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Start the revolution without ID

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Here the latest from Carl Woese. The abstract is short but telling:

Biology’s Next Revolution
Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese
[posted February 8, 2007]

ABSTRACT: The interpretation of recent environmental genomics data exposes the far-reaching influence of horizontal gene transfer, and is changing our basic concepts of organism, species and evolution itself.

SOURCE: arxiv.org/PS_cache/q-bio/pdf/0702/0702015.pdf.

So here’s the deal: When trying to derail ID in the court of public opinion, say that there is NO controversy over evolution. Say that scientists have achieved a consensus and that evolution is as well established as the earth going around the sun. But when out of the public eye, feel free to publish on how the entire field of evolutionary biology is in disarray and in need of a “next revolution.”

[...] Here is a quote mine for the day which I found in an article Bill referenced earlier (see: Start the revolution without ID). The quote is by one of the world’s leading scientists, Carl Woese: we regard as rather regrettable the conventional concatenation of Darwin’s name with evolution [...] [quote mine] “we regard as rather regrettable the conventional concatenation of Darwin’s name with evolution” | Uncommon Descent
How is HGT, fundamentally, any different from sexual reproduction? If NDE is truly science, would it not have predicted HGT? Any organism with no mechanism for regression towards the mean would soon find its genetic code the victim of random copying error and fail to reproduce. That's what sexual reproduction does. Bad genes pair to good ones and get fixed, except when line breeding pairs a bad gene to a bad gene, as with hemophilia. Without genetic sharing to average out the faults, the faults eventually end the genetic line. Why did not NDE predict this? HGT, or a similar mechanism, is necessary in single celled organisms for them to persist. The failure of NDE has been its persistant inability to predict discoveries. Zealot
Carl Woese talks about the sharing of useful genetic information. He does not however tell us where and why that information arose. His work is very interesting in explaining the so called "evolution" of antibiotic resistence, and may indeed explain a whole lot of other evolutionary developments. Intelligent front loading and cooperative horizontal gene transfer may join forces to explain most of the evolutionary history life without random mutation getting much of a look in. Natural selection plays some role, but the origin of the novelty, and the availability of useful complex specified genetic modules remains obscure. It is interesting to contrast the gene sharing touchy feely model of Woese with the tooth and claw view of Darwin. idnet.com.au
"biologists will need to join forces with quantitative scientists, such as physicists, to create a biology that embraces collective phenomena and supersedes the molecular reductionism of the twentieth century. microbial behavior must be understood as predominantly cooperative studies strongly indicate that microbes absorb and discard genes as needed in response to their environment viruses may play an important role as a repository and memory of a community’s genetic information, contributing to the evolutionary dynamics microorganisms have a remarkable ability to reconstruct their genomes It seems that there is a continuity of energy flux, communication, informational transfer from the genome up through cells, community, virosphere, and environment. early life must have evolved in an inherently Lamarckian way, with vertical descent marginalised by the more powerful early forms of Horizontal Gene Ttransfer the horizontal sharing of genetic innovations would have led to the generation of a combinatorial explosion of genetic novelty, until the level of complexity, as exemplified perhaps by the multiple levels of regulation, required a transition to the present era of vertical evolution. Questions suggested by the generic energy, information and gene flows to which we have alluded will probably require resolution in the spirit of statistical mechanics and dynamical systems theory. in biology, new concepts will require a new language, one that is grounded in the discoveries emerging from the new data" That new language will include Intelligent Design. idnet.com.au
DaveScot: Your momma was a woman of elegant words, and wise. Borne
When I was working at Dell and our (then recent) pioneering of automated assembly of one-at-a-time customer-specified computer software/hardware configurations was robbing our competitors of all their profits and half their customers we used to say they were in a "vast state of disarray". Compaq was the usual specifically named entity in such disarray. This is the same state that evolutionary biology is in. As my momma used to say "they don't know whether to sh*t or wind their watches". DaveScot
I looks to me like the molecular phylogenies are not adding up to a tree of life so they are trotting out horizontal gene transfer to save the day. Evolution cannot be falsified. Jehu
johnnyb, The front loaded people might agree with you somewhat but they hypothesize a non materialistic initial cause that took place in space and time. Or some intelligence wrote the program. The Darwinists, Woese, Schwartz etc. would never admit to this. jerry
jerry -- Just to point out, many ID'ers are only proposing materialistic mechanisms for biological change -- but think that they are front-loaded. johnnyb
Not being a biologist let alone a micro-biologist, my take from this is that Goldenfeld and Woese are proposing a mechanism for biological change that would knock Darwin out of the box for all but the trivial stuff that NDE has been shown to work for. NDE fails to explain any major changes and these authors are proposing HGT as the mechanism for these major changes. So they along with Schwartz are two major objectors to NDE as an all encompassing theory. However, they both are still proposing materialistic mechanisms for biological change. Ones with a lot of hypotheses but still only hypotheses. They may help the ID hypothesis by weakening NDE but they are certainly not friendly to ID. So we can get ride of Charlie but then like hitting the rabbit in the carnival game, another one pops up somewhere else. If anyone has a different take, I would be interested in hearing it. jerry
this is totally off topic, but I dont know of another place to ask it. Doesn't language qualify as being a human characteristic that is, according to Behe's definition, irreducibly complex? It seems to me, that language can beget language, similar to the way life can beget life. But explaining the origin of language seems far more difficult, particularly when you need a baseline level of words, and an existing grammatical structure, in order to functionally communicate. I was wondering whether anyone at this website had drawn a similar analogy, and what their thoughts on the matter are. mohammed.husain

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