From Kevin Loria at Business Insider:
A Harvard scientist just won $3 million for discovering the hidden ‘intelligence’ that defends our cells
It’s only thanks to a mechanism in our cells that can recognize when something has gone wrong that we aren’t all riddled with cancer.
That mechanism, known as the DNA damage response, functions like an individual intelligent agent, able to monitor when things are going wrong and then try to come up with a way to deal with them.
Discoveries explaining how that mechanism works are so significant that on December 4, geneticist Stephen Elledge was awarded one of five $3 million Breakthrough Prizes in life sciences.
“One of the remarkable properties of nature’s most remarkable molecule, DNA, is self-awareness: it can detect information about its own integrity and transmit that information back to itself,” Elledge wrote in JAMA after he was awarded a prestigious Lasker award in 2015 for his work. More.
People say that “intelligence” is just a word. No one means it.
But that is their mistake. It is becoming harder all the time to pretend that Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) explains what we see.
Eventually, as here, writers must start using terminology that makes sense if they are to understand the story themselves, never mind conveying it accurately.
Is merely “extending” Darwin’s theory (you know, “extended evolutionary synthesis” and all that?) An answer?
No, because Darwin’s theory is now just sand in the gears. The need to account for observations in such a way as to defend an increasingly empty concept of “natural selection” is becoming more of a problem, as the explanations become increasingly far-fetched. And basically, just in the way.
Added: Sand-in-the-gears moment: Will Elledge and/or Loria be forced to issue a correction, saying they didn;t really mean their language to mean what it says?
See also: Darwinism: Replacement or extension?
Royal Society Meet: No “fisticuffs”; serious questions smothered instead
Sexual selection is a bogus concept: Science can be about many things but it must at least be about clear patterns of cause and effect. Here we learn that males’ strategies can be across the spectrum from each other and still work. Which probably means that there isn’t any sexual selection—as a science concept—at all. Of course animals make choices but that does not add up to the complexity we see; nowhere near it.
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