Important Insights Along the Way

Of course we lie to ourselves and anyone else who will listen. Since the advent of DNA there is virtually nothing in written form that is based on truth.

If you say so.

But since asked :sunglasses:

Appreciating Evolution

Who Says Understanding Earth’s Evolution is Irrelevant?

Sadly all too many.

I often hear people, not just the religious with their thoughtless rejection and outright contempt for our Earth and her story, but also rational educated people who superficially accept the notion of evolution, yet who seem to have little curiosity about Earth’s Pageant of Evolution, voice complete disinterest.

Too many dismiss the need to learn anything about it as though Evolution were pointless. All the while I’m thinking, but evolution created this world we depend on, why isn’t that worth embracing?

The general apathy doesn’t seem right. Especially considering what an amazingly beautiful, action packed, complex, mysterious and absolutely relevant story Earth’s deep history has to offer us. …

I think we are trying. Totally agree with our evolutionary truths. I think if I explain the human genome the way I am envisioning it, it would be like looking on the same page.
I believe it is absolutely true that everything from potatoes to puppies is made of DNA.
A genome is just a name for the container of libraries of DNA. This is how I envision the Human Genome. The first library in the Human Genome is yourself. The DNA accumulation of yourself begins somewhere during early brain development and becomes most active the moment you are born. In your human Genome are also copies of your mother’s genome and your father’s, these are the libraries of DNA primarily used to identify your heredity transfer there is a library for everything learned over the lifespan of the species. // I am going to stop there to check on your interest.

I don’t understand what you mean. Like you say in the next sentence, our DNA is bequeathed to us by our parents.

Makes me think of something Daniel Dennett wrote in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

That sounds like Lamarck? Is that what you mean?

So, is the “nature vs nurture” debate over then? Is it all nature?

We apparently have different definitions of the word “learn”. DNA does not store information in the same way the living brain does.

The genome is the entire set of DNA instructions found in a cell. In humans, the genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes located in the cell’s nucleus, as well as a small chromosome in the cell’s mitochondria. A genome contains all the information needed for an individual to develop and function.

What is DNA?

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA). Mitochondria are structures within cells that convert the energy from food into a form that cells can use.

The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.

Did someone say nature v nurture? Have I got a book for you.
… tough to think it’s nearly 20 years old.

Nature via Nurture by Matt Ridley ©2003

He’s an excellent writer, fun story, well told.

What may be of interest is that whereas humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, all our cousin great apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes.

The accidental chromosomes mutation in one of our common ancestors marks the exact time that humans split off and established its own hominid branch on the tree of life.

Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes
Alec MacAndrew


All great apes apart from man have 24 pairs of chromosomes. There is therefore a hypothesis that the common ancestor of all great apes had 24 pairs of chromosomes and that the fusion of two of the ancestor’s chromosomes created chromosome 2 in humans. The evidence for this hypothesis is very strong.

Human - ape chtromosome 2 banding

Let us re-iterate what we find on human chromosome 2. Its centromere is at the same place as the chimpanzee chromosome 2p as determined by sequence similarity. Even more telling is the fact that on the 2q arm of the human chromosome 2 is the unmistakable remains of the original chromosome centromere of the common ancestor of human and chimp 2q chromosome, at the same position as the chimp 2q centromere (this structure in humans no longer acts as a centromere for chromosome 2.


The evidence that human chromosome 2 is a fusion of two of the common ancestor’s chromosomes is overwhelming.

I truly believe it is both nature and nurture. If you don’t have have a real mother nurturing her offspring you get the rhesus monkeys who were fed by an uncaring wirer mother.

You don’t hear the debate framed like that as much lately. Probably because we know more about genetics now. There are genes that can be part of us, but don’t express themselves unless some triggering event happens. I don’t know how that works, but it kind of shows that we are neither a blank slate waiting to be told how to be nor a completely formed personality that would be about the same in any culture.

But if it’s all nature, then what do we need with mothers? Mothers can just leave their babies and go on with their own life, instead of feeding them, changing them, etc etc. They can be just like Topsy and just grow up. But if it’s just nurture, then genetics mean nothing, thus why I believe it’s both. However, I don’t believe children are born tabula rasa.

Excellent point.
We can begin that giving vaginal birth gives the baby a host of beneficial bacteria that protect it from infections and helps with immunity.
Mother’s milk has essential “human” nutrients that allow for growth and further development.
Anytime that the "natural way " becomes disturbed, it is to the detriment of the living organism but also drives evolutionary processes.
Artificial changes don’t drive evolution. If anything they inhibit natural selection for beneficial traits.

1 Like

You’d love this book

I think I might have read it already, but I’ll look it up.

Cool. You clearly appreciate that it’s a dance between the two.
DNA is a recipe, it’s not a mathematical algorithm.

It really blows me away that it’s still something people argue about. Get’s me right back to that Abrahamic Mindset thing, gotta be one way or the other, now lets argue and fight about, yet anyone with any sense that looks around at living, realizes it’s a dance between the two.

But, there’s no room for that within the crowded self-important Abrahamic Mindset.

Oh and Write, I think I make it “Abrahamic” because the attitude is ancient and tribal and it has seeped deep into every aspect of our thinking probably even our genes, thus easy not to see.

[quote=“citizenschallengev4, post:22, topic:9350”]
Cool. You clearly appreciate that it’s a dance between the two.
DNA is a recipe, it’s not a mathematical algorithm.

Actually, it is a real-life algorithm

A recipe is a real-life example of an algorithm . The pancake recipe below is in the same format that we use to present algorithms. It already has some of the key features. Our algorithms always have an input, which contains all the ingredients needed to perform the task.
Definition of an Algorithm

It really blows me away that it’s still something people argue about.
But, there’s no room for that within the crowded self-important Abrahamic Mindset.

Perhaps you are viewing this from a narrow perspective?

Oh and Write, I think I make it “Abrahamic” because the attitude is ancient and tribal and it has seeped deep into every aspect of our thinking probably even our genes, thus easy not to see.

I understand but Abraham did not exist until he was mentioned in scripture. His name will always be associated with a religious mindset
The opposite of the Abrahamic mindset is “sophistry”.

Why not call it a fundamentalist mindset (mindscape)? At least it has also a secular interpretation in addition to a religious belief system… :face_with_monocle:

Well because the march of science indicates something else is going on. Start with the fascinating history of medicine which started as quackery more than anything,
Where assumption very often disregarded evidence.

That lessons on algorithm is fascinating, but I notice it’s a totally one way street, but in real life the brain and body are always reacting to something outside of itself, but all your capable of address is Your Self - as though you’re an independent object standing on its own.

DNA is not a simple recipe like a pancake, and there’s a heck of a lot more involved than measuring cups and frying pans and heat transfer. It’s a dynamic interchange of experience and substance - and we still don’t fully grasp all of, but we dare not acknowledge that much, after all we are our own god, we go it all figured?

But that is where the microtubules come into play. The mitotic spindle is what reads the chromosome coding and copies it with exquisite fidelity.

The mitotic spindle is the macromolecular machine that segregates chromosomes to two daughter cells during mitosis. The major structural elements of the spindle are microtubule polymers, whose intrinsic polarity and dynamic properties are critical for bipolar spindle organization and function.

Micrograph showing condensed chromosomes in blue, kinetochores in pink, and microtubules in green during metaphase of mitosis

This has nothing to do with “mindset”. It is a product of billions of years evolution in separating chromosomes in Eukaryotic organisms.
It is a homeostatic function and totally independent of consciousness.

This process goes on in people in a vegetative state also.

When for some reason there is something wrong, The MT may keep copying and we get cancer.

Okay, no argument.
The mindset has to do with our perceptions and the weight we place on our assumptions.

But weren’t you recently arguing microtubule polymers are the foundation (and everything else) of consciousness? :wink:

“Consciousness” is such a huge term that covers so much. Awareness is a lower level form of consciousness, isn’t it? The reason I’m asking is that it seems incongruous to say that homeostatic functions are totally independent of consciousness.

Homeostasis is any self-regulating process by which an organism tends to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are best for its survival .

What I’m driving at is that homeostasis is impossible without feedback - isn’t that what consciousness is at its most fundamental?

Have you read this book?

It’s on my list, I’ve read Wilson’s earlier stuff. I’ve been listening to some Sapolsky YouTubes and that probably led me to this

He has a lot of interesting catch phrases, like, religion is just a collection of arts.

Thanks I’ll listen when I can and get back to you.

“religion is just a collection of arts”
Bet that could be said about human civilization

On that count, I have a catch phrase to beat all others:
“God and religions are created from within ourselves.”

(That link is to a blog, not a book, interesting blog though.)