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The Absence is Blinding

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#151 llanitedave

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

None of that repetitive activity affects the sperm or egg cells, however.

#152 dickbill

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:25 AM

None of that repetitive activity affects the sperm or egg cells, however.

Yes, we said that already.
Another proof of bad design.
An easy solution would have been to have pluripotent stem cells located in these organs, receiving all the environmental awareness signals like I mentioned above, and have this stem cell detach and relocate in **** organs, where it would re-differentiate into an egg or sperm precursor cell, while keeping the environment awareness status, before they undertake meiosis.
The only drawback I could see to Lamarckism would be an extremely fast and perhaps exaggerated level of specialization to a given environment.

Also, Wiki touched a bit about the philosophical reasons why Lamarckism had the support of the church. When you think about it, the differences between Darwinism and Lamarckism are indeed staggering:

Darwinism (Capitalist England): you are a 14 year old working in horrible conditions, with no future in a coil mine in Victorian England. It's because you are of low status, bad genes, bad luck, and there is nothing you can do about it, for yourself or your children, unless God(and God didn't show much goodwill for yourself, so...), or Chance, decide otherwise. It sounds pretty much like a curse to me.
It's criminogen too: if you are already cursed by God, does it matter to be cursed by men because of your crimes? and if you are cursed by bad luck because God doesn't exist, isn't better to break the rules and perhaps commit crimes, but a least live a life?

Lamarck (Revolutionary France): in the same situation you don't have to wait for God's unpredictable goodwill or Chance, you can actually work to elevate yourself and your children to a higher destiny. You can break the curse with hard work. Much fairer and more in line with Universal Human rights and the French revolution. It gives hope, etc.

#153 Jarad

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

That's a bit of a stretch. Darwinism says you get the genes you are dealt, it doesn't say that you can't improve your lot in life. Two twins with identical genes can still develop very differently. Just because lifting weights won't give your offspring better genes for strength doesn't mean it won't improve your strength. Same for exercising your cardio system and your brain, for that matter.

The bigger issue with the Lamarckian version of changing your gametes is that there is no simple way to know what changes to make. Let's say you live in an environment where being stronger would be an advantage. What genes do you change? There is no simple switch that says "change this base to A for more strength or T for less strength". There is no way for your gametes to know what changes to make to match the environmental need.

In the example of exercise, your body has a signalling system that detects what is being used, and up-regulates whatever is used. That's much more flexible than a hard-coded system for "stronger". What happens if your children end up living though a famine, where resting and conserving energy is the better strategy? If they get hard-coded to build lots of muscle despite not exercising themselves, they will starve to death. With an adjustable system, they can respond to the change in the environment.

Jarad

#154 llanitedave

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 11:28 AM

It's really foolish to attempt to use biological evolution as a metaphor for social structure. There's nothing in biological evolution that predicts the design of human cultures or social workings.

What our biology gives us is a capacity for empathy, a drive to work collaboratively, a sense of fairness, the ability to learn language, and creative imaginations. Everything beyond that is culture, and is as ephemeral as Valley Girl hairstyles.

Justice or injustice is not imposed by our biology. It is imposed by our collective minds, and can be corrected as surely as it was imposed.

#155 GregLee1

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:12 PM

Darwinism (Capitalist England): you are a 14 year old working in horrible conditions, with no future in a coil mine in Victorian England. It's because you are of low status, bad genes, bad luck, and there is nothing you can do about it, for yourself or your children, unless God(and God didn't show much goodwill for yourself, so...), or Chance, decide otherwise. It sounds pretty much like a curse to me.

Whether these ideas about predestination have been opposed by the church depends on what church you mean. Some sort of predestination is part of both Lutheran and Calvinist doctrine, for instance.

#156 dickbill

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

That's a bit of a stretch. Darwinism says you get the genes you are dealt, it doesn't say that you can't improve your lot in life


True, but if the improvement is lost in the 'casino of chances' at the next generation, it is less encouraging than if your efforts are not vain.

Two twins with identical genes can still develop very differently. Just because lifting weights won't give your offspring better genes for strength doesn't mean it won't improve your strength. Same for exercising your cardio system and your brain, for that matter


yes

The bigger issue with the Lamarckian version of changing your gametes is that there is no simple way to know what changes to make. Let's say you live in an environment where being stronger would be an advantage. What genes do you change? There is no simple switch that says "change this base to A for more strength or T for less strength". There is no way for your gametes to know what changes to make to match the environmental need.


yes, but exactly as Darwin didn't know about DNA, Lamarck knew even less about RNA, and somehow, Lamarck theory would apply more to the RNA world.
Since we know now more than Lamarck, we can imagine a completely putative cellular process that is compatible with his theory AND with our present knowledge of biology.
So here is one:
Environmental factors that would stimulate gene a in organ A, and downregulate gene b in organ B, would produce the corresponding RNAs a' and b' (be it sense, antisense or processed as micros RNA for the purpose of regulation), from both genes in their respective organs. Now if that cell in organ A is a stem cell that could travel to the testes and redifferentiate to produce sperms, providing that cell has kept the RNA memory (a') of its previous life in organ A, we can imagine the RNA a' can then interfere with the DNA replication of gene a during meiosis. And similarly, another stem cell from organ B moves to the testes, where it produces sperms which recombinate heavily in gene b.
If this takes place in a population, the result would be male individuals producing sperms carrying a much higher numbers of allelic variants for the organ A and B.
And just that would incredibly speed up Evolution.
We can call that 'molecular biology fiction' if you want.
But that's the best I can do to translate Lamarck in modern terms.

Also, I was mentioning the speeding effect, it's possibly once reason that S. J. Gould was not ferociously against Lamarckism. Gould needed this acceleration in Evolution for short burst period.
Darwinism, in the other hand, explains 'accelerated' evolution by increased environmental selective pressure, which means that the number of mutation available is never the limiting factor. I never seen the proof of that and it sounds weird given that the primary role of DNA is still to transmit the information INTACT.

In the example of exercise, your body has a signalling system that detects what is being used, and up-regulates whatever is used. That's much more flexible than a hard-coded system for "stronger". What happens if your children end up living though a famine, where resting and conserving energy is the better strategy? If they get hard-coded to build lots of muscle despite not exercising themselves, they will starve to death. With an adjustable system, they can respond to the change in the environment.


Good point. I think that's the drawback of Lamarckism. It would maybe speedup evolution too much and lead to an overspecialization very quickly that could be counterproductive when the conditions change. I don't know if Lamarck thought about that.

Jarad

thanks for your constructive remarks.

#157 llanitedave

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:55 PM


Now if that cell in organ A is a stem cell that could travel to the testes and redifferentiate to produce sperms, providing that cell has kept the RNA memory (a') of its previous life in organ A, we can imagine the RNA a' can then interfere with the DNA replication of gene a during meiosis. And similarly, another stem cell from organ B moves to the testes, where it produces sperms which recombinate heavily in gene b.


I don't think it works that way. Stem cells don't migrate from other mature organs to the testes to produce sperm or to change the properties of germ-cell DNA during meiosis. (Even if it did, it would imply that only males can be Lamarkian ancestors, since females manufacture all their egg cells before they are born.)

There's also no evidence that I know of that even proposes that acquired behaviors affect the chemistry of stem cells in any way, unless it might be from exposure to carcinogens.

I don't see the utility in trying to imagine fanciful and unlikely scenarios that would somehow explain the occurrence of something that isn't happening in the first place.

#158 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

It has to do with chem trails.

#159 llanitedave

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:04 PM

How did this thread get from aliens blowing up stars to
Darwin, DNA, & evolution?


That's why I love science!

:grin:

#160 dickbill

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:09 AM

You just had to follow.
Who can tell me here who we came to talk about evolution?

#161 scopethis

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:01 PM

Inherit the Wind..

#162 llanitedave

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:28 PM

You just had to follow.
Who can tell me here who we came to talk about evolution?


What?

#163 Rick Woods

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:28 PM

You just had to follow.
Who can tell me here who we came to talk about evolution?


What?


Certainly not me.

#164 dickbill

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:52 AM

ehhhh

#165 Jarad

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:41 AM

The conversation just sort of evolved that way...

:rimshot:

Jarad

#166 Otto Piechowski

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:03 PM

cute pun

#167 GregLee1

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:05 PM

As our abilities to observe the universe advance, the chances of our finding other civilizations unfortunately do not increase, since we see distant realms only at earlier times, before there was time for our remote kindred intelligences to learn to engineer supernovas or whatever. So even if we are sure they are there, we will never actually observe them. It's a pity.

#168 ColoHank

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:59 PM

As our abilities to observe the universe advance, the chances of our finding other civilizations unfortunately do not increase, since we see distant realms only at earlier times, before there was time for our remote kindred intelligences to learn to engineer supernovas or whatever. So even if we are sure they are there, we will never actually observe them. It's a pity.



Engineer a supernova? Engineer a supernova? That would be quite a feat, if possible. Except that it isn't.

No amount of enthusiasm for or speculation about such things can trump reality.

#169 Jarad

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:45 PM

It's easy.

Step 1 - Spot a large star, at least 10 solar masses.

Step 2 - Wait a few million years.

Step 3 - Profit!

Jarad

#170 GregLee1

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:31 PM

Engineer a supernova? Engineer a supernova? That would be quite a feat, if possible. Except that it isn't.

That's beside the point. If it's not possible, that is just another reason that we will never observe other civilizations.

#171 Mister T

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:55 PM

Step A: Invent a power source that can move a star at near light speed.

Step 2: build another one.

Step III: Collide 2 Stars at 0.9999999999999999999999999999c

Step D: OOOOOOHHHHH!!!!! :shocked:

#172 scopethis

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:30 PM

I once had a Nova in my garage....

#173 ColoHank

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 04:57 PM

That's beside the point. If it's not possible, that is just another reason that we will never observe other civilizations.



Poor logic. The likelihood of our contacting an alien intelligence (perhaps slim to none, but who knows?) and the ability of any intelligent beings to trigger a supernova (impossible) are completely unrelated. The former, in other words, is not dependent upon the latter.

#174 Mister T

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:02 PM

I had a Vega.

It made its own Emission Nebula. :p

#175 GregLee1

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

The likelihood of our contacting an alien intelligence (perhaps slim to none, but who knows?) and the ability of any intelligent beings to trigger a supernova (impossible) are completely unrelated.

Not at all. Putting aside the matter of timing, if the aliens wanted to trigger off a bunch of supernovas spelling out "wish you were here", they wouldn't be able to do so, if they couldn't set off even one supernova. Even just the dot over the "i" would stymie them.

If you can't understand my point, I suppose we may as well talk about something else, such as your understanding of logic.


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