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Author Topic:   At what point should we look for a non-materialistic explanation?
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 83 of 160 (538113)
12-03-2009 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by 1.61803
12-03-2009 6:25 PM


You Need to learn to read
The machine hand is NOT connected to the brain.
This is arguably true technically. But your whole argument based on this news piece is a fantasy of nonsensical make-believe.
"The Italy-based team said at a news conference in Rome on Wednesday that in 2008 it implanted electrodes into the nerves located in what remained of Petruzziello's left arm, which was cut off in a crash some three years ago."
also ...
"More must also be done to miniaturize the technology on the arm and the bulky machines that translate neural and digital signals between the robot and the patient."
You may argue the distinction of the peripheral nervous system vs. the central nervous system vs. the brain proper, but you can't just wish away the fact that they connected the hand to his nervous system with electrodes. Either you just didn't actually read the article or you are being insanely obtuse.
It certainly isn't ...
a mechanical hand not connected to his body
The hand itself is not attached to his body, but it is certainly connected to it by wires and electrodes.
Did you maybe just read the headline? That is how it seems considering the gigantic disconnect between how you are presenting this and what is in the actual news article you linked to.
The only thing spooky is your ability to turn an example of the success of the reductionist materialist approach into woo filled nonsense.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by 1.61803, posted 12-03-2009 6:25 PM 1.61803 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by 1.61803, posted 12-04-2009 12:55 PM Wounded King has not replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 93 of 160 (538180)
12-04-2009 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Buzsaw
12-04-2009 9:19 AM


my tuppence
Only a small portion of a creature's DNA is protein-coding genes (around 1.5% in humans). In the 1970s, evolutionists began calling the rest of it "junk DNA", saying this collection of useless evolutionary debris showed there was no intelligent design involved.
This is nonsense, no one in the 70's was putting 'junk DNA' forward as an argument against intelligent design because the modern intelligent design argument wasn't formulated till the 80's.
'Junk DNA' was also a specific thing in its original form. When Susumi Ohno coined the term in 1972 he was referring specifically to the production of pseudogenes as a byproduct of gene duplication, and he thought these were the major contributor to the non-coding DNA. While there are such pseudogenes there are also a host of other forms such as processed pseudogenes which are mRNA transcripts which have been reincorporated into the genome by reverse transcription (Zhang et al., 2003). 'Junk DNA' has often been used variously ot refer to non-coding DNA and also to non-functional DNA, but the two have not been considered the same for decades now.
Ohno's theory was definitely wrong, but I'm not sure why that is some argument against evolution or materialism. Early hypotheses generated with little available evidence were corrected as more evidence became available.
Decades later, researchers are finding that the "junk" does vital work. Some of this DNA plays a role in turning genes on and off at the right moments in a developing embryo22.
As I mentioned before, this was occurring barely a decade after Ohno's 'Junk DNA' paper in some instances, the fact that it is still occurring is not surprising since large scale whole genome sequencing is still in its infancy, or maybe its early adolesence now.
Other bits separate coding and regulating sections, like punctuation marks in writing, so that DNA is not a long run-on sentence23.
This is not novel and certainly didn't occur decades later. There are recent developments, such as the discovery of microRNAs and long distance regulatory elements, but even in his original paper Ohno was discussing the roles of non-coding elements in spacing distinct genes and regions as well as a very tentative description of the phenomenon of alternative transcripts. Alternative transcripts weren't actually established until ~1977.
This is pretty impressive considering effective sequencing techniques were only just being developed around the same time. Ohno was basing his theory principally on studies of protein size.
The "junk" label discouraged research into this part of the genome for many years; who would want to waste their time studying it?
I'd say this is almost pure spin. The genetic techniques simply weren't there for many years. As soon as the sequencing techniques became available people were studying all different parts of the genome.
Scientists have found that the number of genes a creature has is not a good measure of how complex it is. For example, the human genome is 23 times larger than the fruit fly genome (3.2 billion base pairs versus 137 million), yet humans have only about 2 times the number of protein coding genes (almost 25,000 versus 13,000 according to Human Genome Project Information). Yeast has about 6,000 genes
It seems a remarkable example of creationist doublethink to be moaning about how evolutionists have were ignoring research into alternative splicing and gene regulation for decades and then to blithely make a statement which completely ignores the roles those 2 elements play in the creation of genomic/developmental complexity. The simple count of putative protein coding genes is virtually meaningless. It also raises the question of what or who makes the evaluation of how much more complex a human is than a fly, is it simply genome size? This seems circular since it is the creationists who insist that the whole genome must be complex and functional, biologists are happy for the majority of the human genome to be functional only at a simple structural level.
Leaving all that aside When one recognises the complex interactions involved in development it should be clear that a doubling of the proteins available can lead to much more than a doubling in complexity because those various genes can all have multiple interactions. Indeed when we look at developmental pathways they show abundant examples of crosstalk between and among pathways.
As one example there are only 3 fibroblast growth factor family members in Drosophila and 2 receptors, 6 possible simple interactions. In humans in contrast there are 22 FGF members and 4 different members, giving 88 possible simple interactions. When you factor in other elements such as binding partners things get even more complicated. But this isn't magical non-material complexity, it is complexity that can be explained by perfectly material process such as gene-duplication and subsequent subfunctionalisation or neo-functionalisation.
I'm also not sure what sort of argument for a non-materialist basis any of this is supposed to form, you still seem to be saying nothing but 'oooh! Complex => god did it', your just taking a longer time to say it.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Buzsaw, posted 12-04-2009 9:19 AM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Buzsaw, posted 12-04-2009 8:54 PM Wounded King has replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 106 of 160 (538273)
12-05-2009 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Buzsaw
12-04-2009 8:54 PM


Re: DNA Gene Problem
Well your basic argument here is simply irreducible complexity, which has been dealt with in innumerable threads all over the forum, it isn't a convincing argument against evolution.
The assumption that all of the mutations required to change a primitive system into a more complex one must all happen at the same time is a creationist fantasy. As I said before, there are several threads on how evolution can produce irreducibly complex systems (such as Irreducible Complexity and TalkOrigins.
All known mutations in animal and plant germ cells are neutral, harmful, or fatal.
This is little more than an outright lie. It is slightly confused by the focus on germ cells. Obviously at the germ cell stage it is going to be impossible to say if there is a novel beneficial mutation because you can't tell if a new mutation is beneficial until you see how it affects the organisms phenotype. There are many instances of offspring with heritable beneficial traits that their parents did not have however, which is as close as one can possibly get to observing beneficial mutations in germ cells.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Buzsaw, posted 12-04-2009 8:54 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
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