Would it be best to get Darwinism out of the discussion?
Mathematician Peter Saunders on Darwinism and epigenetics, Part II, Following on Part I (see especially Mae Wan-Ho):
Peter Saunders: The idea is that if you have an organism, say maize, and you want it to be resistant to a certain herbicide — then what you do, consistent with the Modern Synthesis, is you find the “gene” that the herbicide resists in something else and you transfer it to maize. There you are. The only thing is that too depends on the 1960s thinking about the “gene.”
What is that piece of DNA actually doing? Remember what they transfer isn’t the “gene.” It’s a piece of DNA, which is not the same thing. You have to ask — but what does it actually do? It doesn’t actually block. What it does is it alters metabolism in the plant in such a way, which in connection with other things that are already in the plant, will cause it to be resistant to the herbicide.
The interesting thing is — I remember once seeing a talk describing how mice had gotten into a corn storage shed and they’d eaten the non-GM corn and ignored the GM corn completely.
Suzan Mazur: That’s fascinating.
Peter Saunders: But it isn’t magic at all, the reason is the action of the “gene” was to block the metabolism at some point and at this point formaldehyde was thought to be created and then it was going to be destroyed. But the formaldehyde wasn’t destroyed because the “gene” was blocked. Mice don’t like formaldehyde.
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