Intelligent Design

W.E. Loennig’s “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe,” Part II

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The Darwinian story of how the giraffe got its long neck is perhaps the most popular and widely-told story of evolution. It is popular because it seems plausible: giraffes with slightly longer necks enjoyed a slight selective advantage in reaching the higher leaves of trees, and so over the ages these slight neck elongations accumulated, resulting in the modern giraffe. In fact, I used the giraffe story myself in my Mathematical Intelligencer article as an example of purely quantitative change, that natural selection possibly could explain, as opposed to the origins of new organs and new systems of organs.

Biologist and genetic mutations expert Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig has written a detailed, thoroughly researched, 100 page study “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe”, which shows that almost everything about this popular story is either false or unsubstantiated. In Part I , Dr. Loennig shows that there is no fossil evidence to support the idea of a gradual elongation of the neck from the giraffe’s Okapi-like ancestors, and that the elongation required much more than simple quantitative changes: new features were required, for example, to handle the much higher blood pressure required by the long neck.

The English translation of Part II is now ready, here . In Part II, Loennig looks at many other details of this widely-told story and finds them also not supported by the facts. He discusses the alternative of intelligent design, and answers the charge that it is not falsifiable, and in fact concludes:

“…the scientific data that are available to date on the question of the origin of the giraffe make a gradual development through mutations and natural selection so extremely improbable that in any other area of life such improbability would force us to look for a feasible alternative. Yet biologists committed to a materialistic world view will simply not consider an alternative. For them, even the most stringent objections against the synthetic evolutionary theory are nothing but open problems that will be solved entirely within the boundaries of their theory. This is still true even when the trend is clearly running against them, that is, when the problems for the theory become greater and greater with new scientific data. This essential unfalsifiability, by the way, places today’s evolutionary theory outside of science…”

Apart from its importance to the Darwinism/ID debate, this article also contains much that should increase the reader’s appreciation for the giraffe. Dr. Loennig writes: “Whoever, after a detailed study of the peculiarities of the giraffe does not understand that it really is an animal species that is ‘altogether exceptional, novel, and specialized’ is someone to whom Lord Acton’s words may apply: ‘The worst use of theory is to make men insensible to fact.'”

31 Replies to “W.E. Loennig’s “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe,” Part II

  1. 1
    jpark320 says:

    Simply Awesome,

    Thanks for the post!

    I never really thought about it that way, but it would be true that the main concern would be adequate perfusion of the brain b/c of the inc. in length (well all 3 dimensions…)

    This paper reveals that little changes are in fact not “little” in all, in that there needs to be a whole host of changes to eventually accommodate it.

    Remember the brain has cells that are exquisitely sensitive to oxygen deprivation!

  2. 2
    shaner74 says:

    “The worst use of theory is to make men insensible to fact.”

    ok, this is my new favorite quote. Also an excellent post.

  3. 3
    Jared White says:

    Thanks for the overview…I’ll have to read the full article when I have some free time (yeah, right!).

    You know, I hate to say it, but there’s been lots of discussion on the evolutionary unfeasibility of the giraffe’s neck in creationist literature for years. Actually, I’m beginning to notice that many of the past predictions of creationism are proving to be correct as “mainstream” scientists discover more and more evidence that defies a Darwinian explanation. It’s refreshing to see scientists outside of the creationist paradigm coming to similar conclusions as us religion-soaked hillbillies. 🙂

    (Note to evolutionists: ID and creationism are NOT the same discipline. Just making sure you don’t take my words out of context. 🙂 )

  4. 4

    […] W.E. Loennig’s “The Evolution of the Long-Necked Giraffe,” Part II. Always interesting to see the complications of simple cases of Darwinian evolution pointed to, but the low threshold for jumping to design conclusions confuses the issue. […]

  5. 5
    Atom says:

    Prof Sewell,

    Great article, thanks for the translation.

    Just as a side note, there is a typo on page 23 in the second paragraph: you write “basic” as “bsaic”.

    Great work though.

  6. 6
    jb says:

    Atom: Picky, picky picky… 😀

  7. 7
    Michaels7 says:

    Thanks for translation. Don’t have time to read it yet, but I do have a question.

    Did he address the issue of “bad design” for the nerves that wrap down around the aorta and back up to the larynx and brain?

    I think there is a simple reason related to counter-balance of blood-flow being more efficient with one nerve wrapping coordinating signals, than with two seperate nerves that might cause signal separation issues harder to interpret. Dave may shed light on technical issues of signal processing, but this is not comparable to say, speakers, where signal is sent out to multiple speakers. It is inline for a reason I suspect which eventually scientist will come to understand.

    But materialist always try to say this is bad design, yet what are the considerations? If two nerves are utilized, what does that mean in coordinated blood flow to the brain?

    I think its a rich area for ID scientist to look at. Again, anytime an evolutionistt says bad design, I’d look for opposing reasons.

  8. 8
    Atom says:

    I know, but better to be a self-correcting community, right?

  9. 9
    bFast says:

    I know its great to have our ears tickled with a sense of the impossibility of something being the product of evolution, but when I read statements such as this:

    „There is yet another problem in this elongating giraffe neck. It is not just a ladder, to which one simply throws on another rung (and even with ladders, there are stability problems). Many structures have to change to make it longer! The neck vertebrae must grow, of course, but not only they but also the skin, the muscles, all nerves, arteries and veins, sinews. Do they really all sit together on the same scales, so that one only needs to assign a higher value?

    it causes me to distrust everything said in the article. If you ever observe the result of deformity, whether it be the product of genetics or injury, you would clearly notice that the method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies is quite prepared to work these sorts of equations out. To suggest that such is a challenge for nature shows an ignorance that causes me to throw the rest of the argument out the window. If we are to make a meaningful case for ID we need to avoid this sort of foolishness like the plague.

  10. 10
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    Julian Huxley saw no problem with the giraffe. In his essay Darwinism To-Day, he makes the difficulties go away with a mere sweep of the pen. All that is required for natural selection to do, he says, is to evolve stretchy-neck materal. The rest follows.

    Another old objection to Darwînîan cxplanations of evolutîon the incredible complexity of the detailed adjustments needed to effect a change such as the lengthening of an animal’s neck. To take but this one example: all the tendons tying the neck vertebrae together must be strengthened and their direction adjusted. How could random variation and selection account for this? We now know that the tissue of which tendons are made, like many other tissues of the body, has the faculty of responding to demands upon it–by excess growth and by changes in the direction of its fibres. Granted this one basic adaptation, al1 the test follow. The myriad detailed adjustments are not determined by heredity and selection, but are built anew in each individual during its development.

    Huxley then concludes,

    Therc are no signs that evolutionary biology will not indefinitely remain Darwinîan.

  11. 11
    kairos says:

    bFast

    “If you ever observe the result of deformity, whether it be the product of genetics or injury, you would clearly notice that the method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies is quite prepared to work these sorts of equations out.”

    But there is a big difference between differences (in muscles nerves and so on) that are induced as a response to a genetic change and the fixation of these differences at the genome level. Please remember that NDE isn’t at all Lamarkian.

  12. 12
    gpuccio says:

    bfast,

    I agree with kairos. One thing is to observe adaptations to new circmstances and forces, where the “intelligent” abilities implicit in the living being allow the best possible adaptation to minimize deformity in respect to a functional plan whose information serves as comparison and control; one other thing is to explain how you can pass from one plan (let’s say for one length) to a new plan (for a higher length) without an intelligent process of engineering and adaptation of the general plan, not of the individual, not heritable, modified somatic characteristics.
    So, I think that the argument in the article is valid.

  13. 13
    Granville Sewell says:

    The objection raised by “bFast” reminds me of an objection that is raised almost every time I write about the second law. Nature can create order out of disorder, goes the argument, it happens every time a fertilized egg grows into a baby! I usually respond by saying it isn’t clear that this is actually an increase in order (or information), the information is already there in the DNA, because I don’t want to fall into the trap set for me, and try to argue that the birth of a baby violates the second law. But, please, give me an example that doesn’t involve life!

    The argument used by bFast is very similar, he is using the very cleverness of life to argue against design. “The method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies is quite prepared to work those sorts of equations out,” he writes. The problem is, explaining all of this cleverness, including “the method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies” in terms of chance mutations and a mechanical selection process.

    In any case, Loennig is quoting another author, B. Mueller; he mentions in the references that he does not agree with Mueller on some things, though he does appear to agree with this quotation, as do I.

  14. 14
    Granville Sewell says:

    I would also like to address the comment of “Darwiniana” which implied that Loennig has “a low threshold for jumping to design.” The fact that he points out numerous minor problems with the Darwinian story of how the giraffe got its long neck does not mean he considers that any of these justify “jumping to design.” I can’t speak for Loennig, but in my opinion, and that of most ID proponents, the primary problem that justifies jumping to design is the irreducible complexity associated with this and many other evolutionary changes. Loennig quotes a 40-year old Nature article “it is this idea of coordinated variations that is, to my mind, the central core of the whole problem of evolution,” and he does spend a lot of time looking at the coordinated variations involved in lengthening the giraffe’s neck.

    When I read this article, I am struck by what a “dismal science” evolutionary biology is, as exemplified by this famous Darwinian giraffe story: speculations which are unsupported or even clearly false are routinely passed off as established fact. The Loennig article illustrates this with many examples; but that does not mean that he considers any or all of these examples as justification for jumping to design.

  15. 15
    bFast says:

    Gentlemen, you seem to have blown right past my point; all except, to some extent, Granville Sewell when he says, “The argument used by bFast is very similar, he is using the very cleverness of life to argue against design.”

    Life is very clever, and is clever enough that modification of the length of an appendage comes rather easy to it. That is my point. Life has composed itself algorithmically so that a single adjustment can cause the bone, muscle, nerves, sinews, skin, blood vessels and everything else necessary to extend the length of that limb to work out. If we say, “hey, it would take an irreduceably complex array of hundreds of perfectly coordinated mutations to modify a limb” as this article does, we look foolish. If, however, we say, “wow, what foresight, what genious of nature to be a system that allows for such adjustment” we begin to make a meaningful ID case. Lets not be childish in our attempt to make an ID case, rather lets find the genuine evidence of advanced design and present it as our proof.

  16. 16
    Granville Sewell says:

    bFast:

    I understand your point (now); still, to say you “distrust everything in the whole article” because it includes a quotation which contains what you feel is a bad argument, is a bit of an overreaction, don’t you think? There are a lot of other important points made in this 100-page document that are worth considering; the Mueller quotation was certainly not central to his arguments.

  17. 17
    gpuccio says:

    bFast:

    “Life is very clever”. That’s exactly the point! Life, and not unguided evolution, is very clever. Remember that, in the darwinian context, it is not the cleverness of life that causes evolution, but rather RM + NS. The cleverness of life is evidence of design, and therefore the argument you criticize is, indeed, very appropriate.
    You say: “Life has composed itself algorithmically so that a single adjustment can cause the bone, muscle, nerves, sinews, skin, blood vessels and everything else necessary to extend the length of that limb to work out”. What does it mean? How has life “composed itself algorithmically”? The only explanation is that “life” has properties which inorganic matter does not have, and those properties are the product of intelligence.
    So, the fact is: unguided evolution could never “cause the bone, muscle, nerves, sinews, skin, blood vessels and everything else necessary to extend the length of that limb to work out” in a coordinated, planned, adaptive, intelligent way: only intelligence can cause that kind of process, directly or indirectly.
    I apologize for my reaction, but I too feel that your affirmation that you “distrust everything in the whole article” was not justified, especially considering that what you consider a bad argument is not at all, in my opinion, a bad argument. The giraffe article is really admirable, complete, convincing, and makes a very good case for ID.

  18. 18
    Atom says:

    Hey guys,

    I like the giraffe article and also feel it makes a compelling case.

    But I understand what bFast is saying. Yes gpuccio, RM+NS cannot organize life so that it responds to a change in one part in a coordinated and organized way. But bFast isn’t arguing that.

    He is saying that the (assumed) short-necked ancestor of the giraffe already had this feature present. So if it had a mutation that caused growth in one area, the ID-based “clever” system would then adjust accordingly. So if you have a short-necked protogiraffe, a simple change in bone length wouldn’t be much of a problem. (Assuming that what we currently know about the way the system responds is correct and that it is merely a quantiative, not a qualitative, change).

    bFast, correct me if I’m misrepresenting what you think.

  19. 19
    magnan says:

    It seems to me the issue is how much of the many coordinated changes between the putative deer-like ancestor and the present giraffe could have been microevolutionary changes (mainly chromosomal recombination during sexual reproduction). This is the sort of built-in genetic variation exploited by plant and animal breeding. An animal like a Great Dane can be produced from something like a wolf, but there are strict limits. These sort of changes can achieve a longer limb that still works just by selecting for a different set of alleles (mutated variants of different genes) that already exist in the genome of the population. Everything still works in the Great Dane because there was no real innovation, just exploitation of an existing range of genetic variation in an already finely tuned design. The innate plasticity of embryological development causes most of the associated tissues and organs to some extent to accommodate the selected for changes, i.e. larger and longer blood vessels and muscles to go along with the longer legs. But you can’t get a horse-sized dog just by continuing to breed for size. Also, this plasticity isn’t unlimited – a lot of health problems including hip displasia and shorter lifespan in the large breeds result from prolonged selection for specific characteristics. Obviously the biological system isn’t able to compensate for everything. That would require real new innovation (or new special mutations per MET).

    Natural variation within the population along with developmental plasticity couldn’t create most of the coordinated special adaptations actually achieved in the giraffe as described by Lonnig, like a special set of valves in the veins, special blood-storing arteries at the base of the brain, much thicker arterial walls, pressure sensors and nerve feedback with these to control blood pressure, special muscular esophagus, and extra thick hide. There are also the required coordinated behavioral changes.

    The basic problem is that to get to the giraffe very much more was required than natural variation within a population; this had to be specific mutations coming simultaneously at the right times. The numerous special adaptations listed by Lonnig all had to be introduced simultaneously by random mutation and coordinated with each other to maintain viability of the evolving proto-giraffe. The plasticity of embryological development could produce only a little of the required coordination. This really seems to be a probabalistic collapse of the Darwinian MET even if for the sake of argument in the absence of significant evidence natural selection is conceded to be the way “new design” is produced. Several other problems with MET are ignored. One of them is of course irreducibly complex structures and systems; another is the increasing cost of selection when multiple characters specified by different genes have to all be selected for at once.

  20. 20
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    Granville Sewell said,

    an objection that is raised almost every time I write about the second law.

    Ah, yes, the second law. The show-stopper. Or rather, the show-beginner. You can be talking shop about diffusion-advection, Onsager reciprocity, driving terms, conjugate-gradient solvers, and all that. A Darwinian, understanding nothing of what you are saying, will wait until you are misfortunate enough to mention the second law, or until he sees the letter “S” in an equation. And that’s his cue – the show begins with “you don’t understand the second law…” and builds into the usual tedious lecture assembled from web cut-and-pastes. In the process of this tedious lecture, the Darwinian will present the usual confusions between open, closed, and isolated systems, and probably throw in mindless nonsense like “the second law doesn’t apply to open systems!!”. But do so he must, for it seems he has no free will about it.

    “The method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies is quite prepared to work those sorts of equations out,” he writes. The problem is, explaining all of this cleverness, including “the method nature uses to assemble animal anatomies” in terms of chance mutations and a mechanical selection process.

    The explanations offered are all like Julian Huxley’s, quoted above. Given the initial “adaptation” of tissue which just so happens to have the property of growing into a giraffe neck, the giraffe neck follows.

    I am struck by what a “dismal science” evolutionary biology is, as exemplified by this famous Darwinian giraffe story

    Dismal science, and charlatanism. Let us examine more closely the Julian Huxley giraffe quote…

    We now know that the tissue of which tendons are made, like many other tissues of the body, has the faculty of responding to demands upon it–by excess growth and by changes in the direction of its fibres. Granted this one basic adaptation, al1 the test follow. [Juliand Huxley, Darwinism To-Day, 1944]

    Imagine that. “We now know”, he says, that tendons and other tissues “respond to demands” by excess growth and other changes. As if this wasn’t known before 1944. What a patronizing charlatan.

  21. 21
    gpuccio says:

    Atom and bFast:

    I vastly agree with magnan’s post. I want to add that, even if tissues or genomes have an innate plasticity, they are anyway “tuned” to a certain body plan. BFast cites the case of deformities: in that case, the individual plasticity of a single being “copes” with a deformation of the hereditary body plan for which it is tuned.

    But in the case of evolution, such as in the giraffe, the new “tuning” is supposed to be hereditary, therefore fixed in the genome, at least from a darwinian perspective. So, RM and NS must be responsible not only of the quantitative variation, but also of the new “tuning” which has to be transmitted to the new generations, unless we want to think that each new single individual has, in his personal life, to “adapt” to a new body plan for which its genome is not tuned, like in the case of deformities. But that does not seem a very likely supposition.

    So, unless we start to think in a Lamarkian framework (that is, acquired individual adaptations are transmitted to the following generations), we have to accept that the argument about the complexity of acquiring a new “tuning” to the variations of size, as presented in the giraffe article, is perfectly pertinent.
    By the way, I am certainly interested in exploring a new “Lamarckian” perspective, especially in the light of the new acquisitions about epigenetic inheritance; but we would be, anyway, out of the classical darwinian thought.

  22. 22
    Atom says:

    gpuccio wrote:

    By the way, I am certainly interested in exploring a new “Lamarckian” perspective, especially in the light of the new acquisitions about epigenetic inheritance;

    There may even be Lamarkian inheritance on the genetic level, as outlined by Lee Spetner in Not by Chance! He shows how a general genetic switch mechanism might work, involving inducer and supressor proteins that function like a flip-flop circuit. If you’re interested, I’d suggest that book, it’s a good read.

  23. 23
    bFast says:

    Atom:

    So if it had a mutation that caused growth in one area, the ID-based “clever” system would then adjust accordingly. So if you have a short-necked protogiraffe, a simple change in bone length wouldn’t be much of a problem. (Assuming that what we currently know about the way the system responds is correct and that it is merely a quantiative, not a qualitative, change).

    You understand me very well.

    Gpuccio:

    unless we want to think that each new single individual has, in his personal life, to “adapt” to a new body plan for which its genome is not tuned, like in the case of deformities. But that does not seem a very likely supposition.

    I think if you study human deformities, you will be shocked at the resiliance of the organism. For instance, many people with a sixth finger have full functional control of that finger. It is known that a single mutation causes the sixth digit to grow, yet this one mutation produces a fully functional digit with muscles, sinew, cartilage, nerves, blood vessels, skin, and the necessary neural work to allow its owner cognitive control. I have heard of similar from a person who had an entire extra leg growing out of his buttox. We are designed to be shockingly adaptable.

    When it comes to giraffes, I find it very difficult to tell how big of a deal the 7 bone verses 8 bone neck is because I distrust the author when the author sees every little change as some massive challenge for organisms. The fact that the giraffe has a specific mechanism for managing bloodpressure at its head is a bit of a harder thing to conceive in an RM+NS framework. However, with the exagerative stance that this article takes, it is not clear whether there is an obvous cooption that was used to develop this mechanism.

    My readiness to dismiss much of this article is not because I am uninterested in seeing ID, but it is because the author has taken such extreme liberties in exagerating the ID claim. We cannot afford this sort of exageration if we are to make a serious ID case.

  24. 24
    Granville Sewell says:

    I don’t usually comment on my own posts, but since I posted Dr. Loennig’s article, I feel some obligation to respond to the critical comments—which are fair enough, that’s what the comments section is for. I would just like to point out, as mentioned on the first page of part I, that W.E.Loennig has been studying mutations for nearly 30 years, so he is hardly an amateur when it comes to knowing what mutations can and cannot accomplish.

  25. 25
    Atom says:

    Fair enough Prof Sewell. I simply felt like bFast’s real point was being talked past.

    As you said, the quote itself isn’t really central to Dr. Loennig’s thesis, so I wouldn’t make a big deal about it myself. But bFast may indeed be right; I don’t know enough about the subject to decide either way.

    I do have pretty good reading comprehension, however, and it was clear to me that bFast’s point was being missed.

  26. 26
    kairos says:

    bFast

    “For instance, many people with a sixth finger have full functional control of that finger. It is known that a single mutation causes the sixth digit to grow, yet this one mutation produces a fully functional digit with muscles, sinew, cartilage, nerves, blood vessels, skin, and the necessary neural work to allow its owner cognitive control.”

    Sorry, but I continue to agree with Gpuccio about the fact that something like the longer neck of giraffe cannot explained simply with the resiliance of the organism. The 6th finger example seems shocking but IMHO is a completely different case. Surely it’s quite possible that a single gene mutation can modify the building plan of the body so that a whole pre-defined structure (finger) can be produced once more. But in computer terms this could be explaind with the change of the number of calls of a routine (or the iteration number of a loop). Instead, in the case of geraffe neck a new plan for a new neck MUST be produced. Again, in computer terms I could say that the building routine has to be rewritten or, at least, be severely changed. And this IS NOT like changing the number of call of a routine.

  27. 27
    bFast says:

    Kairos, please read adam’s post #25, then go back and actually read my posts on this topic before becoming my critic. You will find that your claims of what I have claimed are fundimentally in error.

  28. 28
    gpuccio says:

    bFast,

    I think nobody wants to be your critic. You have raised a point which seems to be deeper than it may appear, and we are trying to elucidate it better.
    I have thought much about your post where you cite the sixth digit example. Indeed, I think that Kairos’ post has added interesting reflections to the discussion, and I agree with many of the things he says. But again, the problem is probably more difficult than it seems.
    There are many different aspects at stake here. The most important problem is probably the relationship between complexity and function in a particular aspect, that is the spatial body plan, including the number of repetitions of a given organ, and its size.
    The important thing is not to reason “backwards”, as many darwinists often do. I will cite here the example of homeobox genes, which have been the object of undue enthusiasm in the evo-devo scenario. Just to make it simple, I would say that single mutations in a final “effector” gene can certainly cause important (but gross!) changes in a complex body plan, but that does not mean that the “body plan” itself is explained or detailed by the downstream effector protein. So, a mutation in a homeobox gene (gross loss of information, totally random) can certainly change the order of a body plan (so that legs can arise fron the head, and so on), but that does not mean that the information for the body plan itself is contained in that gene. It just means that that single gene is indispensable to correctly implement the order of the body plan blocks.
    So, a random mutation can cause a variation in the number of fingers, but the information to correctly implement a finger is still there, unchanged, it has not been lost, nor is it provided as salvage by some special skill of nature.
    In the case of the giraffe neck, the problem is if we must consider the extreme size of the giraffe neck as a “new” body plan, which needs a lot of coordinated adjustments, or only as a quantitative rearrangement of existing blocks of information, which could be carried out by simple, heritable, selectable random mutations.
    I think that the whole of the arguments presented in the article heavily bear evidence to the first interpretation, especially (but not only) the arguments about cardiovascular adaptations, but obviously the second interpretation can be legitimately defended.
    The fact is that, in general, the myriad of different body plans, and variations of them, that we observe in nature, appear more as a creative exercise in artistic, exuberant design-making, than the byproduct of chance and blind selection with the only aim of survival. Nature is complex, beautiful, exciting, sometimes frightening: it is never dull or banal. To me, the giraffe, with its extreme neck, is just one of the many beautiful, artistic ideas of the designer, and the many engineering implementations which make it possible are just the proof of his technical proficiency.

  29. 29
    Granville Sewell says:

    In my original post, I said that the lengthening of the giraffe’s neck always seemed to be one of the easier things to explain via RM-NS; in his article, Loennig points out (as have other authors, of course) that more is required for this change than meets the eye, such as the extra neck vertebra, the “rete mirabile” and so on. Then he quotes Mueller who says, even if a simple quantitative change were all that is required, this is not as simple as it sounds. This is the claim that bFast objects to, I believe he is saying that simple quantitative changes such as this are routinely accomplished by mutations. But notice that this is not even the main point of the Mueller quote, much less the Loennig article. Mueller goes on to say “even if the rest of the changes could be written off as simple quantative increases, the new valve system is an ingeneous invention, a new quality that could never be described as ‘more of the same'”

    So you may have a valid point, bFast, what I object to is your saying this causes you to “distrust the whole article”. Dr. Loennig saw this comment and e-mailed me, “you might as well say the typo on page 23 causes you to distrust the whole article.”

    Kairos, your analogy with programming is a very good way to explain the difference between mutations that duplicate or surpress an existing appendage and one which creates a new appendage, whether it has any relevance to the giraffe’s neck or not.

  30. 30
    kairos says:

    bFast

    “actually read my posts on this topic before becoming my critic.”

    I apologize if you had this impression but my aim wasn’t at all to criticize your approach to the argument but, as Gpuccio said, to try to elucidate it better”.
    In particular I completely quote all the arguments by Gpuccio, especially for:

    “So, a mutation in a homeobox gene (gross loss of information, totally random) can certainly change the order of a body plan (so that legs can arise fron the head, and so on), but that does not mean that the information for the body plan itself is contained in that gene. It just means that that single gene is indispensable to correctly implement the order of the body plan blocks.”

    Indeed, when I wrote the analogy between e single mutation and a routine call or the iteration number of a loop I had just in mind homeobox examples; so, the mutation simply provides the routine call, NOT the routine code.

  31. 31

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