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James Shapiro: It’s hard to consider cell checkpoints purely mechanical – so why is BioLogos …

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Microbiologist Shapiro is not a design theorist and he is not a Darwinist either. More of a self-organization theorist. Anyway, in “Cell Cognition and Cell Decision-Making” (Huffington Post, March 19, 2012), microbiologist Shapiro explains,

Cells set distinct checkpoint systems for growth and division. The easiest to appreciate is the “spindle checkpoint.” This makes sure that each daughter cell gets one and only one copy of each duplicated chromosome. The reliability of cell division depends on this sensory process. Left to random chromosome distribution, less than one in a billion divisions of our own cells would be successful. If any pair of chromosomes is not correctly aligned on the spindle apparatus to ensure equal transmission of the copies, the checkpoint apparatus senses the misalignment and emits a signal to halt cell division. Once all chromosomes are properly aligned, the checkpoint is released and division follows quickly.

Although each checkpoint could be deemed just another intricate mechanism, it is hard to consider the entire integrated cell cycle-checkpoint system purely mechanical. This is because the network is capable of responding to completely unpredictable events, such as external damage or experimental interventions. It displays reliability enviable in any complex human manufacturing process. Note that a dividing cell has far more components than any man-made device.

This speaks to the sheer irrelevance of groups like Biologos, which we have been discussing in the last few days, fronting Darwin for Christians, though they say they are not Darwinists. But who really cares?

Why don’t they front Shapiro? People might listen.

There’s a world out there, under the glass, and it is not about the infinite creative powers of Darwin’s theory.

But …  they will go under before they get it.

One Reply to “James Shapiro: It’s hard to consider cell checkpoints purely mechanical – so why is BioLogos …

  1. 1
    God chaser says:

    How Unfortunate that Shapiro is too busy dealing with coyne clones who state that it is the duty of science to “Trash creationism” and accuse Shapiro of derelection of duty!…

    ………”trashing creationism”. (Which, I might add, not only myself, but Scott Hatfield, Allen MacNeill, Massimo Pigliucci and many other scientists and science-literate members of the public regard as something that is unfortunately necessary; a duty that has eluded you given your support of your Huffington Post creationist fans as well as those at the Discovery Institute, the notorious “think tank” of Intelligent Design creationism.) – John Kwok


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