Archive for August, 2015
A living organism contains every component of its entire evolutionary history. We comprise 99.9% ancient – archaic – primordial stuff. Animals, plants, bacteria, viruses and archaea are living histories of all they / we have ever been since life’s origin and long before as molecules in the primeval stew.
It is not simply that every human cell once had the potential to be any organ or tissue but it has the potential to be any creature that ever was since the beginning of life on Earth. Send our little “human’ blastomere an instruction to become a Devonian fish and voila! Mom gives birth to a coelacanth.
The spectacle of stem cells receiving instructions to develop into neurons, epithelium, nephrons, cardiac tissue, lungs, bones, blood, hormones –
You – do this
You – do that
Not now! – wait 10 seconds until x,y,z is complete then it is your turn
A cellular headquarters at blastomere like a busy general writing orders to 1,000 colonels
Gentlemen – Start your kidneys !
The kidney begins in deep time 400 million years ago give or take 100 million years. The kidney begins to grow in each new life of mammals, birds and reptiles. The human kidney recapitulates this early form in our fetal growth sequence. For the first three weeks a human has the kidney of a 400 million year old hagfish. It disappears after a few weeks replaced by a second version that became extinct 100 million years ago. This second kidney actually functions in the human fetus as a filter for a few weeks. At week fifteen our final form kidney emerges to serve its filtering, blood pressure regulation, secretion, excretion services throughout a life.
There are many who disparage Darwinian evolution-natural selection using examples of specific animal features such as eye parts, kidney-heart system to make their case against. Their question is some form of “How could these systems function at 10% eyeball or 20% kidney? They fail to acknowledge 99% of evolution occurs at the quantum-atomic-cell nucleus level i.e. not apparent to cursory examination of obvious animal features or the fossil record. the vast ocean of process that drives any phenotypic expression ( i.e. a part or process you can see) is not readily apparent. The stuff we can see: feathers, fins, limbs, organ systems, metabolic processes are the residue of much finer process not the heart of the matter, not the essence, the guts of evolution-mutation-selection. Evolution is not only not at the level of the individual life as Darwin asserted it isn’t at the gene level as Dawkins proposed 39 years ago in his iconic book “The Selfish Gene”.
Organisms evolve within themselves throughout a single life via intra-signaling: limb to nucleic material, organ to nucleic material. Intra-lifespan epigenetic activity across 50 cell generations or 500 or 5,000 cell generations prior to registration as a change in DNA base pair number or sequence i.e. traditional sense of a mutation and subsequent transfer to a new generation of germ cells. Thousands, tens of thousands of mutations accrue within tissue cells before a gene is modified. Nature is more carefully conservative than we have assumed. there is a dialogue that occurs throughout the life of an individual – messages for improvement of a process or the coordination of an organ component with other organ systems. These post-translational signals are registered in histones-junk DNA and when a threshold is reached, a message is formally encoded into DNA for conservation. The histone acts as capacitor storing a charge for change and then relaying a signal to DNA molecule at germ cells. What is the pathway from organ cell to germ cell? Perhaps “junk” DNA is stored information that has yet to reach the point where it signals a change in protein production – regulation.
The old model of a nucleotide getting zapped by a UV ray, mutating and causing a new expression to be tested in the following generation(s) for fitness-survival is grossly over-simplified. During the span of a single lifetime there are 10 million or a billion mutations, tryouts, experiments in every organ in every metabolic process, in every cell in the body. It is the sum of these multitudes of mutations that we see as an improved blood pump. Organ and metabolic systems within a single body during a single lifespan communicate myriad small changes that become encoded in DNA. The following is a partial list of cell types and their lifespan in a human body:
- Heart muscle cells 40 million replaced each year of 4 billion total
- Epithelium-small intestine 2-4 days average lifespan of cell
- Stomach 2-9 days
- White blood cells 2-5 days
- Platelets 10 days
- Sperm 60 days
- neurons lifetime
- bone cells 10% per year
- eye-lens lifetime
- female gametes ( eggs) lifetime
- Red blood cells 100 million new ones per minute of 9 trillion
Look at Darwinian evolutionary process re: fecundity-mutation-natural selection within a single body not where a base pair mutates, expresses a longer claw-dominant bear-wins mating battle, makes more offspring with longer claws and over a million years all bears have longer claws. the viability of the longer claw gets resolved 10,000 times at the cell level. It must make sense here as an advantage for 1,000 generations before this mutation gets transferred into the DNA as either an expressed or a conserved trait.
TOE (Theory Of Evolution) skeptics ask how an entire system like the kidney could evolve as a result of the accepted model of mutation-natural selection. How does an animal use 10% of a kidney even if a simple archaic pronephric model as seen today in the hagfish (and surprisingly, in early fetus of humans, though non-functioning and dissolved after three weeks). How or why does one have only one half of a filter even if it is a primitive one? There are structures other than kidneys or proto-kidneys that perform a filtering function – every cell membrane is a filter. It is a kidney in a sense if it keeps some things in and others out. It is easy to visualize an ancient kidney – a ten percent kidney working in concert with fifteen percent blood and a twenty percent heart. Every cell with a membrane is at least a ten percent kidney by definition. There was a point in time where where a few cells combined to accelerate this filtering process i.e. the cell membrane handles X and Y and the incipient kidney handles Z.
Many TOE critics whether knowledgeable Creationists, educated, rational science-trained sceptics lack imagination. There ought to be a branch of bio-science “Incipient Organ Systems” that explores archaic organ interaction, patterns scalable into greater complexity like a landscape painting transitioning from foggy late Turner into precisely rendered Frederic Edwin Church.
The time is two billion years BCE. there are twenty multicell organisms at the starting gate. The primordial ooze has become toxic. Who will survive? Gentlemen start your kidneys !*
August 29, 2015 2:36 pm
August 18, 2015
A single thread of our grand rhizomatic myth-mat-braintangle, our consensus trance is often seen as madness but when these madnesses, after some culling, are bundled together into a single rope of shared consciousness comprising our shared wisdom, our history, laws and favorite music, books and films – culture ensues.
Imagine two balls the diameter of a golf ball at the top of a big hill. They have 1,000 features coded as base pairs in DNA at the top of the hill start point,. The orange ball rolls left and the green ball rolls right. These two balls have the capacity to replicate. The hill is covered with myriad pieces of string, the left side of each string fragment is different in small and large ways. The right side of the hill is covered with rubber bands of many qualities. New rubber bands and string are features that may or may not promote survival. If the red ball rolls over a piece of string it adheres. If a green ball rolls over a rubber band it conveniently wraps around. The red ball is an animal. The green ball is a plant. It will take three billion years for the DNA in the two balls to get to the bottom of the hill. As string or rubber bands are added, new DNA is created or existing DNA is struck by a UV ray creating a mutation forcing a ball to pick up a new type of string or rubber band.
Life has so much momentum, so much back-pressure ( historical momentum-heritage) as well as adaptive-reproductive pressure in real-time and real space. Life possesses such urgency and fecundity over vast scales of time-space, like water being forced through a cracked rock formation – where are the hairline fissures in the rock? The openings will be discovered by these organisms as they struggle for existence. The new niche will be discovered.
Are individual organisms programmed with intention? Once the cat idea is in place, is it cats all the way down. Once the reptile happens, is it reptiles forever. It appears to be thus. If there is a point in this “Ball-O- String” analogy where one could begin to wrap string around a rubber band trending ball or rubber bands around a ball that begins as stringy. At what point in evolutionary history does the idea of cat become expressed? Is it gradual? Is it punctuated, i.e. does it occur in less than 20 million years? Is there such a thing as “punctuation” within a pre-phenotypically expressed collection of what have been gradually accrued variations? Which of the following features would be considered the core of the balls i.e. pre-string or pre- rubber bands? 1. live young parturition 2. quadrupedal 3. chordate 4. radially symmetrical 5. bilaterally symmetrical.
How does a ball know to pick up string and not rubber bands when it possesses neither at the early stages of development? Perhaps it does not “pick up” string or rubber bands, it picks up an undifferentiated substance and its food and transforms nutrients into string or rubber bands as a precursor cat or bear or crocodile that one day will become a fully expressed family.
How are traits conserved to such widely varying degrees in DNA? Are there kryptonite locks on certain histones – no access, little access, regular access, promiscuous depending on methylation type?
Lamarxism: Inherited acquired wage slavery.
Vastly different organisms could develop from identical amounts of both string and rubber bands depending on which of the pieces of string or rubber bands are expressed during fetal development. Maybe a ball at the bottom of the hill has 50% string and 50% rubber bands but only the string is expressed. The rubber bands are silent. Vastly different organisms could grow from identical genomes with expression controlled by post-transcriptional activity only.
What is the next step up the evolutionary ladder after bacteria or if not a ladder, which app is being selected among hundreds, as the most useful improvement for the organism? Was there ever a two-cell organism? or four, eight, twelve? or did we advance from one to hundreds of cells in a single step? Imagine a billion years of evolution happening in 24 hours – a museum exhibit.
One can create blinding bright light in a pitch dark room by pressing on one’s eyeballs. This is obviously a cold chemical light not involving photons. Must be phosphor atoms or calcium ions releasing energy at afferent neural pathways from eyeball to optic nerve through optic chiasm then into occipital lobe? who knows? maybe this light is experienced before the afferent signal gets to the occipital lobe say in the midbrain or the pons. This chemical light never needs to arrive at any more remote brain area for added meaning – no need for 3-D space to be imagined to complete a scene – just light alone. Is this light in the darkness similar to the cold light of lightning bugs or deep sea glowing fish appendages?
Do cell membrane lipids share the same chemistry as mitochondria lipid or vesicle membrane lipids? One size fits all? Is the hydrophilic-phobic connection reversed at either?
What propels and or guides a protein molecule from the golgi exit to the interior surface of the cell membrane? How is it guided to the proper zone of this 360 degree quasi-sphere? How is shipping information conveyed re: destination: bloodstream, adjacent cell, intracell goo?
Liebig’s law: Barrel capacity determined by the lowest stave. Organism success determined by the most scarce resource.
August 7, 2015
A capacitor stores increasing electrical charge over time until an instant when it releases all stored charge. A speciation event following this pattern would suggest a contradiction of Darwin’s notion of gradual change in small increments. Countless small changes have been occurring intra-organism but these reach a “debut” point where it appears on life’s big stage for interspecies action.
Note the amount of work of all sorts from design through construction that goes into a new building before opening day. It is not that nothing was happening or that things were in “equilibrium” or “stasis” during this block of time simply that the changes were not public.
Nature is a great showman saving up eons of hard work for dramatic debuts on life’s stage. She likes to bring her fighters up through anonymous ranks and myriad hours in the gym before sending them into the ring for well attended battles.
Stephen Jay Gould and NIles Eldredge mistake these vast periods of species “stasis” as equilibrium when activity is continuous and intense at all times. They overstate the importance of opening night. Note: “Opening night” in evolutionary timescales may be 10 million years long over the course of a billion years of existence as a discreet organism.
If a dam breaks due to forces of water in reservoir does it matter if it rained for one day or one year? The resulting flood has the same disastrous effect on the village below in either case. Each raindrop creates femto change at its own micro- level perhaps knocking a frog on the head reminding it to have sex. Tadpoles then clog the spillway screens, water and thus horizontal force builds up against the dam, the stress in the concrete builds up beyond its capacity, the dam bursts – every level of the taxonomy is in play.
There is no big change without accrued small change somewhere in the chain of causality, even singular, catastrophic events. A comet works its way across the solar system toward Earth. Hitting the Earth is just another moment in its millennial travels from the Oort cloud and back. It is when one system in which change has slowly accrued, impacts another system that an event might appear to be punctuated, abrupt, saltational.
Ten million base pair mutations occur in one organism then in a single “moment” ( perhaps in geo-time) this series of genes affects shell color, shell shape. The change in the shape of the shell is just the manifestation of countless smaller changes, just another in a long line of changes not essentially larger, though far more noticeable than those that unfolded at the base pair level.
This interior-exterior expression dynamic occurs throughout nature, throughout the universe on every scale and throughout human society and through individual lives. It is what anger management is all about – channeling abrupt expression into socially constructive, personally advantageous action.
“….When a system reaches its own limits and becomes saturated, a reversal is produced – something else takes place…..” Jean Baudrillard
Every cell membrane is a capacitor.
Many small changes accrue reaching a critical mass, a breaking point at which new phenotypic expression occurs.
Things build up and then they burst, emptying to fill again; spores, emotions, cells, the universe itself is a capacitor, a regulator of change enabling a regular, dependable filling and emptying of charge, of change.
An election is a social capacitor, a built-in device for regulating and balancing social pressure. An election creates a sensation of change when much that is vital remains the same. There are highly conserved genes across kingdoms of organisms that are not available for mutation at every generation. These base pair sequences are guarded more than others lest we have our stomachs filled with brains. Each new generation is a biological election, a newer slate of variables to test itself against the forces of natural selection: capacitor-election-birth – storage-release-refilling. The female reproductive system in mammals is a capacitor when it fills up with a growing fetus and is emptied to fill again.
The animal and plant cell membrane is a capacitor with a low charge on one side and a higher charge on the other. positive charge outside – negative charge inside creating a differential that is used to convey sensory and motor information in neurons and other functions in other cell types.
On the ethnographic scale, adolescent male natives are restless, the village is overcrowding, the chief demands fealty, a revolt ensues. The village-capacitor discharges a few ocean-going sailing outrigger canoes filled with young sailors out into the South Pacific to find their own territory
Release via pressure excess
Release via catalyst
population growth from cell division – birth
population growth via immigration
A movie theater is a capacitor filling and emptying. Your stomach fills and empties – is it a capacitor as it churns away at the various products of sunlight doing its part to restore entropic balance from imbalance caused by the great temperature difference between the sun and the coldness of space in a cascade of causality first the plant then the stomach evolved as capacitors to accelerate entropic gradient reduction.
When there are transformations within the “capacitor”, if the medium doing the filling is transformed does the capacitor become something else? a transformer?
RE: Reference to Walter Benjamin’s essay “The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” @ page 99 of “Simulacra and Simulation” by Jean Baudrillard – . The reproduction reminds the brain of the glorious sensuality of the original oil painting though it is missing the aura itself it trips the memory of the original aura as we look at this simulacrum so all is not lost, perhaps little is lost with this glossy poster of Turner’s “Fighting Temeraire” thus the original is not lost.
The Panama Canal locks are capacitors – they fill, they disgorge carrying information ( ships-products, raw materials) to a new level.
JB Hypothesis: Gradual change is stored internally using “junk”DNA until all organ systems and all metabolic systems have been coordinated. After a million years or 15 million years of invisible but regular internal evolution via adjustment-coordination there is an expression event – a coming out party, a period of a few thousand years, a debut, a punctuation. Punctuation being the outward expression of a continuous gradual evolution.
Imagine a crew team spending 99 percent of its time, thousands of hours, in grueling workouts for several months to prepare for five six minute races. One would not assert that the rowing team was in stasis during its vital months of preparation with its intensity reaching race levels of intensity but with no spectators only the watchful eye of the coach.
Stasis is a mirage. If Gould wants to transfer the bookkeeper as agent of speciation heuristic to the next higher taxonomic level from Darwin’s level of the individual to Gould’s level of the species then he must accept the baggage – no cherry picking of features allowed. The route to speciation is: gestation to speciation not as Gould-Eldredge assert: punctuation to speciation.
My corollary to “punctuated” equilibrium fleshes out Gould’s argument for raising the taxonomic level of natural selection and adds quotation marks for what can be seen as only a superficial but highly visible “punctuation” – punctuation for the spectators only but not for those with inside knowledge of the entire process, the grueling, highly selective regimen of the oarsmen, stage actors, artists including nature itself. Why would nature showcase an unfinished, untrained, uncoordinated product i.e. to allow it to play a role before its time – too dangerous. Nature has pride and conservative character in not wanting to place entire development process in the arena as animals and especially humans revile and attack the unfinished, seen as weak as it often is. why would a species, in its gradual evolution oppose this fact of life. Keep changes under wraps until ready for action and under wraps does not imply stasis. Think of the vast scope of activity in a growing fetus. Birth is the celebrated punctuation event but it is part of a continuum.
Biologists should search for genetic-proteinic mechanisms for of genotypic storage-warehousing and the mechanics of release. These ‘releases” occur over spans of millions of years in some cases.
To do: Create experiments that seek to reveal mechanisms for warehousing useful base pair mutations to be triggered as phenotypic expression only when levels of internal balance is achieved re: component size, metabolism, process, timing etc. Internal “practice” prior to expression on nature’s battlefield.