The simplest explanation? (Evolution)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 14:48 (22 days ago)

My thanks as always to David for a collection of very revealing articles (though I must confess I’m having great difficulty keeping up this pace). I‘ve selected a bunch of quotes which I think add up to a nice and simple theory of evolution and much else besides!

QUOTE (under “BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY”): Human cells need to work like well-oiled machines to keep our bodies running as they should. Waste products such as misfolded proteins, damaged cellular components, and carbohydrates get in the way and must be quickly disposed of.

DAVID: A highly sophisticated protection system which could not develop stepwise in evolution. It had to be a designed protection system from the beginning, or life would not have ever survived.

The system had to be there from the beginning, but it would have had to be flexible enough to deal with every form of waste in every organism as evolution developed.

QUOTE (Under: “How Cells know what to do” […] they also found that the delay between the two waves was close to the theoretically predicted optimum for allowing cells to extract maximum information from the waves. (David’s bold)

QUOTE: This mechanism of self-organization is remarkable for allowing robust and spontaneous communication of direction over large distances within cell layers. It demonstrates one way in which coordinated behavior can arise in our bodies helping them to heal and grow.

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals. The bold exhibits exquisite design.

Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

DAVID (Under “Genome and evolvability”): As usual I'm with Shapiro.

Then I wish you would take his theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence a bit more seriously.

QUOTE (under “Biological design”): "Indeed, whatever the difficulty of creating life in the lab, making individual prototypes is not nearly as problematic as making “the machine that makes the machine,” which all reproducing living cells can do. That is, the ability of an organism to reproduce is at least an order of magnitude harder that the ability of an organism to just live."

They should have added the ability to adapt and to evolve into other species. And the “machine that makes the machine” is the crux of the matter, except that with evolution one can go further: the machine is the original life form, the machine that makes the new machine is the intelligent cell, and the machine that made the original life form AND the machine that made the new machine may be your God.

QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.”

And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 17:55 (22 days ago) @ dhw

My thanks as always to David for a collection of very revealing articles (though I must confess I’m having great difficulty keeping up this pace). I‘ve selected a bunch of quotes which I think add up to a nice and simple theory of evolution and much else besides!

QUOTE (under “BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY”): Human cells need to work like well-oiled machines to keep our bodies running as they should. Waste products such as misfolded proteins, damaged cellular components, and carbohydrates get in the way and must be quickly disposed of.

DAVID: A highly sophisticated protection system which could not develop stepwise in evolution. It had to be a designed protection system from the beginning, or life would not have ever survived.

dhw: The system had to be there from the beginning, but it would have had to be flexible enough to deal with every form of waste in every organism as evolution developed.

Agreed.


QUOTE (Under: “How Cells know what to do” […] they also found that the delay between the two waves was close to the theoretically predicted optimum for allowing cells to extract maximum information from the waves. (David’s bold)

QUOTE: This mechanism of self-organization is remarkable for allowing robust and spontaneous communication of direction over large distances within cell layers. It demonstrates one way in which coordinated behavior can arise in our bodies helping them to heal and grow.

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals. The bold exhibits exquisite design.

dhw: Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

Yes, the cells can translate from instructional information they contain.


DAVID (Under “Genome and evolvability”): As usual I'm with Shapiro.

dhw: Then I wish you would take his theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence a bit more seriously.

I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.


QUOTE (under “Biological design”): "Indeed, whatever the difficulty of creating life in the lab, making individual prototypes is not nearly as problematic as making “the machine that makes the machine,” which all reproducing living cells can do. That is, the ability of an organism to reproduce is at least an order of magnitude harder that the ability of an organism to just live."

dhw: They should have added the ability to adapt and to evolve into other species. And the “machine that makes the machine” is the crux of the matter, except that with evolution one can go further: the machine is the original life form, the machine that makes the new machine is the intelligent cell, and the machine that made the original life form AND the machine that made the new machine may be your God.

It just means the origin of life looks like a miracle, as Davies stated.


QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.”

dhw: And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

The bold is your interpretation. The cells follow instructions and stimuli to become changed.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 11:28 (21 days ago) @ David Turell

I’ll leave out the quotes on which we agree.

QUOTE (Under: “How Cells know what to do” […] they also found that the delay between the two waves was close to the theoretically predicted optimum for allowing cells to extract maximum information from the waves. (David’s bold)

QUOTE: This mechanism of self-organization is remarkable for allowing robust and spontaneous communication of direction over large distances within cell layers. It demonstrates one way in which coordinated behavior can arise in our bodies helping them to heal and grow.

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals. The bold exhibits exquisite design.

dhw: Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

DAVID: Yes, the cells can translate from instructional information they contain.

Or the cells can autonomously process information both from inside and from outside their community, autonomously communicate with one another and with other cell communities (“coordinated behaviour”) and autonomously take decisions on what to do next.

DAVID (Under “Genome and evolvability”): As usual I'm with Shapiro.

dhw: Then I wish you would take his theory of “natural genetic engineering” through cellular intelligence a bit more seriously.

DAVID: I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.

What progress has been made on the theory that 3.8 billion years ago God provided all cells/cell communities with instructions on how to respond to all situations for the rest of time except for those which required his direct intervention (dabbling)?

QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.”

dhw: And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

DAVID: The bold is your interpretation. The cells follow instructions and stimuli to become changed.

See above re instructions, but what a shame that you can’t see all the other advantages of this simple explanation of evolution. It was you who said that the molecules were free to disobey your God’s instructions, and if you simply accept that maybe this was what he WANTED, as opposed to it being something forced upon him because there was no other way to design the system, you have a complete explanation of the great bush. By giving cells the freedom to take on different identities, he gave them the freedom to succeed or fail, to be nice or nasty, to adapt, to innovate….In fact, exactly the same as the freedom you think he has given us humans through “free will”. Theodicy is solved – all life goes its own way, i.e. he didn’t design coronavirus or the malaria parasite. A Garden of Eden would have been oh, so dull. The world we have is the world he wanted.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 16:16 (21 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals. The bold exhibits exquisite design.

dhw: Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

DAVID: Yes, the cells can translate from instructional information they contain.

dhw: Or the cells can autonomously process information both from inside and from outside their community, autonomously communicate with one another and with other cell communities (“coordinated behaviour”) and autonomously take decisions on what to do next.

Cells certainly process information and act on it, following directive information to do so.

DAVID: I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.

dhw: What progress has been made on the theory that 3.8 billion years ago God provided all cells/cell communities with instructions on how to respond to all situations for the rest of time except for those which required his direct intervention (dabbling)?

Apples and oranges. Shapiro is a science theory, not a theological discussion.


QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.”

dhw: And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

DAVID: The bold is your interpretation. The cells follow instructions and stimuli to become changed.

dhw: See above re instructions, but what a shame that you can’t see all the other advantages of this simple explanation of evolution. It was you who said that the molecules were free to disobey your God’s instructions, and if you simply accept that maybe this was what he WANTED, as opposed to it being something forced upon him because there was no other way to design the system, you have a complete explanation of the great bush. By giving cells the freedom to take on different identities, he gave them the freedom to succeed or fail, to be nice or nasty, to adapt, to innovate….In fact, exactly the same as the freedom you think he has given us humans through “free will”. Theodicy is solved – all life goes its own way, i.e. he didn’t design coronavirus or the malaria parasite. A Garden of Eden would have been oh, so dull. The world we have is the world he wanted.

I agree this is the world He designed/wanted. He got here by tight design control. The freedom of molecular action is a requirement of God's design. He wanted it because it is the only way it can work under optimal design.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Thursday, October 01, 2020, 11:47 (20 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The cells are programmed to follow mechanical and chemical signals.

dhw: Of course they act as we do through mechanical and chemical signals, but that is the result of cells “extracting information” and knowing what to communicate.

DAVID: Yes, the cells can translate from instructional information they contain.

dhw: Or the cells can autonomously process information both from inside and from outside their community, autonomously communicate with one another and with other cell communities (“coordinated behaviour”) and autonomously take decisions on what to do next.

DAVID: Cells certainly process information and act on it, following directive information to do so.

“Directive information” is a substitute for your normal word “instructions”, and that means God either preprogrammed every solution to every problem and every innovation 3.8 billion years ago, or he directly dabbled them. Why is that more likely than him designing cellular intelligence to adapt and innovate for the rest of time?

DAVID: I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.

dhw: What progress has been made on the theory that 3.8 billion years ago God provided all cells/cell communities with instructions on how to respond to all situations for the rest of time except for those which required his direct intervention (dabbling)?

DAVID: Apples and oranges. Shapiro is a science theory, not a theological discussion.

How cells function is not a theological subject. If you claim that apart from what your God dabbled, right from the beginning the very first cells already contained instructions (“directive information”) on how to solve all problems and to turn into every single species and to design every single natural wonder in the whole history of life, there must be somewhere in the cell for those instructions to be stored – just as there must be somewhere in the cells where decisions are taken. Other than finding the relevant mechanism, what other kind of “progress” do you expect either theory to make?

QUOTE (under “Biological complexity”): "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities. Cell plasticity is also essential for embryo development and for the correct function of the immune system. This property is also crucial in cancer as many cancer cells use it to gain resistance to chemotherapy and invade and colonize distant parts of the body.

dhw: And so perhaps this is the key to evolution and to all your problems about “errors” and diseases and theodicy and so many of the issues that we keep discussing: cells that are free to take on different identities. And for theists no problem at all: God designed them, and they gave him precisely what he wanted - the great and ever changing bush of life.

DAVID: The bold is your interpretation. The cells follow instructions and stimuli to become changed.

dhw: See above re instructions, but what a shame that you can’t see all the other advantages of this simple explanation of evolution.
I shan’t repeat the rest of my paragraph, since your answer focuses only on one point. It’s dealt with under “corrections”, but we can expand on it a little here.

DAVID: I agree this is the world He designed/wanted. He got here by tight design control. The freedom of molecular action is a requirement of God's design. He wanted it because it is the only way it can work under optimal design.

The question is how far that freedom might extend. And “tight design” raises the horrible problem of theodicy. If your God created this good and bad world by “tight design”, it can only mean that apart from the disease-causing “errors” in your theory (which were unavoidable and which he tried in vain to eradicate), everything else, including bad viruses and bacteria and meat-eating and possibly also natural catastrophes (as opposed to man-made) was directly designed. Maybe it was, but you can’t believe your God would deliberately want to harm us, can you? Nasty problem for you. Easily solved by my “simplest explanation”!

xxxx

I'm out of time. I'll tackle the Davies post tomorrow.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 01, 2020, 17:42 (20 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Cells certainly process information and act on it, following directive information to do so.

dhw: “Directive information” is a substitute for your normal word “instructions”, and that means God either preprogrammed every solution to every problem and every innovation 3.8 billion years ago, or he directly dabbled them. Why is that more likely than him designing cellular intelligence to adapt and innovate for the rest of time?

I'm back to: only God can speciate.


DAVID: I accept Shapiro's theoretical attempts, but have seen no progress on that score.

dhw: What progress has been made on the theory that 3.8 billion years ago God provided all cells/cell communities with instructions on how to respond to all situations for the rest of time except for those which required his direct intervention (dabbling)?

DAVID: Apples and oranges. Shapiro is a science theory, not a theological discussion.

dhw: How cells function is not a theological subject. If you claim that apart from what your God dabbled, right from the beginning the very first cells already contained instructions (“directive information”) on how to solve all problems and to turn into every single species and to design every single natural wonder in the whole history of life, there must be somewhere in the cell for those instructions to be stored – just as there must be somewhere in the cells where decisions are taken. Other than finding the relevant mechanism, what other kind of “progress” do you expect either theory to make?

Understanding all the layers of control in the genome is still being discovered. Genome wide networks of cooperating genes is one of the latest approaches in the literature. One gene, one function is really dead as an approach:

https://academic.oup.com/bib/article/21/4/1224/5522018 Topic:

Genome-wide functional association networks: background, data & state-of-the-art resources

"Abstract
The vast amount of experimental data from recent advances in the field of high-throughput biology begs for integration into more complex data structures such as genome-wide functional association networks. Such networks have been used for elucidation of the interplay of intra-cellular molecules to make advances ranging from the basic science understanding of evolutionary processes to the more translational field of precision medicine. The allure of the field has resulted in rapid growth of the number of available network resources, each with unique attributes exploitable to answer different biological questions. Unfortunately, the high volume of network resources makes it impossible for the intended user to select an appropriate tool for their particular research question. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the underlying data and representative network resources as well as to mention methods of integration, allowing a customized approach to resource selection."

DAVID: I agree this is the world He designed/wanted. He got here by tight design control. The freedom of molecular action is a requirement of God's design. He wanted it because it is the only way it can work under optimal design.

dhw: The question is how far that freedom might extend. And “tight design” raises the horrible problem of theodicy. If your God created this good and bad world by “tight design”, it can only mean that apart from the disease-causing “errors” in your theory (which were unavoidable and which he tried in vain to eradicate), everything else, including bad viruses and bacteria and meat-eating and possibly also natural catastrophes (as opposed to man-made) was directly designed. Maybe it was, but you can’t believe your God would deliberately want to harm us, can you? Nasty problem for you. Easily solved by my “simplest explanation”!

As long as there are folks like me, theodicy will be present, and handled by believers by accepting God knows what He is doing.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Saturday, October 03, 2020, 11:52 (18 days ago) @ dhw

I must apologize. For some reason my previous entry was under “brain expansion”, and of course your response went into the same thread. I’ve altered the heading now, but those two posts remain on the the brain expansion thread. This may be why you have not responded to the post (2 October at 12.36) that did deal with brain expansion. I will have to be more careful!


dhw: According to you, he speciates by preprogramming or dabbling, and I’ve asked you why this is more likely than him designing cellular intelligence to do the speciating.

DAVID: The designs as shown in today's entry about molecular machines are extreme complexity. It is more difficult to design a machine that can make an entirely new machine than to do the direct design. In automated factories there are folks who do a large part of the intricate work to complete the production. It is amazing that God has created a process that organisms can reproduce/replicate themselves exactly. That is very different than the designed creation of profoundly different new forms.

I am not denying the complexity of molecular and cellular “machines”, and we don’t need this comparison to factories. “More difficult” is irrelevant if you are talking about an all-powerful God. Or are you trying to tell us that your God was incapable of producing a machine that would make new machines? Of course you’re not. We are dealing here with two problems, based on an acceptance of God’s existence: 1) how does evolution work? 2) why did your God create life? The two are covered below:

dhw: How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: We know bacteria can reprogram some of their DNA through Shapiro. We've seen Lenski's many 20+ years of study of e. Coli. E. Coli is still E. coli. I'm still with God speciating. Shapiro has never gotten any support through research. I accept research.

Shapiro’s theory is based on research (his own and other people’s) into the behaviour of cells. He concludes – as have many other scientists – that cells are intelligent. I don’t know what research you have done yourself, but that doesn’t matter: you know how cells behave and you have concluded that although they behave intelligently, they are obeying instructions which your God implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago. I really can’t see how your theory is therefore more scientific, more logical or more reliable than Shapiro’s.

dhw: Setting aside your own fixed beliefs, please explain why you do not think my “simplest explanation” is feasible. Brief summary: God did not want a dull Garden of Eden, but wanted an unpredictable mixture of good and bad (you can’t appreciate the one without the other), and therefore gave organisms the means of steering their own evolutionary course, as exemplified by human free will.

DAVID: God-given human free will and the enormous range of conscious conceptualization we possess is the answer to your thoughts. God speciates as I view it. Organisms can not steer. As above, too complex.

You have not answered at all. I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 03, 2020, 20:53 (18 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am not denying the complexity of molecular and cellular “machines”, and we don’t need this comparison to factories. “More difficult” is irrelevant if you are talking about an all-powerful God. Or are you trying to tell us that your God was incapable of producing a machine that would make new machines? Of course you’re not. We are dealing here with two problems, based on an acceptance of God’s existence: 1) how does evolution work? 2) why did your God create life? The two are covered below:

dhw: How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: We know bacteria can reprogram some of their DNA through Shapiro. We've seen Lenski's many 20+ years of study of e. Coli. E. Coli is still E. coli. I'm still with God speciating. Shapiro has never gotten any support through research. I accept research.

dhw: Shapiro’s theory is based on research (his own and other people’s) into the behaviour of cells. He concludes – as have many other scientists – that cells are intelligent. I don’t know what research you have done yourself, but that doesn’t matter: you know how cells behave and you have concluded that although they behave intelligently, they are obeying instructions which your God implanted in the first cells 3.8 billion years ago. I really can’t see how your theory is therefore more scientific, more logical or more reliable than Shapiro’s.

My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.


dhw: Setting aside your own fixed beliefs, please explain why you do not think my “simplest explanation” is feasible. Brief summary: God did not want a dull Garden of Eden, but wanted an unpredictable mixture of good and bad (you can’t appreciate the one without the other), and therefore gave organisms the means of steering their own evolutionary course, as exemplified by human free will.

DAVID: God-given human free will and the enormous range of conscious conceptualization we possess is the answer to your thoughts. God speciates as I view it. Organisms can not steer. As above, too complex.

dhw: You have not answered at all. I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

I did answer. I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Sunday, October 04, 2020, 14:38 (17 days ago) @ David Turell

Under “Making a male

DAVID: We do not understand how sexual reproduction first started or how it happened. […] There is no way chance caused this arrangement since both parts must be simultaneously present. Only by design fits.

We do not understand how ANYTHING started, but in the context of evolution, we have been given a clue:

QUOTE from earlier article: "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities.”

I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

dhw: How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: […] I'm still with God speciating. Shapiro has never gotten any support through research. I accept research.

dhw: Shapiro’s theory is based on research (his own and other people’s) into the behaviour of cells. […]

DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: Setting aside your own fixed beliefs, please explain why you do not think my “simplest explanation” is feasible. Brief summary: God did not want a dull Garden of Eden, but wanted an unpredictable mixture of good and bad (you can’t appreciate the one without the other), and therefore gave organisms the means of steering their own evolutionary course, as exemplified by human free will.

DAVID: God-given human free will and the enormous range of conscious conceptualization we possess is the answer to your thoughts. God speciates as I view it. Organisms can not steer. As above, too complex.

dhw: You have not answered at all. I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

DAVID: I did answer. I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God.

Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 04, 2020, 20:00 (17 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We do not understand how sexual reproduction first started or how it happened. […] There is no way chance caused this arrangement since both parts must be simultaneously present. Only by design fits.

dhw: We do not understand how ANYTHING started, but in the context of evolution, we have been given a clue:

QUOTE from earlier article: "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities.”

I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

All under controlling instructions from God.


dhw: How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: […] I'm still with God speciating. Shapiro has never gotten any support through research. I accept research.

dhw: Shapiro’s theory is based on research (his own and other people’s) into the behaviour of cells. […]

DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: Setting aside your own fixed beliefs, please explain why you do not think my “simplest explanation” is feasible. Brief summary: God did not want a dull Garden of Eden, but wanted an unpredictable mixture of good and bad (you can’t appreciate the one without the other), and therefore gave organisms the means of steering their own evolutionary course, as exemplified by human free will.

DAVID: God-given human free will and the enormous range of conscious conceptualization we possess is the answer to your thoughts. God speciates as I view it. Organisms can not steer. As above, too complex.

dhw: You have not answered at all. I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

DAVID: I did answer. I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God.

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

I've constantly told you I see God as the designer for all advances to prepare for new uses and needs. As for atheists, they DENY God completely. I accept IM's only with guidelines from God.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Monday, October 05, 2020, 11:04 (16 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We do not understand how sexual reproduction first started or how it happened. […] There is no way chance caused this arrangement since both parts must be simultaneously present. Only by design fits.

dhw: We do not understand how ANYTHING started, but in the context of evolution, we have been given a clue:

QUOTE from earlier article: "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities.

dhw: I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

DAVID: All under controlling instructions from God.

Back we go. Your “controlling instructions” mean a 3.8-billion-year-old programme to be passed on from the first cells for every undabbled evolutionary change, natural wonder etc. in the history of life. The exact opposite of Shapiro's/my autonomous cellular intelligence.

dhw: How does our not yet knowing the layers of control make your theory of God’s implanted instructions more likely than Shapiro’s theory of cellular intelligence?

DAVID: […] I'm still with God speciating. Shapiro has never gotten any support through research. I accept research.

dhw: Shapiro’s theory is based on research (his own and other people’s) into the behaviour of cells. […]

DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

No answer from you. How has your theory been "advanced"? It's a typical case of pots and kettles.

dhw: I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

DAVID: I did answer. I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: I've constantly told you I see God as the designer for all advances to prepare for new uses and needs.

I know your rigid beliefs. But that does not explain why my alternative is not feasible!

DAVID: As for atheists, they DENY God completely. I accept IM's only with guidelines from God.

I know what atheists do. And I know what you accept. So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Monday, October 05, 2020, 17:34 (16 days ago) @ dhw
edited by David Turell, Monday, October 05, 2020, 17:50

dhw: We do not understand how ANYTHING started, but in the context of evolution, we have been given a clue:

QUOTE from earlier article: "Cell plasticity is a property by which a cell can take on different and reversible identities.

dhw: I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

Very difficult for chance evolution to explain how placental pregnancy ever developed


DAVID: All under controlling instructions from God.

dhw: Back we go. Your “controlling instructions” mean a 3.8-billion-year-old programme to be passed on from the first cells for every undabbled evolutionary change, natural wonder etc. in the history of life. The exact opposite of Shapiro's/my autonomous cellular intelligence.

Shapiro does not state how that autonomous cellular intelligence developed. I chose to say God as source


DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: No answer from you. How has your theory been "advanced"? It's a typical case of pots and kettles.

There will be no absolute proof of God, which is why I always ask the question, how much very advanced complexity must be shown before it is obvious there must be a designer.


dhw: I have offered you an explanation for theodicy: God did not design the good and the bad – he gave them the means of designing themselves, just as you think he gave humans free will. The fact that this doesn’t fit in with your own fixed beliefs does not mean that the proposal is not feasible.

DAVID: I did answer. I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

The issue is always the personality of the God one envisions. My God is very purposeful and does not give up control to an independent inventive mechanism. Your version of God is feasible as are His actions in your wishy-washy version of God. The atheist example misses the point pf my approach..


DAVID: I've constantly told you I see God as the designer for all advances to prepare for new uses and needs.

dhw: I know your rigid beliefs. But that does not explain why my alternative is not feasible!

See above for God's differing personalities isxsue.


DAVID: As for atheists, they DENY God completely. I accept IM's only with guidelines from God.

shw: I know what atheists do. And I know what you accept. So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

The background of accepting an idea is based on one's version of God. I understand your desire to have God give the cells an autonomous invention mechanism. It diminishes God's role in direct creation but He is still obviously mostly in charge. I see Him wanting full exact control.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Tuesday, October 06, 2020, 11:32 (15 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I would propose that the key to evolution lies in cell plasticity as a known fact, Lynn Margulis’ theory that evolution is a consequence of cooperation, and the widely held belief that cells are intelligent (all combined in Shapiro’s theory of “natural genetic engineering”). Sexual reproduction is as vivid an example of Margulis’s symbiosis as one could imagine!

DAVID: Very difficult for chance evolution to explain how placental pregnancy ever developed.

I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I agree. My proposal is that the complexities of life have come about, not by chance but through intelligent cell communities cooperating, and if God exists, I firmly believe that he would be perfectly capable of designing the intelligence of cells. Here’s an example:

DAVID: Moving out of Africa to Europe made eyes turn blue, among other colors:
https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2020/10/01/ancient_humans_eyes_were_nearly_black_...

DAVID: Darwin- based writing always points out purposeful adaptations with the assumption they just happened. They sure look directed to me.

So God stepped in to turn the eyes blue, did he? Or he programmed it 3.8 billion years ago? Don’t you think it’s just possible that this adaptation was the result of intelligent cells adjusting themselves to find the best way of coping with new conditions?

DAVID: All under controlling instructions from God.

dhw: Back we go. Your “controlling instructions” mean a 3.8-billion-year-old programme to be passed on from the first cells for every undabbled evolutionary change, natural wonder etc. in the history of life. The exact opposite of Shapiro's/my autonomous cellular intelligence.

DAVID: Shapiro does not state how that autonomous cellular intelligence developed. I chose to say God as source.

I am perfectly happy with your choice, and as you have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew, I’m sure he would have no objection either. His goal and mine is to explain the process by which evolution works – i.e., as with the agnostic Darwin, to explain Chapter 2 of life, Chapter 1 being the origin.

DAVID: My theory in not any more scientific than Shapiro's. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way. It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other prior researchers.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: No answer from you. How has your theory been "advanced"? It's a typical case of pots and kettles.

DAVID: There will be no absolute proof of God, which is why I always ask the question, how much very advanced complexity must be shown before it is obvious there must be a designer.

We are not talking about God’s existence but about two different theories of evolution. We have no absolute proof of yours or of Shapiro’s, so please stop trying to discredit his theory for a reason which is equally applicable to your own.

DAVID: I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: The issue is always the personality of the God one envisions. My God is very purposeful and does not give up control to an independent inventive mechanism. Your version of God is feasible as are His actions in your wishy-washy version of God. The atheist example misses the point pf my approach.

Your approach is that you do not accept my theory because it is different from yours.

dhw: So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

DAVID: The background of accepting an idea is based on one's version of God. I understand your desire to have God give the cells an autonomous invention mechanism. It diminishes God's role in direct creation but He is still obviously mostly in charge. I see Him wanting full exact control.

It is not my “desire”, I know my theory, which you don’t accept, and I know your theory. Now will you please answer my bolded question, which was asked as a response to your bolded statement above.

I note with some regret that you have dropped the problem of theodicy, which again is solved by my “simplest explanation”: he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden, and so he gave organisms the freedom to do their own designing to suit their own purposes – hence “good” and “bad” bacteria and viruses. Perhaps you have a better explanation?

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 06, 2020, 18:43 (15 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Very difficult for chance evolution to explain how placental pregnancy ever developed.

dhw: I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that I agree. My proposal is that the complexities of life have come about, not by chance but through intelligent cell communities cooperating, and if God exists, I firmly believe that he would be perfectly capable of designing the intelligence of cells. Here’s an example:

DAVID: Moving out of Africa to Europe made eyes turn blue, among other colors:
https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2020/10/01/ancient_humans_eyes_were_nearly_black_...

DAVID: Darwin- based writing always points out purposeful adaptations with the assumption they just happened. They sure look directed to me.

dhw: So God stepped in to turn the eyes blue, did he? Or he programmed it 3.8 billion years ago? Don’t you think it’s just possible that this adaptation was the result of intelligent cells adjusting themselves to find the best way of coping with new conditions?

I don't think cells are ever that intelligent. IMHO they can't think through the necessity for complex genome changes.


DAVID: Shapiro does not state how that autonomous cellular intelligence developed. I chose to say God as source.

dhw: I am perfectly happy with your choice, and as you have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew, I’m sure he would have no objection either. His goal and mine is to explain the process by which evolution works – i.e., as with the agnostic Darwin, to explain Chapter 2 of life, Chapter 1 being the origin.

And I give you God.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

dhw: No answer from you. How has your theory been "advanced"? It's a typical case of pots and kettles.

I always follow advances in research to reach conclusions. I've always told you the more complexity is found, the more it demands a designer. I'm convinced, others taking longer


dhw: We are not talking about God’s existence but about two different theories of evolution. We have no absolute proof of yours or of Shapiro’s, so please stop trying to discredit his theory for a reason which is equally applicable to your own.

DAVID: I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

I don't accept it under the valid reason the advances are too complex for a secondary mechanism to handle it. It must be direct design. You prefer God-lite for some weird reason.

DAVID: The issue is always the personality of the God one envisions. My God is very purposeful and does not give up control to an independent inventive mechanism. Your version of God is feasible as are His actions in your wishy-washy version of God. The atheist example misses the point pf my approach.

dhw: Your approach is that you do not accept my theory because it is different from yours.

Your God is not my god is the difference.


dhw: So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

DAVID: The background of accepting an idea is based on one's version of God. I understand your desire to have God give the cells an autonomous invention mechanism. It diminishes God's role in direct creation but He is still obviously mostly in charge. I see Him wanting full exact control.

dhw: It is not my “desire”, I know my theory, which you don’t accept, and I know your theory. Now will you please answer my bolded question, which was asked as a response to your bolded statement above.

The bolded question has no real answer. Atheists refuse to recognize God, no acceptance for no good reason in my view.


dhw: I note with some regret that you have dropped the problem of theodicy, which again is solved by my “simplest explanation”: he didn’t want a dull Garden of Eden, and so he gave organisms the freedom to do their own designing to suit their own purposes – hence “good” and “bad” bacteria and viruses. Perhaps you have a better explanation?

Again you wish God-lite in this discussion. Open a new discussion thread and we'll battle.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Wednesday, October 07, 2020, 11:17 (14 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Moving out of Africa to Europe made eyes turn blue, among other colors:
https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2020/10/01/ancient_humans_eyes_were_nearly_black_...

DAVID: Darwin- based writing always points out purposeful adaptations with the assumption they just happened. They sure look directed to me.

dhw: So God stepped in to turn the eyes blue, did he? Or he programmed it 3.8 billion years ago? Don’t you think it’s just possible that this adaptation was the result of intelligent cells adjusting themselves to find the best way of coping with new conditions?

DAVID: I don't think cells are ever that intelligent. IMHO they can't think through the necessity for complex genome changes.

Out of interest, then, which of your alternative theories do you think more likely: that your God preprogrammed blue eyes (and other colours) 3.8 billion years ago, or stepped in to perform an operation on the eyes of the migrants?

DAVID: Shapiro does not state how that autonomous cellular intelligence developed. I chose to say God as source.

dhw: I am perfectly happy with your choice, and as you have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew, I’m sure he would have no objection either. His goal and mine is to explain the process by which evolution works – i.e., as with the agnostic Darwin, to explain Chapter 2 of life, Chapter 1 being the origin.

DAVID: And I give you God.

No problem. The point at issue is cellular intelligence versus preprogramming and/or dabbling – as in the blue-eyed example above.

dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

DAVID: I always follow advances in research to reach conclusions. I've always told you the more complexity is found, the more it demands a designer. I'm convinced, others taking longer

You attacked Shapiro’s theory on the grounds that no one had “advanced” it. His theory does not preclude God. So are you really telling us that advances in research are advancing proof that God preprogrammed or dabbled every species directly, as opposed to designing a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which autonomously created new species – i.e. without “guidelines” from him?

dhw: We are not talking about God’s existence but about two different theories of evolution. We have no absolute proof of yours or of Shapiro’s, so please stop trying to discredit his theory for a reason which is equally applicable to your own.

DAVID: I do not accept the idea that organisms design advances in evolution using a mechanism from God. (dhw’s bold)

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: I don't accept it under the valid reason the advances are too complex for a secondary mechanism to handle it. It must be direct design. You prefer God-lite for some weird reason.

“God-lite” is a silly expression. If God exists, he would do what he wants to do, and you are in no better position to tell us his nature or his wants than I am. For “some weird reason”, you want him to preprogramme or dabble 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms and their food supplies and their natural wonders although all he wanted to do is directly design humans, and every single one was part of the goal of evolving or feeding humans who weren't even there, and you want him to preprogramme or dabble bad bacteria and viruses, though he wishes us no harm. Now tell me what is “weird” about a God who wants to avoid the dullness of a Garden of Eden, and therefore creates a system that will run itself and produce the vast and ever changing bush of life which we know to be the history of the last 3.8 billion years. (See also “Theodicy”.)

dhw: So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

DAVID: The bolded question has no real answer. Atheists refuse to recognize God, no acceptance for no good reason in my view.

So why should I accept your dismissal of my argument if you fail to provide me with one good reason apart from the fact that you refuse to accept it?

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 07, 2020, 18:21 (14 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I am perfectly happy with your choice, and as you have told us that Shapiro is a practising Jew, I’m sure he would have no objection either. His goal and mine is to explain the process by which evolution works – i.e., as with the agnostic Darwin, to explain Chapter 2 of life, Chapter 1 being the origin.

DAVID: And I give you God.

dhw: No problem. The point at issue is cellular intelligence versus preprogramming and/or dabbling – as in the blue-eyed example above.

All of the skin and eye purposeful changes are due to migration. Possibilities are chance mutation, epigenetics, or God. I tend to favor God, but the other two are possible. It is an adaptation within species and they are not fully explained either.


dhw: How do you “advance” a theory other than through research that supports or disproves it? I really wonder how further research can confirm that intelligent cells design species, or that there is a God who designs species.

DAVID: I always follow advances in research to reach conclusions. I've always told you the more complexity is found, the more it demands a designer. I'm convinced, others taking longer

dhw: You attacked Shapiro’s theory on the grounds that no one had “advanced” it. His theory does not preclude God. So are you really telling us that advances in research are advancing proof that God preprogrammed or dabbled every species directly, as opposed to designing a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which autonomously created new species – i.e. without “guidelines” from him?

Yes. The new designs in new species are so complex they require hands-on designer work. Cells don't have the innate intelligence and God won't hand it off to a do-it-yourself system without guidelines.


dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: I don't accept it under the valid reason the advances are too complex for a secondary mechanism to handle it. It must be direct design. You prefer God-lite for some weird reason.

dhw:“God-lite” is a silly expression. If God exists, he would do what he wants to do, and you are in no better position to tell us his nature or his wants than I am. For “some weird reason”, you want him to preprogramme or dabble 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms and their food supplies and their natural wonders although all he wanted to do is directly design humans, and every single one was part of the goal of evolving or feeding humans who weren't even there, and you want him to preprogramme or dabble bad bacteria and viruses, though he wishes us no harm. Now tell me what is “weird” about a God who wants to avoid the dullness of a Garden of Eden, and therefore creates a system that will run itself and produce the vast and ever changing bush of life which we know to be the history of the last 3.8 billion years. (See also “Theodicy”.)

Again your humanized soft version of God, whom I view as precisely purposeful, and fully discussed in "God's error corrections II". Please, let's keep the evolution discussion all in one place for clarity and time saving.


dhw: So how would you respond if an atheist dismissed your excellent argument for design by telling you it is not feasible because he doesn’t accept it?

DAVID: The bolded question has no real answer. Atheists refuse to recognize God, no acceptance for no good reason in my view.

dhw: So why should I accept your dismissal of my argument if you fail to provide me with one good reason apart from the fact that you refuse to accept it?

I have given you full reasons why I do not accept your humanizing version of God and your strange view of God not running evolution as you think He should.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Thursday, October 08, 2020, 13:15 (13 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The point at issue is cellular intelligence versus preprogramming and/or dabbling – as in the blue-eyed example above.

DAVID: All of the skin and eye purposeful changes are due to migration. Possibilities are chance mutation, epigenetics, or God. I tend to favor God, but the other two are possible. It is an adaptation within species and they are not fully explained either.

I agree that migration to new conditions would have triggered the changes. I think we both reject chance. You have your God directing the colour changes through “instructions”. “Epigenetics” does not explain what mechanism brings about the changes, and “God” does not explain the mechanism either. Do you favour a 3.8-billion-year-old programme of instructions for eye-colour change, or your God performing eye operations on all the migrants – or is there any other way he could dabble? My alternative is cellular intelligence (perhaps invented by your God).

dhw: You attacked Shapiro’s theory on the grounds that no one had “advanced” it. His theory does not preclude God. So are you really telling us that advances in research are advancing proof that God preprogrammed or dabbled every species directly, as opposed to designing a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which autonomously created new species – i.e. without “guidelines” from him?

DAVID: Yes. The new designs in new species are so complex they require hands-on designer work. Cells don't have the innate intelligence and God won't hand it off to a do-it-yourself system without guidelines.

It is your assumption that your God wouldn’t do such a thing, and I really don’t know how research can “advance” that theory. Your assumption that cells don’t have the intelligence can hardly be said to have “advanced” the theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled every single life form, econiche and natural wonder in the history of life.

dhw: Repeating the fact that you don’t believe the explanation does not explain why you think it is not feasible! How would you react if an atheist dismissed your excellent arguments in favour of design with a bare “It's not feasible because I do not accept it”?

DAVID: I don't accept it under the valid reason the advances are too complex for a secondary mechanism to handle it. It must be direct design. You prefer God-lite for some weird reason.

dhw:“God-lite” is a silly expression. If God exists, he would do what he wants to do, and you are in no better position to tell us his nature or his wants than I am. For “some weird reason”, you want him to preprogramme or dabble 3.X billion years’ worth of life forms and their food supplies and their natural wonders although all he wanted to do is directly design humans, and every single one was part of the goal of evolving or feeding humans who weren't even there, and you want him to preprogramme or dabble bad bacteria and viruses, though he wishes us no harm. Now tell me what is “weird” about a God who wants to avoid the dullness of a Garden of Eden, and therefore creates a system that will run itself and produce the vast and ever changing bush of life which we know to be the history of the last 3.8 billion years. (See also “Theodicy”.)

DAVID: Again your humanized soft version of God, whom I view as precisely purposeful, and fully discussed in "God's error corrections II". Please, let's keep the evolution discussion all in one place for clarity and time saving.

I started this thread with an explanation of life’s history that covered evolution and theodicy. I’m happy that you moved theodicy to another thread, but I’m afraid that only leaves evolution! I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that the version of God I present here is “fully purposeful”, and I have challenged your term “God-lite” as a silly way to dismiss my presentation of a God who knows and gets precisely what he wants. Does my explanation fit the facts of history as we know them or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, please tell us why.

DAVID: I have given you full reasons why I do not accept your humanizing version of God and your strange view of God not running evolution as you think He should.

It is no more humanizing to suggest that God did not want control than to suggest that God did want control, and I fail to see why God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden (your expression), and therefore allowing cells to do their own designing, is any stranger than God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden, trying and failing to provide a cure for diseases arising out of the system he designed, and not wanting to do harm but proceeding to design harmful viruses and bacteria and “natural” disasters. (See “Theodicy” – I’m afraid there is no avoiding such overlaps.)

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Thursday, October 08, 2020, 17:52 (13 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: All of the skin and eye purposeful changes are due to migration. Possibilities are chance mutation, epigenetics, or God. I tend to favor God, but the other two are possible. It is an adaptation within species and they are not fully explained either.

dhw: I agree that migration to new conditions would have triggered the changes. I think we both reject chance. You have your God directing the colour changes through “instructions”. “Epigenetics” does not explain what mechanism brings about the changes, and “God” does not explain the mechanism either. Do you favour a 3.8-billion-year-old programme of instructions for eye-colour change, or your God performing eye operations on all the migrants – or is there any other way he could dabble? My alternative is cellular intelligence (perhaps invented by your God).

I agree with you cells act intelligently. The adaptive changes in color of skin and eye are purposeful events. God plays a role either by direct action or by providing a modifying guided mechanism we have not yet found. It is why I follow research reports so carefully.


dhw: You attacked Shapiro’s theory on the grounds that no one had “advanced” it. His theory does not preclude God. So are you really telling us that advances in research are advancing proof that God preprogrammed or dabbled every species directly, as opposed to designing a mechanism (cellular intelligence) which autonomously created new species – i.e. without “guidelines” from him?

DAVID: Yes. The new designs in new species are so complex they require hands-on designer work. Cells don't have the innate intelligence and God won't hand it off to a do-it-yourself system without guidelines.

dhw: It is your assumption that your God wouldn’t do such a thing, and I really don’t know how research can “advance” that theory. Your assumption that cells don’t have the intelligence can hardly be said to have “advanced” the theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled every single life form, econiche and natural wonder in the history of life.

Above my view is explained: "The adaptive changes in color of skin and eye are purposeful events. God plays a role either by direct action or by providing a modifying guided mechanism we have not yet found. It is why I follow research reports so carefully." We don't everything about the genome as yet. Lots are hidden.


dhw: I started this thread with an explanation of life’s history that covered evolution and theodicy. I’m happy that you moved theodicy to another thread, but I’m afraid that only leaves evolution! I don’t know how often you want me to repeat that the version of God I present here is “fully purposeful”, and I have challenged your term “God-lite” as a silly way to dismiss my presentation of a God who knows and gets precisely what he wants. Does my explanation fit the facts of history as we know them or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, please tell us why.

We both agree God does and gets what He wants. Our versions of how we see His purposes are widely apart. It all comes from how we interpret God's works and underlying reasons. I view your interpretation as very humanizing, as explained, since my version of His personality is widely different.


DAVID: I have given you full reasons why I do not accept your humanizing version of God and your strange view of God not running evolution as you think He should.

dhw: It is no more humanizing to suggest that God did not want control than to suggest that God did want control, and I fail to see why God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden (your expression), and therefore allowing cells to do their own designing, is any stranger than God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden, trying and failing to provide a cure for diseases arising out of the system he designed, and not wanting to do harm but proceeding to design harmful viruses and bacteria and “natural” disasters. (See “Theodicy” – I’m afraid there is no avoiding such overlaps.)

I'm sure God wanted us to have challenges, and seems to have arranged for most that we can handle over time. Evolution is very straight forward from somewhat simple to extremely complex. Cells do not have enough ability to foresee future requirements in design at the currently demonstrated ability. All they do is run their factories and produce. All it all looks very intelligent, because they were designed that way.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Friday, October 09, 2020, 14:11 (12 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You have your God directing the colour changes through “instructions”. “Epigenetics” does not explain what mechanism brings about the changes, and “God” does not explain the mechanism either. Do you favour a 3.8-billion-year-old programme of instructions for eye-colour change, or your God performing eye operations on all the migrants – or is there any other way he could dabble? My alternative is cellular intelligence (perhaps invented by your God).

DAVID: I agree with you cells act intelligently. The adaptive changes in color of skin and eye are purposeful events. God plays a role either by direct action or by providing a modifying guided mechanism we have not yet found. It is why I follow research reports so carefully.

Direct action = dabbling. What form could that take, apart from performing an operation on everybody’s eyes? You appear to have jettisoned a 3.8-billion-year-old computer plan for eye-colour-changing, and so, yes indeed, we are left with a modifying mechanism. I don’t know why you call it “guided” – what guidance could it have if not instructions passed down from your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme? Anything else would have to involve dabbling, as above. The only modifying mechanism I can think of is autonomous intelligence.

DAVID: Cells don't have the innate intelligence and God won't hand it off to a do-it-yourself system without guidelines.

dhw: It is your assumption that your God wouldn’t do such a thing, and I really don’t know how research can “advance” that theory. Your assumption that cells don’t have the intelligence can hardly be said to have “advanced” the theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled every single life form, econiche and natural wonder in the history of life.

You go on to add: “We don't [know] everything about the genome as yet. Lots are hidden.” Of course I agree. But I still don’t see how research can advance the theory that God wouldn’t design cellular intelligence, or that he preprogrammed or dabbled every life form etc. in the history of life. You rejected Shapiro’s theory because no one had “advanced” it. Will you now reject your own theory on the same grounds, or will you withdraw that objection?

dhw: I have challenged your term “God-lite” as a silly way to dismiss my presentation of a God who knows and gets precisely what he wants. Does my explanation fit the facts of history as we know them or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, please tell us why.

DAVID: We both agree God does and gets what He wants. Our versions of how we see His purposes are widely apart. It all comes from how we interpret God's works and underlying reasons. I view your interpretation as very humanizing, as explained, since my version of His personality is widely different.

My interpretations are all “fully purposeful” and in all of them God gets what he wants. “God-lite” is a silly expression to describe a God who gets what he wants. Please forget about our subjective differences and tell us whether my “simplest explanation” fits the FACTS of history or not.

DAVID: I have given you full reasons why I do not accept your humanizing version of God and your strange view of God not running evolution as you think He should.

dhw: It is no more humanizing to suggest that God did not want control than to suggest that God did want control, and I fail to see why God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden (your expression), and therefore allowing cells to do their own designing, is any stranger than God not wanting a dull Garden of Eden, trying and failing to provide a cure for diseases arising out of the system he designed, and not wanting to do harm but proceeding to design harmful viruses and bacteria and “natural” disasters. (See “Theodicy”)

DAVID: I'm sure God wanted us to have challenges, and seems to have arranged for most that we can handle over time.

This confirms your belief that your God actually wanted and designed every disease (apart from the accidental ones which he tried to control but couldn’t), deadly virus and bacterium, natural disaster etc. Why would your God want us to have challenges? Do please answer, as I’m interested to know how you can do so without “humanizing” him as I have done.

DAVID: Evolution is very straight forward from somewhat simple to extremely complex.

It is not “very straightforward” at all. It branches out in all kinds of directions, which is what makes a nonsense of your theory that every branch and twig served the one purpose of producing one species and its food supply.

DAVID: Cells do not have enough ability to foresee future requirements in design at the currently demonstrated ability. All they do is run their factories and produce. All it all looks very intelligent, because they were designed that way.

Cells do not have to “foresee” anything. Cells react to requirements as they arise. Once they have met those requirements, they will continue to deal with them automatically until new requirements arise. I don’t know why you assume that cells which “look” intelligent are NOT intelligent.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Friday, October 09, 2020, 14:57 (12 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I agree with you cells act intelligently. The adaptive changes in color of skin and eye are purposeful events. God plays a role either by direct action or by providing a modifying guided mechanism we have not yet found. It is why I follow research reports so carefully.

dhw: Direct action = dabbling. What form could that take, apart from performing an operation on everybody’s eyes? You appear to have jettisoned a 3.8-billion-year-old computer plan for eye-colour-changing, and so, yes indeed, we are left with a modifying mechanism. I don’t know why you call it “guided” – what guidance could it have if not instructions passed down from your 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme? Anything else would have to involve dabbling, as above. The only modifying mechanism I can think of is autonomous intelligence.

dhw: You go on to add: “We don't [know] everything about the genome as yet. Lots are hidden.” Of course I agree. But I still don’t see how research can advance the theory that God wouldn’t design cellular intelligence, or that he preprogrammed or dabbled every life form etc. in the history of life. You rejected Shapiro’s theory because no one had “advanced” it. Will you now reject your own theory on the same grounds, or will you withdraw that objection?

Misinterpretation of how I view Shapiro: excellent research, no proof of his theory of how speciation occurs. I'm waiting for confirmation.


dhw: My interpretations are all “fully purposeful” and in all of them God gets what he wants. “God-lite” is a silly expression to describe a God who gets what he wants. Please forget about our subjective differences and tell us whether my “simplest explanation” fits the FACTS of history or not.

It all depends of the viewpoint one gives God. Your humanized God does things that fit history, but doesn't describe the God I believe in.

DAVID: I'm sure God wanted us to have challenges, and seems to have arranged for most that we can handle over time.

dhw: This confirms your belief that your God actually wanted and designed every disease (apart from the accidental ones which he tried to control but couldn’t), deadly virus and bacterium, natural disaster etc. Why would your God want us to have challenges? Do please answer, as I’m interested to know how you can do so without “humanizing” him as I have done.

I don't presume to know why God allowed dangerous bacteria and viruses except my view (and yours) that He wanted life to be challenging and gave us the brains to solve the problems.
No humanizing here.


DAVID: Evolution is very straight forward from somewhat simple to extremely complex.

dhw: It is not “very straightforward” at all. It branches out in all kinds of directions, which is what makes a nonsense of your theory that every branch and twig served the one purpose of producing one species and its food supply.

Back to denying God's design of evolution, and necessary food supply. Each bran ch of life is light-years more complex than original life.


DAVID: Cells do not have enough ability to foresee future requirements in design at the currently demonstrated ability. All they do is run their factories and produce. All it all looks very intelligent, because they were designed that way.

dhw: Cells do not have to “foresee” anything. Cells react to requirements as they arise. Once they have met those requirements, they will continue to deal with them automatically until new requirements arise. I don’t know why you assume that cells which “look” intelligent are NOT intelligent.

You do know why. Programmed which makes them look intelligent. God the designer.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Saturday, October 10, 2020, 09:07 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I still don’t see how research can advance the theory that God wouldn’t design cellular intelligence, or that he preprogrammed or dabbled every life form etc. in the history of life. You rejected Shapiro’s theory because no one had “advanced” it. Will you now reject your own theory on the same grounds, or will you withdraw that objection?

DAVID: Misinterpretation of how I view Shapiro: excellent research, no proof of his theory of how speciation occurs. I'm waiting for confirmation.

You wrote: “My theory is not any more scientific than Shapiro’s. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way.” Hence my comment above. No one has advanced your own theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled every life form in the history of life, and there is no proof of it. May I assume, then, that you have NOT rejected Shapiro’s theory but are simply waiting for confirmation both of his and of yours? If so, I fear you will have to wait for a very long time!

dhw: My interpretations are all “fully purposeful” and in all of them God gets what he wants. “God-lite” is a silly expression to describe a God who gets what he wants. Please forget about our subjective differences and tell us whether my “simplest explanation” fits the FACTS of history or not.

DAVID: It all depends of the viewpoint one gives God. Your humanized God does things that fit history, but doesn't describe the God I believe in.

Thank you for acknowledging that my proposal fits the facts of history. Please note that it is fully purposeful and God gets what he wants.

DAVID: Evolution is very straight forward from somewhat simple to extremely complex.

dhw: It is not “very straightforward” at all. It branches out in all kinds of directions, which is what makes a nonsense of your theory that every branch and twig served the one purpose of producing one species and its food supply.

DAVID: Back to denying God's design of evolution, and necessary food supply. Each branch of life is light-years more complex than original life.

See “error corrections” re design and your avoidance of the issue bolded there.

DAVID: Cells do not have enough ability to foresee future requirements in design at the currently demonstrated ability. All they do is run their factories and produce. All it all looks very intelligent, because they were designed that way.

dhw: Cells do not have to “foresee” anything. Cells react to requirements as they arise. Once they have met those requirements, they will continue to deal with them automatically until new requirements arise. I don’t know why you assume that cells which “look” intelligent are NOT intelligent.

DAVID: You do know why. Programmed which makes them look intelligent. God the designer.

I don’t know why you assume that organisms which look intelligent are not intelligent but preprogrammed. God can be the designer of either version.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Saturday, October 10, 2020, 19:41 (11 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Misinterpretation of how I view Shapiro: excellent research, no proof of his theory of how speciation occurs. I'm waiting for confirmation.

dhw: You wrote: “My theory is not any more scientific than Shapiro’s. My point is that no one has advanced it in any way.” Hence my comment above. No one has advanced your own theory that God preprogrammed or dabbled every life form in the history of life, and there is no proof of it. May I assume, then, that you have NOT rejected Shapiro’s theory but are simply waiting for confirmation both of his and of yours? If so, I fear you will have to wait for a very long time!

I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.


DAVID: Evolution is very straight forward from somewhat simple to extremely complex.

dhw: It is not “very straightforward” at all. It branches out in all kinds of directions, which is what makes a nonsense of your theory that every branch and twig served the one purpose of producing one species and its food supply.

DAVID: Back to denying God's design of evolution, and necessary food supply. Each branch of life is light-years more complex than original life.

dhw: See “error corrections” re design and your avoidance of the issue bolded there.

I've seen and answered.


DAVID: Cells do not have enough ability to foresee future requirements in design at the currently demonstrated ability. All they do is run their factories and produce. All it all looks very intelligent, because they were designed that way.

dhw: Cells do not have to “foresee” anything. Cells react to requirements as they arise. Once they have met those requirements, they will continue to deal with them automatically until new requirements arise. I don’t know why you assume that cells which “look” intelligent are NOT intelligent.

DAVID: You do know why. Programmed which makes them look intelligent. God the designer.

dhw: I don’t know why you assume that organisms which look intelligent are not intelligent but preprogrammed. God can be the designer of either version.

God gave cells intelligent instructions, not direct intelligence. We will always disagree.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 13:31 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.

David. J. Turell, The Atheist Delusion, p. 142, quoting from James A. Shapiro:
Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act andinteract purposefully to ensure survival, growth and proliferation. They possess sensory, communication, information-processing and decision-making capabilities.

[..] they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics rapidly…

Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

What gross extrapolation?

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Sunday, October 11, 2020, 16:07 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.

David. J. Turell, The Atheist Delusion, p. 142, quoting from James A. 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.

[..] they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics rapidly…

Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

dhw: What gross extrapolation?

Those cells he discusses are bacteria. They are live-alone single entities which must have adaptive abilities. The extrapolation is your intelligent cell theory based on bacteria applied to multicellular organisms and the way their organs work. Still 50/50 probability for bacteria as a result of design. All covered before.

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Monday, October 12, 2020, 14:12 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.

David. J. Turell, The Atheist Delusion, p. 142, quoting from James A. 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.

[..] they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics rapidly…

Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

dhw: What gross extrapolation?

DAVID: Those cells he discusses are bacteria.

Please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria. He has extrapolated from his research and from the research of others that LIVING CELLS AND ORGANISMS ARE COGNITIVE (SENTIENT) BEINGS, and that EVOLUTIONARY NOVELTY ARISES FROM THE PRODUCTION OF NEW CELLS AND MULTICELLULAR STRUCTURES AS A RESULT OF CELLULAR SELF-MODIFICATION.

Your scepticism is no excuse for ignoring his own conclusions and for accusing ME of "gross extrapolation".

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Monday, October 12, 2020, 16:04 (9 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.

David. J. Turell, The Atheist Delusion, p. 142, quoting from James A. 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.

[..] they have the ability to alter their hereditary characteristics rapidly…

Evolutionary novelty arises from the production of new cell and multicellular structures as a result of cellular self-modification functions and cell fusions.

dhw: What gross extrapolation?

DAVID: Those cells he discusses are bacteria.

dhw: Please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria. He has extrapolated from his research and from the research of others that LIVING CELLS AND ORGANISMS ARE COGNITIVE (SENTIENT) BEINGS, and that EVOLUTIONARY NOVELTY ARISES FROM THE PRODUCTION OF NEW CELLS AND MULTICELLULAR STRUCTURES AS A RESULT OF CELLULAR SELF-MODIFICATION.

Your scepticism is no excuse for ignoring his own conclusions and for accusing ME of "gross extrapolation".

I know Shapiro's research and I admire it. But I have the right to my opinion as expressed in the thread on gene loss as a speciation cause:

"Shapiro's theory is another approach, bootstrapping by editing DNA. This is all we have and in comparison I like Behe's approach better since it encompasses a review of genetic evidence. Shapiro is an extrapolation from free-living bacteria. And all Lenski has shown in his E. coli studies is some mutational adaptations in the same species."

The simplest explanation?

by dhw, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 11:22 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.
[…]
dhw: What gross extrapolation?

DAVID: Those cells he discusses are bacteria.

dhw: Please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria. He has extrapolated from his research and from the research of others that LIVING CELLS AND ORGANISMS ARE COGNITIVE (SENTIENT) BEINGS, and that EVOLUTIONARY NOVELTY ARISES FROM THE PRODUCTION OF NEW CELLS AND MULTICELLULAR STRUCTURES AS A RESULT OF CELLULAR SELF-MODIFICATION.
Your scepticism is no excuse for ignoring his own conclusions and for accusing ME of "gross extrapolation".

DAVID: I know Shapiro's research and I admire it. But I have the right to my opinion as expressed in the thread on gene loss as a speciation cause […]

Of course you have a right to your opinion, but you do not have the right to accuse me of “gross extrapolation” when you know that I have repeated Shapiro’s theory word for word, and you also know that Shapiro’s conclusions take into account research that is not confined to bacteria. A week ago you wrote: “It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other researchers”.

The simplest explanation?

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 17:40 (8 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I never objected to Shapiro's theory, but to your gross extrapolation from it of cell intelligence.
[…]
dhw: What gross extrapolation?

DAVID: Those cells he discusses are bacteria.

dhw: Please stop pretending that his theory is confined to bacteria. He has extrapolated from his research and from the research of others that LIVING CELLS AND ORGANISMS ARE COGNITIVE (SENTIENT) BEINGS, and that EVOLUTIONARY NOVELTY ARISES FROM THE PRODUCTION OF NEW CELLS AND MULTICELLULAR STRUCTURES AS A RESULT OF CELLULAR SELF-MODIFICATION.
Your scepticism is no excuse for ignoring his own conclusions and for accusing ME of "gross extrapolation".

DAVID: I know Shapiro's research and I admire it. But I have the right to my opinion as expressed in the thread on gene loss as a speciation cause […]

dhw: Of course you have a right to your opinion, but you do not have the right to accuse me of “gross extrapolation” when you know that I have repeated Shapiro’s theory word for word, and you also know that Shapiro’s conclusions take into account research that is not confined to bacteria. A week ago you wrote: “It simply remains his supposition which, you are correct, follows the thoughts of other researchers”.

Shapiro's theory is the extrapolation and you've bought it.

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