Evolution and humans: our feet are special (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 15:11 (236 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: My point was to stop you from summarizing Shapiro’s work and coupling it with your own conclusion, which is diametrically opposed to his. This can be summed up as: “cells are intelligent agents that direct their own development”. You are absolutely right that these are the only two options, and I find it astonishing that you are not even prepared to consider the opinions of Shapiro, McClintock, Margulis, Buehler, all of whom spent a lifetime studying the behaviour of cells.

DAVID: It may surprise you but I have studied biology of cells and especially humans all of my life! The point is neither you nor I know how speciation occurred, but I have a view, expressed many times, that the complexities of biological design require a designing mind. You have extrapolated cells intelligent responses to stimuli to a massive ability to construct new forms of life, while the cells I know have no concept of design. Design requires knowing in advance how a newly conceptualized living form will adequately handle its role in life in the future. And I agree with you and your cohort of biologists. Single cells act with intelligent responses to stimuli, but no more than that. They follow intelligent instructions.

dhw: You do not agree with my cohort of biologists who say that cells are intelligent in their own right. But I have agreed a thousand times that cellular intelligence as an explanation of innovation is a HYPOTHESIS without proof. What I dislike is the double standards by which you insist on proof for my hypothesis (not a belief), whereas your hypothesis of (and belief in) sourceless consciousness (your God) and your hypothesis of divine design or dabbling of every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life apparently do not require proof. Faith is all you need.

My knowledge of the biology of cells is all I need to support my view. Faith is a result, not a cause of statements.

DAVID (under “Single-cell decision making”: Diatoms divide to reproduce but under circumstances of poor food supply they turn to sexual reproduction. They can make decisions:

QUOTE: "'It is striking that even unicellular organisms that obviously lack a nervous system can process different stimuli and even evaluate their individual needs. Our study showed that diatoms can adapt their behavior flexibly to environmental changes. They also responded differently depending on their need to sexually mate.

"The scientist would now like to find out how the single-cell organisms perceive, process and evaluate chemical signals. "Our goal is to identify the corresponding receptors and signal processing pathways, but this will be a very complex endeavor given the fact that we know so little about these important micoralagae," says Georg Pohnert." (DAVID’s bold)

DAVID: Note my bold. These scientists are looking to receptors and pathways, which in my opinion will be automatic, to explain the decision making.

dhw: Yes, that is your opinion. Scientists also try to identify the receptors and pathways used by human intelligence, but you do not believe they explain our decision-making.

Why skip from single cells to brain functions? Two very different levels of biologic function from single cell to whole organ.

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