Genome complexity: how do genes exert control (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, August 15, 2016, 12:08 (1131 days ago) @ David Turell

1st article:
DAVID: Surprise! Epigenetic mechanisms are different in prokaryotes and eukaryotes according to this review article:
David's comment: the main point of this very technical article is that the difference in handling DNA in the two types of organisms results in very different ways of applying epigenetic changes. The main point for me is going from unicellular organisms to multicellular is a giant step for evolution to have accomplished, and that step is no more explained than the origin of life itself. The origin of life, multicellularity, and the Cambrian explosion have no explanation in the Darwin theory.

I don't think even Darwin would dispute your comments, so I don't know why you have mentioned him. His theory of evolution was not meant to explain the origin of life or of multicellularity, and he himself acknowledged the problem of the Cambrian explosion (his “dilemma”), which he hoped (in vain) might be solved by new fossil discoveries.

I shan't pretend to have understood the technicalities of this article, but I am struck by one particular sentence: “It was as if nature was experimenting to optimally utilize the gene pool without changing individual gene sequences.” As far as we know, Nature is not a consciously experimenting scientist. A theist will perhaps argue that every experiment is carried out by a god. The alternative has to be that every experiment is carried out by the organisms themselves. The effects of such experiments would be accumulative, as every experiment would create new information to be incorporated into new structures. Two possibilities, then: a) a god does it directly; b) the organisms do it themselves. The second of these still leaves open the question of how life and the ability to self-organize originated, but it offers an explanation for the Cambrian, as does the first alternative, which raises the question of how a god originated (usually glossed over by the non-explanation of “first cause”).


2nd article:
David's comment: This article looks at the possible epigenetic environmental changes in genetic studies. It clearly shows we do not know how genes exert their controls. All we can see is what gene is related to what function and the environment may well alter that function. What this all means is that we recognize the genome does more than just code for proteins, but we are still just at the beginning of how to understand the multitude of layers of functional controls that must be present, especially the HAR's, the human accelerated regions that produce evolutionary jumps just presented yesterday. I continue to believe it is not be chance.

I agree, and yet again I wish you would consider the possibility that it is not the environment that alters gene function but the cells that alter themselves as an intelligent reaction to the environment. With this simple adjustment of perspective, you not only get rid of “chance”, but you also allow your God the luxury of not having to preprogramme or dabble every single adjustment that every single cell /cell community makes to every single change in the environment! (NB, in case you have forgotten, this explanation does not exclude God as the originator of cellular intelligence.)

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