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Shapiro: Pulling a cognitive rabbit out of a sentient hat?

[ James A. Shapiro ]

Don’t forget to download your free (for Kindle) copy of James Shapiro’s Evolution: A View from the 21st Century. Remember, Eugene Koonin’s similar non-Darwin book was free for Kindle once, and isn’t now.

From Jerry Coyne’s trollbox:

Wow, Shapiro reads almost like your average ID disco-institute propagandist. His representations of the history and the science of evolution is… terrible to read. Check out this example from the kindle book(free in denmark it seems):

[It’s free everywhere, troll honey, for a limited time. ]

More seriously, a friend of Uncommon Descent writes,

Shapiro is very good for dismantling bad origin-of-life theories and traditional Darwinism… but look what he is proposing:

What Might a 21st Century Theory of Evolution Look Like?

…. Using the 21st Century scientific perspective, we can articulate a more interactive and information-based set of basic evolutionary principles without departing from the realm of established empirical observations:

• Living cells and organisms are cognitive (sentient) entities that act and interact purposefully to ensure survival, growth, and proliferation. They possess corresponding sensory, communication, information-processing, and decision making capabilities….

Sentient? Well, if they act on sensory input, they are sentient. But cognitive?

Simple life forms cannot have originated the intelligence by which they are guided because they don’t exhibit it. But they do display its effects, so its existence can’t be denied. Some think Shapiro has pulled a cognitive rabbit out a sentient hat here … sneaking in the Invisible Paw. Should be interesting anyway.

Sounds like vitalism. Am I missing something? Enezio E. De Almeida Filho

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