Is anything in biology , man, beast, plant, in millions etc of species evolving as we speak?

I say no but why do evolutionists?

This is a sly way to demonstrate how unlikely evolutionism is on a probability curve.when on thinks of the millions (billions?) of segregated populations in biology(species) then it should be a high, or respectable percentage, are evolving as we speak to create new populations with new bodyplans to survive in some niche. By high I mean millions, with a allowance for mere hundreds of thousands. YET I am confident there is none evolving today. further i suspect evolutionists would say there is none evolving today. WHY? If not today what about yesterday or 300 years ago? Why couldn’t creationists say its not happening today because it never happened? Its accurate sampling of todays non evolution for predicting none in the past!

i think the only hope (hope?) is if evolutionism said , under pE influence, that all biology today is in the stasis stage and just waiting for a sudden need to change, qickly done, then stasis again. Yet why would it be that stasis has been reached so perfectly today relative to the enormous claim of the need in the past for evolutionism?

Anyways i think creationists have a good point here but willing to be corrected.

0

391 thoughts on “Is anything in biology , man, beast, plant, in millions etc of species evolving as we speak?

  1. CharlieM: Many of these viruses are brought about by us humans failing to consider the wider context of our actions.

    Not that I am aware of. Could you name one example?

    CharlieM: […] I don’t see any problem with using the “selfish” metaphor for these viruses […]

    Good, let’s return to transposable elements. They are “selfish” genomic parasites, right?

    CharlieM: But none of that prevents us from marvelling at the complexities of the replication processes.

    It doesn’t stop being magic just because you know how it works.

    Terry Pratchett

    0
  2. CharlieM:
    As soon as it was discovered how close genetically we were to our nearest primate relatives it became obvious that our differences could not be accounted for by genes alone. It isn’t the genes that produce the differences it is the way in which they are manipulated.

    How different is a one-week old human baby from a one-week old chimpanzee baby?

    How much of the difference at 1 year, 10 years and 25 years is due to genes, and how much is due to the human absorbing the collective fruits of thousands of years of human development?

    You might want to check up on feral children to get a feel for this.

    0
  3. Corneel: JMac fails to recognize statements without !!!!lol!!!smiley!! as humorous.

    What else is left when someone spends a large chunk of his career trying turn Drosophila into something else, fails miserably, and yet believes sheer dumb luck would have done better?

    Do you see my point? Nuh, eh?

    0
  4. faded_Glory: How different is a one-week old human baby from a one-week old chimpanzee baby?

    How much of the difference at 1 year, 10 years and 25 years is due to genes, and how much is due to the human absorbing the collective fruits of thousands of years of human development?

    You might want to check up on feral children to get a feel for this.

    Quite so — I mean, I think that these are the right questions.

    However, my understanding is that none of the literature on feral children is useful. There are anecdotes and stories that aren’t well confirmed, and the most extensively studied “feral child” — Genie — could have suffered from abuse, neglect, mental disability — plus (I very vaguely recall) there were questions about the research ethics of those who studied her. Between confounding variables and questionable methods, it’s a real mess!

    0
  5. J-Mac: What else is left when someone spends a large chunk of his career trying turn Drosophila into something else, fails miserably, and yet believes sheer dumb luck would have done better?

    Can you also say nice things? I don’t think I have seen a single comment from you that wasn’t an insult or a childish taunt since you returned.

    0
  6. Kantian Naturalist,

    I reckon you are right about that, but it is still interesting to note that as far as we can tell feral children appear to develop behaviour and traits much more akin to the animals in whose company they grow up, than akin to other humans. It would appear that individual humans generally do not have innate capabilities that are all that far removed from those of other primates, and that the lofty intellectual and artistic achievements of human culture are very much a result of aggregating millions of tiny steps over time.

    Someone said it: I stand on the shoulders of giants. In fact it is giants all the way down 🙂

    0
  7. Allan Miller:

    But advanced species could only acquire such sophisticated vision because of the foundations laid in early evolution. In the same way we have fully functioning sophisticated vision because it was gradually formed during early embryonic development. The whole reflected …

    Can you imagine a process of evolution which was any different? I can’t. Later states are bound to be built upon that which went before, and new instances of multicellular organism are bound to develop, rather than pop up fully-formed, eyeballs and all.

    I can also imagine that which went before existing as a process which is aiming at a specific future state. Eyeballs are a good example. The developing eyes of the foetus are forming and being positioned so as to allow for the binocular vision yet to come. The future is determining the path of that which went before.

    That being so, you can’t infer some kind of mystical quality to the process, an extra force, from those things which we would still expect to see in its absence.

    Supersensible, not mystical. In the same way that light is supersensible, vacuum energy is supersensible, gaseous oxygen is supersensible. There is nothing mystical about these entities.

    If we think of the archetype as the source of all possible living forms, then all living forms are limited expressions of the archetypal form. (Our language is designed to communicate within our dimensions of space and time experienced through the senses and so my use of the word “source” conjures up a point in space. And so to avoid misunderstanding, by source I mean something that encompasses and pervades all of space from the infinitely concentrated point to the infinitely extended plane). We cannot judge its presence or absence on the grounds that we cannot perceive it with any of our five physical senses.

    Its effects are there for us to see. See the article Ancestor of the new archetypal biology: Goethe’s dynamic typology as a model for contemporary evolutionary developmental biology by Mark F. Riegner for a more complete discussion about this with various examples to consider.

    The abundance of convergent evolution such as the shared developmental pathway of the different eye types of a wide variety of animals is better explained by the archetype model than speculations about the retention of an ancient plan.

    0
  8. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: This doesn’t alter the fact that the copying is achieved by coordinated cellular processes. Molecules required for copying need to be imported into the cell. Balance needs to be maintained between the inner and outer environments of the cell. Cellular respiration must be continuous.

    As I’ve said, I don’t need a biology education. I already have a pretty good grasp of how cells work. Nonetheless, everything that happens traces back to nucleic acids, albeit sometimes one or two cellular generations prior.

    Why would I be trying to educate you on biology? I’m sure that it is not just you reading these posts. My aim is not to educate but to perhaps stir the interest of those who haven’t previously had the inclination to look at the latest research on cellular processes. With all the information now generally available it has never been easier for individuals to educate themselves.

    What is your best example or examples of nucleic acids performing work?

    I’m not doubting that foreign genomes can supply raw materials specific to it. But I would be interested to learn what actually results from the further development of such a cell.

    Inheritance of that cell’s’ genome, and the consequent manufacture of all cellular components from it. As j-mac is pointing out elsewhere, Venter did this with a completely synthetic (albeit reverse-engineered) genome.

    Venter could not have succeeded without using protein complexes to manipulate his “synthetic” chromosome. He would have used vectors and I know he needed to make epigenetic alterations to the DNA he was using. In order for the cell to remain viable the DNA had to have very precise external manipulation. It could be said that as Venters team used the DNA available to them, in like manner the cell then used the genes that were available to it.

    0
  9. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: A couple of questions. How much difference would you say there was between our genotype and the genotype of our LUCA? Do you think that we have any cellular processes in common with our LUCA.

    Enormous differences, with a common scrambled core.
    Just from a quick dig, an analysis of 147 sequences (2004, there are loads more now) they found fewer than 50 genes identifiably conserved. But there are all sorts of reasons for that, so it is likely to be a gross underestimate. By logic, DNA polymerase, and transcription/translation proteins and RNAs must be ancient, predating LUCA, along with chunks of metabolism and basic biosynthesis.

    Yes, there would have needed to be intricate directed processes in operation right from the beginning of cellular life.

    Here is an interesting piece of information. They write:

    Venter’s team painstakingly whittled down the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides, a bacterium that lives in cattle, to reveal a bare-bones set of genetic instructions capable of making life. The result is a tiny organism named syn3.0 that contains just 473 genes. (By comparison, E. coli has about 4,000 to 5,000 genes, and humans have roughly 20,000.)

    Yet within those 473 genes lies a gaping hole. Scientists have little idea what roughly a third of them do. Rather than illuminating the essential components of life, syn3.0 has revealed how much we have left to learn about the very basics of biology…

    “We were totally surprised and shocked,” said Venter, a biologist who heads the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Rockville, Md., and is most famous for his role in mapping the human genome. The researchers had expected some number of unknown genes in the mix, perhaps totaling five to 10 percent of the genome. “But this is truly a stunning number,” he said.

    Only those who were overconfident in their knowledge would be surprised by this lack of knowledge. It is always a case of, “more complex than we thought”. To be totally surprised and shocked by this reveals a preconception that life at its most basic level is simple. Who would think such a thing?

    0
  10. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: Dynamics which are required to produce higher levels of consciousness.

    And the fruiting body of the fly agaric, and the pseudopodia of the amoeba, and the legs of a wasp …

    I can still remember my first encounter with fly agaric. It was in the days when a nine or ten year old boy could wander about in the countryside without being tethered to an adult. I saw it by the side of a path and I can still remember my feeling of joy and admiration for nature.

    And speaking of insect legs, here is another interesting finding:

    New research has found that humans were not the first species to invent the nut and bolt mechanism for screwing one thing to another: weevils do the same to attach their legs to their bodies instead of using the more familiar ball-and-socket joint.

    Another example of natural ingenuity preempting human engineering. But producing individual creatures that have attained self-consciousness requires ingenuity of a whole new level.

    Anyone who wants to know what genes can do on their own just needs to look at viruses.

    Yeah, they don’t make their own DNA polymerase, or much else. Shrug. They don’t need to, they grab a cell that does it for them. Parasites are well known to have reduced genomes.

    Here’s a fun fact: some transposons make a protein coat, even though they never go outside. Are these domesticated viruses, or viruses-in-the-making? What does holism tell us?

    But these processes all require the DNA to be acted upon by the protein complexes of the cell. There is no activity without this. Regarding these complex processes there is no simple extrapolation of cause and effect.

    0
  11. Neil Rickert:

    CharlieM: Evolution is observed to have a direction. It is moving towards individual autonomy.

    I’m not seeing that. Can you explain?

    As far as I can tell, bacteria are autonomous, worms are autonomous, fungi are autonomous, grasses are autonomous.

    Yes, some species such as homo sapiens depend more on cooperation within a society. I don’t see any move toward autonomy.

    There are levels of autonomy. Rocks and pebbles have no autonomy discernible, they can only be seen to change and move by being acted upon by external forces. Prokayotes can move because of internal forces, giving them a level of autonomy that rocks don’t have. Humans can move about with relative freedom, we can consciously change and adapt our local environment as it suits us. Think of food production. We don’t just forage about looking for food, we actively produce and distribute food. It is through such activities that we become more autonomous than the rest of life around us.

    0
  12. CharlieM: There are levels of autonomy. Rocks and pebbles have no autonomy discernible, they can only be seen to change and move by being acted upon by external forces.

    As I see it, rock have complete autonomy. They can do whatever they want to do — which is nothing at all.

    Maybe the word you are looking for is “agency” (rather than “autonomy”).

    0
  13. Corneel: So it is. As far as I know elevated extinction rates of asexual lineages have not been demonstrated. I also note that several long-term asexual lineages are known.

    Certainly. None of my contentions are absolutes. Little in biology is.

    Haha, what happened to the “Malthusian reasons” and the severe intraspecific competition? The sexuals dedided to gang up on those pesky asexuals and drove them away?

    Heh. No, it might be clearer to forget that these are virtually indistinguishable and recognise that they are actually separate species. If we had a series of contests between a varied and numerous resident and an incomer species that had minimal variation, trying to garner the same resources by doing the same thing over and over, would we really expect the second species to replace the first, generally?

    No, if there are no sexuals in those habitats, they either can’t reach them or they cannot survive there. In either case, the asexuals compete just fine.

    They can’t compete with things that aren’t there! What else could explain the tendency of asexuals to be found in extreme environments, if not the difficulty of competition where sexuals are well-established?

    ETA: Misread your comment, sorry. Yes, there may be better one, but if it arises it cannot be reliably transmitted in a sexual population that experiences constant influx of maladaptive alleles.

    It can be transmitted reliably enough. Epistasis effectively gives a boost to the selection coefficients of both alleles in the relationship – in the genetic background that includes the other, there is a higher s for each than in those backgrounds that don’t. This elevates the frequencies of both halves of the epistatic relationship, and so recombination generates the pairing more frequently. It was recombination that got them together in the first place, so it wasn’t a detriment then. Typically, once formed, a pairing on the same chromosome should last a few generations. And even where broken, it just means those instances have a reduction in fitness for that epistatic interaction. Who knows about the rest of the genome? Simple models ignore it. It’s the net result that determines if recombination is ‘costly’. Breakage of specific epistasis selects for closer linkage, not (necessarily) abandonment of all recombination.

    I was actually arguing the opposite: having recombination doesn’t generate a broad scale benefit on that model.

    Yes, this is getting to the heart of things. I’m not arguing for a driver of recombination, but a reason why asexuals don’t pose the threat to sexual populations that is commonly portrayed. I don’t think recombination is at the heart of sex. I think it’s a byproduct, and is unavoidable, even without crossover.

    Yes, the Red Queen scenario.I won’t deny that sex brings certain benefits. I merely point out drawbacks exist as well. The balance between pros and cons will depend on details of ecology, population structure and such. I don’t see any reason to suppose that sexuals will always have the upper hand.

    Again, I’m not being absolutist. But I think the standard expectation is that asexuals ‘should’ win most contests, absent a compensatory benefit (still being sought). I think sexuals will win far more often than is generally supposed, but the simpler the model, the less clear this is.

    I probably need to finish off my revised post on this; my points might become clearer.

    1+
  14. CharlieM: Me: Before that, you were two haploid genomes.

    Charlie: What, just floating freely in some ocean or whatever?

    Well, I’ve no idea how your mum and dad met, but probably not! 🤣

    1+
  15. CharlieM:
    But these processes all require the DNA to be acted upon by the protein complexes of the cell. There is no activity without this.

    Here we go round the mulberry bush. Those proteins are made from genes, held in DNA. Yes, the genes are made into proteins by other proteins, but they too are made from DNA genes. DNA is at the heart of it.

    And, you are continuing to confuse evolutionary logic with physiological detail. All that persists through evolutionary time is genetic sequence. [Charlie: “but that genetic sequence is an abstraction, it has no meaning until acted on by proteins …”].

    0
  16. Allan Miller,

    Corneel: No, if there are no sexuals in those habitats, they either can’t reach them or they cannot survive there. In either case, the asexuals compete just fine.

    I’ve thought a bit more about this; it goes back to my point about ‘tenure’. Invariably, diploid asexuals arise in an environment already colonised by sexuals. Even if all else were equal (it isn’t), one would expect the species with the greater numbers to persist most of the time. It’s the same as drift – in a population of 10,000, a new neutral allele will be lost 9,999 times on average for 1 fixation.

    But asexuals can go beyond the bounds of the range because they are not restricted by the need for mates. Once established, the above situation is reversed. Incursions by the sexual are still limited by mates, plus the ‘tenure effect’. The variation of the wider population is no help in this reverse competition, where they are in the minority.

    This would tend to restrict asexual populations to ‘satellite zones’.

    0
  17. CharlieM: Only those who were overconfident in their knowledge would be surprised by this lack of knowledge. It is always a case of, “more complex than we thought”.

    That’s weird because that’s not what it says in what you quote.

    To be totally surprised and shocked by this reveals a preconception that life at its most basic level is simple. Who would think such a thing?

    That isn’t life at it’s most simple level. Those are cells able to fully power their own metabolism and replication, that live freely in solution or on agar.

    A fluctuating temperature can accomplish what living cells now employ enzymes to do: separate and annealing of double strands of DNA and RNA(a fact deliberately exploited in PCR).
    Cells today now use enzymes to biosynthesize their own components, but it is possible there are geochemical analogoues of those biosynthetic pathways that could do it for them(for example it has been shown that nothing more than iron cat catalyze most of the reverse kreb’s cycle). Cells today use protein channels and transporters of various types to transport components across the otherwise impermeable phospholipid membrane, of which there are simpler physical mechanisms that can accomplish with semipermeable fatty acid membranes. And so on and so forth. There is considerable both experimental and phylogenetic evidence for stages of life that were simpler than any currently known wild-type or synthetic cell.

    Heck, there is even evidence that the earliest proteins were synthesized from amino acids produced by the abiotic chemical reactions happening in the environment, as opposed to those being synthesized by evolved metabolic pathways inside cells. As we go further back on the tree of life, the frequency distribution of amino acids in universally conserved proteins increasingly mirrors the same types of frequency distributions of amino acids produced in things like spark-discharge and hydrothermal chemistry experiments, and observed in meteorites like carbonaceous chondrites. This is evidence right there for the putative source of the amino acids that made up the very first proteins to evolve around the origin of life.

    0
  18. CharlieM: There is no activity without this. Regarding these complex processes there is no simple extrapolation of cause and effect.

    Cause and effect of what? Is this your “the cell drives it’s own evolution” holistic nonsense again? We’ve been over that. It doesn’t.

    0
  19. Rumraket: This is evidence right there for the putative source of the amino acids that made up the very first proteins to evolve around the origin of life.

    There is also the evidence fromMiller’s dry ice/acetone experiment that he ran for over 25 years. From an initial spiking of amonnia and cyanide he found 11 different nucleases and seven different amino acids. Eutectic chemistry is quite interesting and experiments have demonstrated RNA elongation of 400-700 mucleobases and RNA enzymes running in reverse, e.g., ligating RNA instead of cutting it. It is an interesting field of research which has demonstrated the concentration of reactants in eutectic phases and robust production of molecules essential for life as we know it today.

    Here is a nice article that summarizes the research:

    Did Life Evolve in Ice?

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/did-life-evolve-in-ice

    1+
  20. Allan Miller: If we had a series of contests between a varied and numerous resident and an incomer species that had minimal variation, trying to garner the same resources by doing the same thing over and over, would we really expect the second species to replace the first, generally?

    Not generally, but we do if they operate in a context where the asexual can take advantage of its superior colonization ability, or if it happens to escape severe costs of sexual reproduction (e.g. very strong sexual conflict).

    Allan Miller: They can’t compete with things that aren’t there!

    But why aren’t they there? You don’t expect unoccupied habitats when the population is at carrying capacity.

    Allan Miller: This would tend to restrict asexual populations to ‘satellite zones’.

    I need to look this up*, but as I recall asexual populations are not confined to crappy leftover corners. They typically have larger ranges, at higher latitudes (geographic parthenogenesis).

    *(Damn, we need more ecologists here at the site)

    Allan Miller: Breakage of specific epistasis selects for closer linkage, not (necessarily) abandonment of all recombination.

    Let’s ignore epistasis and focus on what I view as the main problem of recombination: dispersion of adaptive alleles. As you have correctly observed, recombination predominantly generates genotypes that result from combining high frequency alleles. Ideally, the most fit multilocus genotypes will become more and more common as the frequency of beneficial alleles rises to fixation.

    The problem for sexual populations in a meta-population is that the allele frequency will settle at migration-selection equilibrium (migration is an evolutionary force that acts similar to recurrent mutation). The more unlinked loci that affect local adaptation, the more rare the most fit multilocus genotypes are. Let’s say that local adaptation is determined by the genotype at n = 10 unlinked loci, and that the most fit genotype occurs at P = 0.8 at every locus. Then we still only see the most fit multilocus genotype in a meagre 0.8^{10} = 11% of the sexual population. If a parthenogenic lineage starts from within that 11% it is going to be dynamite, because it isn’t bothered by the inconvenient ongoing recombination with maladaptive migrant genomes.

    Allan Miller: I’m not arguing for a driver of recombination, but a reason why asexuals don’t pose the threat to sexual populations that is commonly portrayed.

    That’s why I refrained from mentioning the cost of males. Sex has several other issues.

    Allan Miller: I probably need to finish off my revised post on this; my points might become clearer.

    Absolutely, looking forward to that.

    0
  21. Corneel: Not generally, but we do if they operate in a context where the asexual can take advantage of its superior colonization ability

    Such as aphids, yes (although most aphids are not strictly asexual species – they simply extend the mitotic line through a few multicellular bodies).

    or if it happens to escape severe costs of sexual reproduction (e.g. very strong sexual conflict).

    Sure. Contingent, though. The ‘mystery of sex’ ™ is portrayed in quite general terms.

    But why aren’t they there? You don’t expect unoccupied habitats when the population is at carrying capacity.

    There is a density dependence issue with obligate outcrossers. An asexual evades this, either in the inevitable within-range granularity of distribution or at the edges of a current range. I think there’s a tendency with population-genetic thinking to over-homogenise.

    I need to look this up*, but as I recall asexual populations are not confined to crappy leftover corners.

    OK, but this was a critique of your friend’s claim that the geographic model was ‘neutral’. I can’t see a reason for squeezing them into habitats where they suffer elevated extinction unless something is ‘pushing’ them there.

    The problem for sexual populations in a meta-population is that the allele frequency will settle at migration-selection equilibrium (migration is an evolutionary force that acts similar to recurrent mutation). The more unlinked loci that affect local adaptation, the more rare the most fit multilocus genotypes are.

    If rare, how confident can we be that any random haploid pairing, frozen in perpetual diploidy, has it? It can only be average, on average!

    Certainly, if the asexual happens to have the fittest multilocus genotype, it will be better than the rest, but only until the sexuals respond to selection. They are chucking prospective combinations at the wall continually, and importing beneficial loci; eventually a rare pairing or incomer will hit the jackpot. Having been formed, any new combination will be severed in a proportion of meioses, but it depends on linkage distance as to how often. Even on different chromosomes they’ll stay paired 50% of the time, giving a corresponding boost in the same proportion. As they become commoner, that 50% goes up, as the proportion of swaps making no difference increases.

    Asexuals always play ‘stick’, whereas the best strategy, ISTM, is ‘twist’.

    Gradually, the sexual would start pulling away, thanks to recombination and migration, not despite them.

    0
  22. First, I’ll juxtapose those:

    Allan Miller: I can’t see a reason for squeezing them into habitats where they suffer elevated extinction unless something is ‘pushing’ them there.

    Allan Miller: There is a density dependence issue with obligate outcrossers.

    I think your own answer is correct. Obligate outcrossers cannot thrive in those habitats because of the allee effect.

    Allan Miller: If rare, how confident can we be that any random haploid pairing, frozen in perpetual diploidy, has it? It can only be average, on average!

    My intuition tells me that the asexual just needs to have above the sexual average fitness to persist. I also note that asexuals tend to be more generalist than their sexual sister species, so the average is what we are getting most of the time, it seems.

    Allan Miller: Gradually, the sexual would start pulling away, thanks to recombination and migration, not despite them.

    You will have to excuse me for not accepting your verbal argument. Because of mutation, novel beneficial combinations will pop up in the asexual population as well, and those can spread more quickly, as they won’t be destroyed by recombination. I suspect the outcome critically depends on details of respective population sizes, mutation rate, migration rate, extinction rate of local populations and the genetic architecture of local adaptation. That’s way too complicated to assess without mathematical modeling.

    0
  23. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    Except when we don’t

    Quite. But I was talking of the competitive argument, that they produce soooo many more offspring than us.

    In one sense, the cells of a body can be seen as a closer match to the numbers of bacteria. Counting organisms is misleading: count cells. One, or a few, cell lineages survives from a body, which is not far off what happens in bacterial populations over a similar time frame. Look at a chemostat, for example.

    I have made a similar comparison to this in the past. If we compare a single bacterium to one cell then groups of bacteria can be seen as equivalent to a multi-cellular organism.

    And it’s interesting that you see and accept that, as in the case of the chemostat, an overall balance is maintained while there is change and turnover at a lower level. But when I point out the equivalence at higher levels, you cannot agree. For example, say, reptile species: turnover has been taking place at this level within the more enduring higher class of reptilia.

    0
  24. Allan Miller: The metaphase ‘plate’ is a notional locality rather than a physical structure. In a normal diploid state, each chromosome occupies a separate ‘territory’ in the nucleus, which may or may not have a functional role (I don’t know, rather than it isn’t known). During meiosis, homologous chromosomes ‘find’ each other, by partial sequence matching (a physical process!), while opposite poles of the cell give rise to spindle fibres which attach to the homologues. The metaphase plate is just the halfway point between the poles. I don’t think there’s any particular logic to how they line up, and which homologue goes to which pole is also random.

    The spindle fibres contract, and the homologues are hauled apart. The process of ‘crossing-over’ helps ensure equal tensioning – without it, homologues may ‘stick together’ and both end up in one cell.

    Both independent segregation and crossover give rise to the farthest-reaching consequences of sex. Most people think recombination is the reason sex arose, but I think it’s just an incidental consequence of cellular process.

    These processes involve so many intricate, directed coordinated activities. Ensuring the chromosomes are moved precisely into position. The correct positioning and tension of the spindle fibres must be achieved by the constant addition and subtraction of tubulin. Only then can the chromosomes be pulled to the poles. And this is just one small part of the process of meiosis.

    0
  25. PeterP: There is also the evidence fromMiller’s dry ice/acetone experiment that he ran for over 25 years. From an initial spiking of amonnia and cyanide he found 11 different nucleases and seven different amino acids. Eutectic chemistry is quite interesting and experiments have demonstrated RNA elongation of 400-700 mucleobases and RNA enzymes running in reverse, e.g., ligating RNA instead of cutting it. It is an interesting field of research which has demonstrated the concentration of reactants in eutectic phases and robust production of molecules essential for life as we know it today.

    Here is a nice article that summarizes the research:

    Did Life Evolve in Ice?

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/did-life-evolve-in-ice

    Fascinating, thanks for the link.

    0
  26. Rumraket: Fascinating, thanks for the link.

    You might like/appreciate this article as well:

    Article
    Published: 21 September 2010

    Ice as a protocellular medium for RNA replication

    James Attwater, Aniela Wochner, Vitor B. Pinheiro, Alan Coulson & Philipp Holliger
    Nature Communications volume 1, Article number: 76 (2010)

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms1076

    0
  27. Neil Rickert:

    CharlieM: There are levels of autonomy. Rocks and pebbles have no autonomy discernible, they can only be seen to change and move by being acted upon by external forces.

    As I see it, rock have complete autonomy. They can do whatever they want to do — which is nothing at all.

    Maybe the word you are looking for is “agency” (rather than “autonomy”).

    I don’t mind which word we use as long as it is understood that I’m talking about levels of inner freedom.

    The reflexive universe: Evolution of Consciousness. Anodos Foundation. Kindle Edition. by Arthur M Young

    The older concept of a universe made up of physical particles interacting according to fixed laws is no longer tenable. It is implicit in present findings that action rather than matter is basic, action being understood as something essentially undefinable and nonobjective, analogous, I would add, to human decision. This is good news, for it is no longer appropriate to think of the universe as a gradually subsiding agitation of billiard balls. The universe, far from being a desert of inert particles, is a theatre of increasingly complex organization, a stage for development in which man has a definite place, and without any upper limit to his evolution….

    I will not dwell on this here except to stress that our story has a moral: the world of fundamental particles is quite different from that of predictable billiard balls. From the point of view of predictability, it is like that of human beings. Its creatures have a life of their own. Predictability here is similar to that of insurance tables, Gallup polls, and market surveys: it does not apply to individuals. The individual particle does not obey laws.

    But this is not the end of the story. There are higher forms of organization. Not all molecules are compacted into inert objects. There are some which are organized into living creatures: plants, animals, human beings. Can we read these higher forms as an ascent—a “return”—to freedom?

    I believe we can, and I will introduce this image of an “arc” as a basic postulate. It is one of the concepts I will use in the theory that I am setting forth.

    IMO we can no longer speak about objects in time and space as though these are separate entities. If we want to think in accord with reality then everything is process.

    A rock is not doing “nothing at all”, it is moving relative to the celestial objects around it. But this movement it has is not of its own accord. It is not free to change course out of any inner volition.

    0
  28. Allan Miller: The metaphase ‘plate’ is a notional locality rather than a physical structure. In a normal diploid state, each chromosome occupies a separate ‘territory’ in the nucleus, which may or may not have a functional role (I don’t know, rather than it isn’t known). During meiosis, homologous chromosomes ‘find’ each other, by partial sequence matching (a physical process!), while opposite poles of the cell give rise to spindle fibres which attach to the homologues. The metaphase plate is just the halfway point between the poles. I don’t think there’s any particular logic to how they line up, and which homologue goes to which pole is also random.

    The spindle fibres contract, and the homologues are hauled apart. The process of ‘crossing-over’ helps ensure equal tensioning – without it, homologues may ‘stick together’ and both end up in one cell.

    Both independent segregation and crossover give rise to the farthest-reaching consequences of sex. Most people think recombination is the reason sex arose, but I think it’s just an incidental consequence of cellular process.

    To achieve this partial sequence matching chromosomes must move or be moved. Do you know how this is achieved? Also do you know how the spindle microtubules correctly assemble and align to join the kinetochore with the centrosome?

    0
  29. Allan Miller:

    This is just one example of how everything needs to happen in the right place at the right time for fidelity of cell division whether it is in mitosis or meiosis

    For sure, but I’d argue that we are seeing the tuned process now – tuned by evolution. To compete in the modern world, you have to be as good as everything else. To compete in a primitive world, you can get by with being primitive. You don’t need crossover to do a form of meiosis, for example, it just helps. You don’t really need anything other than the last few steps of mitosis, indeed, IMO, which you’ve already got if you’re not extinct. Evolution builds on the past, inevitably.

    I don’t see how any form of cell replication can be seen as primitive. Primitive implies crude. Maybe simpler but not primitive. What evidence is there that it was primitive?

    The initial growth of physical life would have had its own challenges other than competition.

    0
  30. CharlieM: It is implicit in present findings that action rather than matter is basic, action being understood as something essentially undefinable and nonobjective, analogous, I would add, to human decision.

    That’s basically behaviorism, as an alternative to materialism/physicalism. I tend to see myself as a behaviorist.

    IMO we can no longer speak about objects in time and space as though these are separate entities.

    That’s probably not quite right. However, what makes something an object is mostly human decisions. The world does not dictate what should count as an object.

    A rock is not doing “nothing at all”, it is moving relative to the celestial objects around it.

    No, the rock is doing nothing. Whether we see it as moving is a matter of what we count as motion.

    0
  31. dazz:

    CharlieM: Many people thought that all non-coding DNA was junk and selfishly used up resources without contributing anything. But as our knowledge increased this was found to be false. IMO many of us are too quick to judge going on too little facts.

    You’ve been around here long enough to know that’s not true. You simply believe that creationist lie because it fits your narrative, right?

    No I believe it because of what has been written and said about it. Just a very quick search and I found the following and there are plenty more there for anyone to see. .And that is just with reference to scientists. When I said “many people” I was referring to people in general.
    Discover Magazine

    The rest — 98.5 percent of DNA sequences — is so-called “junk DNA” that scientists long thought useless

    From a description of the book Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by NessaCarey

    For decades after the structure of DNA was identified, scientists focused purely on genes, the regions of the genome that contain codes for the production of proteins. Other regions – 98% of the human genome – were dismissed as ‘junk’.

    0
  32. Corneel:

    CharlieM: And do you see any similarity between moons orbiting planets, planets orbiting stars and stars orbiting a galactic centre and electrons orbiting a nucleus?

    Charlie, if the orbit of earth around the sun was similar to an atomic orbital you’d be very unhappy. The whole is behaving completely different from the parts in this case.

    Different behaviour maybe in some respects. But orbiting, spiralling motion is a feature of all levels of resolution.

    0
  33. CharlieM
    No I believe it because of what has been written and said about it. Just a very quick search and I found the following and there are plenty more there for anyone to see. .And that is just with reference to scientists. When I said “many people” I was referring to people in general.
    Discover Magazine

    From a description of the book Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by NessaCarey

    Oh, you meant some confused pop-sci writers. OK, who cares?
    The thing is the thrust of your comment when you say “But as our knowledge increased this was found to be false.” seems to be that they were justified in believing that based on the scientific consensus at the time, which is not true for all I know. I’ll let the local biologists take over because I’m not qualified to discuss the topic at hand

    0
  34. CharlieM: But orbiting, spiralling motion is a feature of all levels of resolution.

    No, it is not. Electrons belong to the realm of *lowers voice to whisper* quantum mechanics. Their behaviour is radically different from macroscopic objects. Most notably, and most damning to your claim, they exhibit wave-particle duality. Planets don’t do that (thank heavens).

    0
  35. CharlieM: From a description of the book Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome by NessaCarey

    I recommend you read the review of that book by our favorite curmudgeon Larry Moran, if only for amusement value.

    ETA: Not a complete review I note, just the free introductory pages.

    0
  36. dazz: Analogies, analogies everywhere!

    Analogies, analogies everywhere,
    And all the minds did think;
    Analogies, analogies everywhere,
    Not one could see the link.

    Hats off to Coleridge. I’ve always loved that poem.

    0
  37. dazz: I’m not qualified to discuss the topic at hand…

    Don’t worry! I never let that hold me back.

    0
  38. Alan Fox: Don’t worry! I never let that hold me back.

    Well, if Eric can pretend to be a physicist and philosopher at MindMatters and make money for talking nonsense, I guess I can do the same thing here for free 🤣

    0

Leave a Reply

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