Recently, I have been awestruck by the statement of one of the “reputable” regulars at TSZ that evolutionary theory doesn’t need to be subjected to any experimental testing or experimental verification…
How do you like that?
He erroneously used the famous experiment that verified Einstein’s prediction of gravity’s ability to bend light. Here are the details:
See? Experiments don’t need to be run in the lab, and they can still be valid experiments.
While this kind of statement is nothing new to me that Darwinists deny or ignore the need for the experimental verification of their evolutionary claims, on the other hand, they demand ID to be subjected to the scientific method processes for their claims to be verified…Hypocrisy at its best…
So, why can’t evolution be tested?
For those who are not well familiarized with the scientific method, it is probably a good idea to review some of the requirements of the scientific theory, or hypothesis, just to realize what an impossible task Darwinists would face even if they would like to verify their evolutionary speculations by experiments… While the definitions of the scientific method vary slightly depending on where you look, most scientific methods of a theory or a hypothesis need to meet the 3 main criteria:
- It needs to be observable (one kind of animal evolving into another: organs in transition, the third hand evolving to hold the cellphone while I’m driving)
- It needs to make accurate predictions (If we tweak this gene this is going to begin to evolve, such as a change the body plans from 5 pound land walking animal to 50 ton whale)
- It needs to be replicated by experiments (bacteria without a flagellum put under selective pressure to evolve something resembling a flagellum or a propeller…
Anyone who has been following TSZ and my OPs knows that my calling on the supporters of evolution to help their belief system to meet the criteria of a scientific theory or scientific hypothesis is not new… The public admission by some that evolution doesn’t need to be subjected to experimental testing reached the new, unacceptable levels of ignorance by Darwinists, especially in the view of their arrogant insistence that ID would be subjected to experimental testing to be proven as a scientific theory or hypothesis…
Darwinists either don’t know, or choose not to know, but if they subjected evolution to experimental testing they could prove their theory or hypothesis right and, at the same time, ID wrong…
So, why not do it?
I guess the only explanation for the phenomenon is that Darwinists have not much faith in their own beliefs… It is just used as a facade to make their s”intelligence” look less ludicrous…
I did not merely assert it. I did not just say that the zygote developes in an intelligent way, I backed it up by relating it to artificial intelligence and I also provided a link to the work of embryologist Jaap van der Wal
The field of artificial intelligence demonstrates that consciousness is not needed for intelligence. How many of us have smart phones and smart TVs and all sorts of other smart gadgets?
This paper, Anatomy of a blastocyst: cell behaviors driving cell fate choice and morphogenesis in the early mouse embryo, gives us a good insight into what is known and what is not known about the development of a zygote.
Here is an example of part of the process that is not very well understood:
But they are fairly confident they know that:
For those who don’t know, ICM is the inner cell mass, PrE is the extra-embryonic primitive endoderm, and EPI is the pluripotent epiblast.
Genes are not found to be in overall control of dynamic networks.
Of course chemistry is involved in the process. It is not the chemistry but the way that the developing embryo uses this chemistry that allows it to develop in a normal way. I would call this unconscious intentionality, there is an inner purpose to the activities of the cells. There is a purpose to genes being turned on and turned off, being expressed and suppressed depending on circumstances. I call this intelligence.
Then you need to find a new word.
So do you also view as inappropriate the ubiquitous use of the term intelligent as applied to inanimate objects?
What do you think about Sophia the robot? If you have never heard of it (her) here is a video to watch.
In the 22nd minute David Hanson of Hanson Robotics LTD, says:
What about microbial intelligence? Do you believe that there is such a thing?
Could it be you who has a very narrow view of what “intelligence” means or is that not an option?
It gets difficult to follow your train of thought. Bringing about the appearance of a trait is not the same as producing form? That doesn’t make sense to me. I also don’t see the relevance of this Jaap van der Wal story that you keep bringing up.
You have managed to cram the word “complicated” three times into a single sentence. Cheers!
Not sure whether you answered my question, though.
Sure, wolves and chihuahuas are organisms, and genes are part of the package. Perhaps the words “phenotype” and “genotype” are useful to you. The compliment of genes = genotype (sorta) and the entity that is selected = phenotype. The interactions between genotype and environment determine the phenotype. Selection acts on the phenotype. Fits your description quite nicely.
Oh, and selection feeds back onto the population to change its genetic composition! I will see your holistic view of the organism and raise it to the population level. 🙂
Wrong. You’ve been saying this manifestly and obviously wrong thing for years and it’s never stopped being wrong.
Form is produced by the interaction of genes with the intra and extracellular environment. Tissues grow by cells dividing. Cells differentiate by detecting certain local conditions, which in turn interact with transcription factors, which then alter gene expression patterns. It’s a continuous interplay between the genes and the intra and extracellular environment in growing and dividing cells that produce form.
Mutate the genes encoding the transcription factors, or mutate the binding spots, or mutate the proteins coding genes themselves, and you can alter how these developmental cascades behave.
Bringing about the appearance of a trait can be the same as producing form, but, obviously, only if the trait in question is physical. We know that genes provide some of the material of the body (the polypeptides), and we know that DNA and RNA is manipulated in all sorts of ways, so it is obvious that DNA is essential for building and maintaining bodies. But to use these observations to argue that DNA causes form is unjustified speculation. Do you think that anyone has observed genes creating form?
I have TSZ to thank for bringing van der Wal to my attention. Questions I was asked prompted me to do a bit of searching and I stumbled on his work. He is an embryologist, anatomist and phenomenalist in the Goethean sense. I realised that the way he thought about development and evolution was very similar to my own thinking. And I have quoted him because he puts things across a lot better than I ever could. A major argument of his is that an organism should be regarded as a whole, complete within itself, at all stages of its life from zygote to death in the case of eukaryotes.
He has overturned long held assumptions about fascia and the skeleton/muscular system.
What can I say, life is complicated at all levels.
You asked: “Does that mean that you concede that changes in quantitative traits are not necessarily trivial adjustments of existing traits?”
By changes in quantitative traits do you mean quantitative changes in traits? The appearance of limb bones is less trivial than the change in size of existing bones. Put it this way, a zoologist would be much more exited to find a pig with wings than to find a pig which was more massive than any previously recorded pig.
Can you demonstate to me how the interactions between genotype and environment determine the phenotype? How does the the chemical composition of DNA, which is a fairly inert molecule buried within the nucleus of the cell, interact with the environment?
“DNA causes form” is not a phrase I would use. But it is a fact that the vast majority of variation in morphology, both within and between species, is caused by genetic differences. I consider it a given that the expression of heritable variation is embedded in some organismal context, so no need to convince me that organisms are important.
That’s nice, but I don’t believe I have argued otherwise.
A quantitative trait is a trait that can be measured on a continuous scale. Pigmentation, femur length, and intelligence all fit the bill. Pigs with wings are somewhat hard to come by, but bats have wings. As I have argued before, bats wings were shaped by quantitative changes in the properties of existing skeletal structures. These changes allowed the introduction of flight into the mammal lineage. Therefore I argue contra the claim that natural selection can only change the frequency of existing traits and is incapable of introducing novelty. Without any luck so far, it appears.
We just had a OP dedicated to phenotypic plasticity. You can check out some examples of interaction between genotype and environment in bringing about a specific phenotype by following the link that Nonlin provided.
As for the mechanism by which DNA interacts with the environment; I am surprised that you ask. You must be aware that DNA is expressed by transcription and translation of genes. The gene products (RNA and protein) interact with the cellular environment; Some of them have even specifically evolved for this task, e.g. receptor molecules. This you already know no doubt, so why ask?
Do we even know what causes form? When it comes to evolutionary theory, does it even matter what causes form or what the sources of variation is?
It’s Jesus, Mung, Jesus.
Did Glenn Beck Rape And Murder A Young Girl In 1990?
Of course it matters. We want to explain biodiversity.
An enormous amount of work has been done on the role of genes in form. A very good lay treatment is Carroll’s Endless Forms Most Beautiful. It has been discovered – to some surprise – that the same few genes, whose chromosomal order mirrors the segmental order, underlie form in worms, arthropods and vertebrates. Change these genes and you get some grotesque misrepresentations of ‘form’.
And yet you will continue to deny that form has anything to do with genes. It becomes mere obtuseness after a while.
I’m working on a book, Endless Genes Most Beautifying.
I look forward to it. It may contain more substance than your contributions here.
Nightwish, incidentally …
Surprise surprise. And its all accidental!
Well, plus drive, draft, transposition, recombination, speciation, introgression, coevolution, interacting levels of selection, pleiotropy, epistasis, transition-transversion bias, gene flow, hybridisation, endosymbiosis, WGD, karyotype change, phylogeny inference, molecular clock and so on, and so on, and so on……
Well most of what you have written here is true, but we need to look at it in much more detail to get a better understanding of what is actually happening.
You say that there is an “interaction of genes with the intra and extracellular environment”. So we should look carefully at this action of the genes in order to determine in what way they can be said to act and in what way they can be said to be acted upon.
Look at the PAX3 gene in humans for example:
So it’s an ideal gene for us to look at. Wikipedia tells us that:
This gene just sits in place within the chromosome until such time as it is needed and then a host of nano ‘machines’ and various other proteins start their work. In order to produce the polypeptides from the gene RNA polymerase, which is very complex molecular ‘machine’, must work on the gene. The mRNA obtained from the gene is transported out of the nucleus where it is acted upon by another very complex ‘machine’, the ribosome and the protein is synthesised with all the accompanying actions such as post-translational modification (ie phosphorylation) and alternative splicing.
The gene does very little interacting, it is a passive partner which is acted upon in precise ways.
Transcription factors act on this gene and the product obtained by the work done on this gene is itself a transcription factor. Note this carefully it is the transcription factors in combination with other polypeptides and protein complexes that act on genes.
From Georgia Institute of Technology
And here at last we see some activity on the part of the DNA. But it is not the actions of individual genes, but the action of the DNA en masse.
The Georgia Institute of Technology report continues:
Only those with a mechanistic view of the content of chromosomes would ever have assumed that this was “rigid like bars”. It is living substance, always in movement, never still. Although I’m not sure how the rattling DNA manages to get all the necessary transcription factors to move through the mega-thicket in the right direction in order to find their targets.
Reminds me of the banner that UD had for many many years with their idealised version of a bacterial flagellum that looked very much like a motor.
I would suspect that working at the “sharp” end in biology quickly disabuses you of such notions regarding rigid DNA or expecting flagellum to look like motors.
They are probably indeed widely held views but I’d suggest that the people holding those views hold them because it makes no difference to them, and when it starts to matter then they’ll care about the actual mechanics rather then their assumptions.
As, after all, it’s due to people with a “mechanistic view” that you even know they are not rigid like bars!
But the processes involved in meiosis and reproduction are arranged in such a way as to ensure that the genetic material is altered in a structured way, for example crossing over is a regulated process. What I am disputing is that genes are active agents.
I am not arguing that genes do not change. Genes change for many reasons, some orchestrated from within the organism and some due to external influences. Cells have procedures for dealing with unregulated changes to the DNA, sometimes they are successfully dealt with sometimes they are not.
Active in what sense? The proteins show most of the action in a cell, but heritable variation in how they perform their job often comes down to differences in the genes that encode them.
BTW I will keep coming back to variation at the population level, so try to scale up.
Genetic changes have consequences for the organisms that carry them. If you change the text of a book, you change the story as well.
I don’t agree that intelligence fits the bill. For example human, self-aware intelligence is qualitatively different enough from Microbeal intelligence to be more than just a diference of scale.
Bats wings are indeed a variation on the theme of the pentadactyl limb. But these very specialised wings did not just develop in isolation, they developed in harmony with the organism which on the whole is a very specialised creature and it is this whole creature that passes on its attributes.
Animal forms morph as a whole, not as sequences of individual parts changing at separate times. If you disagree with this show me the intermediates, either fossil or extant animal.
From the link:
No action in evidence on the part of genes there, then. The reality of adaptive mutations has been resisted as it goes against the dogma of mutations being random with respect to fitness.
But this RNA and proteins are not the product of genes. As I have already argued here, these are the products of work that has been carried out on the genes, not of the genes themselves.
Yes the arrangement where the whole is reflected in the parts was not something that the experts had predicted. Once again, As Above, So Below.
Form has everything to do with the way genes are manipulated by the organism. The organism needs to be able to read and express its genes in precise and coordinated ways in order to produce the substances it requires for growth and maintenance. So genes are vital.
And we are beginning to understand the dynamics involved in this activity.
Such as the phenomenon of long-range contacts between different chromosomal loci aptly named chromosome kissing
Just how much manipulation and adjustments of areas within chromosomes to bring the right sections together is awe inspiring. See the diagram below taken from here. This area of study, development of chromosome conformation capture assays, is depicted as “C-World” in the diagram.
Seeing this higher level control I can picture a person who is skilled with a needle fashioning a three dimensional tapestry out of a massive tangle of different coloured threads.
This article, Chromosome conformation capture technologies and their impact in understanding genome function, Feb 2017, gives us a short overview of what is going on:
And here is a specific example:
A Switch Between Topological Domains Underlies HoxD Genes Collinearity in Mouse Limbs, June 2013
I just wonder how much of this type of manipulation is going on at any particular time in each cell. Hox genes are not the controllers, they are being manipulated according to the needs of the developing organism. They are like the points on railtrack junctions being moved to ensure the cargo takes the correct route.
Yes, a bit like the illustrations here at Researchgate. Everyone is doing it.
Below on the left is an image supposedly built from actual electron micrographs. How like the real thing it is I don’t know.
Do you think that every research scientist holds a “mechanistic view” of reality?
Fair enough. How about intelligence within humans? How about intelligence between species of apes?
No, I agree (barring some inevitable exceptions)
I knew you would like that part. It’s called genetic assimilation. Note that the plastic response still requires genetic changes to become stably inherited. How that part is supposed to work is still largely unexplained. Personally, I strongly doubt that this is a general mechanism of evolutionary change.
Anyway, it is a clear demonstration that both genotype and environment are important contributors to variation in the phenotype.
Yes the genes need to be expressed. Yet any variation in the phenotype is due to differences in the gene sequence; the RNA polymerase and ribosomes contribute nothing.
You need to think more about population variation, Charlie.
Active in the sense that they display directed movement due to their own inner forces. Movement like that of dynein motors or actin filaments
Scale up from what to what? I look at populations as groups of individuals with varying attributes. And I see a vast difference between populations of, say, bacteria and populations of higher vertebrates. Organisms of the latter kind display much more individuality than the former and this difference matters and it should be taken into account in any study.
Of course they have consequences. That is why there is built in processes designed to mix up the genome which is to be passed on.
Yes intelligence varies within humans and between species of apes. But there is a qualitative difference between instinctive body intelligence and self-conscious rational intelligence. Every animal, including humans has the former, but only humans have the latter. The intelligence within and between our cells is with us throughout our lives, through waking, sleeping, unconsciousness, it’s always there. Our self conscious rational intelligence appears during a certain period of our lives. A new born baby does not have it but a teenager does.
I think that it’s much more complex than you imagine. The three dimensional architecture of the chromatin and the various ways in which genes can be spliced play very important roles in the way an organism develops. I’ve been having a look at topologically associated domains and such like and the way genes are manipulated is extremely important to the formation of the phenotype.
We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the processes involved in genomic functions so don’t you think it is a bit premature to attribute evolutionary novelty and the variety of life to the comings and goings of accidental changes to the genome. I say let’s see what all the new technology tells us about the structures and processes taking place within cells, before jumping to conclusions about causes.
Comparing populations tells me that studying colonies of bacteria in the narrow confines of a petri dish is very different from studying human populations which interbreed worldwide and where conscious decisions are an important contribution to reproduction.
Regarding the belief that all of our somatic cells contain the same genome, my daughter informed me of this research on stem cells with the headline, “Even to the Brain: Yes, Breastmilk Stem Cells Do Transfer to Organs of Offspring”. which complicates matters even further with respect to the stability of the genome in each of us. For those of us who were breast fed seemingly even some of our neurons and glial cells develop from our mother’s stem cells.
Has there even been the slightest hint of telic intent behind a single damm thing that’s ever been observed in biology? Has any question in the entire history of life been resolved by saying: a ghost did it?
For how long should we hold off attributing biology to not-gods?
Worrying about gods being involved or not is an unnecessary complication if we are just trying to understand life. We understand that individuals develop from single cell to complex adult through regulated processes geared to achieve a specific outcome. Why should we automatically rule out life as a whole emerging in a similar way. Just because we may be ignorant of natural processes we need not invoke the gods. We can study nature without making any prior assumptions either way.
And don’t forget that only humans can solve sudoku’s. That’s a qualitative difference as well.
I think it’s not, and I also think that you are overusing the words “complex” and “compicated”. Stop using “it’s complex” as if we know nothing
Jacques Monod (1954):
… and of humans as well. Conscious decisions do not remove genetic variation.
Microchimerism only concerns a very small portion of cells from an individual. Also, I don’t see what problem this poses for my claim that a considerable part of phenotypic variation is genetic.
I’ll stop using it when I stop seeing phrases like, “It’s more complex than we thought” in the scientific literature.
Don’t you think that deciding to produce dog breeds by inbreeding is removing genetic variation? Do bacteria call out and otherwise act in ways that make others aware of their inner feelings?
What do you mean by, “is genetic”? That’s a pretty vague term. Do you mean that form is ultimately caused by genes? That would be like saying that the ultimate design of a car is ultimately caused by the factories which make the components.
Perpetual argumentum ad badanalogium
Press releases and magazines do not belong with the scientific literature. Researchers are not as naive as you make them out to be.
It doesn’t. Inbreeding (without selecting) will merely redistribute the genetic variation from within to between dog breeds.
But actually I was referring to the variation among the breeders, the decision makers themselves.
Not that I am aware of. How exactly is this relevant?
No, I mean that variation in most phenotypic traits is at least partly caused by differences in the DNA sequence.
I am walking on the north pole and find a watch that only contains broken parts.
A-HA we conclude that it was made by a selfish watchmaker!
And the broken watch had no designer either…😉
Only perfectly functioning watches would have a designer…but if the same analogy is applied to life systems, like the design of the human eye, than the analogy doesn’t apply for some reason…
Why would you assume it was made?
I thought my Behe-Paley-Dawkins mash-up was pretty bad, but it seems to have drawn some fans.
But it IS functioning. It even appears to run better on all those broken parts.
Good point. It probably isn’t.
Also: why am I at the north pole? I must be out of my mind.
Chortle. Let’s pursue that bad analogy like … like …