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

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 18:41 (185 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Not at all. Preprogramming has to work in just that way. Or there are also dabbling switches for God to activate.

dhw: I’m glad that my description of your hypothesis is accurate. I look forward to the day when your scientists discover the programmes for whale flippers, cuttlefish camouflage, monarch migration and weaverbirds’ nests hidden away in the bacterial genome. I rather suspect, though, that it’s more likely they will discover that single cells are intelligent, and are capable of combining their intelligences (much as ants do) in order to innovate as well as to adapt. Just an unproven hypothesis, of course, though apparently the majority of scientists now seem to support the concept of cellular intelligence.

Still the same problem. All of us are looking in from the outside. NO ONE knows the truth. It is all still opinion. Intelligent cell reactions are still 5/50: some degree of intelligence choice decisions or following intelligent instructions. Scientific conclusions are not by democratic vote, but by paradigm shifts (Kuhn).

dhw: Your focus on gaps is a neat try to sidestep the issue of why a God in total control would specially design a succession of jumping brains in itty-bitty steps instead of specially designing the only brain he wanted to design. ... you suggest divine preprogramming or dabbling; I suggest intelligent cells responding to the demands and opportunities arising from new conditions.

DAVID: I don't understand your definition of itty-bitty except it doesn't fit the 200 cc jumps in size of the hominin stages of brain development. My comment discussed whole phenotype changes, not just brains. You neatly ignored that.

dhw: I did not ignore it. The bit you left out was “We have dealt with gaps and the Cambrian over and over again. Nobody knows the answer...” This and what followed was a reference to speciation (phenotype changes). Our discussion here, however, is specifically on the evolution of H. sapiens. By “itty bitty” I mean one bit at a time. All dealt with under “Big brain evolution”: if your God’s one and only purpose was to produce H. sapiens, and he was in full control, why did he take millions of years fiddling with the big toe, the pelvis, different sizes of brain, different types of hominin, different types of human? No need to repeat the arguments under “Big brain evolution” – I am simply explaining that by “itty bitty” I mean the gradual bit by bit evolution (in my hypothesis) or bit by bit creation (in your hypothesis) of H. sapiens.

Gaps are still huge gaps. Poor Gould fought for years to explain them, and came up with punc inc, which still remains as a weird proposition. Species arrive de novo and no one knows why, based on natural events. There Are no intermediate forms, since the ones we find have huge gaps on either side.

dhw: As we keep agreeing, all theories about speciation are unproven. Both your theory and my proposal require design, and my proposal does not exclude the participation of your God. Meanwhile, I stand by the statements you bolded. Focusing on automatic behaviour is no response to the question of how that behaviour was first generated and of how cells solve problems and exploit new conditions.

DAVID: Exactly. We both see that chance mutations cannot design anything worthwhile. "First generation" given by design is the only reasonable answer.

dhw: And that first generation design may have been carried out by intelligent cell communities, and their intelligence may have been given to them by your God. And focusing on automatic cellular behaviour does not tell us how that behaviour was first generated. Nor does it tell us how cells solve problems and exploit new conditions, these being the factors involved in the demonstration of what is now widely recognized in the scientific world as cellular intelligence.

Still 50/50 chance, and I'll stick to my side of the interpretations.

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