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

by dhw, Sunday, February 10, 2019, 10:44 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In your hypothesis, apparently your God either fitted the first living cells with a programme for pre-whale leg replacement (in addition to programmes for every other change in the history of evolution), or popped in personally to amputate the legs of pre-whales and insert flippers/fins in their place. My proposal is that pre-whales entered the water, and their cell communities adapted existing structures to make the body more suited to life at sea. Three unproven hypotheses to explain speciation.

DAVID: I accept only my either/or God control.

I am aware of your dogmatic faith in two of the three hypotheses. I am merely pointing out that there is no evidence for them, and so you can hardly reject the third on the grounds you offer below:

dhw: Nobody knows how speciation happened. If your 3.8 billion-year-old library of information and instructions for the whole of evolution might be found in the genome, then so might an autonomous brain equivalent which allows cells to work out their own innovations.

DAVID: The only evidence of such a cellular brain is the genome which carries instruction information.

DAVID: I'll change my view based on factual research. […] Living biochemistry is extremely complicated which includes convolutions of many processes operating in concert and at times antagonistically in feedback loops.

dhw: You will change your “library” view, for which there is not one jot of factual evidence, only if factual evidence is found for a different view. This might be seen as the epitome of dogmatism. Nobody is denying the complexity of living biochemistry. That does not mean your “library” is more likely than a brain equivalent.

DAVID: How life works is still a black box. I'll wait patiently for more research.

But you are not waiting patiently. You have a fixed belief in your library and/or dabbling, and you reject the third hypothesis.

dhw: The greater the complexity, the more intelligence needed to run the show. If single cells can work out their own solutions to their problems, why do you think cell communities can’t do the same? Ever heard of cooperation?

DAVID: Again your nebulous committee of cells illusion. In multicellular organs cells have strictly bound fixed roles. Legs do not know how to become flippers. That change requires design from an outside designer.

Of course cells have fixed roles once speciation has taken place. Otherwise the new species would not survive! The question (your “black box”) is how legs became flippers in the first place. There is nothing nebulous about cell cooperation. We KNOW cells cooperate. What we don’t know is whether their cooperation can produce the innovations which result in speciation. Nor do we know that your 3.8-billion-year-old library exists, or that your God popped in to perform leg amputations and flipper grafts.

Thank you for the three articles (especially the James Tour one). Your comments are as applicable to speciation as to the origin of life.

Constructor theory sophistry
DAVID: Note the bolds. It is never stated where the knowledge or information comes from or how it is created. It is simply assumed to appear.

Just as it is not stated what mechanism is available to interpret and process the information, and decide on the appropriate way to use it.

Information as the source of life
DAVID: As in my entry just a few minutes ago, where does the information come from? Life must have its own operating system to interpreting the code and acting on the information contained in it.

Absolutely, but I would slightly change your wording: living organisms (= cell communities) must have their own (i.e. autonomous) operating system. I find it hard to believe that they are all mere automatons, obeying instructions issued 3.8 billion years ago, and without a clue as to what they are interpreting and what actions they should take.

James Tour: " We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.”

Ditto the mysteries of consciousness and speciation. Great article, which should be compulsory reading for all theists and atheists!


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