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

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 15:07 (186 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Just like Darwin (as usual) you avoid the origin of life, the worst problem for naturalism, which exists in a continuum with further evolution and most always be part of the discussion.

dhw: Why “must” it be? In our discussions I have accepted the possibility that your God designed the first living organisms. (So, by the way, did the agnostic Darwin.) Our disagreement concerns Chapter 2: if your God exists, and if – as we both believe – evolution took place, then what were his purposes and methods?

How can you avoid the origin of life in our discussions. We can assume that the genome at the very beginning had all or many of the characteristics that we debate when we debate how itv all works.


Dhw (re bacterial resistance): Maybe the mechanism is not “spontaneous”, and maybe resistance/non-resistance depends on what you would call each bacterium’s “own operating system” for interpreting information and acting on it, i.e. “single cells change their metabolic pathways"… and “learn” and “create instructions on the hoof”, as proposed in the article you initially agreed with. The expansion of resistant bacteria would then take time because those bacteria which work out the solution to the new problems would have to pass on the new information.

DAVID: The one percent who have resistance multiply every 20 minutes. Not much time to take. Lenski's E.coli show this.

dhw: Time is not the main point here, as we are discussing the mechanisms that enable resistance: your 3.8-billion year old library of information and instructions, or an autonomously intelligent “own operating system” in which bacteria create their own instructions. I mentioned time because it can take a while before antibiotics become ineffective.

If one percent are already resistant, there are no new instructions.

xxxxx

Under “new axons may make local decisions”:

DAVID: A new study strongly suggests that newly developing axons have some degree of self-control […] (dhw’s bold)

dhw: If distant parts of the system have a degree of self-control, doesn't this suggest to you that the central part of the system itself also has self-control or, in your own words, its "own operating system".

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-nerve-cells-foot-soldier-axon.html

QUOTES (dhw’s bold):
"We are not the first to think that there has to be some autonomy…"

"This finding [...] proposes a more intricate web of decision-making and the existence of semi-independent units far from central command."

"What our results suggest is that growth cones are capable of taking in information from the outside world, making signaling decisions locally, and functioning semi-autonomously without the cell body," he said.

Macklis proposes that the cell body may be like a server connected to smart PCs that have the capability to interface with the world.

[NB: we should not forget that PC’s are a form of artificial intelligence. The PC is therefore used as an image for natural intelligence.]

DAVID: The findings open up part of the black box of how complex regions of the human brain can develop into five cooperative layers in the frontal cortex. My thought is the nucleus of the neuron tells the axon what to look for in a set of connections and the axon finds them on its own, as the article suggests, growing toward what it senses, far away from the body of the neuron. This was evolved when the first complex set of neurons made an early form of the brain, by design.

dhw: Thank you once more for your integrity in presenting yet more evidence that cells and cell communities are run by independent, decision-making intelligence, as bolded. In this context, I take “semi-autonomous” to mean that some decisions are taken independently of the main control system (the nucleus and cell body).

I view it as the growing ends of the axon branches respond to local stimuli and either grow toward or away automatically according to instructions it carries.


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