then in order to clarify your thoughts, perhaps you should distinguish between those many forms and their functions and range of influence. Meanwhile, I will continue to argue that information itself produces nothing, and so it is absurd to say that “information is the source of life”.

I agree with you, use of existing information is the source of life, but the information has to be supplied first!

dhw: You have now actually told us (on the “information” thread) that your God is “intelligent information”! So now information has a conscious mind! No wonder this whole concept causes such confusion. I think I prefer your earlier definition of him as pure conscious energy.

My God supplied/supplies "intelligent information" my shorthand for intelligently formed information.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view 2017

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 20:31 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

His most recent review article is from 2017 British Royal Society program:

http://extendedevolutionarysynthesis.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Shapiro-JA_Inter...

"Abstract: Many of the most important evolutionary variations that generated phenotypic adaptations and originated novel taxa resulted from complex cellular activities affecting genome content and expression. These activities included (i) the symbiogenetic cell merger that produced the mitochondrion-bearing ancestor of all extant eukaryotes, (ii) symbiogenetic cell mergers that produced chloroplast-bearing ancestors of photosynthetic eukaryotes, and (iii) interspecific hybridizations and genome doublings that generated new species and adaptive radiations of higher plants and animals. Adaptive variations also involved horizontal DNA transfers and natural genetic engineering by mobile DNA elements to rewire regulatory networks, such as those essential to viviparous reproduction in mammals. In the most highly evolved multicellular organisms, biological complexity scales with “non-coding” DNA content rather than with protein-coding capacity in the genome. Coincidentally, “noncoding” RNAs rich in repetitive mobile DNA sequences function as key regulators of complex adaptive phenotypes, such as stem cell pluripotency. The intersections of cell fusion activities, horizontal DNA transfers and natural genetic engineering of ReadWrite genomes provide a rich molecular and biological foundation for understanding how ecological disruptions can stimulate productive, often abrupt, evolutionary transformations.

***

"The preceding discussion illustrates how generic biological activities have regularly played decisive roles in major episodes of evolutionary innovation: • Horizontal DNA transfers in the origination of mesophilic archaeal taxa; • Recurring symbiogenetic cell fusions in the origination of the ancestral eukaryotic cell and the major clades of photosynthetic eukaryotes; • Interspecific hybridizations and changes in genome ploidy in speciation and adaptive radiations in yeast, plants and animals; • Amplification and relocalization of mobile DNA elements in formatting mammalian genomes for replication, viviparous reproduction, and lncRNA regulation of nervous and immune system functions. These examples show us that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth. That conclusion should not surprise us since extant organisms are descendants of multiple evolutionary episodes. Considering potential interactions between dynamic ecological conditions and the biological engines of cell and genome variation raises important questions about control and specificity in evolutionary innovation. The years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how cell fusions, genome doublings, and natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success."

Comment: Worth reading the whole article. Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book. Shapiro is reasonably circumspect. I will repeat: his book is a fabulous contribution as to how the genome has worked in producing evolution, without providing any answer as to how speciation occurs.

David's theory: Shapiro's outrage; Hunter's take

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 20:54 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

The Texas board of Education quotes Shapiro and he is outraged:

https://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2013/12/james-shapiro-cries-foul-i-was-outraged.html

"Shapiro explains that he was outraged by a “completely false statement” and that he was “the victim of skillful misquoting for an anti-science purpose.”

***

"Here is the statement that so outraged Shapiro:

THE CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE IS THAT NATURAL SELECTION ONLY PURIFIES BUT SOMETHING ELSE IS REQUIRED TO CREATE SIGNIFICANT VARIANTS TO BE SELECTED. The critical aspect is introduction of novelty. It is gradually being recognized that no mechanism for this has been firmly established. See "Evolution: A view from the 21st century," James A. Shapiro, Prof of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Chicago, (2011), page 144, "Selection operates as a selective but not a creative force."

"As you can see, Shapiro is cited to support the claim that natural selection appears to be inadequate to explain the evolution of novelty and that science is beginning to recognize that no mechanism for the introduction of novelty has been firmly established.

***

"Shapiro’s outrage is rather incredulous given that evolution’s failure to explain the origin of novelty is well known. Stephen J. Gould long ago admitted that macroevolution is an unsolved problem. Since then this sentiment has only increased. As one evolutionist recently agreed, “we know very little about how they [evolutionary innovations] originate.” Or as another paper explained, “Little information exists on the dynamics of processes that lead to functional biological novelties and the intermediate states of evolving forms.” Another evolutionist was a bit more frank: “The problem is that the source of novelty is so dammed elusive.”

"Shapiro’s work further confirms that natural selection is not the powerful creative force it has often been portrayed to be and that “something else” is required. Shapiro may think the answer lies in his natural genetic engineering toolkit, but neither he, nor anyone else, has shown this to be true.

"To make matters worse, the sentence that so outraged Shapiro is decidedly conservative. It states that “It is gradually being recognized that no mechanism for this has been firmly established.” That is absolutely uncontroversial, as there is no question that no mechanism has been “firmly” established.

***

"Professor Shapiro’s false outrage and hypocrisy are the rule rather than the exception."

Comment: Behe is not afraid to be different. Shapiro has challenged 'junk DNA' and has been castigated about it by Larry Moran. Shapiro is simply protecting his image within the evolutionary science group. He has produced nothing further. I know Shapiro much better than dhw thinks he does.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, January 08, 2020, 13:49 (16 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: … please tell me in what way I have “stretched” Shapiro’s theory.

DAVID: Multicellular cells change by following their DNA instructions. You have those cells adjust themselves on their own.

dhw: Here we go again:
SHAPIRO: Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities.
SHAPIRO: Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cells and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

DAVID: I fully accept the quotes as fully accurate. It is interpretation where we differ. I am using multicellular cells showing known processes. You are using Shapiro's bacterial studies and his theory as to how that might impinge on speciation of multicellular organisms to grant those cells abilities that are not proven or even theorized by many ID scientists.

That is his theory and mine. How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

DAVID: Look at Lynn Margulis comment on the book: "[Shapiro's] explains the processes that proceeded (sic?) people by at least 3,000 million years...Shapiro's careful, authoritative narrative...is entirely scientific and should interest all of us who care about the evolution of the genetic system." Doesn't sound as if she applied it to current thoughts about speciation.

His book offers us a theory of speciation! Margulis was a firm champion of cellular intelligence, and since Shapiro’s theory is that cellular intelligence drove evolutionary “novelty”, I would regard all the above as praise for his work. How does that mean I stretched his theory?

DAVID: His book appeared in 2011, and was probably written in 2009. It is now 2020 and with 20/20 vision it can be said it is a great contribution, but has not yet contributed to the solution of the question of how speciation happens. And you keep stretching.

There you go again with your unsubstantiated stretching. And there you go again, trying to discredit a theory of speciation because it has not been generally accepted as a "solution". Nor has yours. Nor has anyone’s.

DAVID: There has been no advance from his fine work, because there are no followups to it, and perhaps there cannot be any. Time passes and proves value!

Perhaps his work is so comprehensive that no more can be said until scientific research is able to prove or disprove his arguments (see the bolded quote below). 11 years is no big deal, but in any case time passes and scientists often realize that earlier ideas had more merit in them than was originally thought. You keep clutching at these straws as if they somehow disproved Shapiro’s theory. I prefer Margulis’s measured assessment.

From your other posts:
QUOTES: Many of the most important evolutionary variations that generated phenotypic adaptations and originated novel taxa resulted from complex cellular activities affecting genome content and expression.
The intersections of cell fusion activities, horizontal DNA transfers and natural genetic engineering of ReadWrite genomes provide a rich molecular and biological foundation for understanding how ecological disruptions can stimulate productive, often abrupt, evolutionary transformations.
These examples show us that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth. […] The years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how cell fusions, genome doublings, and natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success.

DAVID: Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book.

Margulis says in the quote that “it is entirely scientific”, the above quotes alone confirm that his theory attributes innovation to the cellular capacity for self-modification in response to ecological challenges, he believes that science will in future confirm the non-randomness of cellular activity, and he believes in cellular intelligence, as I have quoted over and over again. You keep providing evidence that his theory and mine are the same, and the only objection you have to its reasonableness is (a) your prejudice against a 50/50 chance, and b) like all theories, it is not proven.

QUOTE: "Shapiro’s work further confirms that natural selection is not the powerful creative force it has often been portrayed to be and that “something else” is required. Shapiro may think the answer lies in his natural genetic engineering toolkit, but neither he, nor anyone else, has shown this to be true."

We both agree that natural selection creates nothing. And yes, Shapiro thinks the solution to the problem of speciation is natural genetic engineering, as I have summarized it above, but nobody has yet provided proof of any theory, which is why it is a theory and not a fact. How many more times do you want this to be repeated?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 09, 2020, 00:47 (16 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I fully accept the quotes as fully accurate. It is interpretation where we differ. I am using multicellular cells showing known processes. You are using Shapiro's bacterial studies and his theory as to how that might impinge on speciation of multicellular organisms to grant those cells abilities that are not proven or even theorized by many ID scientists.

dhw: That is his theory and mine. How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

ID is no more untrue than yours and Shapiro's. It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.


DAVID: Look at Lynn Margulis comment on the book: "[Shapiro's] explains the processes that proceeded (sic?) people by at least 3,000 million years...Shapiro's careful, authoritative narrative...is entirely scientific and should interest all of us who care about the evolution of the genetic system." Doesn't sound as if she applied it to current thoughts about speciation.

dhw: His book offers us a theory of speciation! Margulis was a firm champion of cellular intelligence, and since Shapiro’s theory is that cellular intelligence drove evolutionary “novelty”, I would regard all the above as praise for his work. How does that mean I stretched his theory?

See above


DAVID: There has been no advance from his fine work, because there are no followups to it, and perhaps there cannot be any. Time passes and proves value!

dhw: Perhaps his work is so comprehensive that no more can be said until scientific research is able to prove or disprove his arguments (see the bolded quote below). 11 years is no big deal, but in any case time passes and scientists often realize that earlier ideas had more merit in them than was originally thought. You keep clutching at these straws as if they somehow disproved Shapiro’s theory. I prefer Margulis’s measured assessment.

I fully accept her measured response.


dhw: From your other posts:
QUOTES: Many of the most important evolutionary variations that generated phenotypic adaptations and originated novel taxa resulted from complex cellular activities affecting genome content and expression.
The intersections of cell fusion activities, horizontal DNA transfers and natural genetic engineering of ReadWrite genomes provide a rich molecular and biological foundation for understanding how ecological disruptions can stimulate productive, often abrupt, evolutionary transformations.
These examples show us that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth. […] The years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how cell fusions, genome doublings, and natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success.

DAVID: Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book.

dhw: Margulis says in the quote that “it is entirely scientific”, the above quotes alone confirm that his theory attributes innovation to the cellular capacity for self-modification in response to ecological challenges, he believes that science will in future confirm the non-randomness of cellular activity, and he believes in cellular intelligence, as I have quoted over and over again. You keep providing evidence that his theory and mine are the same, and the only objection you have to its reasonableness is (a) your prejudice against a 50/50 chance, and b) like all theories, it is not proven.

QUOTE: "Shapiro’s work further confirms that natural selection is not the powerful creative force it has often been portrayed to be and that “something else” is required. Shapiro may think the answer lies in his natural genetic engineering toolkit, but neither he, nor anyone else, has shown this to be true."

dhw: We both agree that natural selection creates nothing. And yes, Shapiro thinks the solution to the problem of speciation is natural genetic engineering, as I have summarized it above, but nobody has yet provided proof of any theory, which is why it is a theory and not a fact. How many more times do you want this to be repeated?

You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. Two different audiences with two different requirements for honest conclusions. His article is excellent! You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, January 09, 2020, 11:02 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I fully accept the quotes as fully accurate. It is interpretation where we differ. I am using multicellular cells showing known processes. You are using Shapiro's bacterial studies and his theory as to how that might impinge on speciation of multicellular organisms to grant those cells abilities that are not proven or even theorized by many ID scientists.

dhw: That is his theory and mine. How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

DAVID: ID is no more untrue than yours and Shapiro's.

Thank you. This makes your comment about ID scientists totally irrelevant.

DAVID: It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.

You call them committees, and I call them communities. Do you deny that multicellular organisms consist of different cell communities? Please answer. Shapiro explicitly states that it is the cognitive cells that combine to create evolutionary novelty. I do not see any distortion in my presentation of his theory. You now refer us to an article he wrote in 2017. I’ll only repeat one quote, for brevity’s sake:

These examples show that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth (dhw's bold)


DAVID: Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book.

dhw: Margulis says in the quote that “it is entirely scientific”, the above quotes alone confirm that his theory attributes innovation to the cellular capacity for self-modification in response to ecological challenges, he believes that science will in future confirm the non-randomness of cellular activity, and he believes in cellular intelligence, as I have quoted over and over again. You keep providing evidence that his theory and mine are the same, and the only objection you have to its reasonableness is (a) your prejudice against a 50/50 chance, and b) like all theories, it is not proven.

DAVID: You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. Two different audiences with two different requirements for honest conclusions. His article is excellent! You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.

And you have avoided commenting on all the above rebuttals concerning my presentation of Shapiro's theory. Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:
1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution
Yes, the article was directed at a different audience – it is highly technical and scientific. Please find me one sentence that contradicts the theory expounded in his book. If organisms, which are composed of cell communities, facilitate their own evolution, they facilitate their own evolution. They do not automatically obey divine instructions.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 09, 2020, 19:20 (15 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: That is his theory and mine. How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

DAVID: ID is no more untrue than yours and Shapiro's.

dhw: Thank you. This makes your comment about ID scientists totally irrelevant.

It makes both irrelevant in your sense of things. No one has the answer and Shapiro has not proved one any more than anyone else.


DAVID: It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.

dhw: You call them committees, and I call them communities. Do you deny that multicellular organisms consist of different cell communities? Please answer.

They consist of organized organs, no more than to produce different products, under strict rules.

dhw: Shapiro explicitly states that it is the cognitive cells that combine to create evolutionary novelty. I do not see any distortion in my presentation of his theory. You now refer us to an article he wrote in 2017. I’ll only repeat one quote, for brevity’s sake:

These examples show that core biological capacities for self-modification in response to ecological challenge have been integral to the history of life on earth (dhw's bold)


DAVID: Note the lack of the exuberant descriptions of how cognoscent individual cells are. A true scientific paper will not make those claims as in his book, or as in Margulis comment about his book.

dhw: Margulis says in the quote that “it is entirely scientific”, the above quotes alone confirm that his theory attributes innovation to the cellular capacity for self-modification in response to ecological challenges, he believes that science will in future confirm the non-randomness of cellular activity, and he believes in cellular intelligence, as I have quoted over and over again. You keep providing evidence that his theory and mine are the same, and the only objection you have to its reasonableness is (a) your prejudice against a 50/50 chance, and b) like all theories, it is not proven.

DAVID: You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. Two different audiences with two different requirements for honest conclusions. His article is excellent! You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.

dhw: And you have avoided commenting on all the above rebuttals concerning my presentation of Shapiro's theory. Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:

1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution
dhw: Yes, the article was directed at a different audience – it is highly technical and scientific. Please find me one sentence that contradicts the theory expounded in his book. If organisms, which are composed of cell communities, facilitate their own evolution, they facilitate their own evolution. They do not automatically obey divine instructions.

I didn't bring up the divine. The title doesn't tell how evolution works but offers a mechanism that may be in play, somehow, and you have not answered my point about the hyperbole in the book itself. The theory is presented in a measured acceptable scientific way in his talk as it should have been. It is a piece of evidence to be evaluated as science moves forward in sorting out how speciation might occur, and we have no evidence it can occur naturally, only variations.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, January 10, 2020, 10:36 (14 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: How am I stretching his theory? Of course it’s not proven, and why should ID scientists’ unproven theories have priority over Shapiro’s?

DAVID: ID is no more untrue than yours and Shapiro's.

dhw: Thank you. This makes your comment about ID scientists totally irrelevant.

DAVID: It makes both irrelevant in your sense of things. No one has the answer and Shapiro has not proved one any more than anyone else.

You accused me of stretching his theory, which I have not done, and I keep agreeing that it is a theory not a fact, so there is no point in your harping on about it not being proven.

DAVID: It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.

dhw: You call them committees, and I call them communities. Do you deny that multicellular organisms consist of different cell communities? Please answer.

DAVID: They consist of organized organs, no more than to produce different products, under strict rules.

So do you deny that these organized organs consist of different cell communities?

DAVID: You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. […] You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.

dhw: And you have avoided commenting on all the above rebuttals concerning my presentation of Shapiro's theory. Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:

1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution

dhw: Yes, the article was directed at a different audience – it is highly technical and scientific. Please find me one sentence that contradicts the theory expounded in his book. If organisms, which are composed of cell communities, facilitate their own evolution, they facilitate their own evolution. They do not automatically obey divine instructions.

DAVID: I didn't bring up the divine. The title doesn't tell how evolution works but offers a mechanism that may be in play, somehow, and you have not answered my point about the hyperbole in the book itself.

I asked you what hyperbole? Are you now telling us that Shapiro does not believe that cells are cognitive, sentient, decision-making beings which produce evolutionary novelty through a process of self-modification?

DAVID: The theory is presented in a measured acceptable scientific way in his talk as it should have been. It is a piece of evidence to be evaluated as science moves forward in sorting out how speciation might occur, and we have no evidence it can occur naturally, only variations.

Yes, he has said so himself: “the years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how […] natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success”. Your claim that we have no evidence does not mean that Shapiro has changed his theory that natural genetic engineering arises from cells’ ability to modify themselves and hence to produce evolutionary novelty. If you have evidence that he has changed his mind, please produce it.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, January 10, 2020, 15:14 (14 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You accused me of stretching his theory, which I have not done, and I keep agreeing that it is a theory not a fact, so there is no point in your harping on about it not being proven.

DAVID: It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.

dhw: You call them committees, and I call them communities. Do you deny that multicellular organisms consist of different cell communities? Please answer.

DAVID: They consist of organized organs, no more than to produce different products, under strict rules.

dhw: So do you deny that these organized organs consist of different cell communities?

Silly. Of course not.


DAVID: You avoided commenting on my point that his scientific review article in 2017 totally avoids the hyperbole in his book. […] You have swallowed the hyperbole of a book written for a partially lay audience.

dhw: And you have avoided commenting on all the above rebuttals concerning my presentation of Shapiro's theory. Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:

1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution

Bacteria!!! applied to multicellular is pure theory, and a great contribution to the problem of speciation, but no solution so far.


dhw: Yes, the article was directed at a different audience – it is highly technical and scientific. Please find me one sentence that contradicts the theory expounded in his book. If organisms, which are composed of cell communities, facilitate their own evolution, they facilitate their own evolution. They do not automatically obey divine instructions.

DAVID: I didn't bring up the divine. The title doesn't tell how evolution works but offers a mechanism that may be in play, somehow, and you have not answered my point about the hyperbole in the book itself.

dhw: I asked you what hyperbole? Are you now telling us that Shapiro does not believe that cells are cognitive, sentient, decision-making beings which produce evolutionary novelty through a process of self-modification?

Thank you for bringing up the hyperbole, for which there is no proof for multicellular. Bacteria (his research) are the only organisms like this. You and see Shapiro thoughg totally different prisms.


DAVID: The theory is presented in a measured acceptable scientific way in his talk as it should have been. It is a piece of evidence to be evaluated as science moves forward in sorting out how speciation might occur, and we have no evidence it can occur naturally, only variations.

dhw: Yes, he has said so himself: “the years to come likely hold surprising lessons about how […] natural genetic engineering may operate non-randomly to enhance the probabilities of evolutionary success”. Your claim that we have no evidence does not mean that Shapiro has changed his theory that natural genetic engineering arises from cells’ ability to modify themselves and hence to produce evolutionary novelty. If you have evidence that he has changed his mind, please produce it.

I have different views of his statements which I fully accept. You stretch him to fit your desires.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, January 11, 2020, 12:01 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It is your so-called designing cell committees to which I object as a distortion of Shapiro's point of view.

dhw: You call them committees, and I call them communities. Do you deny that multicellular organisms consist of different cell communities? Please answer.

DAVID: They consist of organized organs, no more than to produce different products, under strict rules.

dhw: So do you deny that these organized organs consist of different cell communities?

DAVID: Silly. Of course not.

So stop this “silly” business of changing the word to “committees” and pretending that I am distorting Shapiro’s theory when he makes it crystal clear that he believes in cell communities (organisms) that design their own evolutionary novelties.

Dhw: Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:
1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution

DAVID: Bacteria!!! applied to multicellular is pure theory, and a great contribution to the problem of speciation, but no solution so far.

Yes, yes, his "natural genetic engineering" is a theory and not a fact. Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.

dhw: I asked you what hyperbole? Are you now telling us that Shapiro does not believe that cells are cognitive, sentient, decision-making beings which produce evolutionary novelty through a process of self-modification?

DAVID: Thank you for bringing up the hyperbole, for which there is no proof for multicellular. Bacteria (his research) are the only organisms like this. You and see Shapiro thoughg totally different prisms.

Same again. You said that he had dropped his “hyperbole” in his latest article. I asked what “hyperbole”, and back you go to your disbelief in his theory. Shapiro argues that cellular intelligence produces evolutionary novelty, i.e. organisms facilitate their own evolution. That is precisely the same as my own proposal.

dhw: Your claim that we have no evidence does not mean that Shapiro has changed his theory that natural genetic engineering arises from cells’ ability to modify themselves and hence to produce evolutionary novelty. If you have evidence that he has changed his mind, please produce it.

DAVID: I have different views of his statements which I fully accept. You stretch him to fit your desires.

You have not yet produced one single proposal of mine which “stretches” his theory. Please provide evidence that he has changed the theory summarized by all the quotes I have reproduced in previous posts, or do you want me to reproduce them again?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 11, 2020, 18:57 (13 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Silly. Of course not.

dhw: So stop this “silly” business of changing the word to “committees” and pretending that I am distorting Shapiro’s theory when he makes it crystal clear that he believes in cell communities (organisms) that design their own evolutionary novelties.

He offers it as a theory. It doesn't rise to a true belief for him or anyone else.

Dhw: Meanwhile, what hyperbole? Do you honestly think that his talk contradicts his theory? Look at the heading of the first section of the article:
1. Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution

DAVID: Bacteria!!! applied to multicellular is pure theory, and a great contribution to the problem of speciation, but no solution so far.

dhw: Yes, yes, his "natural genetic engineering" is a theory and not a fact. Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.


Yes, a proposed theory as a possible explanation for speciation of multicellular organisms.


dhw: I asked you what hyperbole? Are you now telling us that Shapiro does not believe that cells are cognitive, sentient, decision-making beings which produce evolutionary novelty through a process of self-modification?

DAVID: Thank you for bringing up the hyperbole, for which there is no proof for multicellular. Bacteria (his research) are the only organisms like this. You and I see Shapiro though totally different prisms.

dhw: Same again. You said that he had dropped his “hyperbole” in his latest article. I asked what “hyperbole”, and back you go to your disbelief in his theory. Shapiro argues that cellular intelligence produces evolutionary novelty, i.e. organisms facilitate their own evolution. That is precisely the same as my own proposal.

I don't disbelieve his theory. It is a reasonable and valuable contribution to the discussion of how speciation might occur. It is you who have swallow it totally as if it were truth. I'm still with God as the agent.


dhw: Your claim that we have no evidence does not mean that Shapiro has changed his theory that natural genetic engineering arises from cells’ ability to modify themselves and hence to produce evolutionary novelty. If you have evidence that he has changed his mind, please produce it.

DAVID: I have different views of his statements which I fully accept. You stretch him to fit your desires.

dhw: You have not yet produced one single proposal of mine which “stretches” his theory. Please provide evidence that he has changed the theory summarized by all the quotes I have reproduced in previous posts, or do you want me to reproduce them again?

Don't reproduce. His theory is a stretch in and of itself. His research is all in the analysis of bacterial DNA controls which he then applies to multicellular organisms. They evolved from bacteria and 'might' contain all or some aspects of bacterial DNA editing abilities. This is my exact interpretation of Shapiro. And i would conclude his research results are fabulous and a great contribution in general to the research. I use God for the process. You don't and seize upon Shapiro as a solution for your agnosticism. Again we see Shapiro thru different prisms.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, January 12, 2020, 12:18 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: So do you deny that these organized organs consist of different cell communities?

DAVID: Silly. Of course not.

dhw: So stop this “silly” business of changing the word to “committees” and pretending that I am distorting Shapiro’s theory when he makes it crystal clear that he believes in cell communities (organisms) that design their own evolutionary novelties.

DAVID: He offers it as a theory. It doesn't rise to a true belief for him or anyone else.

We would have to ask him whether he actually believes it. But yes, it is a theory, and his theory is that organisms design their own evolutionary novelties, so please stop pretending that I am distorting it.

dhw: Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.

DAVID: Yes, a proposed theory as a possible explanation for speciation of multicellular organisms.

So please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria just because his own research is on bacteria (all scientists use other scientists’ research in their theories), and stop pretending that I am distorting that theory, and either withdraw the “hyperbole” accusation, or provide evidence that Shapiro has changed his mind.

[Same points repeated….]

DAVID: And i would conclude his research results are fabulous and a great contribution in general to the research. I use God for the process. You don't and seize upon Shapiro as a solution for your agnosticism. Again we see Shapiro thru different prisms.

Shapiro is not a “solution” for my agnosticism. My agnosticism has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory or its feasibility. Our starting point is Chapter Two of life’s history, and the theory is that the designers of the evolutionary novelties which constitute Chapter Two are cognitive, sentient, communicative, information-processing, decision-making cells. It makes no difference whether Chapter One (the origin of life and of the mechanisms enabling evolution) was the work of God or not. Your opposition to the theory is based entirely on your prejudice against the 50/50 concept of cellular intelligence, and your refusal to believe that your God might just possibly think differently from the way you interpret his thoughts.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 12, 2020, 19:21 (12 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: So do you deny that these organized organs consist of different cell communities?

DAVID: Silly. Of course not.

dhw: So stop this “silly” business of changing the word to “committees” and pretending that I am distorting Shapiro’s theory when he makes it crystal clear that he believes in cell communities (organisms) that design their own evolutionary novelties.

DAVID: He offers it as a theory. It doesn't rise to a true belief for him or anyone else.

dhw: We would have to ask him whether he actually believes it. But yes, it is a theory, and his theory is that organisms design their own evolutionary novelties, so please stop pretending that I am distorting it.

You do distort: his theory is seen in bacteria and stretched to multicellular by him and you follow him. You both stretch, and I'll accede on theword distort.


dhw: Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.

DAVID: Yes, a proposed theory as a possible explanation for speciation of multicellular organisms.

dhw: So please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria just because his own research is on bacteria (all scientists use other scientists’ research in their theories), and stop pretending that I am distorting that theory, and either withdraw the “hyperbole” accusation, or provide evidence that Shapiro has changed his mind.

of a review without the stretched theory .


[Same points repeated….]

DAVID: And i would conclude his research results are fabulous and a great contribution in general to the research. I use God for the process. You don't and seize upon Shapiro as a solution for your agnosticism. Again we see Shapiro thru different prisms.

dhw: Shapiro is not a “solution” for my agnosticism. My agnosticism has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory or its feasibility. Our starting point is Chapter Two of life’s history, and the theory is that the designers of the evolutionary novelties which constitute Chapter Two are cognitive, sentient, communicative, information-processing, decision-making cells. It makes no difference whether Chapter One (the origin of life and of the mechanisms enabling evolution) was the work of God or not. Your opposition to the theory is based entirely on your prejudice against the 50/50 concept of cellular intelligence, and your refusal to believe that your God might just possibly think differently from the way you interpret his thoughts.'

I don'y try to interpret God's thoughts about His purposes. Adler and I use his works to interpret purpose. You refuse to recognize the difference in approach to God we use against your humanizing approach.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, January 13, 2020, 07:57 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He offers it as a theory. It doesn't rise to a true belief for him or anyone else.

dhw: We would have to ask him whether he actually believes it. But yes, it is a theory, and his theory is that organisms design their own evolutionary novelties, so please stop pretending that I am distorting it.

DAVID: You do distort: his theory is seen in bacteria and stretched to multicellular by him and you follow him. You both stretch, and I'll accede on the word distort.

Thank you. I do not distort Shapiro’s theory, and all theories “stretch” known facts unless they themselves become facts. It’s called extrapolation. I have a very good friend who knows about the bush of life, knows about the complexities of living cells, and knows humans are top predators. From these facts he extrapolates the theory that there is a God, that God’s sole purpose was to create humans, and the bush of life was his roundabout way of getting there. You can call it “stretching” if you prefer.

dhw: Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.

DAVID: Yes, a proposed theory as a possible explanation for speciation of multicellular organisms.

dhw: So please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria just because his own research is on bacteria (all scientists use other scientists’ research in their theories), and stop pretending that I am distorting that theory, and either withdraw the “hyperbole” accusation, or provide evidence that Shapiro has changed his mind.

DAVID: of a review without the stretched theory .

Sadly your reply has snapped.

dhw: Your opposition to the theory is based entirely on your prejudice against the 50/50 concept of cellular intelligence, and your refusal to believe that your God might just possibly think differently from the way you interpret his thoughts.

DAVID: I don't try to interpret God's thoughts about His purposes. Adler and I use his works to interpret purpose. You refuse to recognize the difference in approach to God we use against your humanizing approach.

I don’t know why you keep dragging Adler into it when you have already acknowledged over and over again that he does not deal with those aspects of evolution that constitute the illogical part of your theory. What are “thoughts about purposes”? Purpose itself is a thought, and you have interpreted it as above, just as you interpret God’s nature as an all-powerful, all-knowing being, and you interpret the bush of life as having been preprogrammed or dabbled to fill in time etc. See "David’s theory of evolution Part Two".

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, January 13, 2020, 18:08 (11 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Thank you. I do not distort Shapiro’s theory, and all theories “stretch” known facts unless they themselves become facts. It’s called extrapolation. I have a very good friend who knows about the bush of life, knows about the complexities of living cells, and knows humans are top predators. From these facts he extrapolates the theory that there is a God, that God’s sole purpose was to create humans, and the bush of life was his roundabout way of getting there. You can call it “stretching” if you prefer.

dhw: Now tell me, what “hyperbole”? He does not confine his theory to bacteria. His theory applies to all cells.

DAVID: Yes, a proposed theory as a possible explanation for speciation of multicellular organisms.

dhw: So please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria just because his own research is on bacteria (all scientists use other scientists’ research in their theories), and stop pretending that I am distorting that theory, and either withdraw the “hyperbole” accusation, or provide evidence that Shapiro has changed his mind.

DAVID: of a review without the stretched theory .

dhw: Sadly your reply has snapped.

Here: He produced a proper scientific presentation of a review at the Royal society without the stretched theory.


dhw: Your opposition to the theory is based entirely on your prejudice against the 50/50 concept of cellular intelligence, and your refusal to believe that your God might just possibly think differently from the way you interpret his thoughts.

DAVID: I don't try to interpret God's thoughts about His purposes. Adler and I use his works to interpret purpose. You refuse to recognize the difference in approach to God we use against your humanizing approach.

dhw: I don’t know why you keep dragging Adler into it when you have already acknowledged over and over again that he does not deal with those aspects of evolution that constitute the illogical part of your theory. What are “thoughts about purposes”? Purpose itself is a thought, and you have interpreted it as above, just as you interpret God’s nature as an all-powerful, all-knowing being, and you interpret the bush of life as having been preprogrammed or dabbled to fill in time etc. See "David’s theory of evolution Part Two".

Adler's book spends several hundred pages establishing us the goal. it is a key to my theology. As for God's purposes, you have described a shortened process. One does not arrive at a purpose with out aforethoughts.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 11:42 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He produced a proper scientific presentation of a review at the Royal society without the stretched theory.

So, to repeat the comment you were answering, please provide evidence that his theory is confined to bacteria, that I have distorted his theory, and that he has changed his mind. And please explain how “Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution” can mean anything other than the proposal that the cell communities of which living organisms are composed facilitate their own evolution. That IS his theory, except that he doesn’t use the term “cell communities”!

Under "Nature’s Wonders":
DAVID: In thinking about evolution of a three-way symbiosis, it is much more difficult to imagine its evolution than a two-way. Design?

Every multicellular body is an example of multiple symbiosis, as different types of cell cooperate in a community of communities, with each one playing a unique role. You will no doubt argue that all of them were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or God came down and dabbled them, as presumably you think he did with the sponge, the bacterium and the virus. Another possibility is that your God gave them the wherewithal to do their own designing in the process Shapiro calls “natural genetic engineering”.

Much of the remainder of your post is dedicated to Adler, and I will deal with anything relevant on the other thread, as this has nothing to do with Shapiro.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 15:20 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: He produced a proper scientific presentation of a review at the Royal society without the stretched theory.

dhw: So, to repeat the comment you were answering, please provide evidence that his theory is confined to bacteria, that I have distorted his theory, and that he has changed his mind. And please explain how “Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution” can mean anything other than the proposal that the cell communities of which living organisms are composed facilitate their own evolution. That IS his theory, except that he doesn’t use the term “cell communities”!

Agreed. I know his theory as extrapolated from his very thorough bacterial studies. I've repeated it over and over. I know you have accepted it as it avoids God.


dhw: Under "Nature’s Wonders":
DAVID: In thinking about evolution of a three-way symbiosis, it is much more difficult to imagine its evolution than a two-way. Design?

dhw: Every multicellular body is an example of multiple symbiosis, as different types of cell cooperate in a community of communities, with each one playing a unique role. You will no doubt argue that all of them were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or God came down and dabbled them, as presumably you think he did with the sponge, the bacterium and the virus. Another possibility is that your God gave them the wherewithal to do their own designing in the process Shapiro calls “natural genetic engineering”.

Weird comparison. Symbiosis means free-living organisms have given up some of their individuality, and have modified their genes to fit. Each individual must fit the changes exactly with the others. In this case like juggling three balls in the air by three folks to get the right result. Magically, multicellular organisms come organized that way by DNA instructions, no juggling. Designed by God.

dhw: Much of the remainder of your post is dedicated to Adler, and I will deal with anything relevant on the other thread, as this has nothing to do with Shapiro.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 16:01 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: He produced a proper scientific presentation of a review at the Royal society without the stretched theory.

dhw: So, to repeat the comment you were answering, please provide evidence that his theory is confined to bacteria, that I have distorted his theory, and that he has changed his mind. And please explain how “Living Organisms Regularly Facilitate Their Own Evolution” can mean anything other than the proposal that the cell communities of which living organisms are composed facilitate their own evolution. That IS his theory, except that he doesn’t use the term “cell communities”!

DAVID: Agreed. I know his theory is extrapolated from his very thorough bacterial studies. I've repeated it over and over. I know you have accepted it as it avoids God.

I have repeated over and over that his theory must have been extrapolated from his bacterial studies plus the research carried out by other experts in the field of microbiology. I have not “accepted it”, because I accept – as I’m sure Shapiro does – that it is not proven. But I find it considerably more convincing than your own illogical theory. It is nonsense to say that the theory avoids God, since it is perfectly possible to believe that if God exists, this was his evolutionary method. It simply avoids lumbering your God with the irreconcilable purpose, ability and method you impose on him.

dhw: Every multicellular body is an example of multiple symbiosis, as different types of cell cooperate in a community of communities, with each one playing a unique role. You will no doubt argue that all of them were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or God came down and dabbled them, as presumably you think he did with the sponge, the bacterium and the virus. Another possibility is that your God gave them the wherewithal to do their own designing in the process Shapiro calls “natural genetic engineering”.

DAVID: Weird comparison. Symbiosis means free-living organisms have given up some of their individuality, and have modified their genes to fit. Each individual must fit the changes exactly with the others. In this case like juggling three balls in the air by three folks to get the right result. Magically, multicellular organisms come organized that way by DNA instructions, no juggling. Designed by God.

Of course they “come organized” that way NOW. How do you think multicellular organisms came into being in the first place? I propose that free-living organisms gave up some of their individuality and modified their genes to fit into a single, interdependent community. The same thing must happen with every single innovation, but by now you have communities that are no longer free-living. Nevertheless, every single cell in every community, and every single community of cells has to “fit the changes exactly with the others”. There are millions of cells juggling balls in the air to get the right result. You say they “come organized” because you believe that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first living cells with a programme for every undabbled symbiosis in the history of life. Shapiro suggests that the cells facilitate their own evolution. I would add that this may be reflected by the manner in which whole organisms also facilitate their own symbioses.

Under “brain complexity”:
QUOTE: "In theory, almost any imaginable computation might be performed by one neuron with enough dendrites, each capable of performing its own nonlinear operation.
In the recent Science paper, the researchers took this idea one step further: They suggested that a single dendritic compartment might be able to perform these complex computations all on its own
."

Oh good heavens, couldn’t this mean that a single cell of any kind, e.g. a stem cell (not to mention a community of cells) might be capable of working out complex computations “all on its own”, i.e. without a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or a divine dabble?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 19:56 (9 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Agreed. I know his theory is extrapolated from his very thorough bacterial studies. I've repeated it over and over. I know you have accepted it as it avoids God.

dhw: I have repeated over and over that his theory must have been extrapolated from his bacterial studies plus the research carried out by other experts in the field of microbiology. I have not “accepted it”, because I accept – as I’m sure Shapiro does – that it is not proven. But I find it considerably more convincing than your own illogical theory. It is nonsense to say that the theory avoids God, since it is perfectly possible to believe that if God exists, this was his evolutionary method. It simply avoids lumbering your God with the irreconcilable purpose, ability and method you impose on him.

Since our concept of God differs widely, of course you don't like my view of God. Shapiro simply provides a possible way for God to Dabble, so we are not far apart.


dhw: Every multicellular body is an example of multiple symbiosis, as different types of cell cooperate in a community of communities, with each one playing a unique role. You will no doubt argue that all of them were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or God came down and dabbled them, as presumably you think he did with the sponge, the bacterium and the virus. Another possibility is that your God gave them the wherewithal to do their own designing in the process Shapiro calls “natural genetic engineering”.

DAVID: Weird comparison. Symbiosis means free-living organisms have given up some of their individuality, and have modified their genes to fit. Each individual must fit the changes exactly with the others. In this case like juggling three balls in the air by three folks to get the right result. Magically, multicellular organisms come organized that way by DNA instructions, no juggling. Designed by God.

dhw: Of course they “come organized” that way NOW. How do you think multicellular organisms came into being in the first place? I propose that free-living organisms gave up some of their individuality and modified their genes to fit into a single, interdependent community. The same thing must happen with every single innovation, but by now you have communities that are no longer free-living. Nevertheless, every single cell in every community, and every single community of cells has to “fit the changes exactly with the others”. There are millions of cells juggling balls in the air to get the right result. You say they “come organized” because you believe that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first living cells with a programme for every undabbled symbiosis in the history of life. Shapiro suggests that the cells facilitate their own evolution. I would add that this may be reflected by the manner in which whole organisms also facilitate their own symbioses.

See my new entry on alternative gene splicing, a mechanism designed by God. It fits Shapiro to a tee, but as I view it, it is all under automatic controls, especially for fetus formation


dhw: Under “brain complexity”:
QUOTE: "In theory, almost any imaginable computation might be performed by one neuron with enough dendrites, each capable of performing its own nonlinear operation.
In the recent Science paper, the researchers took this idea one step further: They suggested that a single dendritic compartment might be able to perform these complex computations all on its own
."

Oh good heavens, couldn’t this mean that a single cell of any kind, e.g. a stem cell (not to mention a community of cells) might be capable of working out complex computations “all on its own”, i.e. without a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or a divine dabble?

See the new entry on gene splicing.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, January 16, 2020, 11:52 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Since our concept of God differs widely, of course you don't like my view of God. Shapiro simply provides a possible way for God to Dabble, so we are not far apart.

The “concept of God” is too vague. Where we differ widely is specifically in your rigid adherence to your fixed beliefs relating to his purpose, ability and method that form your theory of evolution. Yes, Shapiro’s theory allows for God as the inventor of “natural genetic engineering” through autonomously intelligent cells, but it is poles apart from your insistence that the whole of evolution was preprogrammed or dabbled.

DAVID: […] Magically, multicellular organisms come organized that way by DNA instructions, no juggling. Designed by God.

dhw: […] You say they “come organized” because you believe that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first living cells with a programme for every undabbled symbiosis in the history of life. Shapiro suggests that the cells facilitate their own evolution. I would add that this may be reflected by the manner in which whole organisms also facilitate their own symbioses.

DAVID: See my new entry on alternative gene splicing, a mechanism designed by God. It fits Shapiro to a tee, but as I view it, it is all under automatic controls, especially for fetus formation

DAVID (on “alternative gene splicing”): Junk DNA is gone. The complexity of the human genome is only partially unraveled and what is revealed so far is an irreducible complex system that MUST be the result of design. It is highly controlled, especially in fetus formation or abnormal results will produce a defective fetus. This can only be the result of design. A designer is required.

I have no problem with the argument against junk DNA or in favour of design. Both perfectly logical. But the other aspect of this that intrigues me is the sheer versatility of the gene, and yes indeed, it fits Shapiro to a tee. That is to say, it fits the concept of autonomous activity by cognitive, sentient beings which facilitate their own evolution. But I agree that once the different forms of symbiosis have established themselves, they continue automatically, as in fetus formation.

dhw: Under “brain complexity”:
QUOTE: "In theory, almost any imaginable computation might be performed by one neuron with enough dendrites, each capable of performing its own nonlinear operation.
In the recent Science paper, the researchers took this idea one step further: They suggested that a single dendritic compartment might be able to perform these complex computations all on its own."

Dhw: Oh good heavens, couldn’t this mean that a single cell of any kind, e.g. a stem cell (not to mention a community of cells) might be capable of working out complex computations “all on its own”, i.e. without a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or a divine dabble?

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 16, 2020, 15:03 (8 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Since our concept of God differs widely, of course you don't like my view of God. Shapiro simply provides a possible way for God to Dabble, so we are not far apart.

dhw: The “concept of God” is too vague. Where we differ widely is specifically in your rigid adherence to your fixed beliefs relating to his purpose, ability and method that form your theory of evolution. Yes, Shapiro’s theory allows for God as the inventor of “natural genetic engineering” through autonomously intelligent cells, but it is poles apart from your insistence that the whole of evolution was preprogrammed or dabbled.

We 'differ widely' in that I accept God as the designer, and you acknowledge obvious design without a designer.


DAVID: […] Magically, multicellular organisms come organized that way by DNA instructions, no juggling. Designed by God.

dhw: […] You say they “come organized” because you believe that 3.8 billion years ago your God provided the first living cells with a programme for every undabbled symbiosis in the history of life. Shapiro suggests that the cells facilitate their own evolution. I would add that this may be reflected by the manner in which whole organisms also facilitate their own symbioses.

DAVID: See my new entry on alternative gene splicing, a mechanism designed by God. It fits Shapiro to a tee, but as I view it, it is all under automatic controls, especially for fetus formation

DAVID (on “alternative gene splicing”): Junk DNA is gone. The complexity of the human genome is only partially unraveled and what is revealed so far is an irreducible complex system that MUST be the result of design. It is highly controlled, especially in fetus formation or abnormal results will produce a defective fetus. This can only be the result of design. A designer is required.

dhw: I have no problem with the argument against junk DNA or in favour of design. Both perfectly logical. But the other aspect of this that intrigues me is the sheer versatility of the gene, and yes indeed, it fits Shapiro to a tee. That is to say, it fits the concept of autonomous activity by cognitive, sentient beings which facilitate their own evolution. But I agree that once the different forms of symbiosis have established themselves, they continue automatically, as in fetus formation.

The 'sheer versatility' of the cell is from fully automatic with processes given by God.


dhw: Under “brain complexity”:
QUOTE: "In theory, almost any imaginable computation might be performed by one neuron with enough dendrites, each capable of performing its own nonlinear operation.
In the recent Science paper, the researchers took this idea one step further: They suggested that a single dendritic compartment might be able to perform these complex computations all on its own."

Dhw: Oh good heavens, couldn’t this mean that a single cell of any kind, e.g. a stem cell (not to mention a community of cells) might be capable of working out complex computations “all on its own”, i.e. without a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or a divine dabble?

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, January 17, 2020, 12:26 (7 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Since our concept of God differs widely, of course you don't like my view of God. Shapiro simply provides a possible way for God to Dabble, so we are not far apart.

dhw: The “concept of God” is too vague. Where we differ widely is specifically in your rigid adherence to your fixed beliefs relating to his purpose, ability and method that form your theory of evolution. Yes, Shapiro’s theory allows for God as the inventor of “natural genetic engineering” through autonomously intelligent cells, but it is poles apart from your insistence that the whole of evolution was preprogrammed or dabbled.

DAVID: We 'differ widely' in that I accept God as the designer, and you acknowledge obvious design without a designer.

That is not the difference we have been discussing all these months, but you constantly try to switch that discussion from the illogicality of your theory of evolution to the logic of your design argument.

dhw: I have no problem with the argument against junk DNA or in favour of design. Both perfectly logical. But the other aspect of this that intrigues me is the sheer versatility of the gene, and yes indeed, it fits Shapiro to a tee. That is to say, it fits the concept of autonomous activity by cognitive, sentient beings which facilitate their own evolution. But I agree that once the different forms of symbiosis have established themselves, they continue automatically, as in fetus formation.

DAVID: The 'sheer versatility' of the cell is from fully automatic with processes given by God.

Your usual statement of opinion as if it were fact.

“QUOTE: "They suggested that a single dendritic compartment might be able to perform these complex computations all on its own."

dhw: Oh good heavens, couldn’t this mean that a single cell of any kind, e.g. a stem cell (not to mention a community of cells) might be capable of working out complex computations “all on its own”, i.e. without a 3.8-billion-year-old programme or a divine dabble?

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

DAVID: Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

Ah well, at least this comparative (“more likely”) allows for the possibility of autonomy! That’s progress.

Under: "Genome complexity: Epigenetics lasting for ever"

DAVID: I don't how this happened, but Lamarck is alive and well. Epigenetics can definitely play a role in progressive evolution.

And Lamarck should helps us to understand the difference between autonomous origins and automatic repetitions. A characteristic has to be acquired (invention) before it is passed on (automatic repetition). In your theory the acquisition or invention of every new, undabbled characteristic, whether genetic, lifestyle, natural wonder, strategy, was preprogrammed in the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago. And you see that as “more likely” than your God designing a single mechanism capable of inventing and handing on each new characteristic.

DAVID (under “watch as cellular elements move”) : These units act as if they know what they are doing. They don't. Be amazed at how living cells look at work. Never by chance.

Back you go to your usual authoritative statement: They look as if they know what they’re doing, and their actions are not by chance, therefore (extrapolation) the only possible explanation is that your God either preprogrammed every movement 3.8 billion years ago, or he is busy directing them even now. You have never offered or accepted any other explanation. I'll cling hopefully to your "more likely" as an acknowledgement that cellular intelligence guiding "natural genetic engineering" is now a possibility in your eyes.;-)

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, January 17, 2020, 15:08 (7 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have no problem with the argument against junk DNA or in favour of design. Both perfectly logical. But the other aspect of this that intrigues me is the sheer versatility of the gene, and yes indeed, it fits Shapiro to a tee. That is to say, it fits the concept of autonomous activity by cognitive, sentient beings which facilitate their own evolution. But I agree that once the different forms of symbiosis have established themselves, they continue automatically, as in fetus formation.

DAVID: The 'sheer versatility' of the cell is from fully automatic with processes given by God.

dhw: Your usual statement of opinion as if it were fact.

It is a fact of my faith.


DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

DAVID: Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

dhw: Ah well, at least this comparative (“more likely”) allows for the possibility of autonomy! That’s progress.

No sign of progress. 'More likely' is a soft way of sticking to my view/faith.


Under: "Genome complexity: Epigenetics lasting for ever"

DAVID: I don't know how this happened, but Lamarck is alive and well. Epigenetics can definitely play a role in progressive evolution.

dhw: And Lamarck should helps us to understand the difference between autonomous origins and automatic repetitions. A characteristic has to be acquired (invention) before it is passed on (automatic repetition). In your theory the acquisition or invention of every new, undabbled characteristic, whether genetic, lifestyle, natural wonder, strategy, was preprogrammed in the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago. And you see that as “more likely” than your God designing a single mechanism capable of inventing and handing on each new characteristic.

Well He gave the ability Lamarck championed in the epigenetic editing process.


DAVID (under “watch as cellular elements move”) : These units act as if they know what they are doing. They don't. Be amazed at how living cells look at work. Never by chance.

dhw: Back you go to your usual authoritative statement: They look as if they know what they’re doing, and their actions are not by chance, therefore (extrapolation) the only possible explanation is that your God either preprogrammed every movement 3.8 billion years ago, or he is busy directing them even now. You have never offered or accepted any other explanation. I'll cling hopefully to your "more likely" as an acknowledgement that cellular intelligence guiding "natural genetic engineering" is now a possibility in your eyes.;-)

I've never changed my view, so much as you might hope. Note how unchanged you also remain.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Saturday, January 18, 2020, 11:50 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The 'sheer versatility' of the cell is from fully automatic with processes given by God.

dhw: Your usual statement of opinion as if it were fact.

DAVID: It is a fact of my faith.

An interesting expression. May I clarify? It is a fact that you believe it. I know. But it’s still an opinion, and even you acknowledge that it’s 50/50 you’re wrong.

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.

dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

DAVID: Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

dhw: Ah well, at least this comparative (“more likely”) allows for the possibility of autonomy! That’s progress.

DAVID: No sign of progress. 'More likely' is a soft way of sticking to my view/faith.
And later: I've never changed my view, so much as you might hope. Note how unchanged you also remain.

It is perfectly possible to stick to your faith and to acknowledge that you may be wrong and other explanations are possible. Faith always entails shutting one’s eyes and jumping. Otherwise what you believe would be a fact. I find the theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence more likely than your own, but I haven’t reached the point of having faith in it – I’d like more evidence. But generally, you are right – my agnosticism hasn’t changed. I would say that this makes me more open-minded than you, but at the same time I accept that the truth is out there somewhere, and so somebody’s “faith” is fully justified. But whose?

dhw: And Lamarck should helps us to understand the difference between autonomous origins and automatic repetitions. A characteristic has to be acquired (invention) before it is passed on (automatic repetition). In your theory the acquisition or invention of every new, undabbled characteristic, whether genetic, lifestyle, natural wonder, strategy, was preprogrammed in the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago. And you see that as “more likely” than your God designing a single mechanism capable of inventing and handing on each new characteristic.

DAVID: Well He gave the ability Lamarck championed in the epigenetic editing process.

I like it. Once again you are opening the door to the possibility that your God invested the first cells with the ability (passed on to all the creatures of the evolutionary bush) to do their own designing.:-)

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Saturday, January 18, 2020, 18:52 (6 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: See the new entry on gene splicing.


dhw: Yes indeed. It all fits in perfectly with the concept of cells working out their own designs.

DAVID: Or more likely following automatic instructions given by God.

dhw: Ah well, at least this comparative (“more likely”) allows for the possibility of autonomy! That’s progress.

DAVID: No sign of progress. 'More likely' is a soft way of sticking to my view/faith.
And later: I've never changed my view, so much as you might hope. Note how unchanged you also remain.

dhw: It is perfectly possible to stick to your faith and to acknowledge that you may be wrong and other explanations are possible. Faith always entails shutting one’s eyes and jumping. Otherwise what you believe would be a fact. I find the theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence more likely than your own, but I haven’t reached the point of having faith in it – I’d like more evidence. But generally, you are right – my agnosticism hasn’t changed. I would say that this makes me more open-minded than you, but at the same time I accept that the truth is out there somewhere, and so somebody’s “faith” is fully justified. But whose?

Whose? is the point. You may be satisfied with 'open-mindedness', but you can't explain the obvious design you see if you reject a designer. Once again, design that handles future problems requires a designing mind. When the mammal puts itself into the aquatic environment with its legs intact , it must imagine how to change to the necessary flippers, while doing the dog-paddle for umpteen centuries. I doubt a mammal brain of much lesser capacity can do that and tell DNA how to change multiple coordinated mutations. Shapiro doesn't discuss that aspect, when he writes about 'natural genetic engineering' extrapolating enormously from simple bacterial changes..


dhw: And Lamarck should helps us to understand the difference between autonomous origins and automatic repetitions. A characteristic has to be acquired (invention) before it is passed on (automatic repetition). In your theory the acquisition or invention of every new, undabbled characteristic, whether genetic, lifestyle, natural wonder, strategy, was preprogrammed in the very first cells 3.8 billion years ago. And you see that as “more likely” than your God designing a single mechanism capable of inventing and handing on each new characteristic.

DAVID: Well He gave the ability Lamarck championed in the epigenetic editing process.

dhw: I like it. Once again you are opening the door to the possibility that your God invested the first cells with the ability (passed on to all the creatures of the evolutionary bush) to do their own designing.:-)

Epigenetic modifications are small changes, not speciation. God gave organisms what they needed for minor modifications. You are again one bridge too far in your hopeful outlook of dispensing with God the designer. :-P

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 10:59 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You may be satisfied with 'open-mindedness', but you can't explain the obvious design you see if you reject a designer.

If I was “satisfied”, I would never have started this website. I can’t explain the obvious design and nor can you. You have a theory that there is a conscious mind that has been around forever. Other people have a theory that by a lucky chance materials combined to create the first consciousness, which then evolved as it acquired more and more experience and knowledge.

DAVID: Once again, design that handles future problems requires a designing mind.

In evolution, some of us believe that organisms respond to present problems – not that they have to look into a crystal ball and change themselves before the problems even arise.

DAVID: When the mammal puts itself into the aquatic environment with its legs intact, it must imagine how to change to the necessary flippers, while doing the dog-paddle for umpteen centuries.

When fish adapt to cope with polluted water, what goes on inside? Some cell communities modify themselves to cope with the new conditions while others die. Even you have allowed for this degree of autonomy or self-modification, as bolded:

DAVID: Epigenetic modifications are small changes, not speciation. God gave organisms what they needed for minor modifications. You are again one bridge too far in your hopeful outlook of dispensing with God the designer.

Yes, these are minor adaptations, but since NOBODY knows how major changes take place, it is not unreasonable to theorize that the same autonomous mechanism is responsible. And I am not hoping to dispense with God the designer since this theory allows for God as designer of the means both to adapt (you agree) and to innovate (you disagree).

DAVID: I doubt a mammal brain of much lesser capacity can do that and tell DNA how to change multiple coordinated mutations. Shapiro doesn't discuss that aspect, when he writes about 'natural genetic engineering' extrapolating enormously from simple bacterial changes.

Once again: Nobody knows how innovations take place. But we do know that organisms can change their structure, and changes can be handed down (Lamarck’s “acquired characteristics”, as applied to bacteria and every other organism that has ever successfully adapted itself to cope with new conditions). This is not a matter of the mammal saying: “I wanner change”. The theory is that the cell communities respond to the overall needs of the body. You don’t tell your cells to protect you – let alone how to protect you – against disease. As you well know, all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities, many of which do their work independently of our conscious decisions. It’s not proof that they are capable of evolutionary innovation, but there is no proof for your divine preprogramming/dabbling theory either.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 21:20 (5 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Once again, design that handles future problems requires a designing mind.

dhw: In evolution, some of us believe that organisms respond to present problems – not that they have to look into a crystal ball and change themselves before the problems even arise.

DAVID: When the mammal puts itself into the aquatic environment with its legs intact, it must imagine how to change to the necessary flippers, while doing the dog-paddle for umpteen centuries.

dhw: When fish adapt to cope with polluted water, what goes on inside? Some cell communities modify themselves to cope with the new conditions while others die. Even you have allowed for this degree of autonomy or self-modification, as bolded:

DAVID: Epigenetic modifications are small changes, not speciation. God gave organisms what they needed for minor modifications. You are again one bridge too far in your hopeful outlook of dispensing with God the designer.

dhw: Yes, these are minor adaptations, but since NOBODY knows how major changes take place, it is not unreasonable to theorize that the same autonomous mechanism is responsible. And I am not hoping to dispense with God the designer since this theory allows for God as designer of the means both to adapt (you agree) and to innovate (you disagree).

DAVID: I doubt a mammal brain of much lesser capacity can do that and tell DNA how to change multiple coordinated mutations. Shapiro doesn't discuss that aspect, when he writes about 'natural genetic engineering' extrapolating enormously from simple bacterial changes.

dhw: Once again: Nobody knows how innovations take place. But we do know that organisms can change their structure, and changes can be handed down (Lamarck’s “acquired characteristics”, as applied to bacteria and every other organism that has ever successfully adapted itself to cope with new conditions). This is not a matter of the mammal saying: “I wanner change”. The theory is that the cell communities respond to the overall needs of the body. You don’t tell your cells to protect you – let alone how to protect you – against disease. As you well know, all multicellular organisms consist of cell communities, many of which do their work independently of our conscious decisions. It’s not proof that they are capable of evolutionary innovation, but there is no proof for your divine preprogramming/dabbling theory either.

Your argument is all wishful thinking. We know the adaptations happened. We know how complex they are and the Lamarck idea that giraffes just stretched their necks over and over to get those acacia leaves is much too simple. When they put their heads up it requires a very high blood pressure to keep the brain functional, and when they put their heads to the ground the blood pressure on the brain is much too high, so there are special changes in the circulatory system to manage these problems. Not by chance or Lamarck. Lamarck is minor epigenetic change, only. As for my theory, of course it is not provable, just like yours. What is always interesting is you fully accept design, but not the designer. And you keep trying for simple cells that hopefully can design, based on their ability to make minor adaptations tah t somehow magically can be very complex.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Monday, January 20, 2020, 13:45 (4 days ago) @ David Turell

The taxi fish and Shapiro threads are mainly direct repetitions of each other, and so I have combined them here.

dhw: Yes, evolutionary innovation is the problem we face, and yes, I am all in favour of design. And one of several theories is that cells/cell communities are intelligent enough to do their own designing, and maybe your God gave them that ability.

DAVID: And it is all pipe dream. You are imagining design appears by magic if no thinking mind is available to plan the necessary parts for the advance.

There is no magic involved if cells are intelligent! (You agree there is a 50/50 chance that they are.) There is no planning: this theory entails RESPONSE to the present. If cells can autonomously produce minor adaptations to new conditions (you have agreed that they can), then it is not unreasonable to propose that they may also be able to exploit new conditions through major adaptations and innovations. Meanwhile, by what magic does “pure energy” happen also to be conscious and capable of creating universes and living beings?

DAVID: You are fighting the chance vs. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own. […]

Since when were cells simple? But yes, you have grasped the essence of Shapiro’s theory and mine, and it does not advocate chance, it advocates design. By cells. And it leaves open whether cells themselves were designed.

DAVID: As for my theory it is an immaterial discussion of God's possible methods. You know darn well it can't be 'found'.

“It” is the 3.8-billion-year-old programme for suckers and every other life form and natural wonder in the history of life. And yes, I know it’s an immaterial discussion of possible methods and nobody can ever find such a programme. That doesn’t make your theory logical, and it doesn’t invalidate the idea that intelligent cells may do the designing.

dhw: You seem to think that any change in an organism requires a global change in the environment. It is not unreasonable to suppose that while most mammals and apes remained the same, there were locations in which conditions demanded (or allowed) change! [I gave the usual examples of whales and apes…] Most scorpions appear to have led happy lives exactly as they were and are now. But they had buddies who weren’t so happy, and their buddies therefore did something different. Too simple for you?

DAVID: Yes, much too simple. Takes no notice of the design issue.Your same old problem, clutching at straws. First, entering water created huge physiological problems that require intensive design to succeed. As for the apes, one group came down from the trees, changed the way their hands and shoulders are formed and do tasks apes can't do. The pelvis changed for a different path to birth to accommodate the huge brain that appeared and allowed true upright movement at the same time. All planned by ape brain? No way.

I am not disputing the complexities. It is your conclusion I dispute.Yet again: NOT planned. Just as cells self-modify to make minor adjustments in order to improve their chances of survival IN RESPONSE to changing conditions, the theory is that the same process of self-modification will enable them to make the major adjustments you have listed. As for the brain reference, you do not consciously use your brain to order your cells to fight viruses, heal your wounds, digest your food, defecate the waste, see what you see, hear what you hear. Your cells are running the thing you think of as you. Maybe they also run the changes that other organisms require or invent when conditions change.

DAVID: There has to be a reason why some species make great advances and others don't bother. […]

Yes indeed. In brief: to improve their chances of survival. (And to anticipate your usual moan: yes indeed, I think Darwin had a mighty good point!) Those that are already surviving needn’t bother, but some see ways of improving their chances and do bother. Please tell us why you find this so difficult to believe.

DAVID: Their brains and thoughts are not like ours. Your argument is basically empty and the need for a designer is obvious.

I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that support your belief that your all-knowing, always-in-control God preprogrammed and/or dabbled every evolutionary innovation etc. in the history of life, and did so only as an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take before fulfilling his sole purpose of producing us? And how does it support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: What is always interesting is you fully accept design, but not the designer.

What is interesting is that you cannot imagine any form of living being that has not been designed, and yet you can imagine a hidden being that has not been designed but is simply there, conscious, and equipped with the knowledge to plan and create universes and living organisms.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Monday, January 20, 2020, 17:32 (4 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: There is no magic involved if cells are intelligent! (You agree there is a 50/50 chance that they are.) There is no planning: this theory entails RESPONSE to the present. If cells can autonomously produce minor adaptations to new conditions (you have agreed that they can), then it is not unreasonable to propose that they may also be able to exploit new conditions through major adaptations and innovations. Meanwhile, by what magic does “pure energy” happen also to be conscious and capable of creating universes and living beings?

There cannot something from nothing. There has to be an intelligent first cause for a beginning.

DAVID: As for my theory it is an immaterial discussion of God's possible methods. You know darn well it can't be 'found'.

dhw: “It” is the 3.8-billion-year-old programme for suckers and every other life form and natural wonder in the history of life. And yes, I know it’s an immaterial discussion of possible methods and nobody can ever find such a programme. That doesn’t make your theory logical, and it doesn’t invalidate the idea that intelligent cells may do the designing.


DAVID: Your same old problem, clutching at straws. First, entering water created huge physiological problems that require intensive design to succeed. As for the apes, one group came down from the trees, changed the way their hands and shoulders are formed and do tasks apes can't do. The pelvis changed for a different path to birth to accommodate the huge brain that appeared and allowed true upright movement at the same time. All planned by ape brain? No way.

dhw: I am not disputing the complexities. It is your conclusion I dispute.Yet again: NOT planned. Just as cells self-modify to make minor adjustments in order to improve their chances of survival IN RESPONSE to changing conditions, the theory is that the same process of self-modification will enable them to make the major adjustments you have listed. As for the brain reference, you do not consciously use your brain to order your cells to fight viruses, heal your wounds, digest your food, defecate the waste, see what you see, hear what you hear. Your cells are running the thing you think of as you. Maybe they also run the changes that other organisms require or invent when conditions change.

My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.


DAVID: There has to be a reason why some species make great advances and others don't bother. […]

dhw: Yes indeed. In brief: to improve their chances of survival. (And to anticipate your usual moan: yes indeed, I think Darwin had a mighty good point!) Those that are already surviving needn’t bother, but some see ways of improving their chances and do bother. Please tell us why you find this so difficult to believe.

As above. Design is needed to explain the fossil gaps.


DAVID: Their brains and thoughts are not like ours. Your argument is basically empty and the need for a designer is obvious.

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that support your belief that your all-knowing, always-in-control God preprogrammed and/or dabbled every evolutionary innovation etc. in the history of life, and did so only as an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take before fulfilling his sole purpose of producing us? And how does it support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing tath is living is simple.


DAVID: What is always interesting is you fully accept design, but not the designer.

dhw: What is interesting is that you cannot imagine any form of living being that has not been designed, and yet you can imagine a hidden being that has not been designed but is simply there, conscious, and equipped with the knowledge to plan and create universes and living organisms.

See 'first cause' above and explain the gaps in the fossil record that design explains so well. Then study this argument about intelligence at the source:

https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/karsten-pultz-the-information-problem-pa...

See next post.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 11:47 (3 days ago) @ David Turell

Dhw: Meanwhile, by what magic does “pure energy” happen also to be conscious and capable of creating universes and living beings?

DAVID: There cannot something from nothing. There has to be an intelligent first cause for a beginning.

How often do we have to repeat that first cause is either your inexplicably intelligent “pure energy”, or it is eternally changing, unintelligent, unconscious materials and energy producing endless combinations which eventually by a lucky chance create the first glimmerings of consciousness which then evolves? I find both “first causes” equally difficult to accept.

Dhw: Your cells are running the thing you think of as you. Maybe they also run the changes that other organisms require or invent when conditions change.

DAVID: My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.

There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions. A major change in the environment (e.g. an increase in oxygen) may create new opportunities. Intelligent beings will use them, and nobody – absolutely nobody – knows how much time is needed for intelligent beings to invent new “tools” to deal with new conditions. And we have dealt with this over and over again, so please don’t say I ignore it.

DAVID: There has to be a reason why some species make great advances and others don't bother. […]

dhw: Yes indeed. In brief: to improve their chances of survival. (And to anticipate your usual moan: yes indeed, I think Darwin had a mighty good point!) Those that are already surviving needn’t bother, but some see ways of improving their chances and do bother. Please tell us why you find this so difficult to believe.

DAVID: As above. Design is needed to explain the fossil gaps.

You asked a question, and I answered it. Do you accept that improved chances of survival explain why some species advance?

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that support your belief that your all-knowing, always-in-control God preprogrammed and/or dabbled every evolutionary innovation etc. in the history of life, and did so only as an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take before fulfilling his sole purpose of producing us? And how does it support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing that is living is simple.

An excellent observation, in complete contrast to your comments on this thread and on the taxi fish thread: “You are fighting the chance v. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own.” I replied “Since when were cells simple?” Now please tell me why their complexity precludes their being intelligent!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 18:30 (3 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: There cannot something from nothing. There has to be an intelligent first cause for a beginning.

dhw: How often do we have to repeat that first cause is either your inexplicably intelligent “pure energy”, or it is eternally changing, unintelligent, unconscious materials and energy producing endless combinations which eventually by a lucky chance create the first glimmerings of consciousness which then evolves? I find both “first causes” equally difficult to accept.

You haven't disclosed the source of 'eternally changing...materials', or are they the first cause, without a cause?


Dhw: Your cells are running the thing you think of as you. Maybe they also run the changes that other organisms require or invent when conditions change.

DAVID: My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.

dhw: There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions.

The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

dhw: A major change in the environment (e.g. an increase in oxygen) may create new opportunities. Intelligent beings will use them, and nobody – absolutely nobody – knows how much time is needed for intelligent beings to invent new “tools” to deal with new conditions. And we have dealt with this over and over again, so please don’t say I ignore it.

What you just ignored is the size of the phenotypical alterations shown by the gap. Design by a designer is necessary.

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that support your belief that your all-knowing, always-in-control God preprogrammed and/or dabbled every evolutionary innovation etc. in the history of life, and did so only as an interim goal to cover the time he had decided to take before fulfilling his sole purpose of producing us? And how does it support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing that is living is simple.

dhw: An excellent observation, in complete contrast to your comments on this thread and on the taxi fish thread: “You are fighting the chance v. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own.” I replied “Since when were cells simple?” Now please tell me why their complexity precludes their being intelligent!

They would have to be able to think. How would simple, yet complex cells do that? Your suggestion is that they just do it. Really, without the necessary equipment?

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 14:22 (2 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: There cannot something from nothing. There has to be an intelligent first cause for a beginning.

dhw: How often do we have to repeat that first cause is either your inexplicably intelligent “pure energy”, or it is eternally changing, unintelligent, unconscious materials and energy producing endless combinations which eventually by a lucky chance create the first glimmerings of consciousness which then evolves? I find both “first causes” equally difficult to accept.

DAVID: You haven't disclosed the source of 'eternally changing...materials', or are they the first cause, without a cause?

You haven’t disclosed the source of “intelligent” pure energy. Both hypotheses are “first cause without a cause”, because that is the meaning of “first cause”.

DAVID: My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.

dhw: There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions.

DAVID: The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

The concept of “intelligent” cells by definition entails mental activity! We know that cells are sentient, process information, communicate and make decisions. Some renowned scientists regard these attributes as proof of “mental activity”. That is the basis of the theory!

dhw: A major change in the environment (e.g. an increase in oxygen) may create new opportunities. Intelligent beings will use them, and nobody – absolutely nobody – knows how much time is needed for intelligent beings to invent new “tools” to deal with new conditions. And we have dealt with this over and over again, so please don’t say I ignore it.

DAVID: What you just ignored is the size of the phenotypical alterations shown by the gap. Design by a designer is necessary.

What you just ignored is the fact that I dealt with the gaps – of all sizes – in my previous answer. Do you want me to repeat it?

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that […] support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing that is living is simple.

dhw: An excellent observation, in complete contrast to your comments on this thread and on the taxi fish thread: “You are fighting the chance v. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own.” I replied “Since when were cells simple?” Now please tell me why their complexity precludes their being intelligent!

DAVID: They would have to be able to think. How would simple, yet complex cells do that? Your suggestion is that they just do it. Really, without the necessary equipment?

You’ve got it! “Intelligent cells” means cells that are able to think. What on earth do you mean by “simple yet complex”? How do you know that cells, which are enormously complex, do not have the necessary equipment to enable them to process information, make decisions etc.? We don’t know how the brain produces all these attributes (remember the theory of emergence?). So maybe the cell has its equivalent of the brain, and intelligence emerges from the interplay between its various components. I say “maybe” because, as I constantly have to remind you, it is a theory.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 19:02 (2 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My conclusion about designing in advance is the only way to explain the huge gaps in the fossil record, which your illogical use of 'smart' cells always ignores.

dhw: There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions.

DAVID: The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

dhw: The concept of “intelligent” cells by definition entails mental activity! We know that cells are sentient, process information, communicate and make decisions. Some renowned scientists regard these attributes as proof of “mental activity”. That is the basis of the theory!

What Shapiro found is that free-living bacteria, responsible fro their own welfare can manage some DNA alterations without becoming a new species. That is a limited ability which probably was not transmitted to multicellular organisms when they appeared in their own complex forms, as we see no evidence of it in our research. There is no proof single-celled organisms 'know' what they are doing. That are seen only as acting with intelligence, which appearance can easily be explained as following automatic instructions.


dhw: A major change in the environment (e.g. an increase in oxygen) may create new opportunities. Intelligent beings will use them, and nobody – absolutely nobody – knows how much time is needed for intelligent beings to invent new “tools” to deal with new conditions. And we have dealt with this over and over again, so please don’t say I ignore it.

dhw: I have never suggested that we do not have different and far more advanced “thoughts” than other organisms. How does that […] support your belief that the intelligent behaviour of cells is not due to intelligence, and that they are incapable of extending their autonomous capacity for minor adaptation to major adaptation and innovation?

DAVID: The answer is always that the very first living cells had to be obviously highly complex, as real life shows us. Nothing that is living is simple.

dhw: An excellent observation, in complete contrast to your comments on this thread and on the taxi fish thread: “You are fighting the chance v. design problem and saying these simple cells can do it on their own.” I replied “Since when were cells simple?” Now please tell me why their complexity precludes their being intelligent!

DAVID: They would have to be able to think. How would simple, yet complex cells do that? Your suggestion is that they just do it. Really, without the necessary equipment?

dhw: You’ve got it! “Intelligent cells” means cells that are able to think. What on earth do you mean by “simple yet complex”? How do you know that cells, which are enormously complex, do not have the necessary equipment to enable them to process information, make decisions etc.? We don’t know how the brain produces all these attributes (remember the theory of emergence?). So maybe the cell has its equivalent of the brain, and intelligence emerges from the interplay between its various components. I say “maybe” because, as I constantly have to remind you, it is a theory.

And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

David's theory of evolution: Shapiro's view in action

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 19:53 (2 days ago) @ David Turell

Bacteria have the CRISPR-cas mechanism to fight phage viruses:

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-autoimmunity-important-immune-absent-bacteria.html

"CRISPR-Cas is an immune system that protects bacteria against infection by viruses (called phages).

"The system works by stealing a small piece of viral DNA and using this to target and destroy matching sections of virus genome during a future infection.

"Targeting by CRISPR-Cas breaks down the virus genome, meaning that new copies of the virus cannot be made.

"Previously, the Westra and van Houte groups of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University's Penryn Campus in Cornwall showed that CRISPR-Cas can provide excellent protection against "lytic" phages, that is phages that multiply inside the host cell and cause the bacterial cell to burst releasing more viral particles.

***

"This type of autoimmunity was caused by the CRISPR-Cas system targeting viral DNA that had been incorporated into the host's own genome, leading to host cell death and virus release.
They found that bacterial cells that had lost the CRISPR-Cas system from their genome avoided the damage caused by autoimmune targeting, survived and proliferated.

"'Here, the absence of this key immune system was an advantage," explain the authors.

"They also highlight that "anti-CRISPR proteins, which are small inhibitors produced by the phage to counteract the host CRISPR-Cas immune response and had previously been thought to only benefit the phage that makes them, also provide protection for the host. In this scenario, disabling the host immune system blocks autoimmunity and prevents bacterial death.'"

Comment: We use the CRISPR system to edit DNA experimentally. But this is not a design system for new species. Bacteria must be able to protect themselves.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Thursday, January 23, 2020, 10:04 (1 day, 12 hours, 15 min. ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions.

DAVID: The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

dhw: The concept of “intelligent” cells by definition entails mental activity! We know that cells are sentient, process information, communicate and make decisions. Some renowned scientists regard these attributes as proof of “mental activity”. That is the basis of the theory!

DAVID: What Shapiro found is that free-living bacteria, responsible fro their own welfare can manage some DNA alterations without becoming a new species. That is a limited ability which probably was not transmitted to multicellular organisms when they appeared in their own complex forms, as we see no evidence of it in our research. There is no proof single-celled organisms 'know' what they are doing. That are seen only as acting with intelligence, which appearance can easily be explained as following automatic instructions.

No need to repeat all this. You asked about the gaps and I gave you an answer. Shapiro’s theory (not proven) is that cells are intelligent and are responsible for evolutionary novelties, and I suggest that this theory explains the gaps. Your theory (not proven) is that the cells were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled with.

DAVID: And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

You keep saying that the actions appear to be intelligent (= mentally active), there is a 50/50 chance that they are/are not, but it is not possible that they are!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 23, 2020, 22:36 (23 hours, 43 minutes ago) @ dhw

dhw: There are two ways to explain the gaps in the fossil record: 1) over thousands of millions of years, you can hardly expect a complete record, but we agree that the Cambrian suggests big jumps, and so 2) the concept of intelligent cells would explain how organisms can both adapt to and exploit new conditions.

DAVID: The concept without mental activity is a dead end.

dhw: The concept of “intelligent” cells by definition entails mental activity! We know that cells are sentient, process information, communicate and make decisions. Some renowned scientists regard these attributes as proof of “mental activity”. That is the basis of the theory!

DAVID: What Shapiro found is that free-living bacteria, responsible fro their own welfare can manage some DNA alterations without becoming a new species. That is a limited ability which probably was not transmitted to multicellular organisms when they appeared in their own complex forms, as we see no evidence of it in our research. There is no proof single-celled organisms 'know' what they are doing. That are seen only as acting with intelligence, which appearance can easily be explained as following automatic instructions.

dhw: No need to repeat all this. You asked about the gaps and I gave you an answer. Shapiro’s theory (not proven) is that cells are intelligent and are responsible for evolutionary novelties, and I suggest that this theory explains the gaps. Your theory (not proven) is that the cells were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled with.

DAVID: And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

dhw: You keep saying that the actions appear to be intelligent (= mentally active), there is a 50/50 chance that they are/are not, but it is not possible that they are!

The 50/50, I will remind, is only the odds of which of us is correct. I'm sure 99% I am correct. Appearing to act intelligently does not mean any cellular thinking is occurring.

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by dhw, Friday, January 24, 2020, 11:49 (10 hours, 30 minutes ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You asked about the gaps and I gave you an answer. Shapiro’s theory (not proven) is that cells are intelligent and are responsible for evolutionary novelties, and I suggest that this theory explains the gaps. Your theory (not proven) is that the cells were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled with.

DAVID: And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

dhw: You keep saying that the actions appear to be intelligent (= mentally active), there is a 50/50 chance that they are/are not, but it is not possible that they are!

DAVID: The 50/50, I will remind, is only the odds of which of us is correct. I'm sure 99% I am correct. Appearing to act intelligently does not mean any cellular thinking is occurring.

And appearing to act intelligently does not mean no cellular thinking is occurring. I answered your question about the gaps with a feasible theory, the basis of which (cellular intelligence) you accept as having a 50/50 chance of being correct. I don’t regard your 99% certainty that you are correct as any more rational than, shall we say Dawkins’s 99% certainty that there is no God. Once people have made up their minds on issues which cannot possibly be closed, they simply put on blinkers!

Under “biological complexity”:

"an explosion of similar discoveries has revealed squabbles, fights and all-out wars playing out on the cellular level. Known as cell competition, it works a bit like natural selection between species, in that fitter cells win out over their less-fit neighbours. […] Cells use a variety of ways to eliminate their rivals, from kicking them out of a tissue to inducing cell suicide or even engulfing them and cannibalizing their components. The observations reveal that the development and maintenance of tissues are much more chaotic processes than previously thought. “This is a radical departure from development as a preprogrammed set of rules that run like clockwork,” says Thomas Zwaka, a stem-cell biologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

DAVID: Much of this cell competition helps explain embryological formation. And I think the comments about how this works is through molecular sensing is a correct view. In the embryo much of [it] has got to be automatic to follow the blue print in the DNA.

I’m glad you say “much of [it] has got to be automatic. It is the part which is not automatic that I find interesting – you know, the part that suggests cellular intelligence. I wonder why you didn’t comment particularly on the second bold, dismissing the contention that it’s all preprogrammed and runs like clockwork.

QUOTE: Just like the body contains lungs, liver, and lymph nodes, so does each of the body's cells contain tiny specialized organs.

It’s as if each cell is a microcosm of the body, and the body is a microcosm of life on earth, with every organism from cell to human actively and intelligently engaged in the struggle for survival, each of them autonomously using the equipment at their disposal. How did the equipment get there in the first place? Yep, that’s the Big Question!

David's theory of evolution: James A. Shapiro's view

by David Turell @, Friday, January 24, 2020, 20:49 (1 hours, 30 minutes ago) @ dhw

dhw: You asked about the gaps and I gave you an answer. Shapiro’s theory (not proven) is that cells are intelligent and are responsible for evolutionary novelties, and I suggest that this theory explains the gaps. Your theory (not proven) is that the cells were all preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago or dabbled with.

DAVID: And I don't accept the theory as even possible. The only 'mental' activity we see is in neurons.

dhw: You keep saying that the actions appear to be intelligent (= mentally active), there is a 50/50 chance that they are/are not, but it is not possible that they are!

DAVID: The 50/50, I will remind, is only the odds of which of us is correct. I'm sure 99% I am correct. Appearing to act intelligently does not mean any cellular thinking is occurring.

dhw: And appearing to act intelligently does not mean no cellular thinking is occurring. I answered your question about the gaps with a feasible theory, the basis of which (cellular intelligence) you accept as having a 50/50 chance of being correct. I don’t regard your 99% certainty that you are correct as any more rational than, shall we say Dawkins’s 99% certainty that there is no God. Once people have made up their minds on issues which cannot possibly be closed, they simply put on blinkers!

Written like a proud agnostic.


Under “biological complexity”:

"an explosion of similar discoveries has revealed squabbles, fights and all-out wars playing out on the cellular level. Known as cell competition, it works a bit like natural selection between species, in that fitter cells win out over their less-fit neighbours. […] Cells use a variety of ways to eliminate their rivals, from kicking them out of a tissue to inducing cell suicide or even engulfing them and cannibalizing their components. The observations reveal that the development and maintenance of tissues are much more chaotic processes than previously thought. “This is a radical departure from development as a preprogrammed set of rules that run like clockwork,” says Thomas Zwaka, a stem-cell biologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

DAVID: Much of this cell competition helps explain embryological formation. And I think the comments about how this works is through molecular sensing is a correct view. In the embryo much of [it] has got to be automatic to follow the blue print in the DNA.

dhw: I’m glad you say “much of [it] has got to be automatic. It is the part which is not automatic that I find interesting – you know, the part that suggests cellular intelligence. I wonder why you didn’t comment particularly on the second bold, dismissing the contention that it’s all preprogrammed and runs like clockwork.

We know organisms reproduce exact copies unless there are major mutations. It may look chaotic in the new discoveries because it surprises the Darwinian folks, and yet really be preprogrammed to a large degree.


QUOTE: Just like the body contains lungs, liver, and lymph nodes, so does each of the body's cells contain tiny specialized organs.

dhw: It’s as if each cell is a microcosm of the body, and the body is a microcosm of life on earth, with every organism from cell to human actively and intelligently engaged in the struggle for survival, each of them autonomously using the equipment at their disposal. How did the equipment get there in the first place? Yep, that’s the Big Question!

By design they have the equipment.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Sunday, November 10, 2019, 13:28 (75 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You still fail to see adaptation is not speciation. Gould's gaps are real.

dhw: I keep repeating that nobody knows how speciation comes about, but adaptation gives us a clue as to a possible and perfectly logical explanation, as illustrated by the whale. The gaps become less of a problem if you accept the idea that intelligent cells (as opposed to random mutations) are responsible for designing responses to changing conditions. We know that in some (though not all) cases, adaptation has to be swift to ensure survival.

DAVID: Whale gaps are huge, and swift adaptations are still not speciation. You are grasping at straws.

You keep ignoring the point that adaptation, whether fast or slow (whale adaptations/innovations were in slow stages) illustrates the fact that organisms change by RESPONDING to changing conditions, not in advance of them, and my proposal is that the same mechanism may be responsible for major changes as well as minor. I regard this as a more solid straw than your millions of 3.8-billion-year-old, divine computer programmes for speciation, plus lifestyles, strategies and natural wonders.

dhw: Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that [..] he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take.

DAVID: The bold is the only logical part of your statement. The rest wants a humanized God.

dhw: The rest is a summary of your theory, which you tell us is not illogical “if one does not apply human reasoning to the actual history”, and your flaccid “humanizing” complaint is countered by your own agreement that your God “very well could think like us”.

DAVID: But we do not know if God thinks like you do. All supposition. History presents the facts.

Not supposition, but one of several possibilities, all of which are humanly logical, whereas your own fixed belief, in your words, is only logical “if we do not apply human logic to the facts of history”!


DAVID: Hybridization is an accepted form of evolution.
dhw: Of course it is. Only you happened to create a pretty silly form of it: apes with human legs mated with ape-legged apes to produce early hominins! I’d have thought apes with human legs were the hominin ancestors, whereas apes with ape legs would not contribute anything new at all to the human lineage.

DAVID: Silly. Remember something has to be the in between model!

Of course it does. So how can the offspring of human-legged apes and ordinary apes provide anything more “in between” than apes with human legs?

DAVID: Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

dhw: […] you should have understood by now that in my hypothesis the new body abilities and forms are designed by the cell communities, and I accept the possibility that the ability to do this designing may have been given to them by your God – but for reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to accept the possibility that your God might have designed the mechanism to give them this ability.

DAVID: I've accepted it in the past as an inventive mechanism from God with guidelines. You don't like guidelines as it gives your version of God too much control. Your agnosticism is showing up as usual.

Your guidelines are either 3.8-billion-year-old programmes or private lessons in how to do whatever is to be done. My proposal (theistic version) is that your God gave cells the autonomous ability to do their own designing. Nothing whatsoever to do with my agnosticism, but everything to do with a logical explanation for the great higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution, which suggests anything but the single purpose and method you impose on your God, which you admit requires jettisoning all human reasoning.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 10, 2019, 20:08 (75 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Whale gaps are huge, and swift adaptations are still not speciation. You are grasping at straws.

dhw: You keep ignoring the point that adaptation, whether fast or slow (whale adaptations/innovations were in slow stages) illustrates the fact that organisms change by RESPONDING to changing conditions, not in advance of them, and my proposal is that the same mechanism may be responsible for major changes as well as minor.

Whale adaptations were huge. You cannot downsize them. Look at the series of major changes to refresh your memory. Gould's concept of gaps cannot be ignored. He was a semi-honest Darwinist, shown by the invention of punc-inc, never proven.

dhw: Of course if he exists he does what he wants to, and I cannot possibly forget that you have no idea why he would have chosen to delay “evolving” H. sapiens, his sole purpose, for 3.X billion years, and that [..] he therefore had to design every non-human life form, lifestyle etc. in order to cover the time he had decided to take.

DAVID: But we do not know if God thinks like you do. All supposition. History presents the facts.

dhw: Not supposition, but one of several possibilities, all of which are humanly logical, whereas your own fixed belief, in your words, is only logical “if we do not apply human logic to the facts of history”!

History supplies the facts, which can be logically analyzed. You and I differ, since I say that the history is the result of God's actions. You agree that can be true if God is in change and then you deny it, which is your right because you won't accept as God is charge. It is your problem, not mine.


DAVID: Hybridization is an accepted form of evolution.
dhw: Of course it is. Only you happened to create a pretty silly form of it: apes with human legs mated with ape-legged apes to produce early hominins! I’d have thought apes with human legs were the hominin ancestors, whereas apes with ape legs would not contribute anything new at all to the human lineage.

DAVID: Silly. Remember something has to be the in between model!

Of course it does. So how can the offspring of human-legged apes and ordinary apes provide anything more “in between” than apes with human legs?

DAVID: Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

dhw: […] you should have understood by now that in my hypothesis the new body abilities and forms are designed by the cell communities, and I accept the possibility that the ability to do this designing may have been given to them by your God – but for reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to accept the possibility that your God might have designed the mechanism to give them this ability.

DAVID: I've accepted it in the past as an inventive mechanism from God with guidelines. You don't like guidelines as it gives your version of God too much control. Your agnosticism is showing up as usual.

dhw: Your guidelines are either 3.8-billion-year-old programmes or private lessons in how to do whatever is to be done. My proposal (theistic version) is that your God gave cells the autonomous ability to do their own designing. Nothing whatsoever to do with my agnosticism, but everything to do with a logical explanation for the great higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution, which suggests anything but the single purpose and method you impose on your God, which you admit requires jettisoning all human reasoning.

Your usual mantra. The bush is required to supply energy for life to evolve over 3.8 billion years as history shows. Have you forgotten everyone has to eat regularly? No you haven't. You choose to ignore it. God in charge got to his purpose by creating the evolution of life over the time history says it took. Again you humanize God whom you think shouldn't have been so patient. Real history is not illogical.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Monday, November 11, 2019, 10:59 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Whale gaps are huge, and swift adaptations are still not speciation. You are grasping at straws.

dhw: You keep ignoring the point that adaptation, whether fast or slow (whale adaptations/innovations were in slow stages) illustrates the fact that organisms change by RESPONDING to changing conditions, not in advance of them, and my proposal is that the same mechanism may be responsible for major changes as well as minor.

DAVID: Whale adaptations were huge. You cannot downsize them. Look at the series of major changes to refresh your memory. Gould's concept of gaps cannot be ignored. He was a semi-honest Darwinist, shown by the invention of punc-inc, never proven.

Thank you for calling them adaptations. Yes, they are huge, which is why they led to new species. And this is why I keep telling you that it is difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation, but since we know that minor adaptations occur as responses to new conditions, it is not unreasonable to suppose that major adaptations will follow the same process (as opposed to your God changing legs into flippers before the pre-whale enters the water). Yet again: nobody knows how speciation occurs, and your theory remains just as unproven as any other, so why do you keep trotting that out instead of considering how reasonable each theory might be. Your own unproven theory demands that we jettison humans reasoning altogether!

DAVID: History supplies the facts, which can be logically analyzed. You and I differ, since I say that the history is the result of God's actions.

If God exists, I have no doubt that the history (= the higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms) is the result of his actions.

DAVID: You agree that can be true if God is in charge and then you deny it….

I deny that the higgledy-piggledy bush is the result of his sole purpose being to design H. sapiens, his inexplicable decision (you have "no idea" why he made it) to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his sole purpose, and the resultant necessity to design every preceding non-human life form etc, to cover the time he had decided to take – a theory which by your own admission is only logical if “we do not apply human reasoning to the facts of history” - your very own words.

DAVID: Who or what designed the new forms or parts? A designing mind is required.

dhw: […] you should have understood by now that in my hypothesis the new body abilities and forms are designed by the cell communities […] – but for reasons I cannot fathom, you refuse to accept the possibility that your God might have designed the mechanism to give them this ability.

DAVID: I've accepted it in the past as an inventive mechanism from God with guidelines. You don't like guidelines as it gives your version of God too much control. Your agnosticism is showing up as usual.

dhw: Your guidelines are either 3.8-billion-year-old programmes or private lessons in how to do whatever is to be done. My proposal (theistic version) is that your God gave cells the AUTONOMOUS ability to do their own designing. Nothing whatsoever to do with my agnosticism, but everything to do with a logical explanation for the great higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution, which suggests anything but the illogical combination of single purpose and method you impose on your God.

DAVID: Your usual mantra. The bush is required to supply energy for life to evolve over 3.8 billion years as history shows. Have you forgotten everyone has to eat regularly? No you haven't. You choose to ignore it. God in charge got to his purpose by creating the evolution of life over the time history says it took. Again you humanize God whom you think shouldn't have been so patient. Real history is not illogical.

Yes, yes, all life forms require food, and history says it took 3.X billion years for humans to appear, and you know perfectly well that this is not the issue, which yet again I have summarized above in bold (see "I deny…”). You agree that your God “very well could think like us”, and that your theory is illogical by human standards, and of course history (the higgledy-piggledy bush of life) is not illogical – it is your interpretation of it that is illogical by your own (human) admission.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Monday, November 11, 2019, 17:23 (74 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You keep ignoring the point that adaptation, whether fast or slow (whale adaptations/innovations were in slow stages) illustrates the fact that organisms change by RESPONDING to changing conditions, not in advance of them, and my proposal is that the same mechanism may be responsible for major changes as well as minor.

DAVID: Whale adaptations were huge. You cannot downsize them. Look at the series of major changes to refresh your memory. Gould's concept of gaps cannot be ignored. He was a semi-honest Darwinist, shown by the invention of punc-inc, never proven.

dhw: Thank you for calling them adaptations. Yes, they are huge, which is why they led to new species. And this is why I keep telling you that it is difficult to draw a borderline between adaptation and innovation, but since we know that minor adaptations occur as responses to new conditions, it is not unreasonable to suppose that major adaptations will follow the same process (as opposed to your God changing legs into flippers before the pre-whale enters the water).

The difference is obvious. Species have adaptations and stay the same species. New species imply much larger changes in form and function, requiring design.

dhw: Yet again: nobody knows how speciation occurs, and your theory remains just as unproven as any other, so why do you keep trotting that out instead of considering how reasonable each theory might be. Your own unproven theory demands that we jettison humans reasoning altogether!

Not so. My theories are the result of reasoning from many facts and points of view.


DAVID: History supplies the facts, which can be logically analyzed. You and I differ, since I say that the history is the result of God's actions.

dhw: If God exists, I have no doubt that the history (= the higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms) is the result of his actions.

DAVID: You agree that can be true if God is in charge and then you deny it….

dhw: I deny that the higgledy-piggledy bush is the result of his sole purpose being to design H. sapiens, his inexplicable decision (you have "no idea" why he made it) to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his sole purpose, and the resultant necessity to design every preceding non-human life form etc, to cover the time he had decided to take – a theory which by your own admission is only logical if “we do not apply human reasoning to the facts of history” - your very own words.

Usual distortion. The bush provides food supply for the time it took. God produced the history.

dhw: Your guidelines are either 3.8-billion-year-old programmes or private lessons in how to do whatever is to be done. My proposal (theistic version) is that your God gave cells the AUTONOMOUS ability to do their own designing. Nothing whatsoever to do with my agnosticism, but everything to do with a logical explanation for the great higgledy-piggledy bush of evolution, which suggests anything but the illogical combination of single purpose and method you impose on your God.

DAVID: Your usual mantra. The bush is required to supply energy for life to evolve over 3.8 billion years as history shows. Have you forgotten everyone has to eat regularly? No you haven't. You choose to ignore it. God in charge got to his purpose by creating the evolution of life over the time history says it took. Again you humanize God whom you think shouldn't have been so patient. Real history is not illogical.

dhw: Yes, yes, all life forms require food, and history says it took 3.X billion years for humans to appear, and you know perfectly well that this is not the issue, which yet again I have summarized above in bold (see "I deny…”). You agree that your God “very well could think like us”, and that your theory is illogical by human standards, and of course history (the higgledy-piggledy bush of life) is not illogical – it is your interpretation of it that is illogical by your own (human) admission.

Distortion as usual. My theory is logical using a logical human brain. I don't humanly analyze God's reasons for His actions. I simply accept the actions. You constantly wonder why He did what He did. That simply leads to your confusion about God.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 08:49 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] since we know that minor adaptations occur as responses to new conditions, it is not unreasonable to suppose that major adaptations will follow the same process (as opposed to your God changing legs into flippers before the pre-whale enters the water).

DAVID: The difference is obvious. Species have adaptations and stay the same species. New species imply much larger changes in form and function, requiring design.

You have also called the larger changes adaptations, which implies your agreement that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between adaptation and innovation (see Talbott post). And I don’t know how often you want me to agree that they require design (design by cellular intelligence is design). Where we disagree is over your theory that your God designed every one in order to keep life going etc. as below in bold:

DAVID: History supplies the facts, which can be logically analyzed. You and I differ, since I say that the history is the result of God's actions.

dhw: If God exists, I have no doubt that the history (= the higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms) is the result of his actions.

DAVID: You agree that can be true if God is in charge and then you deny it….

dhw: I deny that the higgledy-piggledy bush is the result of his sole purpose being to design H. sapiens, his inexplicable decision (you have "no idea" why he made it) to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his sole purpose, and the resultant necessity to design every preceding non-human life form etc, to cover the time he had decided to take – a theory which by your own admission is only logical if “we do not apply human reasoning to the facts of history” - your very own words.

DAVID: Usual distortion. The bush provides food supply for the time it took. God produced the history.

No distortion. I have reproduced your own theory and have quoted your own words. Why do you now reject your own statements?

dhw: Yes, yes, all life forms require food, and history says it took 3.X billion years for humans to appear, and you know perfectly well that this is not the issue, which yet again I have summarized above in bold (see "I deny…”). You agree that your God “very well could think like us”, and that your theory is illogical by human standards, and of course history (the higgledy-piggledy bush of life) is not illogical – it is your interpretation of it that is illogical by your own (human) admission.

DAVID: Distortion as usual. My theory is logical using a logical human brain.

So why did you say it was not illogical “if we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history”?

DAVID: I don't humanly analyze God's reasons for His actions. I simply accept the actions.

It is you who have claimed that he specially designed every single innovation, lifestyle etc. That is not “accepting”, it is theorizing. You have also categorically stated that the reason why he specially designed them all was to cover the time he had decided to take over what you claim to be his sole reason for creating life. Theory, not acceptance.

DAVID: You constantly wonder why He did what He did. That simply leads to your confusion about God.

I constantly dispute your version of what he did and why he did it – a theory which leads to such confusion that you can only admit it is not illogical provided you do not apply human reasoning to the actual history. Why don’t you just agree with your own comment and leave it at that?

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 16:04 (73 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: […] since we know that minor adaptations occur as responses to new conditions, it is not unreasonable to suppose that major adaptations will follow the same process (as opposed to your God changing legs into flippers before the pre-whale enters the water).

DAVID: History supplies the facts, which can be logically analyzed. You and I differ, since I say that the history is the result of God's actions.

dhw: If God exists, I have no doubt that the history (= the higgledy-piggledy bush of life forms) is the result of his actions.

DAVID: You agree that can be true if God is in charge and then you deny it….

dhw: I deny that the higgledy-piggledy bush is the result of his sole purpose being to design H. sapiens, his inexplicable decision (you have "no idea" why he made it) to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his sole purpose, and the resultant necessity to design every preceding non-human life form etc, to cover the time he had decided to take – a theory which by your own admission is only logical if “we do not apply human reasoning to the facts of history” - your very own words.

DAVID: Usual distortion. The bush provides food supply for the time it took. God produced the history.

dhw: No distortion. I have reproduced your own theory and have quoted your own words. Why do you now reject your own statements?

You are simply distorting the meanings of my statements taken out of context.


dhw: Yes, yes, all life forms require food, and history says it took 3.X billion years for humans to appear, and you know perfectly well that this is not the issue, which yet again I have summarized above in bold (see "I deny…”). You agree that your God “very well could think like us”, and that your theory is illogical by human standards, and of course history (the higgledy-piggledy bush of life) is not illogical – it is your interpretation of it that is illogical by your own (human) admission.

DAVID: Distortion as usual. My theory is logical using a logical human brain.

dhw: So why did you say it was not illogical “if we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history”?

I have applied my own reasoning while not questioning God's, as you constantly attempt to do, with no way to know if your objections to God's methods are true.


DAVID: I don't humanly analyze God's reasons for His actions. I simply accept the actions.

dhw: It is you who have claimed that he specially designed every single innovation, lifestyle etc. That is not “accepting”, it is theorizing. You have also categorically stated that the reason why he specially designed them all was to cover the time he had decided to take over what you claim to be his sole reason for creating life. Theory, not acceptance.

I logically see the necessity for design, but it is you who cannot find a designer.


DAVID: You constantly wonder why He did what He did. That simply leads to your confusion about God.

dhw: I constantly dispute your version of what he did and why he did it – a theory which leads to such confusion that you can only admit it is not illogical provided you do not apply human reasoning to the actual history. Why don’t you just agree with your own comment and leave it at that?

Nothing illogical if you accept history as what He did. The 'why' is what we debate.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by dhw, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 11:45 (72 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I deny that the higgledy-piggledy bush is the result of his sole purpose being to design H. sapiens, his inexplicable decision (you have "no idea" why he made it) to wait 3.X billion years before fulfilling his sole purpose, and the resultant necessity to design every preceding non-human life form etc, to cover the time he had decided to take – a theory which by your own admission is only logical if “we do not apply human reasoning to the facts of history” - your very own words.

DAVID: Usual distortion. The bush provides food supply for the time it took. God produced the history.

dhw: No distortion. I have reproduced your own theory and have quoted your own words. Why do you now reject your own statements?

DAVID: You are simply distorting the meanings of my statements taken out of context.

Then please explain which of the above bolded statements is a distortion, and tell us what you really meant.

DAVID: My theory is logical using a logical human brain.

dhw: So why did you say it was not illogical “if we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history”?

DAVID: I have applied my own reasoning while not questioning God's, as you constantly attempt to do, with no way to know if your objections to God's methods are true.

I do not question God’s reasoning because even if he exists, none of us can possibly know it. I question YOUR reasoning and your interpretation of his methods, and it is you who admit that your theory is not illogical so long as we do not apply human reasoning to the actual history.

DAVID: I logically see the necessity for design, but it is you who cannot find a designer.

As you know perfectly well, I accept the logic of design and a designer, but…as follows:
dhw: I constantly dispute your version of what he did and why he did it – a theory which leads to such confusion that you can only admit it is not illogical provided you do not apply human reasoning to the actual history.

DAVID: Nothing illogical if you accept history as what He did. The 'why' is what we debate.

If your God exists, what he did (the history) was produce the higgledy-piggledy bush. What is illogical is your version of “how” (designing billions of non-human innovations, lifestyles, natural wonders etc.), combined with your version of “why” (in order to cover the time which, despite being in total charge, he had inexplicably – you have “no idea” why – decided to take before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design, H. sapiens). You are absolutely right to say that such a theory defies human logic. So once more, do please agree with yourself and let’s move on.

David's theory of evolution Part Two

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 19:58 (72 days ago) @ dhw