Big brain evolution: our special gene is identified (Evolution)

by dhw, Thursday, January 10, 2019, 13:18 (158 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: I don't believe it is luck/chance that we have this gene. Why not coded by God?

dhw: Or why not developed by cooperating cell communities using their (possibly God-given) intelligence in the process Shapiro calls “natural genetic engineering”?

DAVID: Shapiro's research is all based on brainless bacteria, which have never evolved into anything m ore. Cells and bacteria can make adaptions to change, not march on in evolution. They may edit DNA to that degree, no more. Your hypothesis for speciation is a monster extrapolation.

Of course bacteria have remained bacteria, but I do not accept that cells cannot march on. ALL organisms are composed of cells, and every single evolutionary change is accomplished by new cellular structures, whether autonomous or preprogrammed or dabbled. I keep agreeing that we do not know to what extent cells are capable of innovating, but the extrapolation is hardly more monstrous than the hypothesis you have proposed under “Evolution: a different view with loss of DNA segments”.

Under “Brain complexity: detecting one trillion scents
DAVID’s comment: This type of gene alteration in cooperative design allows for the enormous number of scents we learn to recognize. Note memory has to be involved. This has to be a designed system.

Thank you for this and for all the other articles you have posted today. If the human sense of smell is this complex, imagine what dogs’ are like. Theirs is said to be at least 1,000 times more efficient than ours! I like the expression “cooperative design”, since cell cooperation is integral to the whole process, and cell memory is another important factor for those who advocate autonomous cellular intelligence.

Under “Biological complexity: plant growth…”
QUOTE: "Dr Mähönen's team combined individual cell lineage tracing and molecular genetics to show early-stage xylem cells, which had not yet differentiated, take over as the organiser and direct adjacent vascular cells to divide and function as stem cells: "We showed that this secondary development is a tightly controlled process and revealed a dynamic nature of the organiser.”

DAVID: Automaticity in growth by feedback loops to control transcription factors, hormones and microRNA. This is how cells work in everyday projects.

Even plants require a dynamic organiser, and in other posts we have seen how they communicate with one another. The ability to cope with changing conditions and potential threats suggests a form of intelligence – nothing like our own, but nevertheless entailing the processing and communication of information and the making of decisions. Unquestionably much of this is automatic, just as it is in humans whose perceptions and implementation of decisions involve automatic processes, but that does not mean the dynamic organiser is an automaton.


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