Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Wed 26 Oct 2005 - 08:18:47 GMT

  • Next message: John Wilkins: "Re: The evolution of "evolution""

    At 22:04 25/10/2005, Dace wrote:

    >If you insist on materially mediated transmission-- a metaphysical
    >proposition having no relationship to scientific investigation--

    No, this is wrong. Basic genetics demonstrates that inheritance is materially mediated. Genes are material. There's nothing
    "metaphysical" about it.

    >adaptations arising from the intelligent behavior of creatures cannot be
    >passed on, and the only source of adaptation becomes genetic mutation.

    Ah, the daily Hoyle's fallacy. I should have expected it. I'll say it again, just as I've said it in 2 or 3 previous messages. The source of adaptation is _not_ just mutation, it is mutation plus selection over a very, very long period of time.

    >evolution becomes a purely mechanical process involving mutation and natural
    >selection, leaving no room for will and intelligence, the hallmarks of life.

    .... which oddly you seem to in any case acknowlege in the next sentence. Maybe, you're actually starting to understand evolution now, Ted.

    >Reductionism substitutes life with organic machinery and tries to explain
    >that instead. The result is an inherently unsatisfactory theory.

    The result is an explosion of wonderfully enlightening research, all the way from Pasteur to the present day.

    >Intelligence will find its way back in somehow, if not in the Darwinian way
    >then in the creationist way.

    Creationism only flourishes when people are poorly educated about biology.

    >How does the cell know which types of glycoproteins to produce? How does it
    >avoid making the wrong types? How much information would have to be encoded
    >in its genes in order to ensure that it makes the right decision? Given the
    >vast number of possible mistakes, wouldn't the cell's genome have to store
    >vast amounts of information?

    No, no more than a car engine stores information.

       Instead of God
    >creating species, a combination of mutation and selection determines it.

    Excellent. Hoyle's fallacy finally gone. Yes, that is how species originate, you might say it is a single sentence precis of the
    "Origin of Species" (perhaps a pedant might demand "variation" replaces "mutation" in order not to force a Fisherian anachronism on Darwin)

    >Part of the allure of genetic engineering is that it provides us with the
    >godlike power of making new species.

    and the other part is that it provides us with a fantastic new way to manufacture vaccines, drugs etc.

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