Human Evolution

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Robert_js, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. ahh, yes, they were bred for diff climates, reasons, functions & ideas of beauty

    yes, use your google, search for the answers

    start here, or visit other sites:
    http://racerelations.about.com/library/weekly/aa021501a.htm
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/first/race.html

    me too, especially pre-conceived or tightly-held ideas, lets look for answers

    ahh, yeah, that would be in Mass, SF & NH, where the avant-garde is inventing social ideals as we speak.
     
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  3. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    No? I'm not exactly a biologist, but even I can see that the simple fact there are 6 billion of us, here with our greater intelligence, suggests there is, and therefore there was, for our ancestors. Look at tool use among apes, or the way that various animals appear to cope with changing surroundigns, by using their intelligence.

    *Splutter*
    Could you say that again please? Who and where has it been shown that the axis of spin of a quantum particle always points at the observer?
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Convergence of particular gene sequences that provide a specific attribute, sure. Antifreeze in unrelated species of fish. Large, conical beaks for eating large, hard seeds in unrelated species of grosbeaks. Teeth suited for chewing tough, fibrous plant material in kangaroos and deer. I am not claiming that there is anything too remarkable about that. That is normal evolution at work.

    What would be remarkable would be to add a number of zeros to the exponent of that probability, which is what it would take for the majority of the speciating gene sequences in humans converge with those in the other apes. Your fish have exactly one survival trait in common, otherwise their DNA have no greater overlap than any other fish species at the same level of taxonomy (order, suborder, family, whatever it is). Deer and kangaroos have similiar dentition, otherwise ther DNA have no greater overlap than any other marsupial-ungulate order-level comparison. Grosbeaks are all fringillids, and except for the beaks you won't find their DNA to have any greater similarity than to goldfinches or vireos. (Except for the the two in genus Pheucticus that actually are kin who evolved on opposite sides of what is now the USA.)

    Humans and chimpanzees have a level of DNA overlap that cannot be attributed to reconvergence. If our putative marine ancestors found themselves deposited in the same environment as the ancestral apes, they would have evolved attributes necessary to survival, but there's no way they would have been exactly the same attributes. The cetaceans are ungulates, they would more readily have devolved back into quadruped grazers rather than tree-climbers.

    The ancestors of the primates were small, slow-moving sloths. They looked longingly at the fruit growing on the newly evolved angiosperms and evolved just enough musculature for a lightweight animal to slowly climb up to it, and a digestive system that could provide just enough nutrition for the survival of a small animal who didn't need the energy to escape from predators that couldn't yet climb trees. Over the next sixty million years they perfected the arboreal form, got bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, more social, and more efficient digestion, and came to rule the arboreal ecosystem in an uneasy truce with the feline predators who had also developed the ability to climb trees. (The snakes may have had a head start on both of them -- I'm no herpetologist -- but they had their own developmental handicaps and that's another tale.)

    For a marine mammal, which in those days were already the size of dolphins -- and in fact had always been at least that large since their terrestrial hippopotamus-like ancestors first walked back into the ocean -- to re-adapt to life on land would have been a daunting prospect. It was one thing for the fish to do it at a time when there were no other land vertebrates. All they had to compete with were arthropods. The alleged marine ancestors of mankind would have beached themselves on a land mass teeming with competitors well adapted to every niche in the ecosystem, as well as carnivores that were far more mobile. Slithering into the nearest river wouldn't have been much of an escape, since alligators were already fluorishing.

    For these mammals to have evolved the musculature and digestion necessary to adapt to the arboreal environment in which our more recent ancestors lived, quickly enough to avoid extinction through predation or overcompetition for the food supply, is, again, bucking trans-astronomical odds.

    But to do it in such a way that they just happened to end up with the same gene sequences as the chimps and gorillas? How far do you want to stretch credulity?

    I find it a consistent problem with religionists, that they simply have no intuitive understanding of probability. On one day they say it's utterly impossible that life could have evolved from the random combination of organic building blocks that were readily forming in the primordial ooze -- over a time span of several billion years. Yet on the next day they say it's perfectly possible that two animals from different orders of the class Mammalia could have evolved convergent, nearly identical gene sequences -- over a time span two orders of magnitude shorter.

    This reasoning is just plain inconsistent. The former is a quite reasonable possibility. The latter is one that my computer doesn't have enough zeros to express even in scientific notation. Please make up your mind!

    I'm sorry to have mistaken you for a precocious high school student, but this is the kind of "error of inconsistent scoping" that they make every day.

    No survival benefits??? Good grief! Have you actually taken more than a superficial look at the course of our evolution?

    A tribe of chimp-like creatures, on one of their forays down out of the trees, looked at all the animals grazing happily at ground level and thought, hey why can't we do that? Curiosity and speculation: markers of higher intelligence. They tried sharing the grazing land, but found that the larger, better adapted grazers kept muscling them out of the area. Their prehensile hands gave them a bit of an advantage in being able to harvest and carry large amounts of foliage off to a safe place and eat it at their leisure, but it was still a precarious existence -- with no hoofs, horns, bulk, or running muscles, their only defense against the ubiquitous predators was to stay close to the trees and climb back up. Leaving the harvest behind for the wildebeests.

    After a few million years of this, they got the bright idea (* marker of higher intelligence), hey why don't we just eat the herbivores? It's a more concentrated source of nutrients and it seems to work for the hyenas. They didn't have the teeth, claws, and strength to kill anything bigger than a rodent, but after a few million years of eating rodents they developed a pretty good hunting technique (* marker of higher intelligence) involving the use of tools like rocks and sharp sticks (* marker of higher intelligence) and the planning of a cooperative hunting effort that was not instinctive (* marker of higher intelligence).

    We would simply not be here, on the ground, eating meat, keeping the predators at bay, were it not for the superior intelligence of our ancestors. Whether we're talking about the generally accepted scenario of apes climbing out of the trees to live on the savannah and developing the intelligence by natural selection, the more controversial yet plausible one of them spending some time in an aquatic environment first in order to develop that higher intelligence, or even your "alternate theory" (to use the polite SciForums jargon) of cetacean ancestors crawling back onto the land with the higher intelligence they had already developed in a marine environment -- any way you look at it, intelligence was a major, decisive factor in the ultimate arrival of Homo sapiens on this planet.

    I stand by my original suggestion. You simply need to learn what is already known about evolution in general and the recent history of the hominids in particular, much of which is the result of research done in the past ten or twenty years, before you can hold your own in this arena.
     
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  7. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

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    In an earlier post I wrote that there were no survival benefits for evolving greater intelligence. I stand by this claim (and I did give reasons for making it) but I probably should have said “no net survival benefits”.

    Guthrie wrote:

    >>> No? I'm not exactly a biologist, but even I can see that the simple fact there are 6 billion of us, here with our greater intelligence, suggests there is, and therefore there was, for our ancestors. Look at tool use among apes, or the way that various animals appear to cope with changing surroundings, by using their intelligence. <<<
    6 billion is not many when compared to bacteria. And the single cell organism will win the survival of the fittest contest every time. I am sure I mentioned this in an earlier post but single cell organisms can live just about anywhere there is water. They can survive being flash heated to 1,500 degrees C and being frozen, they have been found living in acid baths and making a living metabolising rocks in high pressure thermostatic vaults 6 miles underground. They survived unaided for 30 months on the moon and can adapt more quickly to changing environments than more complex organisms like humans.

    From Stephen J. Gould’s “Life’s Grandure” page 194. (I think this book of Gould’s was published in the US with the title “Full House”.)

    >>> Not only does the earth contain more bacterial organisms than all others combined (scarcely surprising, given their minimal size and mass); not only do bacteria live in more places and work in a greater variety of metabolic ways; not only did bacteria alone constitute the first half of life's history, with no slackening in diversity thereafter; but also, and most surprisingly, total bacterial biomass (even at such minimal weight per cell) may exceed all the rest of life combined, even forest trees, once we include the subterranean populations as well. Need any more be said in making a case for the modal bacter as life's constant center of maximal influence and importance? … Finally, we may need to make a complete reversal of our usual perspective and consider the possibility that our conventional surface life, based on photosynthesis, might be a very peculiar, even bizarre, manifestation of a common universal phenomenon usually expressed by life at bacterial grade in the shallow interior of planetary bodies. Considering that we didn't even know only ten years ago such interior life existed, the transition from unknown to potentially universal must be the most astonishing promotion in the history of favorable revisions! … The modal bacter, in other words, may not only dominate, even by weight, on earth, but may also represent life's only common mode throughout the universe. <<<
    There are of course some benefits to greater intelligence but these do not compensate for the far greater disadvantages that complexity brings. Our greater intelligence meant that our female ancestors had to give birth to offspring with a larger head. We were (and still are) dependent on parental support for far longer and are far less likely to adapt well to environmental change. Natural selection would not have driven the evolution of greater complexity of any species and certainly would not have driven the evolution of human intelligence.

    Guthrie wrote:

    >>> *Splutter* Could you say that again please? Who and where has it been shown that the axis of spin of a quantum particle always points at the observer? <<<
    Quote from Paul Davies, “Superforce” page. 32 – 33.

    >>> In the quantum world, however, at the level of atoms and their constituents it is no longer possible to treat direction and orientation naively. An electron orbiting a nucleus cannot be pinned down at any given moment to lie in a particular direction from the nucleus because its position is fuzzy. A beam of photons or other particles cannot be used as a direction-pointer because the particles do not follow well-defined paths; they roam about in an undisciplined way.

    In spite of this, there does at first seem to be one promising candidate for an unambiguous definition of direction. It has been mentioned that neutrinos possess a sort of internal rotation or 'spin'. In fact, spin is a property possessed by nearly all subatomic particles, most notably electrons and quarks. It is tempting to picture such a particle, e.g. an electron, as a tiny ball revolving about an axis, like a scaled-down version of the rotating Earth. Obviously, to make sense of such a picture the axis of spin must point along some direction. If this direction can be determined in a measurement, we should have at hand a means to define direction unambiguously, even at the quantum level. Such measurements can be carried out, but here we encounter a most peculiar thing.

    Suppose the experimenter sets up his apparatus, and first picks a particular reference direction against which to measure the orientation of the particle's spin. In practice this reference direction could be defined by a magnetic or electric field. The experimenter wishes to know what angle the particle's spin axis makes to the line of the field. He carries out the measurement and he finds to his surprise that the spin happens to point exactly along the direction of the field. The experiment is repeated many times, but the result is always the same. The spin always points along the reference direction chosen. The experimenter suspects some sort of conspiracy and adjusts the angle of his apparatus, but the spin of the particle always follows suit. Try as he may to catch the spin pointing obliquely to the reference direction, the experimenter gets nowhere. He is perplexed by the fact that the particle seems to be reading his mind, because it always anticipates the direction he has freely chosen as his reference.

    Frustrated, the experimenter hits upon a devious strategem. He will set up two different reference directions, A and B, and measure the angle of the spin relative to both. As the spin of the particle cannot possibly point in two directions at once, at least one of the measurements will show the spin at an intermediate angle. Proceeding on this assumption the experimenter makes the first measurement. He is no longer surprised to find the spin pointing along direction A. The next measurement he makes very quickly, before something can cause the spin to reorient itself. Direction B has been chosen to lie at 25 (degrees) to direction A, and so naturally the experimenter, who has just determined to his satisfaction that the spin points along axis A, expects to find the spin pointing at 25 (degrees) to axis B. To his consternation he finds that nature has out manoeuvred him. Somehow the particle was one jump ahead, and has miraculously re-aligned its spin to coincide precisely with axis B. Furious, the experimenter re-measures the angle relative to axis A, and, behold, the spin is back at its original angle!

    Weird effects like this are now part of established physics, and physicists have long accepted that the spin of a particle will always be found to point along whichever axis is chosen by the experimenter as his reference. It is a property which completely undermines any attempt to make sense of the concept of direction in the quantum domain. It also introduces a bizarre subjective element into the physical world. If the spin of a particle is destined to follow for ever the experimenter's random choice of reference direction, the experimenter's freewill somehow intrudes into the micro world. The uncanny slavishness that obliges all spinning particles to adopt the experimenter's definition of angle is suggestive of mind over matter. In Chapter 3 we shall see that these subjective elements of quantum physics demand a complete reappraisal of the traditional concept of reality and the role of consciousness in the physical universe. <<<
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  8. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

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    Fraggle Rocker:

    >>> For these mammals to have evolved the musculature and digestion necessary to adapt to the arboreal environment in which our more recent ancestors lived, quickly enough to avoid extinction through predation or over competition for the food supply, is, again, bucking trans-astronomical odds. But to do it in such a way that they just happened to end up with the same gene sequences as the chimps and gorillas? How far do you want to stretch credulity? … On one day they say it's utterly impossible that life could have evolved from the random combination of organic building blocks that were readily forming in the primordial ooze -- over a time span of several billion years. Yet on the next day they say it's perfectly possible that two animals from different orders of the class Mammalia could have evolved convergent, nearly identical gene sequences -- over a time span two orders of magnitude shorter. <<<

    Yes; both propositions are “stretching credulity” or “bucking trans-astronomical odds”. But the scientific explanation is trying to explain “how it happened”; I do not. I am not trying to give an explanation for creation. The model I support merely puts that one in the “too hard basket”. Too hard for religionists, too hard for science, too hard for anyone. We know however that it happened or we would not be here to contemplate its existence. All I have done in presenting my model is to suggest; “what it might be doing”.

    The point is this. Darwinist dismiss the presence of a God and claim a scientific basis for creation. They argue that creation happened as a result of a rational, scientific process. If not currently understood then it will ultimately yield its secrets to scientific enquiry. So science has to buck the “trans-astronomical odds”; I do not. The God Gametes model merely argues that the formula for complex design was already there. It did not have to be found, it did not result from so called “beneficial” errors when stitching up DNA at the point of fertilisation. But if you start from the premise that “something” must have kick started it, and that “something” wanted life on earth to evolve greater complexity, then you will never explain creation (something that science will never do anyway) but at least you do not need to wed yourself to a doctrine that you yourself seem to agree “stretches credulity” and is “bucking trans-astronomical odds”.

    >>> I find it a consistent problem with religionists, that they simply have no intuitive understanding of probability. … I'm sorry to have mistaken you for a precocious high school student, but this is the kind of "error of inconsistent scoping" that they make every day. <<<
    I am neither a precocious high school student or a religionist. It seems that you are determine to stick a label on me. I think you will find that once you have excluded “precocious high school students” and “religionist” then there is more than 50% of the population that believe there must be more to it than Darwinian coin flips. I am one of those more than 50% of the rational, unbiased, population.

    >>> No survival benefits??? Good grief! Have you actually taken more than a superficial look at the course of our evolution? (* marker of higher intelligence) (* marker of higher intelligence) (* marker of higher intelligence) <<<
    Yes; (* marker of higher intelligence). But definitely not a “net” survival advantage when these advantages are offset by the greater costs associated with evolving complexity. So if greater intelligence does not confer a survival advantage then evolutionary theory can not explain why it happens. See also my post to Guthrie that deals with the same subject.

    >>> I stand by my original suggestion. You simply need to learn what is already known about evolution in general and the recent history of the hominids in particular, much of which is the result of research done in the past ten or twenty years, before you can hold your own in this arena. <<<
    I do not dismiss the quality of work that has been done on evolutionary theory. Darwinism initiated a tremendous growth in knowledge, in a range of academic disciplines, from which all students of life have benefited. But his suggestion (never proven) that there was no creator was (and still is) a ridiculous notion. I suppose there must have been people ask Darwin; “where did all the matter come from?” and “where did all the energy in 100,000,000,000 stars in 100,000,000,000 universes come from?” But it seems these questions must have been ignored back then as they are today.

    You seem to scorn my lack of knowledge on the subject of evolutionary science but it is a topic I have studied in my spare time for more than 10 years now. Your suggestion is that if I knew more, I would see the error in my logic, and I would inevitably gravitate to the conventional scientific dogma. I do not agree with this. The more recent discoveries have made it less likely that the traditional Darwinian model will hold up. There appears to be a paradigm shift happening but, as always, the scientific establishment is reluctant to embrace change.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Yes, and also, "no long-term survival benefits." Many species have evolved to take advantage of then-current conditions, only to be swept away in the universe's next capricious change to the environment. Dinosaurs and arctic megafauna are obvious examples. We may be next, and ironically we may be the universe's instrument of changing our environment beyond our ability to adapt. Clearly arthropods are more tolerant of environmental change than vertebrates, and clearly bacteria have the ability to mutate or at least recombine DNA more quickly in order for at least a small population to survive and repopulate the new environment.

    But there is no conflict within the general principle. Triceratops, woolly rhinoceros, and Homo sapiens all were able to evolve from their ancestral species because there was a niche in the ecology at the time of their arrival for which they were better suited than their competitors. A few billion years from now all vertebrates may be extinct. Perhaps conditions and the luck of the draw in the DNA will have been right for another intelligent animal to have arisen, spent a few million years in the limelight, and vanish after an asteroid hit or self-made catastrophe.

    Or it could be that before this happens we will perfect interstellar travel and plant colonies in other parts of the galaxy. That will make it vastly more difficult for the universe to extinguish us. The whole galaxy will have to go. Not that this may not eventually happen, but the cockroaches and bacteria (except for the lucky ones who shipped out to the stars with our explorers) will be long gone, "evolutionary advantage" or no.

    If your context is a long enough time span, intelligence becomes absolutely essential to survival. When this planet goes, our entire carbon-based, DNA-architectured tree of life goes with it if somebody hasn't taken samples to another planet.
    This entire analysis is presented within the context of the classic Euclidean three-dimensions-plus-time universe. This model is rather passe. Last time I checked, the people who are determined to hammer out the G.U.T.E. had an eleven-dimensional model that accounted for many of the universe's unruly habits. E.g., the ability of a given "thing" to be both a wave and a particle, the strange ratios of the sizes of the elementary particles, and they were even getting a handle on the Heisenberg Principle. It's not that the observed particle just happens to end up right where we're looking, rather that it's a waveform in those other dimensions, and its oscillation intersects every "plane" of observation in our three-dimensional laboratory.
    That's a cheap shot at the hard-core Darwinists who treat science as a religion. Or at least it would be a cheap shot if so many scientists didn't fit that description.

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    Science and faith have made their peace and reached a grudging agreement on the boundary between their turf. Plenty of scientists believe in something bigger than the visible universe, even if some of them are revulsed by the monotheistic, patriarchal religions of Abraham whose followers keep threatening to destroy civilization. The Pope, who is as good a representative of those religions as anyone, has publicly stated that much of the verbage in the Bible is just the mythology of our civilization and should not be interpreted as contradicting science.

    The universe is here and we can study it. We've figured out an awful lot about how it works, and we even have some promising hypotheses about how it worked when it was very new. (Although others of us hold to a different way of measuring time so that it is never "new" or "old" but just "is".)

    As to how it got here, or more fundamentally, why there is a universe (or several of them) at all, that remains a philosophical question. We keep pushing back the limits of what we don't know. The earth is not flat, it's not 6,000 years old, it's not the center of the universe, it and its neighbors are not the only planets, the universe that contains it probably has many more than three spatial dimensions, and we're open to the possibility that we're not the only civilization that's pondering these things.

    We keep re-stating the question to reflect the new things that we now know, but that doesn't make the question go away.
    Yes, and as always they forfeit their right to be regarded as the "scientific establishment" by so doing. These are the spiritual descendants of the "scientists" who rebuked Galileo because they were afraid to stand up to the Church. Now they are afraid to stand up to the Church of Science, which is supported by government grants and publishes its research in the popular press.

    There are people out there who are exploring the new frontiers in science. The eleven-dimensional model of the universe is proof of their existence. And the fact that you apparently aren't familiar with that model is proof that the Church of Science is very effective at keeping their work hidden from view and hungry for funding.

    Fortunately the other Paradigm Shift that is underway is the Information Age -- the computer revolution and the internet. Much science can be practiced now very cheaply, using resources that can't be easily controlled. College students routinely build huge virtual "massively parallel multiprocessors" by encouraging internet users to leave their PCs up and connected while they're sleeping, so they can be networked to attack huge problems.

    Just as in our workplaces, much of the work of today's science is "knowledge work" that does not require much physical travel or huge new laboratories. This is a revolution that cannot be stopped.
     
  10. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    I'll leave the biology to Fragglerocker, he knows more about it. (althought I thought the traditional darwinian model was too narrow and not descriptive of every part of observed reality.)
    But as for the statement you made above- first, it would help if you made it clearer. Saying human consciousness can disrupt the behaviour makes some people think that means we have a direct line into quantum stuff. Which nobody has satisfactorily shown.
    Right, what we have here is a manifestation of the point of Quantum phenomena, ie, the obsever cannot pin them down completely. When you mesure the spin of the particle, you have to apply a field of such strength that you force the particle to align with your applied field. This is used in NMR and in hospitals in MRI machines. You can flip the electrons spin through 180 degrees and get a signal pulse off it, and use this to meaasure whats there by analysing the pulse. It is not an argument for the experimenters free will intruding into the quantum world. Nor is it suggestive of mind over matter. What it means is that you cannot know what spin direction the particle has before and after you measure it. Like with measuring the position of say a nucleus by kicking an electron off it, you cause it to fly off in a direction you cant measure. Its the good old quantum world messing us about again.

    As for 11 dimension theorys, I Know bits and pieces about them, and otehr stuff like Brane theory, by reading magazines like "new scientist" and "scientific american". I am under the impression that the 11 dimension theory stuff isnt either finished or compellingly correct, in that its missing some explanatory powers, or requires the universe to have properties that have not been observed. So we'll just have to wait and see. Perhaps you migh tlike to explain more about what paradigm shift is occuring.
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The "Paradigm Shift" is the name that seems to have been standardized on for what Toffler was calling "The Third Wave" about fifteen years ago.

    The First Wave was the conversion of human society from hunter-gathering to agriculture. Some of the key attributes of the new lifestyle were:

    Permanent settlements instead of following the game and the wild crops through the seasons.

    Larger tribes due to cultivated crops and managed herds supporting a greater population density than hunting and gathering.

    A surplus of production, resulting in commerce, division of labor, and more activities not essential to survival such as art.

    Ultimately, civilization, as agriculture became more efficient and transportation systems were developed, allowing people not directly involved with producing food to live in cities.

    The Second Wave was industrialization. No need to describe the effects of that. There are still a few countries which only entered the Industrial Era during the last century and they can be studied first-hand.

    The Third Wave is the Post-Industrial Era. Electronics has made it possible for people to accomplish more from home, from phoning in a merchandise order to watching an entertainment performance on TV. Automation has reduced the need for on-site hands-on labor, shifting the balance of human labor into "knowledge work," which, at least theoretically, can largely be done from home. The managers of my generation can't figure out how to manage the work of people they can't see, so we'll probably have to all die off or at least retire before telecommuting becomes a reality. And then there are the dinosaurs -- the auto and petroleum industries -- who account for a huge share of the GDP and are not going to ride off quietly into the sunset. But inevitably human settlements will reverse the trend of the past ten thousand years and begin decentralizing, as virtual communities replace physical ones. The result of less time spent schlepping one's body back and forth across the landscape every day will be more time spent with one's family, which will be the single greatest factor in the restoration of the family unit -- less divorce, more parental oversight of children, etc. Less reliance on convenience food, less money spent on day care, work attire, parking, etc., will cause a fundamental change in the economy that is difficult to predict. A slow emigration from the price-inflated real estate close to cities toward places where people really want to live will also occur and will have both positive and negative impacts on the economy, ecology, and national character. It is possible that this augurs structural changes in the financial sector and may even affect the status of the corporation as the aristocracy of the Industrial Era.
     
  12. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

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    This is wat I meant by "paradigm shift".

    Copyright 1994-1999 Encyclopædia Britannica

    Kuhn, Thomas S., in full THOMAS SAMUEL KUHN (b. July 18, 1922, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.--d. June 17, 1996, Cambridge, Mass.),

    American historian of science noted for The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), one of the most influential works of history and philosophy written in the 20th century. (see also Index: science, history of) Kuhn earned bachelor's (1943) and master's (1946) degrees in physics at Harvard University but obtained his Ph.D. (1949) there in the history of science. He taught the history or philosophy of science at Harvard (1951-56), the University of California at Berkeley (1956-64), Princeton University (1964-79), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979-91).

    In his first book, The Copernican Revolution (1957), Kuhn studied the development of the heliocentric theory of the solar system during the Renaissance. In his landmark second book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, he argued that scientific research and thought are defined by "paradigms," or conceptual world-views, that consist of formal theories, classic experiments, and trusted methods. Scientists typically accept a prevailing paradigm and try to extend its scope by refining theories, explaining puzzling data, and establishing more precise measures of standards and phenomena. Eventually, however, their efforts may generate insoluble theoretical problems or experimental anomalies that expose a paradigm's inadequacies or contradict it altogether.

    This accumulation of difficulties triggers a crisis that can only be resolved by an intellectual revolution that replaces an old paradigm with a new one. The overthrow of Ptolemaic cosmology by Copernican heliocentrism, and the displacement of Newtonian mechanics by quantum physics and general relativity, are both examples of major paradigm shifts. Kuhn questioned the traditional conception of scientific progress as a gradual, cumulative acquisition of knowledge based on rationally chosen experimental frameworks. Instead, he argued that the paradigm determines the kinds of experiments scientists perform, the types of questions they ask, and the problems they consider important. A shift in the paradigm alters the fundamental concepts underlying research and inspires new standards of evidence, new research techniques, and new pathways of theory and experiment that are radically incommensurate with the old ones. Kuhn's book revolutionized the history and philosophy of science, and his concept of paradigm shifts was extended to such disciplines as political science, economics, sociology, and even to business management. Kuhn's later works were a collection of essays, The Essential Tension (1977), and the technical study Black-Body Theory and the Quantum Discontinuity (1978).
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  13. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    Ahhh, that paradigm shift the futurologists have been blessing us with for the past 20 years or so. I bought the third wave years ago, thought it ok then, but am not so certain now. (besides, i've forgotten most of it.)

    Unfortunately its turned out to be to a large extent mince.
    I wouldnt say human settlements are going to reverse the current trend any time soon. For example, in the UK, London is sucking in youngsters and spitting out retirees at a greater rate than ever. The same process is occuring now in Scotland, where Edinburgh has been increasing in population and jobs. for all the hype about jobs that can be done from home, they wont be for any time soon, because as you point out, managers cant manage your homeworking so well. Also, there are subtle and not immediately obvious advantages to having everyone in the samebuilding. People interact better face to face, and ideas can be swapped around more effectively, and networking can be done, not to mention the apparently essential status displays and power jockeying.

    Finally, there is the efficiency gains involved in having things centralised. This works because of easy transportation, for example, the miles used by lorries have increased by at least double over the last 20 years. It is more cost effective for things to be shipped around the country in large units, than to have any kind of local availability, like its cheaper to import from abroad than make your own. The whole logic of free market capitalism is towards centralisation and "efficiency" only its not a distinctly human efficiency. Then one of the other problems with telecommuting is simply the number of jobs that need to be done by people, physcially. The jobs market to some extent is separating interestingly, into skilled jobs and unskille djobs. The unskilled jobs are more to do with having a pair of hands and some coordination than anything else. The skilled jobs are of course like they usually are, but are vastly outnumbered by the unskilled jobs needed to keep everything running in the economy. So, not all that many people will be able to make the money needed to be able to telecommute to work, since living in the countryside costs more in many ways. Plus, as can be seen by looking at most desolate country areas of places like Scotland, a large, 50% or more of the local youth want to get away to the bright lights of the city, where things are exciting and theres night clubs and lots of other young people. There is a power to cities involved in the energy and life you get from cramming a large number of people togetherin one place. The same goes for business's. In Cambridge, England, the entire area is a biotechnology hotspot, for 20 or more miles around, the place is occupied by biotech companies. House prices are exhorbitant, because of the number of hands on workers who have to live nearby, all because there is a synergy to be had from clustering lots of companies of the same kind together in one area. The chances for networkign are increases, funneling funding into things is easier done than if they are 300 miles apart, etc.
    So, I wouldnt say goodbye to the centralised set up just yet.
     

  14. read this post:

    http://www.aquaticape.org/aatclaims.html

    it's a good refutation of that theory
     
  15. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    275
    Thanks Randolfo,

    The original post to this forum did state I believed humans evolved from an aquatic mammal. If however you read the whole post I state very clearly that I do not believe this happened by way of natural selection. The reference you gave me assumes (as does Darwinism) that our species evolved gradually over many generations. The only disagreement between the Aquatic Ape Theory and Darwinism is the evolutionary path that was taken. Both theories are equally absurd. There could never be enough time for this gradualist evolution to accidentally hit upon the complex design of any species. And even if there was enough time then where did the matter come from, where did the energy in 100,000,000,000 stars in 100,000,000,000 galaxies come from or the gravitational forces that hold it all together?

    From my original post -:

    >>> I am arguing that a sea mammal simply gave birth to a human. This may seem hard to swallow but we know our immune system can mutate sections of DNA at one million times the background mutation rate, and then re-arrange it to code for antibodies to fight invading antigens; sometimes to fight off antigens or man made chemicals that have never existed before. If it is possible to mutate several thousands nucleotides, at a precise location on a section of DNA, re-arrange them to code for a specific antibody then it is possible for a sea mammal to mutate and re-arrange the several thousand genes that are needed for her to produce a human.

    So we know that this rapid evolution can happen. But we know there is no fossil record for the slow evolution; not only for our species but for pretty well every species. And, according to the Darwinian model, it would be impossible for an earlier ancestor of man to evolve on different continents and finish up as the same species. It would also have been impossible for ancient man to have migrated between continents. But there is nothing in my suggestion that is impossible in terms of what we know can happen. One copy of our human DNA is about 75 mm and only 2% (15 mm) of this codes for making body parts. There would of course need to be some modifications for a sea mammal to give birth to a land dwelling creature. But basically it would only require the substitution of flippers with arms and legs. Probably this could be done with the mutation and re-arrangement of 1 mm of DNA. But if it took the mutation and re-arrangement of 5 or 10 mm of DNA then this is a lot more likely proposition than the suggestion that the early ancestors of the Aborigines survived a journey from northern China to Australia on a bamboo raft. <<<
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,353
    Robert_js:

    I have not read your original post, so I'm only commenting on your most recent post here.

    That is incorrect. There has been plenty of time for evolution to take its course. Recent molecular biological studies support that conclusion.

    They all arose at the time of the big bang.
     
  17. I too, believe that humans as a sentient species arose as a case of special creation, more Biblically based, but there is no way I could ever prove it. I could argue for this or that, but since the Bible says that even nature proclaims God's greatness, I'll leave it at that. We are supposed to check everything out also, so let's look at your theory:

    not really, the theory of Aquatic Ape, requires more of a stretch, DNA'ally speaking, we'll get back to that later. Whereas Darwinism makes more sense, logically speaking, since it has the advantages of Victorian-era empiricist thinking, namely that it can be verified by the senses, the idea of ‘cause and effect’, & logic. There are many fossil discoveries in Africa, many primates in Africa, DNA studies, and the fact that we are one breeding population, irrespective of our so-called speciation into races (which don't exist). Read "The Journey of Man", by Spencer Wells, it's a good primer on our genetic evolution.


    Absent the Hand of God, then logically speaking, if we understand physics correctly, then the earth is approx. 5 billion years old, enough time to start & conclude any though or actual experiments. Are you refuting the age of the Universe? Also, in skipping ahead to your argument of DNA mutation to create our new species, well that is what Darwin, et al are claiming too, but at the slow pace of geologic time, were rapid changes are discussed that happen in the so-called blink of an eye, about 100's of thousands as opposed to millions of years. And the end result is us, (we can smile now)


    I think you are straining into another argument here, namely the start of the Universe, was it by the Big Bang or some other event? I have a problem with our universe coming into existence from a cosmic egg,ex nihilo, with no proof (at least verifiable) of what started this process in the first place, where did the energy or matter come from to form this universe in the first place? That's a question that will have to wait a long time for, before the math proves it, or we transcend our physical bodies. You theory is that E=MC2, implies that energy turns to matter & that matter turns to energy, so I believe that God said, "Let there be light", then the Big Bang happened. Works for me.


    as hard to swallow as a whole whale, no seriously, this implies a mutation, that would have been unviable in nature, we need to breed to & absent willing mermaids, I doubt that some whale or aquatic ape would let us mate with it, were healthy appearance is a perquisite for courtship rituals. Where is the DNA evidence for this theory?


    source materials here? I'm not denying that change occurs, just that your theory implies that we evolved out of a radical mutation & you may be using this mutation rate as the basis for your theory


    true, read about the very interesting coincidence about Delta 32 http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf119/sf119p05.htm


    true in insects, germs, & other species that have fast reproduction times, not true yet for humans, we apparently get cancers form man-made chemicals


    how much DNA do we share with whales? How much with primates? Also, an aquatic ape may have died out rather quickly, before it could populate more than one coastline, since we are not natural swimmers, they would have been easy prey for crocs, sharks & killer whales.




    not so, most of the migration is rather recent, during the last glacial age, so that land bridges were exposed, again read "The Journey of Man"


    You have a funny definition of what is or isn't impossible

    ahh-yeah, but remember, that viability is very important for the mutated, they have to be able to live to reproductive age, & find suitable mates, etc..., the aquatic ape theory would need some middle-species, sort of an amphibian ape, then the land-dwelling would speciation out of preference for other land-dwellers

    ahh-yeah, now at what stage would that happen? your theory implies either rapid speciation or intervening species


    our bodies usually spontaneously abort non-viable embryos, you can not arbitralily state that this or that strand of DNA will mutate, without knowing at what point it happened, because each part codes for different instructions that create different processes & body parts, if the mutation crosses over to too many genes, can lead to non-functioning, non-viable lumps or barely functioning, like two-headed children, trisomy 21, etc...
    http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/mongolism


    again, read Spencer Wells' book
     
  18. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    275
    Randolfo; thanks for your detailed response to my earlier post. You have obviously given a lot of thought to my ideas and I appreciate that. But I, like you “believe that humans as a sentient species arose as a case of special creation”. If you take this view then it is not possible to explain things in terms of our current scientific know how. Unfortunately however, if you put forward a theory that suggests there must have been something that kick started it then you are immediately labelled as a “Jesus freak”.

    But even if you take a purely scientific approach then there are still many things that can not be explained. The difference appears to be that the scientific atheist will claim that we will eventually have all the answers while others suggest that something must have created it and that it was likely done for a purpose. The God Gametes theory suggests a reason for our creation. So before I respond to your latest post let me briefly summarize what I believe and why I do not think it is stretching it too far to suggest it is a reasonable hypothesis.

    From God Gametes and the Planet of the Butterfly Queen -:

    The model presented in “God Gametes and the Planet of the Butterfly Queen” assumes our universe is part of a multiverse. In his book “Before the Beginning” Sir Martin Rees (British Astronomer Royal) postulates the existence of other universes but God Gametes would simply say that there does not appear to be one of anything else, so why one universe? There is also the history. We started out thinking there was one earth and one sun only to find that our earth was one of many planets and the sun merely a star. People then assumed there was only one galaxy to later find that our galaxy is one of billions. We now of course assume there is only one universe!

    From this point God Gametes argues:

    1. If there is always more than one of everything there is more than one universe.
    2. If there were other universes they would have life as does ours.
    3. If they have life, it is cyclical as is all life.
    4. If it is cyclical, it reproduces as does all life.

    The model in God Gametes then assumes that the multiverse is hierarchical with the older and more complex universes on top and the younger and less complex below. Again this conforms to what we know to be true of reproductive systems. For example we can say that animals have two levels of the hierarchy (adults and their reproductive gametes) with the adult form living longer and being more complex than its reproductive cells.

    We argue that each level of the multiverse is the reproductive system of the level above. Universes are assumed to have gender; female universes made of matter and male universes anti-matter. The Planet of the Butterfly Queen (earth) is made of matter and is the reproductive system of a single female of our parent species on the next higher level of the multiverse. Our human consciousness is the male reproductive cell she hosts from our companion antimatter planet.
    So my main objective is to put forward a model that might explain “why we are here”. Naturally I want this model to be consistent with “what we know to be true” and I believe it is. But it is not consistent with the Darwinian theory of natural selection which is no concern of mine for in my book I draw attention to the many floors in this theory.

    Quote-:
    Randolfo: >>> Are you refuting the age of the Universe? <<<

    No; obviously not.

    Quote-:
    Randolfo: >>> You(r) theory is that E=MC2, implies that energy turns to matter & that matter turns to energy, so I believe that God said, "Let there be light", then the Big Bang happened. Works for me. <<<

    But why? God Gametes suggest a reason why. All life reproduces. Universes have life (even if we are the only life in our universe then it still has life) so isn’t it reasonable to suggest they reproduce.

    Quote-:
    Robert: >>> I am arguing that a sea mammal simply gave birth to a human. <<<

    Randolfo: >>> that would have been unviable in nature, we need to breed to & absent willing mermaids, I doubt that some whale or aquatic ape would let us mate with it, were healthy appearance is a perquisite for courtship rituals. Where is the DNA evidence for this theory? <<<
    There is no direct evidence for this theory. But there must be a reason for life to have evolved complexity and for our species to have evolved a consciousness or it would not have happened. Again, God Gametes is not attempting to be consistent with Darwinian evolution but supportive of what we know to be true. We know we evolved greater complexity and our species has a consciousness. Darwinism certainly can not explain this. Natural selection (or survival of the fittest) would not evolve more complex species. Every time a species evolved past the single cell organism it dramatically reduced its prospect of survival. 99% of all species that have evolved past the single cell organism have gone extinct.

    Quote-:
    Robert: >>> but we know our immune system can mutate sections of DNA at one million times the background mutation rate. <<<

    Randolfo: >>> source materials here? I'm not denying that change occurs, just that your theory implies that we evolved out of a radical mutation & you may be using this mutation rate as the basis for your theory. <<<
    Correct, I am using the rapid mutation that is evident in our immune system as supporting evidence for my theory. This rapid mutation can not be explained by Darwinian natural selection. Not only is DNA mutated at a million times the background mutation rate, it is mutated in exactly the correct place (one nucleotide out would create a frame shift error) and it is then rearranged so that the DNA will code to sequence for an antibody, that will fight off an invading antigen; antigens that sometimes have never existed on earth before. What more evidence do you want for a guiding hand?

    My reference here is -:

    Lamarck's Signature, How retrogenes are changing Darwin's natural selection paradigm. Edward J. Steele, Robyn A. Lindley and Robert V. Blanden. ALLEN & UNWIN 1998.

    From “Lamarck’s Signature” page 138.
    >>> It is now established that somatic mutations in rearranged antibody variable region genes, V(13)js, can arise at high rate during the course of an immune response. An antigen-selected B cell can mutate its V(13)j genes at a rate of about 1/1,000 to 1/10,000 bases per replication event. … This rate is of the order of a million times faster than normal background mutation rates in other, germline-transmitted, genes. The appearance of mutant antibody V-regions occurs within five to ten days following antigenic exposure. The phenomenon of increased antibody affinity for antigen (see Figure 3.8) is now thought to be based on ongoing somatic mutation and selection during the course of the immune response. <<<

    Quote-:
    Robert: >>> sometimes to fight off antigens or man made chemicals that have never existed before. <<<

    Randolfo: >>> true in insects, germs, & other species that have fast reproduction times, not true yet for humans, we apparently get cancers (from) man-made chemicals <<<
    True also for humans. (See above.) We do get cancers from man made chemicals but we eventually develop immune responses to most of them. This would not be possible unless our immune system can code for invading antigens that have never existed before. Theoretically this could happen the Darwinian gradualist way but it would take eons. We know however it happens in just a few generations in our species and also in other species.

    Quote-:
    Randolfo: >>> how much DNA do we share with whales? How much with primates? <<<
    Again this is not the point. If you are going down that path then you are simply saying that it all happened the gradualist Darwinian way. DNA is highly mobile, there are jumping genes, gene recombination, DNA transformation, DNA conjugation, DNA transduction etc. etc. So be careful for the next time you get bitten by a mosquito you will probably pick up some DNA that was last resident on the ass end of a horse! See Chapter 9 of God Gametes that you can download free at www.godgametes.com or visit www.panspermia.org (Viruses: Imported Genetic Software.)

    Quote-:
    Robert: >>> And, according to the Darwinian model, it would be impossible for an earlier ancestor of man to evolve on different continents and finish up as the same species. It would also have been impossible for ancient man to have migrated between continents. <<<

    Randolfo: >>> not so, most of the migration is rather recent, during the last glacial age, so that land bridges were exposed, again read "The Journey of Man" <<<
    Randolfo, if ever you do what I have done and suggest a model that might explain why life evolved greater complexity, then I will tell you what will happen. Every time you open your mouth and say anything someone will say, no you got it all wrong just read …. True, I have not read a lot of books but I have read plenty on early human migration and I just can not accept the current thinking on this. And I have given plenty of reasons for my reservations in earlier posts to this thread.

    Quote-:
    Randolfo: >>> You have a funny definition of what is or isn't impossible. <<<

    I have just been listening to a TV documentary called “Testing God” by Channel 4 in the U.K. and a scientist has stated that the probability of a universe being created that could support anything (any order or any life) was one chance in 10(-120) That is one chance in one followed by 120 zeros. But this chap did not believe in a creator and thought it might “just have happened”. So who has the funny definition of “what is impossible”.

    Quote-:
    Randolfo: >>> the aquatic ape theory would need some middle-species, sort of an amphibian ape, then the land-dwelling would speciation out of preference for other land-dwellers. … ahh-yeah, now at what stage would that happen? your theory implies either rapid speciation or intervening species <<<
    Think I have already answered those.

    For more information on the God Gametes theory visit my web site at www.godgametes.com
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,353
    Robert_js:

    But there isn't always more than one of eveything, is there? There's only one of you, for example.

    Why?

    How is all life cyclical?

    Not all life reproduces. Surely you have some relatives who haven't reproduced?

    What do "above" and "below" mean when you're talking about universes?

    What is the evidence which supports this?

    Why not? What would stop it? Evolution allows the development of complexity and consciousness without a "purpose".

    But it has! Look around you.

    That's a function of what you define as a "species". If you define all single-celled organisms as one species, then obviously they have never become extinct. But that's a somewhat strange definition. Your 99% figure only refers to multicellular organisms.

    Another thing to realise is that evolution never takes a long view of things. Natural selection does not operate on the basis of some continued future survival of a species. It operates always in the here-and-now, on individuals. Species become extinct most often because they are out-competed in their ecological niche by an evolutionary successor species. In that sense, evolution of any kind causes extinction, but what of it?

    Can you please quote the part which says this is a Lamarckian effect, not explainable by Darwinian processes?

    Can you give me an example?

    I've also seen that documentary. It went on to postulate the existence of multiple universes. We happen to live in one of the ones which supports life. Given a random assortment of physical properties, most universes would not do that, but obviously any universe we lived in would have to. This kind of thinking is commonly known as the <i>anthropic principle</i>.
     
  20. Robert_js Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    275
    James R

    I am reluctant to answer your post because (unlike Randolfo) you appear to lack a serious analytical approach to my thesis. I do not expect everyone to agree with me but it would be nice if people would point out where they think I am wrong and (maybe) give me credit where they believe I am correct. Not just dump on everything I write in a flippant way. Unfortunately however I feel the necessity to respond because I expect there are others who read these posts and for their benefit I will clarify some of the points you raise.

    Quote:

    James: >>> But there isn't always more than one of everything, is there? There's only one of you, for example. <<<
    This is what I mean by a flippant response. I am a human being (though I am not always proud of being a member of our species) and there are 6 bloody billion of us.

    And all life is cyclical and it reproduces. Read my book. You can download it free at www.godgametes.com

    Quote:

    James: >>> Why not? What would stop it? Evolution allows the development of complexity and consciousness without a "purpose". <<<
    You say that but do I have to take your word for it? You say you are scientific but to me that sort of comment is reminiscent of what the Christian church was saying 500 years ago. At least I qualify my thesis. Why don’t you say something like “according to the Darwinian paradigm … ” or “it is my belief … that there is no purpose”. It would help a lot James. I am just a little concerned that next you will say I know there is “no purpose” because God told me so.

    Quote:

    Robert: >>> We know we evolved greater complexity and our species has a consciousness. Darwinism certainly can not explain this. Natural selection (or survival of the fittest) would not evolve more complex species. <<<

    James: >>> But it has! Look around you. <<<
    Yes; of course it has James but look at the quote. I said exactly that in the quote; (i.e. “We know we evolved greater complexity … .”) But I said “natural selection” would not evolve more complex species. I even wrote (or survival of the fittest) so that readers would understand that I was specifically referring to the Darwinian claim that natural selection can drive the evolution of more complex species. Please try to read more carefully what I am saying before you jump to conclusions.

    Quote:

    Robert: >>> Every time a species evolved past the single cell organism it dramatically reduced its prospect of survival. 99% of all species that have evolved past the single cell organism have gone extinct. <<<

    James: >>> That's a function of what you define as a "species". If you define all single-celled organisms as one species, then obviously they have never become extinct. But that's a somewhat strange definition. Your 99% figure only refers to multicellular organisms. <<<
    I am a little confused here. I do not know why you think I was referring to all single cell species as one species (and 1% of all life presumably). I made the point that 99% of species that have evolved past the single cell organism have gone extinct. 1% of species that have evolved past the single cell organism are still alive. Believe me James this is very tedious. I will not do it again so please read a little more carefully.

    Quote:

    James: >>> Can you please quote the part which says this is a Lamarckian effect, not explainable by Darwinian processes? <<<
    A mutation rate one million times greater than the background mutation rate, the mutation of the exact section of DNA and its rearrangement to code for antibodies that in some cases have never existed before. This surely can not be explained by the Darwinian paradigm.

    Quote:

    Robert: >>> We do get cancers from man made chemicals but we eventually develop immune responses to most of them. <<<

    James: >>> Can you give me an example? <<<

    I will quote the whole section (part of which I posted earlier) from Lamarch’s Signature which, if you read carefully, talks about how cancer cells can acquire an immune response.

    From Lamarck's Signature, How retrogenes are changing Darwin's natural selection paradigm. Edward J. Steele, Robyn A. Lindley and Robert V. Blanden. ALLEN & UNWIN 1998. Page 137 to 139

    >>> GENERAL IDEA OF SOMATIC MUTATION

    A multicellular organism consists of hundreds of millions of cells, some of which are being constantly replaced at extremely high rates. For example, in humans and other vertebrates all cells in the blood - white and red - are turning over at a rate of tens of millions each day. The epithelial cells of skin and mucosal surfaces (gastrointestinal, nasal and pharyngeal cells) constantly divide, producing millions of new daughter cells each day to replace effete cells that are shed from the epithelial surface. In contrast, lower rates of cell turnover occur in the internal organs such as heart, fiver, kidney and brain. Neurones (nerve cells) do not divide at all in adult humans. When a cell divides to produce daughter cells, the DNA in the nucleus replicates to produce a copy of all the chromosomes for delivery to the two daughter cells. When large cell numbers are involved we must expect some 'somatic mutations' to occur (even though the error rates of mutation during DNA replication are low). We therefore expect that in large multicellular animals somatic mutations will be appearing all the time, particularly in those cell populations or tissues where the cell turnover is very high.

    All cancers are caused by somatic gene mutations: a deleterious change of the genetic constitution of the cell that grew into the cancer during the life of the host animal. The cancer cells may have abnormal function and be unresponsive to normal growth-limiting or death- inducing signals, taking on 'a life of their own'. They may mutate further, become locally invasive or give rise to satellites (metastases) like an autonomous organism within the body of the host. Obvious examples of somatic mutations are the skin cancers. These may arise from a single mutant cell by cell division. A clone of cells - like a localised colony of fungal cells growing as a mould on stale bread - grows at a local site on the skin. Some of these cancers are pigmented (melanoma) and can be highly malignant. They are now known to be caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

    Somatic mutations leading to cancer, like those adversely affecting the function of essential structural or enzymic proteins, are obviously detrimental. We have discussed them briefly here to provide a contrast with the beneficial mutations that are known to occur in the antibody variable region genes and to emphasise the extraordinary nature of the control/selection processes in mutating B lymphocytes. We will now reiterate the key issues and explore the possible biological mechanisms involved.

    It is now established that somatic mutations in rearranged antibody variable region genes, V(13)js, can arise at high rate during the course of an immune response. An antigen-selected B cell can mutate its V(13)j genes at a rate of about 1/1,000 to 1/10,000 bases per replication event (expressed as 10-3 to 10-4). This rate is of the order of a million times faster than normal background mutation rates in other, germline-transmitted, genes. The appearance of mutant antibody V-regions occurs within five to ten days following antigenic exposure. The phenomenon of increased antibody affinity for antigen (see Figure 3.8) is now thought to be based on ongoing somatic mutation and selection during the course of the immune response. The molecular mechanism of the mutation process is under active investigation in a number of laboratories including those of Ted Steele and Bob Blanden.

    There are still key issues to be explored. Can a biological system ensure that somatic mutations will be beneficial (for example, by removing deleterious mutations, while saving only those which are useful)? As we will soon explain, the answers to this question is yes. The immune system has worked out a tightly coupled somatic mutation/selection-of-the-fittest strategy which confers a potential benefit on the animal. <<<
    Quote:

    James: >>> I've also seen that documentary. It went on to postulate the existence of multiple universes. We happen to live in one of the ones which supports life. Given a random assortment of physical properties, most universes would not do that, but obviously any universe we lived in would have to. This kind of thinking is commonly known as the anthropic principle.<<<

    Yes it is called the anthropic principle. So we know from one of your earlier post James that all the matter, heat and the gravitational forces in our universe was created in the big bang. But now we learn that, because it was such a long shot, there had to be 10(120) big bangs just to get one that would have properties that would allow it to exist. Well it might be the current popular scientific paradigm but the sermons I reluctantly sat through as a kid made more sense to me than that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2004
  21. Nothing wrong with being labeled a "Jesus Freak", let others rack their brains, while we can just enjoy nature as it is. Remember Jodie Foster's remark in "Contact"? Where she says she has no words for a brilliant galaxy? That's the eggheads' plight, to split hairs to look at the microbes, that they miss the bigger picture, enjoy God's wonders, Paul says that nature proclaims God's handiwork
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    30,353
    Robert:

    I'm not convinced it deserves one, yet.

    Robert, my time is precious. I do not see a need to take time to read through your book looking for errors. Biology is not my main area of interest, so I will leave that job to the biologists. I will respond to what you post here, but I will not read huge tracts. If you can't present your thesis in a simple manner, then I am not about to spend time trying to interpret it, unless I can see some potential merit in it.

    I do not see anything flippant in my previous response. Rather, I see a series of quite reasonable questions, asked so as to gain more particular information about your work. It is, of course, entirely up to you as to whether you wish to respond, but if your best response is "Go read my book!" then we won't have anything more to say to one another here.

    You missed the point. Every one of those 6 bloody billion human beings is different from every other one.

    Don't you think you've sprinkled enough advertisements around already?

    Fair enough. Let me rephrase my response: There is no reason to suspect that purposeless Darwinian evolution is unable to account for complexity and consciousness.

    My response was to the part where you said that natural selection could not evolve more complex species. I assert that you are incorrect in that regard.

    I am not a molecular biologist, so I cannot get into this in depth. All I can do with this is to ask you whether you have looked into the matter carefully, because from my readings on such matters I am aware that certain genes can indeed mutate much faster than the "background" rate. This is a matter which is currently a subject of research. I am confident that there are many scientists working on such matters who are not yet at the point of throwing away Darwinism because of this set of observations. There are many possible ways such effects might fit into the evolutionary picture.

    Your quote from "Lamarck's Signature" seems to support Darwinian evolution, rather than refute it. I have highlighted relevant parts in bold:

    You don't like it, so it must be wrong?
     
  23. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Messages:
    24,066
    You were not aware of the fact that this system (although i think you made many mistakes in your factual description here) has evolved because the mutation rate of us multicellular mammals is much lower than microbes and viruses. And this difference is not even only a factor 10 or 100, or 1000. There can already be this kind of difference between two different virus species.

    How can a slowly mutating multicellular organism deal with this rapid evolutionary onslaught of constantly changing and invading threats?

    Yes, that is right, by exploiting the genetic system of antibodies and by means of recombination create a phenotypical diversity of the antibodies that is not reflected in a lower level of genetic information. These new phenotypes are then put under selective pressure. To see which ones are useful against the rapidly changing microbes and other pathogens.

    There is nothing 'guiding' this process. It is a strategy of creating a lot of variation and hoping that you have all corners covered.
     

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