Intelligent Design

Cellular Traffic Control System Research Earns the Nobel Prize

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Earlier this year the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to three scientists for their work on how tiny vesicles shuttle the right chemicals to the right location at the right time within the cell. It is an elaborate traffic control system at the molecular level. Here is how the Associated Press described the work:  Read more

4 Replies to “Cellular Traffic Control System Research Earns the Nobel Prize

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this excerpt from your article Dr. Hunter:

    ,,,here is how the Nobel Prize press release describes the work:

    “Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders.
    Without this wonderfully precise organization, the cell would lapse into chaos.”

    ,,,Not surprisingly there is no scientific explanation for how such a traffic control system evolved.

    Also not so suprisingly, the Nobel Prize was given for the science of Physiology for 2013. Physiology is the scientific study of function in living systems This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system [per wikipedia]. Physiology currently has somewhat of a broken relationship with neo-Darwinism. This somewhat of a broken relationship, that Physiology has with neo-Darwinism, is revealed by the fact that Denis Nobel, President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, recently made a few lecture videos severely questioning the very foundation of the neo-Darwinian edifice (Modern Synthesis) upon which modern evolutionary thought is said to supposedly rest.

    Rocking the foundations of biology – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.voicesfromoxford.or.....iology/184

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    ,, In the preceding video, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

    Die, selfish gene, die – The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong – Dec. 2013
    Excerpt: But 15 years after Hamilton and Williams kited [introduced] this idea, it was embraced and polished into gleaming form by one of the best communicators science has ever produced: the biologist Richard Dawkins. In his magnificent book The Selfish Gene (1976), Dawkins gathered all the threads of the modern synthesis — Mendel, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Watson, Crick, Hamilton, and Williams — into a single shimmering magic carpet (called the selfish gene).
    Unfortunately, say Wray, West-Eberhard and others, it’s wrong.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-heard-of/

    Perhaps the rift between ‘top down’ Physiology and ‘bottom up’ Neo-Darwinism is best underscored in this article by Talbott:

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; they are subject to getting misfolded or “all balled up with one another”; they are critically modified through the attachment or detachment of molecular subunits, often in rapid order and with immediate implications for changing function; they can wind up inside large-capacity “transport vehicles” headed in any number of directions; they can be sidetracked by diverse processes of degradation and recycling… and so on without end. Yet the coherence of the whole is maintained.
    The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)”,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    ‘Bottom up’ neo-Darwinian processes simply cannot explain ‘form’:

    ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ –
    Stephen Meyer – (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate – 2009)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

    Not in the Genes: Embryonic Electric Fields – Jonathan Wells – December 2011
    Excerpt: although the molecular components of individual sodium-potassium channels may be encoded in DNA sequences, the three-dimensional arrangement of those channels — which determines the form of the endogenous electric field — constitutes an independent source of information in the developing embryo.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....54071.html

    An Electric Face: A Rendering Worth a Thousand Falsifications – September 2011
    Excerpt: The video suggests that bioelectric signals presage the morphological development of the face. It also, in an instant, gives a peak at the phenomenal processes at work in biology. As the lead researcher said, “It’s a jaw dropper.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi1Qn306IUU
    For the first time, Tufts University biologists have reported that bioelectrical signals are necessary for normal head and facial formation in an organism and have captured that process in a time-lapse video that reveals never-before-seen patterns of visible bioelectrical signals outlining where eyes, nose, mouth, and other features will appear in an embryonic tadpole.,,, “When a frog embryo is just developing, before it gets a face, a pattern for that face lights up on the surface of the embryo,”,,, “We believe this is the first time such patterning has been reported for an entire structure, not just for a single organ. I would never have predicted anything like it. It’s a jaw dropper.”,,,

    What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott – Winter 2011
    Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements… take unique meaning from their context.[3]”,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....nisms-mean

    To repeat what Talbott said in his first article that I listed

    “It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.”

    Of note: The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci c. 1487. A drawing that can rightly be said to look at the ‘top down design’ of the entire human body. The drawing is commonly associated with the science of physiology:

    Da Vinci Vitruve Luc Viatour – interactive image
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....iatour.jpg

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Supplemental notes:

    One Body – animation – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDMLq6eqEM4

    Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth — visualized – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70

    Mathematician Alexander Tsiaras on Human Development: “It’s a Mystery, It’s Magic, It’s Divinity” – March 2012
    Excerpt: ‘The magic of the mechanisms inside each genetic structure saying exactly where that nerve cell should go, the complexity of these, the mathematical models on how these things are indeed done, are beyond human comprehension. Even though I am a mathematician, I look at this with the marvel of how do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us. It’s a mystery, it’s magic, it’s divinity.’
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....57741.html

    Vesicles (which is what Dr. Hunter’s article is about) can be seen, as they are visualized by researchers, in this semi-famous Harvard (XVIVO) video:

    The Inner Life of a Cell – video (page down just a bit to view the video)
    http://www.studiodaily.com/200.....of-a-cell/

    Here is a User’s guide to the video:
    vesicles screenshot comment: The enormous organelle the stalwart kinesin guy is carrying is a vesicle filled with proteins destined for the outside, perhaps in response to the signal that the cell had received a while back. The vesicle itself has membrane proteins studding its surface. If you look closely in this sequence, you see hundreds of fellow kinesin proteins hauling their own burdens along the microtubule highways.
    http://sparkleberrysprings.com.....fcell.html

    Verse and Music:

    Psalm 139:15
    My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

    Mandisa – Esther – Born For This – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxFCber4TDo

  3. 3
    Box says:

    This goes to the heart of the upward vs downward causation debate. It is my strong conviction that there can be no decision makers at the atomic level – life cannot organize itself from the bottom up. Atoms and molecules simply lack the quality of agency and overview.

    S.Talbott: When regulators are in turn regulated, what do we mean by “regulate” — and where within the web of regulation can we single out a master controller capable of dictating cellular fates? And if we can’t, what are reputable scientists doing when they claim to have identified such a controller, or, rather, various such controllers? If they really mean something like “influencers,” then that’s fine. But influence is not about mechanism and control; the things at issue just don’t have controlling powers. What we see, rather, is a continual mutual adaptation, interaction, and coordination that occurs from above.

    The OP mentions an “exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo”. The human body consists of hundreds of different cell types and besides it is safe to say that an individual cell is never the same during its lifespan. It follows that this this “exquisitely precise control system” must have a synchronic (parallel to the rest of the cell) capacity of change. Clearly this is inconceivable in a mechanistic concept.
    Again we fail to articulate a coherent overall bottom-up concept for self-organization.

  4. 4
    scordova says:

    So nice to seeing you posting again at UD, Dr. Hunter.

    Merry Christmas. 🙂

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