It sounds as though these researchers want to quietly abandon Darwinian randomness in favour of a structuralist approach to the unfolding of life but — understandably — do not want to hear from an army of Darwinian orcs.
The entire history of Kettlewell’s Peppered Moth experiment is littered with problems: doctored photographs, wrong assumptions and slim evidence, followed by genetic analysis revealing that the protein exons coding for color were not changed, but, rather, a transposon (non-random) was inserted in an intron (“junk DNA”). And now there’s this paper. It seems that the Read More…
Take THAT! genetic determinism and blow it out your ear! The local animal welfare society has tons of live cats people can learn to like (or tolerate 😉 ).
If the Weismann barrier is broken, that’s barbarians at the gates of textbook Darwinism, no? It turns out, all sorts of sources can contribute to inheritance.
Why are people so uncomfortable with the idea that they are NOT ruled by their genes?
Their cheatin’ hearts, that’s how. Pigs ran wild and look what happened. Funny how a genome can be sort of a river like that. And they’re all still pigs.
Holloway: Of course, the real question is, what is the dividing line between animals and humans? At least, it is not memory or processing speed.
Re proteins: “They have their own language, and we don’t know how it works,” he says. “We don’t know what makes a silk protein a silk protein or what patterns reflect the functions found in an enzyme. We don’t know the code.”
If so, this set of genes got started a very long time ago and shows an admirable ability to switch from producing, say, lawnmowers to cars to cell phones. Yet it got started back when life was supposed to be simple and primitive, remember? It would seem that something back then was not simple and primitive.
Scientists believed that mutations occurring only in germ cells were responsible for any heritable genetic changes. Schumacher and his team now challenge this assertion. (The Selfish Gene was heard to sob uncontrollably in the background.)
We see devolution all the time with unintelligent causes. Animals gnaw a hole in the bottom of a jug of water and they get some water but the rest is wasted. They destroy the feedhouse door trying to get into the feed because they don’t know how to use the doorhandle. They do get fed but the feed is scattered and much is wasted. *That’s what an unintelligent cause is typically like.* Put another way, the animals won’t learn to use the doorhandle or the jug cap. But just to survive and reproduce, they might not need to.
The main thing we’re learning these days is that epigenetics is much more important than we used to think. Which means that purely Darwinian evolution must be much less so.
The Hox genes are not the big answer many thought.
Remember when everything you ever were or would be was
in your DNA? Now it’s proteins.
From what these researchers report, yes, one can definitely apply the principle. But then one must accept that biology shows evidence of design. “Just right” is rarely an accident.