What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

This offers the simplest “neutral” colloquial mixture of “design” and “evolution” that I’ve seen in a long time. The site is no longer maintained, but the language persists.

“As a designer it is important to understand where design came from, how it developed, and who shaped its evolution. The more exposure you have to past, current and future design trends, styles and designers, the larger your problem-solving toolkit. The larger your toolkit, the more effective of a designer you can be.” http://www.designishistory.com/this-site/

Here, the term “evolution” as used just meant “history”. The author was not indicating “design theory evolution”, but rather instead the “history of designs” themselves, which have been already instantiated.

The topic “design is history” nevertheless enables an obvious point of contact between “evolution” and “design”. They both have histories that can be studied. Present in the above meaning of “design” are the origin, processes and agent(s) involved in the “designing”. This differs significantly from the Discovery Institute’s version of “design theory”, when it comes to history, aim, structure and agency, since the DI’s version flat out avoids discussion of design processes and agent(s). The primary purpose of the DI’s “design theory”, meanwhile, is USAmerican religious apologetics and “theistic science”.

The quotation above likely didn’t come from an IDist, and it isn’t referencing “Intelligent Design” theory as a supposed “scientific theory”. The “designer” in the quotation above is a (more or less intelligent) human designer, not a Divine Designer. This fact distinguishes it “in principle” from the Discovery Institute’s ID theory, which is supposed to be (depends on who you’re speaking with in the IDM) about first biology, then informatics, and statistics. The DI’s ID theory is not actually focused on “designing by real designers”, but rather on apologetics using “design” and informational probabilism.

The Discovery Institute’s failure to distinguish or even highlight the differences and similarities between human design and Divine Design, and instead their engagement in active distortion, equivocation, double-talking, and obfuscation between them, are marks of its eventual downward trend to collapse.

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1,506 thoughts on “What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

  1. Adapa,

    Ah, Nathaniel Jeanson’s cherry-picked stupidity about MtDNA which you just saw completely destroyed over at PS. But you’re Bill Cole with the memory span of a turnip so you thought you’d revisit Jeanson’s idiocy here.

    Destroyed? Cherry picked? Did you read his papers?

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  2. Alan Fox,

    I saw Jeanson being picked apart at Talkrational. Must be open season.

    The guys at PS use of logical fallacies got me interested. Did you read the paper I cited?

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  3. colewd: Destroyed? Cherry picked? Did you read his papers?

    Yep. Read all of Evograd’s multi-part beatdown of Jeanson’s ignorance and stupidity too. You of course kept your head shoved up the usual orifice with your usual “logical fallacy!” lame excuse. 😀

    The funniest part of course was Jeanson was following the PS discussion and making snide remarks on his own blog but was too chickenshit to post at PS and try to defend his brutal scientific idiocy. Maybe he’s not as dumb as he seems.

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  4. Adapa,

    The funniest part of course was Jeanson was following the PS discussion and making snide remarks on his own blog but was too chickenshit to post at PS and try to defend his brutal scientific idiocy. Maybe he’s not as dumb as he seems.

    Evograd beat down :-).

    He beat him down to the age of extant animal life may be as old as 60 thousand years from 6 thousand based on the Mt clock possibly being slower due to the type of measurements in Ding et al being 10x off.

    There is more troubling evidence (for evolutionary time scales) that was not reviewed in the book and does not have the potential issues Evo identified.

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  5. CharlieM: What about the pernicious political influence of Darwinism? A Darwinian extremist might argue that not vaccinating against a disease is a good thing because it will eliminate the weak members of the group..

    Are there really such “Darwinian extremists” or are you just making them up?

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  6. colewd: There is more troubling evidence (for evolutionary time scales) that was not reviewed in the book and does not have the potential issues Evo identified.

    The emperor’s new new clothes bear an uncanny semblance to the old new ones.

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  7. colewd: He beat him down to the age of extant animal life may be as old as 60 thousand years from 6 thousand based on the Mt clock possibly being slower due to the type of measurements in Ding et al being 10x off.

    The RATE nonsence has already been beaten down over and over. What makes you think this is any difference?

    Also you say “possibly”. What work is going on right now to turn that into “probably” or better?

    A particular clock is “possibly” slower, and therefore YEC is true?

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  8. Allan Miller:

    it is not just the genome but the complete nucleus that is transferred.

    Heh. As predicted. However, this is not the case with prokaryote transfers. However you slice it, form appears not to be determined by cytoplasmic factors, however much you may wish to blur all of phenotype into one mushed-up concept. To the extent that a zygote has pre-loaded cytoplasm/nuclear content, which does have a role in extracting genotype, that material is rapidly diluted by repeat cell division. What isn’t diluted is the genome.

    So we can agree that the nucleus is the seat of a strong regenerative life principle. But cells can retain living activity even after the nucleus along with the genome is ejected.

    In this article they have researched the living activity of enucleated cells (cytoplasts).

    Given that the establishment of the centrosomal–nuclear axis has been implicated in directed migration, it is striking that cytoplast migration is little affected by the loss of the nucleus. Our directed migration data show cytoplasts chemotax and haptotax at efficiencies similar to intact cells. This indicates that the nucleus is not essential for sensing and responding to these extracellular cues or in establishing and maintaining the polarity required for directional migration.

    Also red blood cells are not just passive sacks being swept along through the circulatory system.

    Red blood cells change their shape in order to pass freely through capillaries. And when transiting these narrow tubes they do so without touching the sides

    With their 3D engineered microvessel, which resembles an hourglass, the scientists could analyze how red blood cells navigate tight bottlenecks. Normal red blood cells, which are shaped like a round rubber raft, get through smoothly by contorting themselves to look like slippers, parachutes or bells. They somehow seem to avoid touching the inside of the capillary.

    All of these cells are living beings capable of self movement. This short video from the first link shows the activities of a nucleated cell and an enucleated cell side by side.

    What gets passed on through the generations are complete living systems. Not just highly structured substances but more importantly highly active, living substances.

    When we observe living substance over time what we are looking at are etheric forces.

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  9. Corneel:

    CharlieM: A population of birds on Mauritius lose the inclination to fly. They had little to fear by remaining on the ground where they had all they needed and so their morphology changed accordingly.

    Why didn’t they start flying again when the trade vessel crews started hunting them for meat? I bet they developed a passion for flying again real soon at that point.

    As their niche narrowed and they, as it were, condensed into a less plastic form, this was not reversible. They had burnt their bridges so to speak. The same can be seen with birds in general. As their forelimbs distorted into forms capable of producing wings, they lost the plasticity of form that, as in the case of humans, allowed the forelimb to be able to be used manipulatively in a creative way.

    Look at the creativity of New Calenonian crows. They make creative use of their beaks, not their forelimbs. Imagine how creative they could have been if they had retained digits that were as manipulative as those of humans.

    And that is a problem of Darwinian evolution. It forces organisms into ever more restricted niches so that they remain as creatures and forego their potential to become creators in their own right.

    Humans are not at the top of the Darwinian ‘tree’ because we could not have attained the level of individual creativity that we show if we had followed a path purely of reproductive success. If prokaryotes are the bulk of the tree then we are its fruits.

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  10. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Their existence goes against the flow of what would be expected of Darwinian evolution. Compare what it takes for e coli to reproduce with the intricacies that higher animals have to traverse in order to reproduce. Does this make any sense in a Darwinian fra[m]ework?

    Are you currently losing competition with the billions of E. coli inhabiting your gut? If not, then it goes fine with the “Darwinian framework” (personally, I think it is more of a question for ecology, but soit).

    My gut flora and fauna are much more successful than I am in a Darwinian sense. But they are the basis on which my existence depends.

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  11. OMagain: A particular clock is “possibly” slower, and therefore YEC is true?

    They’re trying to make the data fit into their fantasies because they’re convinced that their fantasies are real. So, no wonder they’d say “they are wrong, therefore any error difference that can move it in my direction proves it.” I’d expect that from them. The real issue is them thinking that their biased conclusion makes geology and evolution wrong in everybody’s eyes, not just theirs. They should remember that their bias belongs to them, not to the world. That we’re not trying to prove or disprove their fantasies, that scientists are doing the best they can to get and improve our understanding of the world. If that fits fantasies or not is inconsequential.

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  12. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Changes in the DNA of germ cells get inherited. But not all changes are caused by blind chance. Why assume all changes are ‘mistakes’?

    Since when do the paints completely determine what the painting will look like?

    They don’t. And it is the artist who determines which paints to use.

    Are you frightened of where genetics is leading us perhaps?

    No I am beginning to see the living, regenerative power in genomic activity. We differentiate body cells, not by their genetic content, but by the activity that takes place within and around the genome. There is more life in a stem cell than a bone cell. As cells develop and specialise their life forces diminish. And the same can be said for evolution in general. As taxonomic forms evolve and specialise their survival prospects diminish. The whole reflected in the parts.

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  13. Corneel:

    CharlieM: And the evolutionary future of dogs has been restricted by their limbs which are specialised for locomotion and their sense and nervous system which has developed one-sidedly towards the sense of smell.

    So much for our passions recruiting the appropriate archetypes. Are we free to develop according to our passions or are we restricted by our current form? What is it going to be?

    If we let our passions dictate our lives then we cannot be free.

    Of course we are restricted by our bodies. But we are also restricted by our passions, especially so if we follow our passions without first filtering them through our rational thinking activity. Freedom comes with control of passions, not with being dictated by them.

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  14. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Material substance comes and goes but information persists.

    That’s not what Allan said. Scrolls can be copied and texts will survive, despite the originals rotting away. Break the chain of copying and the information is lost forever.

    The chain of woolly mammoth reproduction has been broken but they have still managed to sequence its genome. Is this not preserved information?

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  15. CharlieM:

    That’s not what Allan said. Scrolls can be copied and texts will survive, despite the originals rotting away. Break the chain of copying and the information is lost forever.

    The chain of woolly mammoth reproduction has been broken but they have still managed to sequence its genome. Is this not preserved information?

    Yes. But it is far from enough to resurrect the species.

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  16. Allan Miller: CharlieM: Nice list.

    Here are a few comments on these points:
    1. So in reality a gene is a complex of nucleotides, proteins, salts and ions.

    Not really. A gene, these days, is generally considered to be the nucleic acid sequence associated with a particular trait

    So a gene is information waiting to be used.

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  17. Allan Miller:

    In fact genes never appear naked in living systems.

    Indeed no they don’t. That’s what I’m saying gene centrism is NOT saying, but you seem obsessively determined to reiterate the point ad nauseam, as if it matters. Gene centrism would not be valid solely in a system where the genes themselves ‘did’ everything directly, with no intermediate level of action.

    And my point is that genes don’t do anything either directly or indirectly. What in you opinion is their initial level of action?

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  18. colewd: Evograd beat down

    We know you were too ignorant to understand the evidence presented Bill. But go ahead and keep telling everyone how there’s new evidence which proves evolution is wrong and the Earth is only 6000 years old. There’s probably someone out there who doesn’t know how much of a scientifically illiterate boob you are. 🙂

    There is more troubling evidence (for evolutionary time scales) that was not reviewed in the book and does not have the potential issues Evo identified.

    Sure thing Bill. Evolution is on its last legs and will collapse and die any day now…any day now…any day…. 😀

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  19. CharlieM: If we let our passions dictate our lives then we cannot be free.

    What, even the birds with their passion for flying?

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  20. CharlieM: And my point is that genes don’t do anything either directly or indirectly.

    In the case of Down Syndrome, the extra copy of a chromosome is a coincidence?

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  21. colewd:
    Alan Fox,

    Great.Here is his 2013 paper that builds a testable model where the null is that all organisms share Mt DNA from the same starting point.This takes a little more time.
    https://assets.answersingenesis.org/doc/articles/pdf-versions/arj/v6/mitochondrial-genes.pdf

    Just a question, what does the creation model entail beyond some knowledge of how the Creator choose to create.?

    I see this “ Creationists explain shared sequences among diverse species either by God’s initial creation 􏰇􏰌or by convergence since Creation week”􏰒􏰓 􏰌􏰎􏰁􏰗􏰑􏰐􏰄􏰑􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰎􏰐 􏰒􏰓 􏰌􏰎􏰁􏰗􏰑􏰐􏰄􏰑􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰈􏰃􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰍􏰆􏰑 􏰖􏰐􏰑􏰇􏰍􏰃􏰎􏰁 􏰛􏰑􏰑􏰝􏰕 􏰈􏰃􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰍􏰆􏰑 􏰖􏰐􏰑􏰇􏰍􏰃􏰎􏰁 􏰛􏰑􏰑􏰒􏰓 􏰎􏰐 􏰒􏰓

    If dealing with an omnipotent Creator, why assume shared sequences ? 􏰌􏰎􏰁􏰗􏰑􏰐􏰄􏰑􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰈􏰃􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰍􏰆􏰑 􏰖􏰐􏰑􏰇􏰍􏰃􏰎􏰁 􏰛􏰑􏰑􏰝􏰕 􏰌􏰎􏰁􏰗􏰑􏰐􏰄􏰑􏰁 􏰈􏰃􏰁􏰌􏰑 􏰍􏰆􏰑 􏰖􏰐􏰑􏰇

    In other words ,sequences that are not shared could be also evidence for Creation. As mung says” that sounds like a just so story”

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  22. newton,

    Just a question, what does the creation model entail beyond some knowledge of how the Creator choose to create.?

    .

    The young earth model starts from an interpretation of Genesis 1 as a starting point. The preexistence of populations is part of the model. Jeanson is ultimately creating a detailed historical account from the genetic data. Ironically population genetic models start from the same point that Jeanson does with the exception of the age of extant life. He was receiving a lot of ad hominem attacks at peaceful science and I saw no reason for this unless his data was problematic for orthodox evolutionary theory. I then decided to read his papers and discovered he was doing real science.

    Prior to a month ago I had discounted the young earth or young life models due to carbon and Ar dating. Based on his work I thing it is worth taking a fresh look at the young earth/young life hypothesis.

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  23. colewd: Prior to a month ago I had discounted the young earth or young life models due to carbon and Ar dating.

    What sudden scientific discoveries were made which invalidate all radiometric dating? That includes the over a dozen independent and consilient non-radiometric yearly dating proxies used to calibrate C14 dates back to over 50,000 years ago. I don’t recall seeing any major news announcements Bill. Are you into the magic mushrooms again?

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  24. colewd: The young earth model starts from an interpretation of Genesis 1 as a starting point.

    Generally speaking, how young? 10,000 trips around the Sun?

    The preexistence of populations is part of the model.

    Right, as well as the existence of the God of Genesis.

    Jeanson is ultimately creating a detailed historical account from the genetic data.

    Based certain assumptions of how a Creator chooses to create and the time frame

    Ironically population genetic models start from the same point that Jeanson does with the exception of the age of extant life.

    So other than the difference of a few billion years and a different mechanism , ironically Jeanson came up with the same answer based of his interpretation of Genesis.

    He was receiving a lot of ad hominem attacks at peaceful science and I saw no reason for this unless his data was problematic for orthodox evolutionary theory.

    I can think of other reasons it might be met with criticism, strange you can only think of one.

    I then decided to read his papers and discovered he was doing real science.

    So his scientific theory of how the creator chose the create is testable? Since his whole hypothesis requires it.

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  25. newton,

    So his scientific theory of how the creator chose the create is testable? Since his whole hypothesis requires it.

    A scientific theory based on genesis as a starting point. Same as population genetics except for the age of extant life.

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  26. CharlieM: If we let our passions dictate our lives then we cannot be free.

    Of course we are restricted by our bodies. But we are also restricted by our passions, especially so if we follow our passions without first filtering them through our rational thinking activity. Freedom comes with control of passions, not with being dictated by them.

    I know this is off-topic so I shall be brief: conceiving of the passions as threats to the freedom of the self requires conceiving of the passions as external to the self, and doing requires demarcating the boundaries of the self such that the passions are external to it. Doing that consistently generates a conception of the self that entails a logically incoherent conception of agency, responsibility, and freedom.

    The messy details behind this claim can be found in the section on Stoicism in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.

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  27. newton,

    So other than the difference of a few billion years and a different mechanism , ironically Jeanson came up with the same answer based of his interpretation of Genesis.

    Sorry I missed this. The mechanism and the starting points are the same of both mutation and genetic recombination. The timeline is different. Thousands vs millions of years in the case of multicellular life.

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  28. colewd:
    newton,

    A scientific theory based on genesis as a starting point. Same as population genetics except for the age of extant life.

    Right, Genesis is not very explicit in how the stuff was created, Jeanson must assume a certain configuration, and the question is, if real science requires test ability can he ,even theoretically ,test whether his assumption ,about of the particulars of creation , is supported? How you test something capable of anything? Every possibility Is possible. Maybe equally likely.

    Nature is limited in scope. Some things can be eliminated.The more detailed the explanation the more things can be eliminated

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  29. newton,

    Right, Genesis is not very explicit in how the stuff was created, Jeanson must assume a certain configuration, and the question is, if real science requires test ability can he ,even theoretically ,test whether his assumption ,about of the particulars of creation , is supported?

    He has tested it. Start with the two papers I have posted. All science contains assumptions. It has difficulty answering how things were originally created but does well understanding the behavior of what has been created.

    These are the models science builds and what was very interesting to me was how closely the population genetics models and Jeanson’s creation models compared with each other. The debate is over the rate of mutation for paternal and maternal sequences of Mt DNA and the Y chromosome. Pedigree mutation rates are showing faster rates then the evolutionary model would predict.

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  30. colewd: A scientific theory based on genesis as a starting point.

    That’s a pretty stupid starting point since a literal Genesis was scientifically disproven oven 2 centuries ago.

    Hey Bill, what’s the name for the logical fallacy where the conclusion is wrong because the premise is false? 🙂

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  31. CharlieM: And that is a problem of Darwinian evolution. It forces organisms into ever more restricted niches so that they remain as creatures and forego their potential to become creators in their own right.

    CharlieM: Of course we are restricted by our bodies.

    Bodies are just matter. You told us that it’s passion and archetypes that drives the evolution of morphology. How can mere matter resist that and impose limits on the non-material?

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  32. CharlieM: My gut flora and fauna are much more successful than I am in a Darwinian sense. But they are the basis on which my existence depends.

    But you are not in competition with them, so they do not displace you. In fact, since you are its habitat your gut flora depends on you for its existence, not the other way around. My guess is that you are confusing yourself by mentally grouping all bacteria again.

    CharlieM: Me: Since when do the paints completely determine what the painting will look like?

    Charlie: They don’t. And it is the artist who determines which paints to use.

    Then why are random mutations a problem?

    CharlieM: If we let our passions dictate our lives then we cannot be free.

    Then you’d better stop wanting to be free.

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  33. OMagain: CharlieM: If we let our passions dictate our lives then we cannot be free.

    OMagain: What, even the birds with their passion for flying?

    Birds would only have been free if they had first filtered their passion for flying through their rational thinking activity. Now they are slaves to their passion for flying, the wretched creatures.

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  34. Allan Miller:

    Whether we consider a gene to be active or passive will depend on how we decide to define it.

    It’s not a binary. All stretches of nucleic acid are ultimately ‘acted upon’ by at least one other, if only DNA polymerase, and some also act (via an RNA or protein intermediary) on others – for example the aforementioned DNA polymerase.

    DNA polymerase itself is a protein produced from a gene by the actions of RNA polymerase, the ribosome, tRNA and amino acyl tRNA synthetases. All of these are gene products: the genome ‘acting upon’ other parts of the genome but also, in respect of expression of the above-named enzymes, acting upon itself. They are products, not primary actors.

    You have shifted position from talking about genes acting to talking about genomes acting. I would say that this is a step in the right direction.

    The way we talk about cause and effect is perfectly reasonable and appropriate when applied to mechanics. But life and consciousness have their own laws which cannot be explained in terms of the laws of mechanics. Mechanics deals with external relationships in which bodies act on each other.

    But genomes and proteomes are not separate in this way, they belong together and are a unity. And thus we get into paradoxes and contradictions when we try to think of one being the cause and the other the effect or them being related as in a means to an end.

    Mechanics concerns external forces acting on bodies. The laws of living beings which sets them apart from the purely mechanical is that they have an inner self-motivated activity. The idea of a machine is imposed from without, the idea of a living being is intrinsic to that being.

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  35. Allan Miller:

    2. The expression of any one gene is dependent on other genes. What is in evidence is coordinated activity.

    Which ultimately roots in the genome, not the cytoplasm. To the extent genes are ‘acted upon’, they are acted upon by gene products. This is not an argument against gene centrism, however often you repeat it. Give people some credit. They do understand biology.

    The processes of gene expression and replication requires genomes, cytoplasm, lipid membranes and all the other organelles and substances within the cell. I would not deny that the genome is physically more or less central and that it plays a vital part in these processes. I would say it’s a vital organ of the cell were it not for red blood cells. But the genome serves the body just as any other major components serve the body.

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  36. Allan Miller:

    5. Yes. Genes are incapable of acting independently.

    Big hairy deal. You do realise this is a list of things gene centrism is NOT saying?

    Yes, I understand that you are not saying that genes act independently. But do you agree that there is no such thing in reality as an independent gene?

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  37. Allan Miller:

    6. The individual decisions made by organisms are highly contingent on circumstances and this influences gene expression.

    Somewhat. But the things common to all members of a species, including those environmentally triggered, are likely genetically encoded. You suffer from all-or-nothing thinking. If you can find an exception to something, you seem to think it applies to everything.

    Genetic processes enable all the various body tissues to be produced. Physical form requires the substances with which to work and they are produced by way of the genome. You are looking for a simple causal relationship which is simply not in evidence in these living processes. Living beings are not machines nor are they factories.

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  38. Allan Miller:

    8. If you disagree with the description of genes that I gave in No.1, but consider the gene as a sequence of DNA then it is passive and does not act either deterministically or otherwise. It is acted upon.

    A semantic irrelevance. A passive entity could still be part of a deterministic system; determinism is not defeated by reversing the flow. But determinism is still not a corollary of gene centrism. An example of the kind of strawman nonsense one hears is the idea that genes make you ride your bike.

    Here’s the thing: forget physiology. While it is the case that physiology has its ultimate basis in genetics, despite your objections, if you don’t buy that – if you see the involvement of enzymes in gene expression as somehow fatal to ‘physiological gene-centrism’ – then fine. You’re wrong, but fine. But gene centrism is not a physiological stance. It is an evolutionary stance.

    However activity is manifest, whether ‘acted upon’ or ‘acting’, if a stretch of nucleic acid is correlated with the success or otherwise of its bearers, vs those of alleles, then that allele will increase or decrease in the population. That is what gene centrism is fundamentally saying.

    “But genes never appear naked”, croaks a small voice ….

    Genes may be passive when considered on their own, but they are always part of a more inclusive dynamic system. It is the system working together and not the separate parts that maintains the whole.

    And having alternative alleles allows for plasticity within the kind. This allows for individual variety within the kind and so there is an intrinsic dynamism to deal with changing environments.

    Thus Darwin’s finches and peppered moths.

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  39. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: Me: As you’d find if you consumed death cap fungus […]

    Charlie: Yes my actions will result in changes to gene expression. I also agree with that.

    A spectacular piece of point-missing

    What gets passed on are living processes. There are many external influences which can disrupt these processes.

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  40. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    Proteins are fundamental to all life.

    All of modern life. But still, their sequences reside in DNA.

    Fundamental to all known earthly life.

    There are many similarities in DNA sequences between the various life forms because we are all basically made of the same ‘stuff’ arranged in various ways. This is pretty basic so I can’t see why anyone would argue with this.

    The question is whether that commonality is commonly descended or not. If commonly descended, you’ve got it the wrong way round – in that case, it’s not that organisms happen to have similar DNA because they are morphologically similar, but they are morphologically similar because they have similar DNA through common ancestry. So what I would argue with is your attribution of fundamental cause of morphological similarity.

    I don’t have a problem with commonality through descent. Like produces like. Like DNA, like morphology and like processes.

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  41. CharlieM: Allan: Not really. A gene, these days, is generally considered to be the nucleic acid sequence associated with a particular trait

    Charlie: So a gene is information waiting to be used.

    No. Allan said that a gene is a nucleic acid sequence . You can’t wish the physical stuff away!

    CharlieM: What gets passed on are living processes.

    What gets passed on is DNA.

    Hershey-Chase experiment

    Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment

    Charlie. Why don’t you just deal with it? The vast majority of heritable information is carried by the DNA.

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  42. CharlieM: What gets passed on are living processes. There are many external influences which can disrupt these processes.

    Bolides. Droughts. Floods. Forest fires. Sure. What’s the point you are making?

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  43. phoodoo: Where is the rest of the inheritable information stored that is not in DNA?

    Good question. Sources of non-genetic inheritance include, off the top of my head: epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones, self-sustaining feedback loops, niche inheritance and behavioral and cultural transmission. There are probably several more.

    There are multiple issues with all of them, but the main challenge here is that, as far as we know, none of the mechanisms mentioned above can stably sustain heritable information in evolutionary time. Non-genetic heritable variants tend to revert or decay in a few generations.

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