Interestingly enough, dyed in the wool chance worshippers apply theories of chance even when it means denying things that make perfect sense in light of common descent.
Case in point is Nick Matzke’s article on Panda’s ThumbÃ‚Â entitledÃ‚Â You *can* teach anÃ‚Â old dog new tricks.Ã‚Â In it heÃ‚Â expresses amazement at how a dog cancer cell evidently acquired the *new* capability of becoming a free living parasite able to move from dog to dog.
IÃ‚Â corrected this
boneheaded shallowÃ‚Â thinking in comments under the nameÃ‚Â “Spravid Dinger” (thanksÃ‚Â DohnÃ‚Â Javison, coming from youÃ‚Â I take it as a compliment and use the name proudly)Ã‚Â Ã‚Â to which Andrea Bottaro replied forÃ‚Â a few rounds.Ã‚Â Naturally as soon as someÃ‚Â geniusÃ‚Â figured out Spravid Dinger was David Springer all my comments were deleted as well as Andrea Bottaro’s responses.Ã‚Â I suspectÃ‚Â it was done upon orders from Esley Welsberry.Ã‚Â At any rate,Ã‚Â I’m going to take this opportunity toÃ‚Â fix the recordÃ‚Â by making this article trackback toÃ‚Â Nick’s.Ã‚Â Let’s see if theÃ‚Â Pandas areÃ‚Â censoring our trackbacks this week.
What I told Nick was two basic factsÃ‚Â related to the dog cancer cells which derive from a belief in common descent (a belief I hold).Ã‚Â First of all, tumor cells areÃ‚Â (generally) cells which have had the more recentlyÃ‚Â ***evolved mechanism of apoptosis turned off.Ã‚Â They have in fact reverted to their ancient ability to be immortal by not having anyÃ‚Â restriction on how many times they can divide into two daughter cells.Ã‚Â SoÃ‚Â in the case of tumor cells multiplying out of control it’s nothing new but rather it’s something very old.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â As biologists I’m sure Nick and Andrea have a good understanding of that.Ã‚Â What amazed me was that they didn’tÃ‚Â immediatelyÃ‚Â apply this sameÃ‚Â thinking to the cancer cell turning into a free living cell.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The ability of the cell to liveÃ‚Â independently (at least long enough to move from one dog to another) is an ancient capability from theÃ‚Â days when the cell line in question wasn’t a dog cell but was a free livingÃ‚Â single celled common ancestor to the dog.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚Â then isn’t an old dog learning a new trickÃ‚Â but rather an old dog recalling an old trick.Ã‚Â The cell had reverted from its more recently evolved to multicellular existence toÃ‚Â a more ancientÃ‚Â method of single cell existence.Ã‚Â AndreaÃ‚Â Bottaro’s final comment (before the purge) expressed extremeÃ‚Â amazement over the seemingly instantaneous evolution of dog tumor cell toÃ‚Â infectious pathogen cell.Ã‚Â My final jibe was toÃ‚Â say it sounded like he’d become aÃ‚Â believer in saltation and to not let Dohn Javison knowÃ‚Â or he’d never hear the end of it.Ã‚Â I guess pointing out to AndreaÃ‚Â that he was talking like the internet’s most (in)famous anti-darwinian saltationist was the straw that broke the camel’s back.Ã‚Â In the words ofÃ‚Â Dear Dohn… I Love It So!
***When I say “evolve” IÃ‚Â usually mean it in theÃ‚Â same sense that a singleÃ‚Â human egg cell can “evolve” overÃ‚Â time into skin cells and muscle cells and neurons and whatnot organized into aÃ‚Â mature human being.Ã‚Â I believe the bestÃ‚Â explanation forÃ‚Â organic evolution on this planetÃ‚Â is that it came from what IÃ‚Â term a phylogenetic stem cell.Ã‚Â Where this cell came from is anyone’s guess but I believe the best explanation for that was that it was designed by an intelligent agency of some sort for the express purpose of spawning intelligent life on lifeless young planets.Ã‚Â Little in macro-evolutionÃ‚Â makesÃ‚Â sense except in the light of aÃ‚Â universal common ancestor that was a front-loaded, intelligently designed, phylogenetic stem cell.