Saturday, November 14, 2009
"A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together." - Dwight Eisenhower
Thursday, November 05, 2009
"Francisco Ayala is presenting at the "evolutionary mechanisms session" in Rome. He was trained in Catholicism, Spanish-style, as a Dominican. We were in California at a meeting with Whiteheadian philosopher John Cobb. At that meeting Ayala agreed with me when I stated that this doctrinaire neo-Darwinism is dead. He was a practitioner of neo-Darwinism but advances in molecular genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and other news had led him to agree that neo-Darwinism's now dead.
The components of evolution (I don’t think any scientist disagrees) that exist because there's so much data for them are: (1) the tendency for exponential growth of all populations -- that is growth beyond a finite world; and (2) since the environment can’t sustain them, there’s an elimination process of natural selection.
The point of contention in science is here: (3) Where does novelty that’s heritable come from? What is the source of evolutionary innovation? Especially positive inherited innovation, where does it come from?
It is here that the neo-Darwinist knee-jerk reaction kicks in. "By random mutations that accumulate so much that you have a new lineage." This final contention, their mistake in my view, is really the basis of nearly all our disagreement.
Everybody agrees: Heritable variation exists, it can be measured. Everybody agrees, as Darwin said, it’s heritable variation "that’s important to us" because variation is inherited. Everyone agrees "descent with modification" can be demonstrated. And furthermore, because of molecular biology, everybody agrees that all life on Earth today is related through common ancestry, as Darwin showed.
Everybody agrees with ultimate common ancestry of Earth's life, because the DNA, RNA messenger, transfer RNA, membrane-bounded cell constituents (lipids, the phospholipids) that we share – they’re all virtually identical in all life today, it's all one single lineage. So that part of Darwinism – that we’re all related by common ancestry –no scientist disagrees with.
The real disagreement about what the neo-Darwinists tout, for which there's very little evidence, if any, is that random mutations accumulate and when they accumulate enough, new species originate. The source of purposeful inherited novelty in evolution, the underlying reason the new species appear, is not random mutation rather it is symbiogenesis, the acquisition of foreign genomes.
When (Stanley)Salthe says we haven't seen that, he’s talking about new species. He’s not saying we haven’t seen natural selection, he's saying we haven't seen natural selection produce new species, this particular aspect of neo-Darwinism." - Lynn Margulis
Now write 1000 times: darwinism is dead...darwinism is dead...darwinism is dead.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
There are probably millions of "genes" and possibly even, an
unlimited number of genes. The process of gene expression is far more
complex than was previously realized. Most genes are split, and
require a considerable number of unique cutting and re-splicing events
for the assembly of the different mRNA molecules. This allows the
genome to access an almost infinite amount of information. The
recombinational mechanism greatly expands the total number of genes
far in excess of those identified by the gene sequencing project. This
possibility increases ( a point that the news release ingores) the
total number of unique adaptive traits in mammalian genomes to
millions if not billions, numbers that render all other anti-darwinian
arguments superfluous. If you combine the information storage ability
of the DNA, along with the energy producing mechanism of the cell and
the practically unlimited potential of the protein synthetic
apparatus, the cell becomes nothing less than a universal automaton.
Add to that the functioning of the immune system, whereby responses
can be generated to an unlimited number of foreign substances and the
human brain, in which the development of specific connections requires
the tagging of individual nerve cells with specific biochemical
markers, which alone may necessitate the existence of billions of
genes and you have a complex biochemical machine that could not
possibly have arisen de novo by any mechanism of random mutation and
natural selection. The argument for intelligent design is compelling,
convincing, and overwhelmingly supported by the observational and