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Modularity and Design


The road to modularity Günter P. Wagner, Mihaela Pavlicev and James M. Cheverud Nature Reviews Genetics Volume 8 Dec 2007 

“From our reading of the literature, origin of modularity research is still mostly based on model analysis rather than data. It is likely that we have not yet fully explored the range of theoretical possibilities to explain modularity, and more theoretical work will still be valuable. The models reviewed here, however, suggest an emerging theme. It seems that the origin of modularity requires both a mutational process that favours the origin of modularity and selection pressures that can take advantage of and reinforce the mutational bias.”

Hot off the press and freely available, this EvoDevo paper admits that we need a loaded mutational dice to achieve the results that we see in biology. A loaded dice always points to design.


[...] I previously made the following prediction: But let’s say we did find such foresighted mechanisms. Darwinists might argue that such mechanisms would be selected for without intelligence being involved. After all, being foresighted would allow proactive responses to a changing environment and thus increase survivability. It’s kind of like how they create a story for modularity. [...] ID-Compatible Predictions: Forsighted Mechanisms Identified? | Uncommon Descent
bob, I think it a wee bit odd for you to make such an argument when you yourself agreed in an earlier discussion that high replicators like bacteria should avoid genetic entropy. Never mind that this is a virus we're talking about (not higher creatures which is the focus of genetic entropy in the first place) which is an order of magnitude more so a "high replicator" and that UD has featured whole articles on the subject. You previously stated:
So perhaps genetic entropy isn't much of an issue with high replicators such as bacteria.? That’s my understanding - IIRC Mike Lynch showed that the rate of mutational meltdown depends on population size.
Also, I think it interesting you argue that "it has gained a function" and then selectively cite Behe without including this:
Second, the viroporin is not some new molecular machine. There is no evidence that it exerts its effect in, say, an ATP- or energy-dependent manner. Rather, similar to other viroporins, the protein simply forms a passive leaky pore or weak channel. (4,5) This situation is probably best viewed as a foreign protein degrading the integrity of a membrane, rather than performing some positive function.
Bob, to clear things up, As esteemed French scientist Pierre P. Grasse has stated “What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria... are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.” Needless to say, this limit to the variability of bacteria is extremely bad news for you Bob. So your guys are able to deduce rare advantageous mutations in their study, But when you look at the overall picture of the bacteria in the integrated complexity of symbiotic life, they have somehow missed something very important, for the bacteria will, when put in the wild, always be out competed by the original bacteria thus failing the test for overall robustness. Thus any supposed gain in complexity was superficial and did not "stick" in the long run as far as "proving Darwinism is concerned. bornagain77
I bet the study fails completely when species are tested for complete robustness to parent species.
I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to say here. Sorry. Bob O'H
Bob you asked: No. We have a new function appearing in a sub-species (virus). You claimed it shouldn’t happen. So, is genetic entropy wrong? Is the overall principle of entropy wrong when rocks pile up at a bottom of a mountain? No, of course not, The entropy was payed for by the rocks that disintegrated from the mountain side. Thus, for a starting position in defense of Genetic Entropy, I maintain that the integrated complexity of life, when viewed as a whole symbiotic entity, gives Genetic Entropy its foundational validity. Thus I maintain that the "trivial" gain in complexity of the "non-living" virus (which is another subject altogether (CSI)) will come at a cost of complexity to the "higher living organism" it attacks". That is to say more complexity was lost from a living organism than was gained by the non-living virus. bornagain77
Bob, your study states: "advantageous mutations are rare" I bet the study fails completely when species are tested for complete robustness to parent species. What I believe is termed clonal interference, is usually how they introduce ambiguity into these studies to get a skewed "rare" advantageous mutation reading . Come on buddy, quit hiding in dark corners with your evidence, why don't you just mutate any bacteria into any other new type of bacteria and show the awesome power of evolution for all the world to see? Man I really want to see me some of that awesome evolution stuff in action!!!! It would be kind of like watching God Almighty in action don't you think Bob? I mean just look at the world around you Bob!!! That some pretty awesome power that evolution stuff has got there!!! http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/19/9/1637 of special note: “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ; (The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes) Kind of "surprises" me that evolution is so bashful with its almighty power there Bob!. bornagain77
Now Bob, I think you can clearly see how this ties in with the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del.
No. We have a new function appearing in a sub-species. You claimed it shouldn't happen. So, is genetic entropy wrong?
In all honesty evolution is required to demonstrate a fairly good percentage of beneficial mutations out of total mutations,...
Oh, we've done that. Bob Bob O'H
BA I haven't decided anything. God has and it is already written in the Book. That may not be good 'science' but as i have tried to point out, science can't tell us anything worth knowing. since science is a materialist exercise then I dont' understand how you can disagree with this. I am not 'comfortable' anywhere in this world, because I belong in the next. I don't know if there is a single good thing that has come out of men supposedly walking on the moon. So what? They probably did, but I will never know for sure. And i know that it is irrelevant to the one true question we face here on earth: Are you saved? If you believe in a Theistic entity, surely it is the God of the Bible, no? If so, why are you hiding behind materialist science BA? Why do you believe the Bible is not evidence on it's own but must be bolstered by the misguided and fallen attempts of man to add wisdom to the Word? There is nothing in the bible not fit for knowing, and nothing not fit for knowing that is in the Bible. the success of Intelligent Design will be directly a consequence of it's adherence to the word of God. If ID turns its back on the Word, the Word will turn its back on ID. and that will severely set us back in the mission to destroy the liberal materialist darwinism that is poisoning the minds of not only our childrens but also the believers in our churches. Did you know that we have some people even in my little church that think there was no Flood of Noah? If Jesus mentioned the Flood, then it happened (actually, we know it happened since the Old Testament references it many times) how do people call themselves christians when they don't believe the bible? CINO is what we call them. I pray that ID is not just a CINO exercise itself. Solon
Well Solon I really don't know what to tell you, since you have already decided exactly what all scientific evidence must say prior to investigation. (not a good starting position for a science debate to say the least) You see Solon, This is first and foremost a science site that is engaged in debating the ID/evolution controversy in all its gory scientific detail. This is not a religious site, though personal beliefs do come out from time to time. Not to be rude, or anything like that, but maybe you would be more comfortable on a more religious site. I love science, grew up in awe of science with the Apollo moon landings and all, and am very proud of America's accomplishments in science! And am upset with what I see to be a corruption of science. So I come on this site first and foremost to debate science and in particular to try to defend the Theistic position of science. It is tricky to debate as such, for in a science debate you must rely solely on what evidence you can muster to counter your opponents evidence and can never say stuff like "Well, The Bible says this happened!" It really is very interesting to debate as such, I enjoy it very much and I learn many wonderful things. bornagain77
BA as much as I respect and appreciate much of what you say I must disagree here. You are attempting to fit God into a manmade box of your own contrivance. You are saying, well, if god didn't make the sun how is there a morning and evening and I am saying THIS IS GOD THE CREATOR OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE. There is no limitation on God. I am afraid that this is the fruit of trying to debate liberal athiests and darwinists on their own terms. It can't work. They have man made facts from things they measure and their little theories, but these are not tied to the bible or any Truth, just the norms of the day. Idea du jour if you will. So how can we say that God could not make morning and evening before he made a sun? He can do whatever he wants, he is omnipotent and we know that because he said so. Let's not forget that. I agree, I am 47 years old and I learn more about the bible every time i read it. but i have never learned anything that was contrary to anything else I have learned. and just because a thousand years is like a day to god doesn't mean that a googolples years is not like a day to god too. Because god's days are his and there is no way that we can try to understand god's days unless we go to heaven and we can talk it all over with him. And won't that be great!!! I can't wait to hear the story of how it all happened. I can't wait to go to heaven, Lord take me tonight!! I've been ready for 37 years. But I can promise you this, the story that God tells us in heaven is going to have nothing to do with these pathetic material detials about what african had immoral sinful relations with what chimp and how that caused some other material virus or whatever you call it to do something that then made homosexuals get AIDS. because that is what Satan has done and it's not part of the Truth. We should stop getting bogged down in all this trivial foolishness and focus on the big picture: If ID doesn't save souls, it is not worth the chaff in the wind. If you are counting on 'Intelligent Design' to give you an alternate Just So Story about where we came from, you are sinning, because the Bible tells us all we need to know about that. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. B I B L E Solon
Solon, On what day of creation did God create the sun? Day 3 was it not? So if there was no sun, how in the world could there be an evening and a morning and a 24 hour day? The scripture is clearly talking of some different (heavenly?) time base than we are use to. Does it not also say in scripture; But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Which clearly indicates that God exist in a totally different time frame than we are use to. As well it is fitting that we should study nature using the tools of science that God has given us to use: Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;.... You see Solon, the scripture is very, very deep and very meaningful and takes proper study (and a proper heart) to discern and listen to the depths of its living truths. I've heard old men say that they learn something new from a particular scripture every time they read a particular scripture even though they have read the particular scripture many times before. Because you see Solon: Hebrew 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No Solon, the Bible is much deeper than you have given it credit for being and will grow deeper in your heart as you grow in God's grace. bornagain77
BA I must disagree with you. Ross may have convinced himself that he is staying true to the bible but he has expressly turned his back on God's Word and substituted the word of Man instead. The supposed harmony between scripture and science is completely irrelevant. IT DOESNT MATTER whether or not science can support scripture. Scripture trumps the word of man every time. Who cares if the whole world thinks we are fools, as long as we know we are right and God knows we are right. But just for the sake of the discussion, BA, what if the rates of mutation and disease DID show a young age for the earth? Do you think that ID would support you? I am beginning to get the feeling that there is no room for the bible in Intelligent Design, just from my few days or a week of commenting here. I read articles here a long time and always thought that this site was populated by christians who were true to the bible. But today I have been attacked for standing up for Jesus and it makes me wonder just what side ID is on. If ID is just science then it will fail miserably because science cannot tell us anything that is worth knowing. The cross fills the void. Solon
Solon, I'm sorry but I am not a young earth creationist and I feel that young earth creationism is not supported by scientific evidence. A great help for me to reconcile science and the "six days of creation" was Dr. Hugh Ross's book "A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy" Also this following book is a deeply penetrating book reconciling scripture and science, Dr. Gerald Schroeder in "The Hidden Face of God" demonstrates the harmony between Bible and Science and shows how science reveals the ultimate truth. bornagain77
BA great post. Do you think that doctors could get together and figure out how many of these deleterious mutations that cause diseases occur each year? i guess what i am getting at is this rate would prove that the earth is young. i am not very comfortable with using an evidence like this since it is material and we don't want to try to use the darwinists toolbox (we have it on BETTER authority than any old mutations that the earth is not as old as the materialists say it is). But I suppose I might be convinced it was a good idea if it would bring some souls to Christ by showing them that the bible predicted this!!! Solon
Now Bob, Lets take a look at what we know about things that are actually alive (life-forms which are far more complex than any "de^ad" viruses are, and replicate far more slowly than any viruses can) and see if we can find you some "new" functions to help you out there. ” Bergman (2004) has studied the topic of beneficial mutations. Among other things, he did a simple literature search via Biological Abstracts and Medline. He found 453,732 “mutation” hits, but among these only 186 mentioned the word “beneficial” (about 4 in 10,000). When those 186 references were reviewed, almost all the presumed “beneficial mutations” were only beneficial in a very narrow sense- but each mutation consistently involved loss of function changes-hence loss of information.” Professional evolutionary biologists are hard-pressed to cite even one clear-cut example of evolution through a beneficial mutation to DNA that would violate the principle of genetic entropy. Although evolutionists try to claim the lactase persistence mutation as a lonely example of a beneficial mutation in humans, lactase persistence is actually a loss of a instruction in the genome to turn the lactase enzyme off, so the mutation clearly does not violate genetic entropy. Yet at the same time, the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is clearly overwhelming, for doctors have already cited over 3500 mutational disorders (Dr. Gary Parker). “It is entirely in line with the al nature of naturally occurring mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them to be detrimental to the organisms in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes ally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation” H.J. Muller (Received a Nobel Prize for his work on mutations to DNA) “But there is no evidence that DNA mutations can provide the sorts of variation needed for evolution… There is no evidence for beneficial mutations at the level of macroevolution, but there is also no evidence at the level of what is commonly regarded as microevolution.” Jonathan Wells (PhD. Molecular Biology) “The theory of gene duplication in its present form is unable to account for the origin of new genetic information” Ray Bohlin, (PhD. in molecular and cell biology) “Evolution through random duplications”... While it sounds quite sophisticated and respectable, it does not withstand honest and critical assessment” John C. Sanford (PhD Genetics; inventor of the biolistic “gene gun” process! Holds over 25 patents!) The human genome, according to Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, far, far surpasses in complexity any computer program ever written by man. The data compression (multiple meanings) of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (Trifonov, 1989)! No line of computer code ever written by man approaches that level of data compression (poly-functional complexity). Further evidence for the inherent complexity of the DNA is found in a another study. In June 2007, a international team of scientists, named ENCODE, published a study that indicates the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. This “complex interwoven network” throughout the entire DNA code makes the human genome severely poly-constrained to random mutations (Sanford; Genetic Entropy, 2005; page 141). This means the DNA code is now much more severely limited in its chance of ever having a hypothetical beneficial mutation since almost the entire DNA code is now proven to be intimately connected to many other parts of the DNA code. Thus even though a random mutation to DNA may be able to change one part of an organism for the better, it is now proven much more likely to harm many other parts of the organism that depend on that one particular part being as it originally was. Since evolution was forced, by the established proof of Mendelian genetics, to no longer view the whole organism as to what natural selection works upon, but to view the whole organism as a multiple independent collection of genes that can be selected or discarded as natural selection sees fit, this “complex interwoven network” finding is extremely bad news, if not absolutely crushing, for the population genetics scenario of evolution developed by Haldane, Fisher and Wright (page 52 and 53: Genetic Entropy: Sanford 2005)! Bob every beneficial mutation study I've ever looked at for "higher life-forms" always were beneficial in a narrow sense and always involved some loss that was detrimental when taken in total context. As esteemed French scientist Pierre P. Grasse has stated “What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria... are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.” This is the brass tax of the whole situation Bob. In all honesty evolution is required to demonstrate a fairly good percentage of beneficial mutations out of total mutations, and I grant that in HIV with its tremendous population size might have been very lucky a few times, But the evidence provided by HIV itself indicates that this is an exceedingly rare occurrence for HIV and cannot be extrapolated to vastly slower mutating "life-forms" which have far more interrelated complexity to deal with in their genomes. It does not follow logic---Non sequitur bornagain77
Bob, In Dr. Musgrave’s attempt to get around Dr. Behe’s hard number of 10^10 for HIV he tries to use the smoke and mirrors of effective population size used in population Genetics. Yet I looked at Behe’ sources in His book and they do in fact take into account the effective population size that is used in population genetics to arrive at there number. So Behe’s number is thoroughly thought out and firm as a rock. Here are Dr. Behe’s sources on page 290 of EDge of Evolution” 15. Geritti, A.M.2006. HIV-1 sub-types: epidemiology and significance for HIV management. http://www.co-infectiousdiseases.com/pt/re/coinfdis/abstract.00001432-200602000-00002.htm;jsessionid=HDDT2WHn2wjZF3TK4wmHb44N8yzqKK1TJjkpbhCMqVpB9pYhHp0V!1600246195!181195629!8091!-1 Curr. Opin. Infect. Dis. 19:1-7. Rodrigo, A. G. 1999. HIV evolutionary genetics. Proc.Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96:10559-61. Total body burden of the number of copies of HIV RNA is estimated to be much higher, about 10^11 (Haase, A. T., Henry, K., Zupancic, M., Sedgewick, G., Faust, R. A., Melroe, H., Cavert, W., Gebhard, K., Staskus, K., Zhang, Z. O., Dailey, P. J., Balfour, H. H. Jr., Erice, A., and Perelson, A. As. 1996. Quantitative image analysis of HIV-1 infection in lymphoid tissue. Science 274:985-89). The effective population size is estimated at 500 to 10^5 (Althaus, C.L., and Bonhoeffer, S. 2005. Stochastic interplay between mutation and recombination during the acquisition of resistance mutations in human immunodeficiency virus type 1.J. Virol. 79:13572-78). http://www-binf.bio.uu.nl/althaus/publications/althaus2005jvirol.pdf 16 Rodrigo, A. G., Shpaer, E. G., Delwart, E. L., Iverson, A.K., Gallo, M.V., Brojatsch, J., Hirsch, M. S., Walker, B. D., and Mullins, J. I. 1999. Coalescent estimates of HIV-1 generation time in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96:2187-91. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/96/5/2187 You may want to take a real close look at this study Bob: One of the major problems facing HIV molecular evolutionary biologists is sampling: with 10^10 virions produced daily in an infected individual, and 10^6-10^7 infected cells present, Thus, since each virus is considered a actual chance for evolution to strut its almighty stuff the 10^10 replication number stands solid! 17. Coffin, J. M. 1995. HIV population dynamics in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96:2187-91. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/267/5197/483 another special note: These results lead to a simple steady-state in which infection, cell , and cell replacement are in balance, and imply that the unique feature of HIV is the extraordinarily large number of replication cycles that occur during infection of a single individual. I just don’t understand Dr. Musgrave's logic. His argument for limit to population size has no merit, whatsoever, since the entire HIV population of 10^10 is being replaced every day or two and each virus replication is in fact a search of variation for HIV. So the search area and population size of the HIV stands firm and is not limited as you are vainly trying to do. In my opinion this was a desperate attempt at distortion on his part and he should be ashamed to call himself a scientist, since apparently finding the truth has no meaning for him. Dr. Musgrave crowed that He had defeated Dr. Behe, Yet I don’t see his logic. First his population distortion is a blatant attempt to get around the 10^10 HIV replications per day. Thus, he is whistling in the dark to avoid facing the hard reality on that matter since 10^10 HIV replications per day, is in fact 10^10 chances per day for evolution to strut its almighty stuff in HIV. Since Dr. Musgrave was so blatant on this distortion, I looked at what Dr. Behe said about this binding site that Dr. Musgrave is so impressed with. "One should, however, also make some distinctions with this example. First, although there apparently are five or so copies of Vpu in the viroporin complex, that does not mean that five binding sites developed. Only one new binding site need develop for one area of a protein which binds to a different area of the same protein, to form a homogeneous complex with, say, C5 symmetry. That is all that is required for a circularly symmetric structure to form. Second, the viroporin is not some new molecular machine. There is no evidence that it exerts its effect in, say, an ATP- or energy-dependent manner. Rather, similar to other viroporins, the protein simply forms a passive leaky pore or weak channel. (4,5) This situation is probably best viewed as a foreign protein degrading the integrity of a membrane, rather than performing some positive function. And third, I explicitly pointed out in Chapter 8 of The Edge of Evolution that HIV had undergone enough mutating in past decades to form all possible viral-viral binding sites, but commented that apparently none of them had been helpful (now I know that one of them helped). This I discussed as the “principle of restricted choice”: Me again: From my limited knowledge of the subject, it seems the protein/protein binding site he is so excited about, is actually a additional “refining” protein binding site of the one that actually allowed the HIV to gain access to humans in the first place. Yet even conceding this point Dr. Behe comments: "So the square point in Figure 7.4 representing HIV should be placed on the Y axis at a value of one, instead of zero, and Table 7.1 should list one protein-binding site developed by HIV instead of zero." Thus Dr. Musgrave must conclusively prove the "observed" development of two more protien/protein binding sites to defeat Dr. Behe’s estimate of a limit of two. But to me this is all besides the point and the whole debate is laughable , because the conservative estimate of number of protein/protein binding sites in a cell in Dr. Behe’ book is 10,000. Yet in a number of replication events for HIV that far, far exceeds the replication events that happened since the proposed mammals split from reptiles (which requires far, far more than a paltry few binding sites to develop), we see this quibbling over whether zero, one, or even a few, protein/protein binding sites developed. It does not follow logic at all for evolutionists to claim proof of principle when they have done no such thing at all. Until evolutionists can come up with far better proof than what they are currently crowing about (one (or even a few) overlooked binding site), they are merely stating a conjecture of their imagination with no solid foundation in reality. Now Bob, I think you can clearly see how this ties in with the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del. bornagain77
Bornagain77 -
I know how adept/crafty evolutionists are at going into the dark corners of science and finding some weird piece of evidence, that is not fully understood yet, and then twisting the weird evidence around a axis, distorting it, and then claiming proof of principle when they have done no such thing, except obfuscate the evidence. So if you got any clear cut evidence go ahead and present it.
Well, the "dark corner of science" is Michael Behe's blog. Read into that what you will. :-) To back up. This is where we were with your claims:
Would that include a sub-species gaining a trait or a function, for example? For completely novel traits and completely novel functions I would like to think this positively true because of the mutational studies I’ve seen, and the law of conservation of information.
OK, we know that HIV-1 came from Chimpanzee SIV. We also know that the Vpu gene is only found in the Chimpanzee SIV group (i.e. including HIV-1). SO, I could straightaway claim victory by pointing to a whole new gene appearing in an SIV subspecies. But I want to go further. Because HIV-1 is a sub-species of SIV, and it has gained a function. As Michael Behe has acknowledged:
And now let’s talk about Dr. Musgrave’s “core argument,” that subsequent to the virus leaping to humans from chimps Vpu developed the ability to act as a viroporin, allowing the leakage of cations which helps release the virus from the cell membrane. Yes, I’m perfectly willing to concede that this does appear to be the development of a new viral protein-viral protein binding site, one which I overlooked when writing about HIV.
How does this fit in with genetic entropy? Bob Bob O'H
MacT you stated, In a distributed network, like those we find in the human brain, some information is represented in more than one place. It doesn’t have to move from one area to another; it’s already there. It is hard to tell if you are saying that information is a actual physical quantity of the brain here, but if you are saying that information is actually physically, and materially present/stored, in the brain, I beg to differ with you on this very subtle but important point. I maintain that information, in and of itself, is not actually physically stored in the brain. I maintain that the synapses, and their supporting structures, that form as our brain grows, are built specifically to be receivers, of specific types of information, and to be transmitters, of specific types of information. Information, in and of itself, in its purest form, is never reducible to a purely material basis, and is proven, by the rigorous hard science of quantum non-locality, to be a thoroughly "spiritual" phenomena that is indeed independent of any permanent material basis and, in fact, is proven to actually have dominion over the appropriate specific physical material that is related to its reality of being specified information. Off topic sort of: Here is something neat that just came out: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/raskin/14652 Eye-Fi: First Wireless Memory Card for Digital Cameras of special note: Now here's a great idea. Take a normal-looking 2GB SD card. Add a wireless chip to it. Stick the whole thing into your camera, and before you know it you've got a wireless camera. Now add a dose of software smarts onto the SD card to manage the whole thing and what do you get? You get a quick wireless ticket straight from your camera to any one of 17 different social networks or photo-sharing sites including Facebook, blogging sites like TypePad, photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Snapfish, or your PC or Mac. bornagain77
To continue where post 72 left off, has anyone demonstrated that this mutational bias has ever been able to produce modularity, or are these models simply unsubstantiated speculation (like usual)? Actually, all my previous posts on this are still valid, simply replace front-loading/front loaded (or whatever) with modularity. They are admitting that a specific sequence of mutations and selection pressures would be required to produce modularity (a characteristic of design) yet mutational bias has never been shown to produce such a sequence. This is evidence for ID. Bettawrekonize
MacT [quote] I’m not convinced by the argument that information moves faster than light. In a distributed network, like those we find in the human brain, some information is represented in more than one place. It doesn’t have to move from one area to another; it’s already there. [/quote] This is not what we're referring to. Also, whether or not you're convinced is irrelevant. There is much experimental evidence supporting Quantum nonlocality whether you're convinced of it or not. [quote] Because the spin of a particle does not exist until a measurement is made, the act of making the measurement and determining the axis of spin of particle 1, will also determine the spin of particle 2, no matter how far apart it is from particle 1. Particle 2 will instantly respond to the state of particle 1, even if it is on the other side of the universe. [/quote] http://www.braungardt.com/Physics/Quantum%20Nonlocality.htm Bettawrekonize
MacT, Can you tell me which of the two following paragraphs is correct, there seem to be some discrepancies between them: The human brain is heralded for its staggering complexity and processing capacity. Its hundred-billion neurons and several-hundred-trillion synaptic connections can process and exchange large amounts of information over a distributed network of brain tissue in a matter of milliseconds. Such massive parallel-processing capacity permits our brains to analyze complex images in one-tenth of a second, allowing us to visually experience the richness of the world. Likewise, the storage capacity of the human brain is nearly infinite. During our life-time, our brain will have amassed 10^sup 9^ to 10^sup 20^ bits of information, which is more than fifty-thousand times the amount of text contained in the U.S. Library of Congress, or more than five times the amount of the total printed material in the world! this is the other one: There are about One-quadrillion "connections" (synapses) between the one-hundred-billion cells (neurons) of an brain. The brain's one hundred billion neurons match the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the number of connections active in the brain's functioning verge on the number of stars in the entire known universe. To fill the capacity of all those synapses, a person would have to learn a one-billion volume encyclopedia (a million "letters" per encyclopedia). That’s enough to fill a bookshelf 10,000 miles long. In contrast, the Library of Congress (The largest library in the world) only has 17 million volumes. The brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, far surpassing, by many orders of magnitude, the most advanced supercomputers. One human brain generates more electrical impulses in a single day than all of the world's telephones put together. This is all done with the power equivalent of a single flashlight, 12 Watts. All of our senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, feeling) are transformed to electrical impulses which are sent to general regions of synapses in the brain where we, after complex transformations, finally become conscious of it. To accomplish all this thinking, the brain uses 20 to 25% of the body’s oxygen and 20% of its sugar, even though it is only 2% (3 pounds) of the body’s weight. Both are interesting quotes but I don't want to use something that will come back to me as false later. As well you stated: I’m not convinced by the argument that information moves faster than light. Well MacT, whether you believe me or not, quantum non-locality is a well established fact of science (after many decades of severe debate and rigorous testing for quantum non-locality). Information, in its purest form, is not bound by any known "materialistic" laws of this universe. That is a fact you can take to the bank. So with great confidence I maintain that information "in its purest and truest form" is indeed a "spiritual" phenomena which has dom^in^ion over the physical realm. bornagain77
Yes, but what is this "proposed mutational process" and what are the "several models that are consistent with this account"? Obviously you cannot copy and paste the entire paper but some specifics (or external references) would be nice. Patrick
Patrick: "So what is the mutational process exactly? What environment or combination of factors would provide these selection pressures? Or do the authors not know and they are merely pointing out the problem for future research?" The proposed mutational process is an inference based on considerations of how modularity could arise. The authors state that there are now several models that are consistent with this account, and suggest how empirical data could help decide. MacT
bornagain77: "Why Classical Mechanics Cannot Naturally Accommodate Consciousness but Quantum Mechanics Can" Stapp's suggestions did not gain much attention because his characterization of cognitive processes was simplistic, even in 1995, rendering his meanderings more quaint than interesting to neuroscientists. We've known, for example, that memory is not a unitary phenomenon for many years. There are distinct forms of memory: episodic, semantic, working, motor, and others. These all have different cortical distributions (none are in "one place" in the brain). This knowledge has had some practical consequences: the detailed elucidation of different memory types led to a much better understanding of different types of dementia, where we have seen the differentiation of the clinical categories of semantic dementia, Alzheimer's disease (initially affecting mainly episodic memory), frontotemporal dementia, and others. That in turn has led to the development of drug treatments tailored to specific disorders (watch this space, some dramatic new developments are pending). So far, I am not aware of any scientific or clinical advances that have come out of ideas about quantum processes, but who knows, we may yet see a paradigm shift. You seem to think that I think I know some definitive truth based on a materialistic worldview. That is wrong. My beliefs about how memory is instantiated in the brain are irrelevant. I have to work with the data we have, not the data that might someday exist. Are there gaps in our understanding? Sure. If I were smarter, maybe I could figure out how a quantum wave collapse could be built into a medical device that I could wave over the head of a dementia sufferer and cure him. I'm not convinced by the argument that information moves faster than light. In a distributed network, like those we find in the human brain, some information is represented in more than one place. It doesn't have to move from one area to another; it's already there. The speed of processing doesn't depend on distance. Rather, in the case of accessing a memory, it probably depends on electrophysiological binding, driven by temporary synchronization of electrical fields generated by groups of neurons firing together. We know a fair bit about the biochemistry behind these processes, but by no means everything. MacT
Mutational bias in the context of modularity is a proposed mechanism that could account for the greater likelihood of certain types of outcomes over others. It does not represent loading the dice, or frontloading, or presuppose design, as the original post suggested. The rhetorical opposition between natural selection and mutational bias in the quoted passage does not imply that mutational bias is not natural; that would be an understandable but incorrect reading.
I think it's completely understood that the original paper is attempting to interpret the evidence in a Darwinian fashion. The mechanism behind the "mutational bias" described in the paper would of course be natural given the starting assumptions. The real question is whether there are ID-based interpretations that provide a better explanation of the evidence. I do not have access to the full paper so by what mechanism is this mutational bias supposed to occur? After all, this "mutational bias" is not a mechanism in itself but an outcome I would think. At least that is the impression I get by reading this:
“It seems that the origin of modularity requires both a mutational process that favors the origin of modularity and selection pressures that can take advantage of and reinforce the mutational bias.”
So what is the mutational process exactly? What environment or combination of factors would provide these selection pressures? Or do the authors not know and they are merely pointing out the problem for future research? I think the way they describe this problem is interesting. It reminds me of Dembski's recent papers and his talks of the need for "active information" in order for such processes to find their target in the search space. Also, I think in general many ID proponents are too overzealous to knock down any proposed natural mechanism or process. A smart designer would take into account that the environment is not static and that the designed objects would have a need to modify and adapt to changing circumstances. There is no reason to suppose that a smart designer could not design a system that can use a combination of natural and intelligent mechanisms. Patrick
MacT, Here is a site you may find interesting: Why Classical Mechanics Cannot Naturally Accommodate Consciousness but Quantum Mechanics Can http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/v2/psyche-2-05-stapp.html ABSTRACT: It is argued on the basis of certain mathematical characteristics that classical mechanics is not constitutionally suited to accommodate consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics is. These mathematical characteristics pertain to the nature of the information represented in the state of the brain, and the way this information enters into the dynamics. I thought the following was interesting for it seems to suggest there may be some experimental evidence that counciosness exist in the quantum "wave" part of reality i.e. the command to actualize a event occurs in the "non-material" part of quantum reality first and foremost: "A.8. THOUGHTS: The occurrence of the Heisenberg event at this high level, rather than at some lower level (e.g., when some individual neuron fires) is in line with Wigner's suggestion that the reduction of the wave packet occurs in the brain only at the highest level of processing, where conscious thoughts enter. The state of the brain collapses to a classically describable branch that records, in the form of a facilitated template for action, the template that was just actualized. It is postulated that this actualizing event at the level of the wave function is associated with a conscious event that is the experiential feel of the act of initiating the action initiated by the neural template: the experiential and physical events are concordant. The physical and mental events can be regarded as two aspects of the same event-like reality. The physical event is the image in the physicist's representation of reality of some reality that has also an experiential 'feel'. MacT, I would have to dig deeper to see what experiment they used to make this "spiritual" inference for thought. As Well, MacT I was trying to find a paper I remember reading that said something to the effect that the information we receive in our lives vastly exceeds what we are capable of storing in our brains, but found this instead; ]How big is human memory, or on being just useful enough[ and I also found this tidbit that I thought you may find interesting: The Organization It has been generally believed that memories are localized in the brain. The research conducted by Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield in the 1920s had offered convincing evidence that specific memories did have specific locations in the brain. In his book, The Mystery of the Mind, published just before his death, he concluded that everything we have ever experienced is recorded in our brain, a sequential record of consciousness that was spatially recorded.1 However, Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist at Stanford University and author of the classic neuropsychological textbook Languages of the Brain, became convinced that this model was inadequate because of the failure of standard theories of the brain to explain various neurophysiological puzzles. He discovered that removal of parts of the brain didn't eradicate memories. He came to believe that memories were not localized at specific brain sites, but were somehow spread out or distributed throughout the brain as a whole. Indiana University biologist Paul Pietsch set out to disprove Pribram's theories. In a series of over 700 operations on salamanders, however, he discovered that their learned behavior was not affected by repositioning, reversing, or even shuffling the brain. After recovering from the operation, their behavior returned to normal.2 http://www.khouse.org/articles/1999/229/ MacT, hopefully I can find the experiment, he was using, of a quantum wave collapse initiating action on a particle in the brain, to conclusively prove that consciousness/memory is not based in matter/particles as you falsely believe. bornagain77
Bettawrekonize You are correct, I did not address (21). ------ From the last sentence in the summary of the paper “the main open problem is the question of whether modules arise through the action of natural selection or because of biased mutational mechanisms.” I would add “or because of Intelligent Design and the other two working together.” ------------ OK, we have an observed phenomenon. We also have two distinct predictions for mechanisms of change. Now let's do the science. Can you suggest the experiment that would let us determine which is the better account? Before we continue, I also would like to point out what seems to be a persistent misunderstanding of a basic concept. Mutational bias in the context of modularity is a proposed mechanism that could account for the greater likelihood of certain types of outcomes over others. It does not represent loading the dice, or frontloading, or presuppose design, as the original post suggested. The rhetorical opposition between natural selection and mutational bias in the quoted passage does not imply that mutational bias is not natural; that would be an understandable but incorrect reading. MacT
bornagain77 [quote] Theistic Philosophy Compared to the Materialistic Philosophy of Science; [/quote] You left something out. [quote] As a matter of fact, 24 years before Darwin’s Origin, a scientist named Edward Blyth published the concept of natural selection in the Biblical context of corrupted creation. [/quote] http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/cfol/ch2-selection.asp So lets see: Materialism, acquired traits / Lamarckism. Creationism, Natural selection (Darwin stole it). Bettawrekonize
I wish there was a way to edit posts!!!!!! Bettawrekonize
Mutational bias does not refer to front-loading.
You're right, but since you mentioned frontloading, I thought that modules referred to sections of the genome that appeared to be front loaded. After skimming through the PDF file (which defines what was meant by modularity) I quickly found out I was mistaken. My mistake, I should have read the article first before making assumptions based on what you said. Post 21 (idnet.com.au) did not mention frontloading and neither did the original topic, I think you misunderstood what was meant by a, "loaded dice" and your confusion confused me on the issue as well. I'll try to be more careful next time. However, this is still evidence for ID for reasons already stated (by me and others) and you still haven't addressed post 21 (though it's not really an argument to begin with). Bettawrekonize
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