If the DNA codes primarily for proteins and helps regulate protein quantities, then where is the developmental or structural information? I’ve never gotten a straight answer from most evolutionists I’ve encountered, for that matter anyone on planet Earth. Maybe no one really knows. I think Creationist biologist Arthur Jones is right about Non-DNA inheritance.
It would seem, if DNA is mostly about storing the data for protein sequences, as a matter of principle it doesn’t store the structural information for cells and entire bodies. The information is elsewhere, likely in the cytoplasm of the zygote.
DNA locations often have single point of failure locations (like start and stop codon locations). But if large amounts of body plan information is stored in a network topology, it is highly redundant and hence there is not single point of failure if the cytoplasmic basis of heritable information is damaged. Hence it would very hard to “mutate” the body plan information if the information is stored in a network topology.
An example of a network topology in the man-made worlds is BITCOIN which has a redundancy factor in excess of 400 computation centers spread around the globe. If half of the 400 computation centers are destroyed, the BITCOIN collective can still recreate itself and continue functioning. The ability to mutate its basic records without valid transactions is very difficult because of the network topology.
When a network topology is in play, it gives the illusion that because an individual component is dispensable, that the component has no contribution to inheritance. Not so. Destroy enough of the components in the network, and there will be no inheritance. For example, remove the cytoplasm from a cell, and just leave the DNA. The creature will not reproduce! The Gene-centric rather than Whole-Centric view of reproduction is based on the desire for simplistic conceptions and explanations. Thinking in terms of redundant, self-healing network topology is far beyond simplistic thinking or most present day understanding. The claim that DNA codes for everything is naïve. DNA codes for protein sequences, but that is not the same as the description of cell structure or body plans. I’m posting this to invite anyone to show where in the DNA, the totality or even majority of structural information is stored.
The ability to self-heal is evidence network topology is present in multicellular creatures at the cell and organismal level. Damage can happen in certain locations and repair is then effected.
This of course makes evolution unlikely if there is a fundamental body plan of offspring that is generally reverted to in the face of cytoplasmic or organismal damage. To change a basic form or body plan, numerous network nodes would have to be simultaneously changed to effect the sort of necessary macro-mutations. If so, this fact would enforce the idea of immutable forms and prevent macro evolution. Hence fish would never evolve to birds, and it confirms the absurdity of expecting tigers, trees and butterflies to have a common ancestor unless miracles happen.
A blood cell (that has normally has no DNA, but had DNA artificially forced into it) won’t become a full human being if implanted in the womb, even though it has all the right DNA for the most part. Ergo, the information to code a full human must reside in the zygote cytoplasm. Granted, the cytoplasm can be reset to some undifferentiated pluripotent state in some cases, but this must be done artificially, and as far as I know, only pluripotency is achieved artificially, not totipotency.
Anyway, from Wiki:
Structural inheritance or cortical inheritance is the transmission of an epigenetic trait in a living organism by a self-perpetuating spatial structures. This is in contrast to the transmission of digital information such as is found in DNA sequences, which accounts for the vast majority of known genetic variation.
Structural inheritance has also been seen in the orientation of cilia in protozoans such as Paramecium and Tetrahymena, and ‘handedness’ of the spiral of the cell in Tetrahymena, and shells of snails. Some organelles also have structural inheritance, such as the centriole, and the cell itself (defined by the plasma membrane) may also be an example of structural inheritance. To emphasize the difference of the molecular mechanism of structural inheritance from the canonical Watson-Crick base pairing mechanism of transmission of genetic information, the term ‘Epigenetic templating’ was introduced.
My textbook on epigenetics at the NIH alluded to this:
A second kind of epigenetic transmission was clearly shown in Paramecia and other ciliates, in which the ciliary patterns may vary among individuals and are inherited clonally (Beisson and Sonneborn 1965). Altering the cortical pattern by microsurgery results in transmission of a new pattern to succeeding generations. It has been argued that related mechanisms are at work in metazoans, in which the organization of cellular components is influenced by localized cytoplasmic determinants in a way that can be transmitted during cell division (Grimes and Aufderheide 1991).
But really, where is structural information stored? Any takers? It seems to me the cytoplasm provides a lot of structural templating that transcends DNA as a matter of principle.
Here is a 10 minute video on structural inheritance starring creationist Arthur Jones:
I think Jones is right.
Though I don’t even have a copy of Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt, Meyer argues:
The Sugar Code
Biologists know of an additional source of epigenetic information stored in the arrangement of sugar molecules on the exterior surface of the cell membrane. Sugars can be attached to the lipid molecules that make up the membrane itself (in which case they are called “glycolipids”), or they can be attached to the proteins embedded in the membrane (in which case they are called “glycoproteins”). Since simple sugars can be combined in many more ways than amino acids, which make up proteins, the resulting cell surface patterns can be enormously complex. As biologist Ronald Schnaar explains, “Each [sugar] building block can assume several different positions. It is as if an A could serve as four different letters, depending on whether it was standing upright, turned upside down, or laid on either of its sides. In fact, seven simple sugars can be rearranged to form hundreds of thousands of unique words, most of which have no more than five letters.”
These sequence-specific information-rich structures influence the arrangement of different cell types during embryological development. Thus, some cell biologists now refer to the arrangements of sugar molecules as the “sugar code” and compare these sequences to the digitally encoded information stored in DNA. As biochemist Hans-Joachim Gabius notes, sugars provide a system with “high-density coding” that is “essential to allow cells to communicate efficiently and swiftly through complex surface interactions.”26 According to Gabius, “These [sugar] molecules surpass amino acids and nucleotides by far in information-storing capacity.” 1 So the precisely arranged sugar molecules on the surface of cells clearly represent another source of information independent of that stored in DNA base sequences.
NEO-DARWINISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF EPIGENETIC INFORMATION
These different sources of epigenetic information in embryonic cells pose an enormous challenge to the sufficiency of the neo-Darwinian mechanism. According to neo-Darwinism, new information, form, and structure arise from natural selection acting on random mutations arising at a very low level within the biological hierarchy—within the genetic text. Yet both body-plan formation during embryological development and major morphological innovation during the history of life depend upon a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. If DNA isn’t wholly responsible for the way an embryo develops— for body-plan morphogenesis—then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely and still not produce a new body plan, regardless of the amount of time and the number of mutational trials available to the evolutionary process. Genetic mutations are simply the wrong tool for the job at hand. Even in a best-case scenario—one that ignores the immense improbability of generating new genes by mutation and selection—mutations in DNA sequence would merely produce new genetic information. But building a new body plan requires more than just genetic information. It requires both genetic and epigenetic information—information by definition that is not stored in DNA and thus cannot be generated by mutations to the DNA. It follows that the mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA cannot by itself generate novel body plans, such as those that first arose in the Cambrian explosion.
Dr. Jones is a science and education consultant. He has a B.S. (Hons) from the University of Birmingham in biology; an M.Ed. from Bristol University and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Birmingham. Dr. Jones has taught science and religion courses at London and Bristol Universities. He presently works for the Christian Schools’ Trust as their research consultant for curriculum development. He is a member of the Institute of Biology, London.
During my undergraduate days when my “heretical” views became known, my professor (Otto Lowenstein, Professor of Zoology) made a point of telling me that no creationist would be allowed to do research in his department! However, he did allow me to do research. From the pressure that was put on me, I can only assume that it was thought that I could be convinced of the error of my ways. If that was the intention, then it badly backfired. Many a visiting scholar was brought into my laboratory to convince me, from their area of expertise, that evolution was indisputably true. Of course, hardly knowing their field, I never had an answer at the time, but after they had gone I would look up the relevant research and carefully analyze it. I always found that the evolutionist case was much weaker than it had seemed and that alternative creationist interpretations were available which were just as or more convincing. My position was further strengthened by the results of my own research.