James Shapiro on evolution

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by darryl, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. darryl Banned Banned

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    James A. Shapiro is an American biologist who has stirred quite a controversy within biology circles and within the evolution debate, he has written a book on evolution titled "Evolution: A View from the 21st Century" which pretty much challenges the modern synthesis school.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Shapiro

    What is Dr. Shapiro's book about?

    According to Gert Korthof:

    According to John Wilkins:

    In a lecture to other scientists, Shapiro has defined himself and others as "non-Darwinian evolutionists"

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/2010.WorksOfTheMind.pdf

    His list includes:

    • William Bateson (1861-1926) & Hugo de Vries (1848-1935): abrupt variation as a source of evolutionary novelty


    • Richard Goldschmidt (1878-1958): altering developmental processes as a source of rapid evolutionary novelty (“hopeful monsters” and Evo-Devo)


    • Barbara McClintock (1902-1992): genetic change as a biological response to danger and evolutionary novelty through genome restructuring resulting from “shocks”


    • G Ledyard Stebbins (1906-2000): hybridization between species as a source of evolutionary novelty


    • Carl Woese (1928- ): molecular phylogeny and the existence of at least three distinct cell kingdoms


    • Lynn Margulis (1938- ): cell mergers/symbiogenesis as a source of evolutionary novelty

    It seems all of these scientific mechanisms do not fit into a Darwinian framework. Shapiro has also posted articles about natural genetic engineering and evolution.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-shapiro/genetic-engineering_b_1541180.html

    According to Dr. Shapiro:

    According to another website:

    You can watch one of his lectures on video here:

    http://vimeo.com/17592530

    I would like to discuss this "Third Way Evolution" viewpoint that he talks about. He seems to be saying there is much wrong with the neo-Darwinian view of evolution, this is in contradiction to some of the other threads where users on this forum have expressed that they think there is no debate in evolution, they seem to think the mechanisms are solved... the work of Shapiro and other "post-Darwinian" thinkers is proving that wrong. Their work is proving that evolution is clearly more complex and facinating then many thought it to be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe if you understood Neo-Darwinism, we would be in a position to discuss alternative theories.
     
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  5. darryl Banned Banned

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    ok i see... you clearly dont like shapiro so you personally attack me. great. :shrug:
     
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  7. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    It's not a personal attack. It's recognition of a certain state of affairs.
    Do you deny that you have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding Evolution in this thread?:
    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=113887

    If you do deny it, then you demonstrate my posts and that last one by Aqueous Id post number 93 as Accurate.

    So either you do not understand Evolution Theory or you are playing at a game. Which is it?
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    No, he seems like a legitimate scientist, but it would be hard to discuss it with someone who doesn't even understand the standard model. And I'm not attacking you, I admire your curiosity, only stating a fact.
     
  9. darryl Banned Banned

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    Firstly that other thread has nothing to do with this one. I left the other thread becuase Aqueous Id was making personal comments and turned the thread into sillyness, for example he said birds can see green but not brown etc I was laughing.

    This thread is not about natural selection it is about Shapiro but yes related if you read the book/links on the internet, articles etc by Shapiro he shares the same position of me that natural selection is not creative and is not a force. To describe natural selection as a "creative force" like the neo-darwinist do is a form of creationism, it is irony and a joke within science, even Jerry Coyne a well known neodarwinist has turned away from saying natural selection is creative or a force.

    If you want to criticise me, then you are also criticising a well qualified biologist and geneticist becuase Shapiro also holds the view natural selection is not creative and so do many others. I am not denying natural selection and neither is Shapiro, infact I have never come across any person who denies that selection does occur in nature, it clearly does. If natural selection is nothing more than a "filtering process" then it is not evolutionary and we must look else where for the "evolutionary force"

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    . Heres a couple of mechanisms which *could* (I will leave it open for discussion) be more important than the neo-Darwinian mechanisms of natural selection and random mutation etc.

    • William Bateson (1861-1926) & Hugo de Vries (1848-1935): abrupt variation as a source of evolutionary novelty


    • Richard Goldschmidt (1878-1958): altering developmental processes as a source of rapid evolutionary novelty (“hopeful monsters” and Evo-Devo)


    • Barbara McClintock (1902-1992): genetic change as a biological response to danger and evolutionary novelty through genome restructuring resulting from “shocks”


    • G Ledyard Stebbins (1906-2000): hybridization between species as a source of evolutionary novelty


    • Carl Woese (1928- ): molecular phylogeny and the existence of at least three distinct cell kingdoms


    • Lynn Margulis (1938- ): cell mergers/symbiogenesis as a source of evolutionary novelty

    I would also add 4 other scientists to the list, with who are my friends who I communicate with frequently:

    * Bruce Lipton author of The Biology of Belief and more recent books, his latest book came out in 2009, he has criticised neo-Darwinism and the gene centric view of evolution – he claims that genes and DNA do not control biology, instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell.

    * Rupert Sheldrake author of A New Science of Life and more recent books – claims a process known as morphic resonance: the past forms and behaviors of organisms, influence organisms in the present through direct connections across time and space. Strong critic of neo-Darwinism.

    * Stuart Pivar author of On the Origin of Form: Evolution by Self-Organization and more recent books (even publishing a new book in 2012)- claims the body form of all organisms is not in genes, genetic code, or DNA but is encoded in the Urform a universal “archtype” substance which Pivar identifies as a primordial germ plasm. His theory rejects natural selection, instead complex biological forms arise through self-organization of embryological processes.

    * Antonio Lima-de-Faria author of Evolution without Selection Form and Function by Autoevolution and more recent books. – Claims evolution occurs due to internal physico-chemical factors and not natural selection.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Most of those guys are really old. Sheldrake believes all kinds of wacky things.
     
  11. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    It does in that it relates to this commentary: You demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of Evolution.
    You don't think much of other readers intellect, do you?
    What do you take us for, all fools? Other readers can plainly see that is not what he said.

    I made personal comments, too. They apply.

    Evolution does not describe it as a creative force.
    Just because you claim that it does, does not make it so. Rather, you've demonstrated either a desire to distort evolution theory in order to promote another- which is intellectual dishonesty... Or you're lacking in understanding of Evolution Theory and you need to be open to education.

    Irrelevant.

    You are claiming "Creation" where there are no claims of such.
    Sure we can discuss all of that.

    But you still need to Learn about Evolution, First. If you don't understand how Evolution Theory describes the process, you are not qualified to claim other offered possibilities.
     
  12. darryl Banned Banned

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    In other words anyone who disagrees with you does not understand evolution. I already told you many scientists do not believe natural selection is an evolutionary process as it is not creative and many scientists have questioned its role in evolution or downplayed it as a minor process there is nothing controversial about this. The fact that you did not know this shows that you are not up to date with evolution and probably have not read a book on the topic or communicated with any biologists on the subject.

    This is what he said:

    "It has no sense of selection. It can't see the brown bugs. It only sees and eats green ones."

    Its such a retarded comment its clear he has never been in nature let alone studied ornithology or evolution.

    No they don't apply we dont need personal comments but if you insist, on your profile it says you work with lasers, I could turn round and point out you are not a biologist or ecologist and have no degree, education or experience in this field etc and I doubt you have spent much time in nature. Also your knowledge of evolution seems to consist of wikipedia and talk.origins and anyone who disagrees with you is automatically wrong, you are not up to date with the debate within evolution over the various mechanisms and you have no understanding of evolution or any of the mechanisms proposed by scientists in the last 60 years.

    You are not well read, please see the books by the neo-darwinist school of evolution such as Ernst Mayr, Julian Huxley etc or someone like Simpson or in recent times by Dawkins as they have all described natural selection as a "creative force". It is no different than religious creationism ie believing in things we can not see or test in nature. Educated biologists and ecologists who have actually done work in the field know that natural selection is not creative and is not a force. Read the book by Shapiro for just one example or see the book What Darwin Got Wrong by Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini which is packed with over 200 references to why natural selection is not a "driving force" for evolution or a "creative force" etc.
     
  13. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    No. Anyone that doesn't show understanding of evolution does not understand evolution.
    It is not a matter of agree or disagree. You don't get to agree or disagree about math, either. Either you know the math or you do not.
    Argumentum ad verecundiam - You say "many scientists." How many? Are they degreed in biology? Have they submitted Papers to peer reviewed journals that you can show us here?
    Also, Argumentum ad numerum.
    Not at all. The bird has a mind but does not select based on Evolutionary Designs. It mindlessly selects based on its own wants. This is what he was trying to explain to you.
    He also stated, in post number 93- He had to "dumb down" the words after a while, considering you were claiming to still not understand.
    Now, you take the "dumbed down wording" to laugh at and claim it shows he's dumb.

    He also addressed this in post number 93.

    I quote:
    They apply to show what it is you are actually doing.
    And you would be right to make that claim. I hold no degree in biology.
    You can doubt that all you want, but I spend a LOT of time in nature- I prefer it, by far.
    It's irrelevant, anyway. A Biologist can spend no time in nature and all his time in a classroom and still understand evolution just fine.
    I do not hold a degree in Biology does NOT mean I did not study Biology past high school. I did; I studied in the BioTechnology field. I changed my mind after one year.
    I'm up to date and I've read many arguments- yours are fraught with misconceptions. Again, it's not about agree or disagree. You are only claiming that to cast doubt. Your tactic will not work.
     
  14. darryl Banned Banned

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    They are all degreed in biology or ecology etc.

    Debate of natural selection has been going on for over 150 years, it has nothing to do with creationism or intelligent design, it is to do with the fact there is no direct evidence for natural selection being creative. Yet people on the internet forums etc who have not been in the field or read deeply do not know about this.

    The neo-Darwinist Ernst Mayr wrote that natural selection was universally rejected when it came out (it was).

    The eclipse of Darwinism was a phase for 40 years when scientists were criticising or debating natural selection as an evolutionary process.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_eclipse_of_Darwinism

    You are going to see 100s if not 1000s of scientists who did not see natural selection as a creative force or key evolutionary process etc. We could be dropping names all day but see the books and papers by D'Arcy Thompson or Leo Berg for example. More recent would be the books by Lima-de-Faria or Brian Goodin (see below for others).

    Ernst Mayr wrote that as late as 1930 most textbooks still emphasized non-Darwinian mechanisms but they later stopped becuase scientists in the 1940s became obsessed with genetics and mutations, a new mechanism was discovered and attention on natural selection was dropped. By 1940s neodarwinism came popular and all of the criticisms of natural selection were brushed under the carpet. Some of the criticisms were revived in 1970s when Karl Popper and others wrote that natural selection was metaphysical, non testable or a tautology etc.

    Recent debate of natural selection has been revived again since around 1990s. This is such a deep topic and it would be almost impossible to drop all the names and arguements here but lets see some of them.

    Motoo Kimura discovered that natural selection is not powerful enough to eliminate all mutations at the DNA level. He called these mutations neutral mutations, because they are not affected by selection, positive or negative. He was right. Gabriel Dover has shown many examples where natural selection does not exist in nature, to fill the gap he claims there is a third force in evolution he calls it molecular drive, he has published a number of peer reviews on this mechanism but it currently has not been must heard of.

    The late Brian Goodwin has written two books on how Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection fails to explain the forms of organisms because it focuses on inheritance and survival, not on how organisms are generated.

    J. Scott Turner has downplayed natural selection and instead focuses on the role of homeostasis. The biologist Eugene Koonin (2011) in his book Logic of Chance, The: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution rejects natural selection and adaptation as the only or even the main mode of evolution.

    Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson in a book titled Unto Others. The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior have downplayed the role of natural selection and have talked about the importance of group selection.

    The biologist Lynn Margulis rejected random mutation and natural selection as the mechanism for creating new species she wrote that natural selection is never creative. Instead symbiosis (the incorporation of the whole genome of one species by an unrelated species), creates new species, this position is also held by a recent school of biologists who have been challenging darwinian competition and replacing it with cooperation such as Frank Ryan. Darwin was wrong there is no constant competition in nature. There is also lots about horizontal gene transfer which contradicts the standard view of natural selection.

    As the thread already shows. James A. Shapiro Evolution: A View from the 21st Century is against gradualism, against random mutations, against natural selection as a creative force etc.

    The biologist Wallace Arthur has even been talking about a mechanism called "internal selection" yet no mention of that on this forum. You seriously need to dig into the field to see what mechanisms are out there and what is really going on. Evolution is much more than random mutation or natural selection.

    There is also a whole self-organization school of evolution which has downplayed natural selection, see the work of Stuart Pivar or Stuart Kauffman for example and a tonne of others.

    I am also a fan of field theories of evolution, see the work of Rupert Sheldrake on morphogenetic fiels or the work on cells by Bruce Lipton etc. There has also been a revival of neo-Lamarckism see for example Eva Jablonka and Marian Lamb. There work is not mentioned on this forum.

    Have you listened to yourself, how can a bird mindlessly select something? If it was mindless it would not be able to select. We dont need to debate this anymore. Forget it.

    Yes his comments started off on topic but then he turned it into personal attacks trying to lump me in with intelligent design or saying im playing words games, trolling or clueless on evolution. Hes wrong.

    Evolution is much more complex than we thought it was, check out some of the peer-reviews, papers, books etc from the scientists I listed above. The typical forum dweller who thinks they know about evolution does not know about any of this, we dont know everything about evolution, we know very little in my opinion and that is exactly what Fodor says in his book but not many people want to hear that, they like to think they know everything. Wikipedia does not have all the answers. Gert Korthof believes that a Third Evolutionary Synthesis is gradually becoming visible in the next 10 years we are probably going to see much criticism of the neo-darwinian school. No scientist is denying that natural selection exists, but its role in evolution is highly debatable, you say I do not understand evolution, but the debate will not go away it exists.
     
  15. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Never heard natural selection described as a "creative force". This would be wrong. A filter would be a better description. Basically, those that live to reproduce, pass their genetic material on to a new generation. Those that don't, don't. It's not that difficult of a concept to understand.
     
  16. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Yeah, but you didn't.
    No one said the bird has no mind. I said it has a mind.
    You are ignoring the explanations. You are picking and choosing what you will accept and what you simply will not.
    You are right about one thing: Debating it with you is useless. You have imagined your own case and think it's a matter of "Opinion."
    You think you can claim that the actual theory is just an opinion and you can claim that if you don't understand it, others feel you don't agree with their opinions and that makes you automatically wrong. Well, you are wrong. Not by automation, but by your stubborn refusal to learn about the theory that you display a lack of understanding for.
     
  17. darryl Banned Banned

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    Dobzhansky, Simpson, Huxley, Robert Ardey, Dawkins etc etc Those that belong to the "neo-Darwinian" school of evolution all described it as a "directed" "guided" or "creative" force"

    I personally do not see how natural selection is a "force" but there is harm in using such colourful language about an impersonal force becuase it seems these neo-Darwinists were quick to banish the designer, God or "watchmaker" etc but seem to be raising the same thing through their rhetoric, its not science.
     
  18. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    No, they don't. You're dishonest.
     
  19. darryl Banned Banned

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    "No one said the bird has no mind. I said it has a mind." You say the bird has a mind, but it somehow "mindlessly selects".

    So if its mind did not select, what did? Or yeh the imaginary "creative force" you darwinists believe in must be doing it and not the bird itself.

     
  20. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Because, as has been explained repeatedly:
    The bird selects by its wants. Not by it's desire to Enhance the Evolution of the bugs. Evolution is mindless.

    It's been explained many times and you IGNORE it.
    I think you ignore it and make fun of it for an agenda you're pushing. You're misquoting, I believe, deliberately.
     
  21. darryl Banned Banned

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    Natural selection by all of those neo-darwinists has been described as both creative and a force, do you really want me to dig out lots of quotes?
     
  22. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Only interested in ones that say, "Creative Force."
    Full quote by individual- Yes, I absolutely do want to see it.
     
  23. darryl Banned Banned

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    very true


    This is where your imaginary force comes in.
     
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