Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Unique octopus genes seem to have appeared from nowhere

The octopus — a highly intelligent short-lived exothermic invertebrate — should sink lectern-splintering Darwinism — but then the octo does not have tenure and many of the lectern splinterers do. That’s life. But so is finding out the facts. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: If octopuses are really smart, should we eat them?

At MMN: Octopuses present something of a puzzle. As Canadian investigative journalist Erin Anderssen pointed out earlier this month, “The octopus has already challenged our theories on evolution, intelligence and consciousness ... invertebrates like octopuses were expected to be “naturally” less intelligent than, say, raccoons. But they are not less intelligent. They have been called a “second genesis” of intelligence and the jury’s still out on how they came to be so." Read More ›

Squid self-edit their genomes

Open access: Abstract: In eukaryotic cells, with the exception of the specialized genomes of mitochondria and plastids, all genetic information is sequestered within the nucleus. This arrangement imposes constraints on how the information can be tailored for different cellular regions, particularly in cells with complex morphologies like neurons. Although messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and the proteins that they encode, can be differentially sorted between cellular regions, the information itself does not change. RNA editing by adenosine deamination can alter the genome’s blueprint by recoding mRNAs; however, this process too is thought to be restricted to the nucleus. In this work, we show that ADAR2 (adenosine deaminase that acts on RNA), an RNA editing enzyme, is expressed outside of the nucleus in Read More ›

Octopuses even have “smart” skin

So much complex, specified information and we are to believe it all just sort of happened via natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism)? Interestingly, this particular item doesn't even make that claim. Maybe just too ridiculous. Read More ›

Deemed “officially weirder”: Octopuses edit their RNA in response to environment

Well, first, we don’t really know for sure that no other life form does this. Maybe others do and we haven’t caught up to them yet. It would be easier to place in a context if we had a group to study rather than an outlier. Read More ›

Is the octopus a “second genesis of intelligence”?

We know that the octopus is smart but the hardware “has little in common with the mammalian design”: While the octopus has a large central brain in its head, it also has a unique network of smaller ‘brains’ within each of its arms. It’s just what these creatures need to coordinate the mind-boggling complexity of eight prehensile arms and hundreds of sensitive suckers, which provide the octopus with the equivalent of opposable thumbs (roboticists have been taking note)… For instance, an octopus escaping a predator can detach an arm that will happily continue crawling around for up to 10 minutes. Indeed, until an experiment by Kuba and colleagues in 2011, some suspected the arms’ movements were independent of their central Read More ›