Evolution Reflected in Development

Below is an image of the developmental path from human conception to adult in comparison with evolutionary path from prokaryote to human.

Unlike Haeckel’s biogenetic law with its focus on physical forms, the comparison above also concerns activity, lifestyle and behaviour. Comparative stages may be vastly different in detail, but the similarity of general lifestyles and consecutive stages are there to be observed.

Human life begins in an aquatic environment. Toddlers gradually learn to walk upright from a previous state of crawling and moving around on all fours. The brains of children develop through daily interactions and experiences. This brain development accompanies the child’s increasing ability to achieve complex manipulation skills using hands that have been released from the task of providing support and locomotion, and also the practice of producing sounds using the various muscles of the mouth. Well developed brains allow for rational thinking and the creative use of language.

Human minds have brought about technological advances which have allowed human activities to engulf the planet. Signs of intelligent human activity are evident a good distance beyond the earth spreading ever further out into space.

The various forms of extant animals and all other life forms have evolved as an integral component of the living earth and the whole forms a dynamic system.

The various animal forms should be studied in the context of the complete system in both time and space.  Conditions would have been very different prior to the terrestrial colonization of earthly life In all probability none of the present aquatic animals would bear any resemblance to the aquatic ancestors of humans and other higher vertebrates save that at some stage they all require an aquatic environment for their continued existence.

From a point of view which regards physical organisms as the individual expressions of overarching general forms, the evolution of cetaceans need not have involved moving to the land only to return to the water at a later time. They may have reached the mammalian stage of evolution but in a way that was suitable for an aquatic lifestyle. They adopted the archetypal mammalian form in a way that suited an animal living in an aquatic environment and there would be no need to posit a terrestrial stage in their evolution.

It’s my belief that higher consciousness is ever present. Evolution is the process whereby higher forms of consciousness descend from the group level to the individual level. The most fully developed individual consciousness which I am aware of on earth can be found in humans but it is still rudimentary compared to the higher level group consciousness.

Plasticity is a fundamental feature of living systems at all levels from human brain development to the radiation of multicellular life. Paths are formed by branching out and becoming fixed along certain lines. It would be impossible to forecast specific paths but, nonetheless, there is a general overall direction.

Now that biological life has reached the stage where social organisms have become individually creative and rational, the all encompassing Word is reflected in single beings. This could not have come about without preparation and the evolution of earthly life is the evidence of this preparation. We, as individuals, are only able to use language and engage in rational thinking because our individual development has prepared us to do so. Likewise humanity could not arrive at the present state of culture without the evolutionary preparation in its entirety.

Focussing in at the lower level gives a picture of ruthless competition, of nature “red in tooth and claw”. But from a higher vantage point life benefits from this apparent brutality. For instance if a sparrowhawk makes regular hunting visits to a suitable habitat in your neighbourhood it signifies that this environment supports a healthy songbird population. In the case of the continued evolution of physical forms, survival of the breeding population is more important than any individual’s survival. In the evolution of consciousness the individual is the important unit.

I think it is a mistake to see biological evolution as a blind random groping towards an unknown and unknowable future.

896 thoughts on “Evolution Reflected in Development

  1. Corneel:
    CharlieM: The trouble with maturing is that, if given the chance, it always reaches a natural stage of degeneration.

    Corneel: Welcome to TSZ!

    🙂

    CharlieM: Protozoans live in a wide variety of environments. How many do you think will have wandered down the fallopian tubes of some deceased mammal?

    Corneel:Precisely zero. I do not see any “similarity of general lifestyles”.

    I’ve just found out that they don’t even need to be dead.

    From this article

    “We present a case of amoebic infection of the cervix in a 45-year-old female which was suspected to be a posterior wall fibroid with degeneration until a histopathological examination of the surgical specimen revealed the presence of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites. The patient recovered after surgery and antiamoebic therapy”

    Amoebae certainly get around. 🙂

  2. Corneel:
    CharlieM: Call it a firm belief if you like, but basically I do come to an understanding of these processes in the same way. I have no personal experience of witnessing one of my father’s sperm combining with one of my mother’s eggs. I have been taught by those who have researched these processes that this is how it happens. Likewise researchers have made a convincing case that earthly life began from single cellular beginnings. In both cases I have to rely on, and have faith in what the experts tell me.

    Corneel: Never collected frog eggs to see them develop into tadpoles? Now there is a parallel with human development that is actually valid.

    I used to know all the good ponds for finding frogs and newts when I was a kid. I even took a newt home and lost it in my bedroom. In the morning I asked my mother if she had seen it but she denied all knowledge. I still have my suspicions. 🙂

    Nowadays we have tadpoles in the garden for the grandkids to watch developing.

    Corneel: Like you, I need to rely on expert opinion in fields I am not familiar with. What is remarkable is that whenever you don’t like expert opinion, you suddenly start viewing it as baseless speculation. This attitude evaporates as soon as you perceive some piece of information to be congenial to your own point of view, even though it relies on exactly the same methodology.

    Can you give me an example of when I called speculation baseless?

    CharlieM: Just out of interest what are your thoughts, if any, on the physiology of the original earthly life forms?

    Corneel: Currently I am reading the (ridiculously slim) Origin if Life: What Everybody Needs to Know by David Deamer. The picture of very early life is still very vague, but it looks like the building materials of life (amino acids, nucleobases, carbohydrates) were present on early earth. As I understand it, exactly how these came together to form a living being remains an open question.
    The first cellular beings must have been very different from what we see nowadays. I do not believe them to have been anything like modern bacteria, nor like the zygote stage of multicellular organisms. All living things today have evolutionary roots extending billions of years into the past. I am convinced a lot of changes must have happened during that period

    Do you think that the very early life had cell membranes? In what way do you think early cell membranes would have differed from the basic lipid bilayer cell membranes around today?

  3. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: Individual development may not be passed on down the generations

    Alan Fox: But of course it is, it has to be.

    Maybe you misunderstood what I was attempting to say. A blacksmith developing strong arms will not result in his children having strong arms.

    CharlieM:…but during this development organs do change over time

    Alan Fox: There is no change in the organism’s genome and it is the genome that carries the necessary information for the zygote to develop through all intermediate stages to adult The key is heritable change. Mutations in the germ-line result in different phenotypes (smaller, larger, darker, lighter etc) and their differential ability to survive and reproduce given a specific niche is the engine of evolutionary change.

    If only it were that simple.

    CharlieM: …which reflects the change over time of evolution on a larger scale. (oops)

    Alan Fox: Not familiar with the lager scale. The old saying “ontology recapitulates phylogeny” comes from the defunct biogenetic law championed by Haekel, who was so enthusiastic about his ideas that he saw and drew things that weren’t there much to his discredit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recapitulation_theory

    I’m aware of all that. What I am saying is not that static forms recapitulate, but that dynamic processes recapitulate. There are transitions that mimic each other moving from the overall evolution of earthly life down to the cellular level.

  4. CharlieM: There are transitions that mimic each other moving from the overall evolution of earthly life down to the cellular level.

    That is an observational (using the word loosely) artefact.

  5. Alan Fox: CharlieM: A blacksmith developing strong arms will not result in his children having strong arms.

    This is not news.

    You don’t read much do you?

    I guess you just hate science.

  6. phoodoo: You don’t read much do you?

    I guess you just hate science.

    I don’t understand the thrust of this comment. Most people here read quite a great deal, and nobody hates science. If you disagree with Alan Fox, can you explain the nature of your disagreement, and/or present the science you’re referencing?

  7. Flint: I don’t understand the thrust of this comment. Most people here read quite a great deal, and nobody hates science. If you disagree with Alan Fox, can you explain the nature of your disagreement, and/or present the science you’re referencing?

    Perhaps I can clarify what I was referring to. Charlie appeared to be pointing out that acquired traits are not inherited. The concept advanced by Lamark was superceded by Darwin and his idea of selection. That Lamarkism is obsolete is therefore not news as Darwin published On the origin of Species in 1859.

  8. phoodoo,

    Like Flint, I’m puzzled by your remarks. I’ve clarified my comment and it would be helpful if you could expand on your reasoning.

  9. CharlieM,

    Individual development may not be passed on down the generations but during this development organs do change over time which reflects the change over time of evolution on a lager scale.

    As I’ve said before, this seems an inevitable consequence of the increasing ‘complexification’ of the individuals thrown up by a ‘complexifying’ evolutionary series. Given such a series, of course later individuals will be more complex at their maximally complex stage than earlier ones, and likewise of course they won’t be as complex when made of few cells in early development, as compared to later stages. The two must go hand in hand.

    The only ‘special’ thing being observed here is the apparent tendency to tinker with the later developmental stages rather than the earlier ones, in serial modification of a lineage. But it’s hard to see where else such tinkering could happen, without screwing the whole thing up.

  10. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: A blacksmith developing strong arms will not result in his children having strong arms.

    Alan Fox: This is not news.

    I said the above in response to this:

    CharlieM: Individual development may not be passed on down the generations

    Alan Fox: But of course it is, it has to be.

    I was making a remark about the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics and although there may be some epigenetic transmission, traits do not normally get passed on in this way. Your reply seemed to be saying that these acquired characteristics have to be passed on. I suspect we were getting our lines crossed and I was hoping you would clarify what you meant by that comment.

  11. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: There are transitions that mimic each other moving from the overall evolution of earthly life down to the cellular level.

    Alan Fox: That is an observational (using the word loosely) artefact.

    It is a real aspect of nature, as real as the fractal nature of coastlines.

  12. Alan Fox:
    phoodoo,

    Like Flint, I’m puzzled by your remarks. I’ve clarified my comment and it would be helpful if you could expand on your reasoning.

    Because you don’t read much, so that is why you don’t know that acquired traits can be inherited.

    Have you ever tried using Google before?

  13. phoodoo: Because you don’t read much, so that is why you don’t know that acquired traits can be inherited.

    Yawn. We have covered this ground before, so I had a pretty good idea about where your wonderfully misplaced condescension was coming from. There do exist wonky epigenetic effects, wherein the environment experienced by an organism (e.g. starvation) can affect development for two or three subsequent generations.
    But this fact is not the victory for Lamarkism that you suppose.
    There are also well-understood mechanisms that allow for the propagation of epigenetic states over many generations…in single celled organisms.
    However, the statement on this thread was

    A blacksmith developing strong arms will not result in his children having strong arms.

    which is entirely correct, and not news to anyone familiar with the literature.
    so your

    phoodoo: You don’t read much do you?

    I guess you just hate science.

    demonstrates your ignorance, as ever.

  14. phoodoo: Because you don’t read much, so that is why you don’t know that acquired traits can be inherited.

    Enlighten me then. If it is DNA methyation you are referring to, my response is not going to differ much from DNA_Jock’s, I suspect, but let’s see.

  15. DNA_Jock: demonstrates your ignorance, as ever.

    Oh, do tell…

    DNA_Jock: here do exist wonky epigenetic effects, wherein the environment experienced by an organism (e.g. starvation) can affect development for two or three subsequent generations.

    You mean acquired traits can be inherited then?

    Oh, I see.

    Jock where do you find time to post when you are not moderating your posts? Chatting with Alan about how he also is a scumbag?

  16. phoodoo,

    I too knew exactly where you were going with that – straight to epigenetics, overtrumpeted as the Death of Darwin in Creationist circles. Oddly enough, Darwin was much more sympathetic to Lamarckian ideas than his successors – which skepticism carries on to this day, despite some (IMO) over-zealous reporting of very little data.

    Multi-generational Lamarckism is somewhat undermined by biparental inheritance and the constriction of diploidy.

  17. phoodoo: Oh, do tell…

    You mean acquired traits can be inherited then?

    Oh, I see.

    Ah, I see as well. There is a limited degree to which acquired traits can be inherited – limited in the type of trait, the cause of acquisition, and the number of subsequent generations affected.

    Statistically, I suppose plenty of socially acquired traits are also passed from one generation to the next. Most of these are also temporary.

    Nonetheless, I think we can say Lamarck was wrong.

  18. phoodoo: You mean acquired traits can be inherited then?

    I don’t think so, but we are probably using different definitions of “acquired”. Lucky for us, the topic of conversation was the accuracy of the statement

    A blacksmith developing strong arms will not result in his children having strong arms.

    which remains entirely correct, epigenetics notwithstanding. Are you going to proffer evidence to support your position re the children of blacksmiths, or keep trying to change the subject?
    I’m betting on the latter. 😀

  19. Flint: There is a limited degree to which acquired traits can be inherited – limited in the type of trait, the cause of acquisition, and the number of subsequent generations affected.

    What evidence do you have that this is the case? Because you don’t think it can? Don’t you know incredulity is not an argument against evolution?

    I would ask Jock to provide evidence for this claim, but he is too busy fellatioing and colluding with Alan to subvert the rules of this forum to have time to do things like provide evidence for his specious arguments.

  20. phoodoo: What evidence do you have that this is the case?Because you don’t think it can?Don’t you know incredulity is not an argument against evolution?

    I would ask Jock to provide evidence for this claim, but he is too busy fellatioingand colluding with Alan to subvert the rules of this forum to have time to do things like provide evidence for his specious arguments.

    I asked google for links to sites explaining epigenetic inheritance. Then I summarized what I found there. This one helped me:
    https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/what-is-epigenetic-inheritance.html

    There were many more. Help yourself.

  21. Flint,

    No, your claim was that you know what the limits of acquired inherited traits are. Neither you, nor Jock (when he is not blowing or being blown by Alan) know what those limits are-although in Jocks case he also is claiming there are no acquired inherited traits, or some, or well, they are wonky, it only happens in single celled organisms, but well, also in mammals and other living things, and well, but still, …so it just depends on his mood after Alan finishes him I guess.

  22. phoodoo,

    Innuendo isn’t an argument. Tell us about how epigenetics epigenetic inheritance* works. What’s the mechanism?

    *ETA

  23. Hello you epigenetics lovers,
    Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B entitled “How does epigenetics influence the course of evolution?”

    Enjoy.

  24. Let’s also cite Lamarck’s laws from his Philosophie zoologique here, since we appear to be discussing his theory of use and disuse of organs:

    First Law: In every animal that has not reached the end of its development, the more frequent and sustained use of any organ will strengthen this organ little by little, develop it, enlarge it, and give to it a power proportionate to the duration of its use; while the constant disuse of such an organ will insensibly weaken it, deteriorate it, progressively diminish its faculties, and finally cause it to disappear.

    Second Law: All that nature has caused individuals to gain or lose by the influence of the circumstances to which their race has been exposed for a long time, and, consequently, by the influence of a predominant use or constant disuse of an organ or part, is conserved through generation in the new individuals descending from them, provided that these acquired changes are common to the two sexes or to those which have produced these new individuals (Lamarck 1809, p. 235).

  25. Alan Fox,

    Theme issue
    ‘How does epigenetics influence the course of evolution?’
    compiled and edited by Alyson Ashe, Vincent Colot and Ben Oldroyd
    Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that are transmitted through cell divisions but cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms are central to development and the preservation of genome integrity. These mechanisms are also increasingly recognized as being important for the ability of animals and plants to adjust to their current environment in real time, without the need for genetic change. However, because epigenetic states are typically erased and reset at every generation, epigenetics has traditionally been seen as making a minor contribution to evolutionary change.

    The papers in this theme issue challenge this view by making the case that epigenetic variation makes direct and indirect contributions to evolutionary processes including adaptation to new environments and climate change (with consequences for species invasiveness), to sex chromosome differentiation, and speciation.

    This issue will soon be available to buy in print. Visit our information for readers page for more purchasing options.

    INTRODUCTION
    Introduction
    How does epigenetics influence the course of evolution?
    Alyson Ashe, Vincent Colot and Benjamin P. Oldroyd
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200111
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0111

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    ARTICLES
    Research articles
    Epigenetic inheritance and evolution: a historian’s perspective
    Laurent Loison
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200120
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0120

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Empirical evidence for epigenetic inheritance driving evolutionary adaptation
    Dragan Stajic and Lars E. T. Jansen
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200121
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0121

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Small RNAs and chromatin in the multigenerational epigenetic landscape of Caenorhabditis elegans
    Natalya Frolows and Alyson Ashe
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200112
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0112

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Research articles
    Evolution of epigenetic transmission when selection acts on fecundity versus viability
    Bram Kuijper and Rufus A. Johnstone
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200128
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0128

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Epigenetics and the success of invasive plants
    Jeannie Mounger, Malika L. Ainouche, Oliver Bossdorf, Armand Cavé-Radet, Bo Li, Madalin Parepa, Armel Salmon, Ji Yang and Christina L. Richards
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200117
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0117

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Research articles
    Intergenerational effects of manipulating DNA methylation in the early life of an iconic invader
    Roshmi R. Sarma, Michael R. Crossland, Harrison J. F. Eyck, Jayna L. DeVore, Richard J. Edwards, Michael Cocomazzo, Jia Zhou, … See all authors
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200125
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0125

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Postzygotic reproductive isolation established in the endosperm: mechanisms, drivers and relevance
    Claudia Köhler, Katarzyna Dziasek and Gerardo Del Toro-De León
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200118
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0118

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Parent-of-origin effects, allele-specific expression, genomic imprinting and paternal manipulation in social insects
    Benjamin P. Oldroyd and Boris Yagound
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200425
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0425

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Research articles
    Protein aggregation and the evolution of stress resistance in clinical yeast
    Yiwen R. Chen, Inbal Ziv, Kavya Swaminathan, Joshua E. Elias and Daniel F. Jarosz
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200127
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0127

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    The epiallelic potential of transposable elements and its evolutionary significance in plants
    Pierre Baduel and Vincent Colot
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200123
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0123

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Opinion piece
    How is epigenetics predicted to contribute to climate change adaptation? What evidence do we need?
    Katrina McGuigan, Ary A. Hoffmann and Carla M. Sgrò
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200119
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0119

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Evolutionary consequences of environmental effects on gamete performance
    Angela J. Crean and Simone Immler
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200122
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0122

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    The impact of epigenetic information on genome evolution
    Soojin V. Yi and Michael A. D. Goodisman
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200114
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0114

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    Epigenetics drive the evolution of sex chromosomes in animals and plants
    Aline Muyle, Doris Bachtrog, Gabriel A. B. Marais and James M. A. Turner
    Published:19 April 2021Article ID:20200124
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0124

    Abstract Full text PDF References
    Preview Abstract
    Review articles
    The role of epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, in the evolution of caste in insect societies

    Here Corneel has graciously given you a good place to start.

    Oh, but it can’t possibly affect arm size…!

    No need to apologize for your ignorance, Alan. But you should go over to the moderation thread to apologize.

  26. CharlieM: But it is a common belief that amphibians evolved from fully aquatic ancestors. Being fully aquatic is one of the feature they have in common with present day tadpoles.

    Sure, but that is such a superficial resemblance that it is meaningless. The trouble was that you actually disputed we could be certain that there never was a tadpole stage in the evolution of frogs.

    CharlieM: But I can look at the evidence that these experts have brought to light and interpret it in a logical way. Even among the experts there is both agreement and disagreement, so in agreeing with one expert I could very well be disagreeing with another.

    That is of course your right. Just as it is mine to point out that you are inconsistent in adopting or rejecting the scientific consensus to suit your specific needs.

    CharlieM: Amoebae certainly get around.

    In contrasts to human zygotes, who do not colonize the bowels, bore down the intestinal wall, then invade liver, brain and lungs, like Entamoeba histolytica does. There is no “similarity of general lifestyle”.

    CharlieM: Nowadays we have tadpoles in the garden for the grandkids to watch developing.

    I strongly approve.

    CharlieM: Can you give me an example of when I called speculation baseless?

    This is my interpretation based on your word choice. When you call certain conclusions “speculation” or “educated guesses”, that signals to me that you believe those to be ungrounded.

    CharlieM: Do you think that the very early life had cell membranes? In what way do you think early cell membranes would have differed from the basic lipid bilayer cell membranes around today?

    In my definition, they’d have to be cellular to qualify as life 😄. But yes, I consider it to be plausible that early life started off with cells. I suspect the membrane composition would be radically difficult from modern day cells as the very first cellular life would have had to work with spontaneously generated amphipathic molecules or those from primitive metabolism.

  27. phoodoo: Here Corneel has graciously given you a good place to start.

    Nobody is denying that DNA methylation is a cellular process. The question is whether there is any mechanism that is heritable that results in evolutionary change.

    Oh, but it can’t possibly affect arm size…!

    Is that a claim you wish to defend with evidence? That acquired arm strength from exercise can be inherited? Suggest the mechanism, then.

    No need to apologize for your ignorance, Alan.

    Nobody needs to apologise for ignorance, it can be fixed. There is always the possibility to learn something new.

    But you should go over to the moderation thread to apologize.

    The moderation issues thread is for discussing moderation issues. Whether people apologise for bad behaviour is a personal choice.

  28. Alan Fox (regarding individual development): There is no change in the organism’s genome and it is the genome that carries the necessary information for the zygote to develop through all intermediate stages to adult

    Well there are such things as somatic genome variations

    But just as, and possibly more importantly there is much more to genomes than linear sequence of nucleotides. If identity was based purely on linear sequences of molecules then denatured proteins would be considered identical to folded proteins.

    This short video helps us to understand that genomes are constantly changing 3 dimensional structures.

    It is wrong to say that there is no change between the genomes of somatic cells in an organism. The genome sequence holds the potential but it is the cellular activity that activates that potential in individual ways as required.

  29. CharlieM: It is wrong to say that there is no change between the genomes of somatic cells in an organism.

    Well, not sure about that. Anyway, I was talking about the germ-line.

  30. Corneel,

    Thanks for the link, Corneel. Have only managed to read some of the abstracts so far. I think phoodoo might also benefit from glancing at them. Anyone else having the time and inclination to read them might also spot why I might think that phoodoo would do well to read them.

  31. Allan Miller:
    CharlieM: Individual development may not be passed on down the generations but during this development organs do change over time which reflects the change over time of evolution on a lager scale.

    Allan Miller: As I’ve said before, this seems an inevitable consequence of the increasing ‘complexification’ of the individuals thrown up by a ‘complexifying’ evolutionary series. Given such a series, of course later individuals will be more complex at their maximally complex stage than earlier ones, and likewise of course they won’t be as complex when made of few cells in early development, as compared to later stages. The two must go hand in hand.

    It’s not just increases in complexity. It is patterns of growth and degeneration, expansion and contraction over time. I may be a more complex physical being at this moment as I was nearly seven decades ago, but the reality that is “me” is not just me as I am now. It includes the time dimension. In seven more decades I will have zero physical complexity.

    Physical processes have a greater reality than physical bodies. It should not be overlooked that we are temporal beings as well as existing in space.

    Allan Miller: The only ‘special’ thing being observed here is the apparent tendency to tinker with the later developmental stages rather than the earlier ones, in serial modification of a lineage. But it’s hard to see where else such tinkering could happen, without screwing the whole thing up.

    I don’t regard it as tinkering, I see it as tweaking the expression of the archetype.

  32. Alan Fox: Is it not at least possible that bilipid membranes existed prior to living organisms as they spontaneously self organise?

    I believe that is the same process I had in mind. I just finished reading David Deamer’s book(let), who is strongly pushing the idea that life started off in small ponds with a rapid succession of wet-dry cycles. In such an environment, amphipathic compounds will alternate between being organised in multilayered membranes and protocell-like vesicles.

    Alan Fox: I think phoodoo might also benefit from glancing at them.

    My hope was that the discussion would become somewhat more focused. We’ll see.

  33. Alan Fox,

    No,no, you need to apologize for not doing your job. No, in fact, not just for not doing your job, for doing the opposite of your job.

  34. Corneel,

    The focus needs to be for evolutionists to admit that they don’t have a clue what epigenetics can and can’t do. Their inability to admit that because it scares them is what prevents the focus.

  35. Alan Fox
    CharlieM: It is wrong to say that there is no change between the genomes of somatic cells in an organism.

    Alan Fox: Well, not sure about that. Anyway, I was talking about the germ-line.

    In reply to my comment that organs do change during development, you said:

    “There is no change in the organism’s genome and it is the genome that carries the necessary information for the zygote to develop through all intermediate stages to adult The key is heritable change”

    I took that to mean in your opinion the genome does not change between all the cells of an organism.

  36. Corneel,

    On top of that, besides Alan’s continued inability to understand what’s being discussed, along with his complete manipulation of the site, is what prevents more complex discussion. Maybe when Alan finally comes through on his threat to quit (again).

  37. CharlieM: I took that to mean in your opinion the genome does not change between all the cells of an organism.

    There is the general case and there are exceptions. The general case for sexually reproducing organisms is that the process that results in zygote formation – meiosis, crossing over, recombination then fusing of gametes – is where new inherited genomes arise.

    Of course copying errors can occur whenever DNA is being copied, such as when a somatic cell divides. The result can be cancer or if the mutation is not deleterious it can result in mosaicism. What does not happen with somatic cell mutations is that those mutations pass to the offspring.

  38. Corneel: My hope was that the discussion would become somewhat more focused. We’ll see.

    Me too. Whilst I am not questioning that methylation plays a pivotal role in gene regulation, there seems to me to be a lack of a mechanism for how epigenetic processes feed back into a selective process. DNA methytransferases are coded in DNA after all.

  39. phoodoo:
    Corneel,

    The focus needs to be for evolutionists to admit that they don’t have a clue what epigenetics can and can’t do.Their inability to admit that because it scares them is what prevents the focus.

    Misrepresent much (or anything else much)? There is no competent biologist that I have seen making grandiose claims regarding “what epigenetics can and can’t do”. There seems indeed to be healthy discussion, research and disagreement. Several of the papers you blithely copied titles from Corneel’s link express doubt and scepticism.

    It appears from what you have posted here that you are hinting at what epigenentics can and can’t do without any suggestion of how you come to that view. phoodoo? no clothes?

    ETA synonym

  40. phoodoo: The focus needs to be for evolutionists to admit that they don’t have a clue what epigenetics can and can’t do. Their inability to admit that because it scares them is what prevents the focus.

    Does the definition you cited correspond with your understanding of the term?

    Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that are transmitted through cell divisions but cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence.

    If so, why would inheritance that is not based in DNA sequence scare evolutionists?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.