Back to David's theory of evolution: Talbott on cell death (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, August 24, 2020, 01:13 (419 days ago) @ David Turell

Cells are constantly dying and reproducing and must do this as errorless as possible. Talbott's description illustrates:

"Every organism is continually dying in order to live. Breaking-down activities are prerequisites for building up. Complex molecules are synthesized, only to be degraded later, with their constituents recycled or excreted. In multicellular organisms such as vertebrates, many cells must die so that others may divide, differentiate, and proliferate. Many cancers reflect a failure to counterbalance proliferation with properly directed death processes.

"You and I have distinct fingers and toes thanks to massive cell death during development. The early embryo’s paddle-like hands give way to the more mature form as cells die and the spaces between our digits are “hollowed out”. In general, our various organs are sculpted through cell death as well as cell growth and multiplication. During development the body produces far more neurons than the adult will possess, and an estimated ninety-five percent of the cell population of the thymus gland dies off by the time the mature gland is formed.

"Despite all this life and death, I doubt whether anyone would be tempted to describe the embryo’s cells as “red in tooth and claw”. Nor do I think anyone would appeal to “survival of the fittest” or natural selection as a fundamental principle governing what goes on during normal development. The life and death of cells appears to be governed, rather, by the developing form of the whole in which they participate.


"How does the cell accomplish the task of DNA replication, or the repair of DNA lesions? How does a cell divide? How does it produce proteins? How does it derive energy for its actions through metabolism? And how does it regulate all these activities in relation to the needs of the whole cell and organism?

"Here’s just one example. A current challenge embraced by molecular biologists is to understand how hundreds of diverse and diffusible molecules in a watery medium come together and coordinate their interactions in order to carry out the intricate, extended narrative of RNA splicing. In this process they must remove sections of a complex RNA molecule and “stitch” the remaining pieces together in the extremely precise manner required to obtain a functional result. It must all be accomplished in just the right way to yield (through additional, equally elaborate processes) the exact form of the specific protein required right now, in this cell, as opposed to the somewhat different form that may be required later or in a different cell.

"There you see Weiss’ principles of micro-indeterminacy and macro-determinacy on vivid display. If we had to explain RNA splicing merely by summing up the individual, law-like behaviors of those hundreds of molecules, with all their degrees of freedom, we would know beyond any doubt: the exponentially multiplying random molecular deviations from the elaborate and drawn-out task at hand would quickly reduce the entire process to a chaotic mess so far as that task was concerned. This is simple physics and chemistry, which were not “made” to sustain meaningful narratives.


"Moreover, at the sub-cellular level we see molecules moving and interacting within a fluid medium in order to carry out carefully sequenced narratives — tasks so complex that they challenge our most sophisticated abilities to unravel and articulate their endless nuances. These narrative achievements, which might seem to require a remarkable and practiced synchronization of activities, are accomplished, as we saw a moment ago, despite the fact that the innumerable molecules involved possess many degrees of freedom as they diffuse through the cell’s plasm. And also despite the fact that the context-sensitive task at hand is never exactly the same in any two of the trillions of cells in our bodies, or at any two moments of a several-decades-long life. The rigidly defined and consistent structural constraints necessary for rendering the programmed operation of a computer reliable and mechanistic are altogether absent." (my bold)

Comment: These disconnected but profound excerpts from Talbott should be carefully read, and clearly explain why I am so concerned with error control. Despite constant death and reproduction the vast majority of all organisms live from birth to life without problems. It is due to instructive and editing mechanisms which help control the seeming chaos of the watery interior of the active cell. As I consider God the author of all this messy arrangement, it is my point that God created both life's instructed processes but also the error controls from the very advent/beginning of life. HE HAD TO or there would have been a very short tenure for life. The errors were not God's desire or any part of His intent. Life emerges from the actions and interactions of thousands of simultaneous molecular processes. We know of no other way it could have been designed. I will state that for God there was no other way. You cannot defend your constant inferences God desires errors either during evolution or during just living. No one knows the rate of protection from errors. My guess in in the trillions every day.

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