Genome complexity: what genes do and don't do (Introduction)

by dhw, Sunday, January 20, 2019, 12:23 (243 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I would just like to be sure that I have understood you. Are you now saying that the original DNA could not have contained complete instructions for the whole of evolution, apart from when your God dabbled?

DAVID: I'll stick to my approach that everything needed was there from the beginning, except for minor coursed-direction dabbles. All I will accept that cells do is some editing of DNA and the other somewhat unknown genome layers for minor adaptations and primarily all automatic.

dhw: I’m sorry, but this is all very confusing. Firstly, your latest comment means your God dabbles the minor changes, and yet the cells edit their DNA for minor changes. Which is it? Secondly, you say “everything” - except minor changes – was there from the beginning, but apparently your exact thoughts are 1) that the DNA code cannot possibly serve as instructions to create a fully functioning being, whereas earlier you claimed that “the original DNA may have contained all the info for evolution” which meant “a complete set of instructions for cells to respond to all stimuli…”. And you have agreed 2) that DNA is a "PASSIVE data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.” A passive data base used by the organism is absolutely not a complete set of instructions, so how can “everything needed” have been there from the beginning? At the start of this post I’ve quoted your self-deprecating comment on your own “sloppy thinking and writing”, but I’m afraid this latest post hasn’t made your thoughts any clearer.

DAVID: I'm sorry if I am confusing you, but you want theoretical exactitudes in an area of research in which we have a partial glimpse into the complexity.

No I don’t. I want a coherent account of your beliefs, as explained above.

DAVID: DNA is simply a passive code used by the entirety of the various layers of the controls in the genome. I believe many of those layers existed in first life or life would not have happened….

So DNA never did contain a “complete set of instructions for cells to respond to.” Thank you. What do you mean by “layers of controls in the genome”? How does this differ from the cell communities having the ability to reconstruct their DNA?

DAVID: Possibilities: 1)That first life contained everything needed then and perhaps for all of evolution to happen either automatically

Why automatically? Your “perhaps” means the first cells would have contained a complete set of instructions for every single innovation in the history of evolution (not to mention the lifestyles and natural wonders which you insist could only have been programmed or dabbled). But those instructions were not in the DNA, which is merely a passive code. So what uses the passive code in this first possibility?

DAVID …or as next:
2) God used the initial genome's layers to create each big step/gap in

Which means every big step required an individual dabble. There was never any preprogramming for evolution, but your God separately designed each innovation.

DAVID: 3) God only had to step in and make an occasional minor course correction

If your God only had to dabble minor changes, every big step was the result of instructions contained in the original cells – but not in the DNA. In that case, somewhere within the cell is a controller, but it’s not God, because God-control = dabbling, not automatic preprogramming. Implications to be seen below.

DAVID: 4) God deleted from the beginning genome and new forms appeared.

Which means the original genome contained complete instructions for all innovations – but not in the DNA – and God dabbled to remove them. One wonders why he bothered to put them all there in the first place, if he had to remove a million or so programmes every time he wanted to dabble just one. A nightmare for Ockham!

DAVID: Since I believe God ran the process of evolution, it is therefore logical to create the above possibilities, from which I cannot see a defining discovery to tell us which are most possible. I think I have answered your questions.

You have glossed over the most important question of all, as above. What do you mean by “layers of control”? In your first and third possibilities, the major innovations are preprogrammed, but God plays no part in the implementation (it’s automatic) and yet something controls the use of the passive code. In the passage you bolded as representing your exact thoughts, that “something” was the organism itself, which means the cell communities of which every organism (bar single-celled) is made. And yet, although your exact thoughts are that DNA is a passive data base which is used by the organism, nowhere in your list of alternatives do we find the possibility that your God might have designed a control system that enabled the organism (cell community) itself to use the passive code!

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