Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 08:14:19 EDT

  • Next message: "Distal vs. proximate: Timing of design events and Pax-6"

    In a message dated 4/23/01 11:23:57 AM, writes:

    << >>
    I do not expect additional great new designs now or in the future because
    believe we are in the August, so to speak, of earth's biota. Designs
    "planted" early, and now they are bearing fruit;>>

    But that's just a "belief," Bob, Is there any particular evidence you can
    attest to which supports it?

    I understand it is an analogy, and so don't want to attack it as more
    than that. But in some climes, at least, seeds do get planted in the
    fall. Just ask anyone (such as me) who has lived in South Florida.

    Burgy (John Burgeson)>>


    I used the gardening analogy to illustrate the idea that design precedes
    application in the biological world. Here is a scientific illustration that
    I received from another listserve: Check the following:

    "I am in agreement with Mr. Gross when he refers to "new and
        astonishing evidence" about the origin of the eye. Herewith the
        facts. Halder, Callaerts, and Gehring's research group in
        Switzerland discovered that the ey gene in Drosophila is virtually
        identical to the genes controlling the development of the eye in
        mice and men. The doctrine of convergent evolution, long a
        Darwinian staple, may now be observed receding into the darkness.
        The same group's more recent paper, "Induction of Ectopic Eyes by
        Targeted Expression of the Eyeless Gene in Drosophila" (Science
        267, 1988) is among the most remarkable in the history of biology,
        demonstrating as it does that the ey gene is related closely to the
        equivalent eye gene in Sea squirts (Ascidians), Cephalopods, and
        Nemerteans. This strongly suggests (the inference is almost
        irresistible) that ey function is universal (universal!) among
        multicellular organisms, the basic design of the eye having been
        their common property for over a half-billion years. The ey gene
        clearly is a master control mechanism, one capable of giving general
        instructions to very different organisms. No one in possession of
        these facts can imagine that they support the Darwinian theory.
        How could the mechanism of random variation and natural
        selection have produced an instrument capable of anticipating the
        course of morphological development and controlling its expression
        in widely different organisms?" (Berlinski D., "Denying Darwin:
        David Berlinski and Critics", Commentary, September 1996,

    I suggest that the ey gene is a design gene that precedes and is applied by
    many organisms in an evolutionary manner. What is the origin of this gene?

    And this:

    The anti-Dawkinsian ex-Cambridge geneticist Gabriel Dover thinks that *all*
    genes will turn out to be modules of master genes like the Pax-6 gene:

        "I'm sure that when the full glory of all the genes in all the modular
        'packages' of development and behaviour are exposed, no large
        numbers of species-unique or package-unique genes will be found.
        Instead, differences in the modular construction of organisms will
        be the result of specific permutations of universally shared modules.
        For example, some of the genes that are known to interact with Pax
        6 in Drosophila, such as twin of eyeless, sine oculis, eyes absent,
        dachshund, eyegone and teashirt, are involved in the development
        of the sex gonads, legs and embryo segments. And there is no
        simple linear pathway for eye development starting with Pax-6. As
        with the genes influencing embryo development that I described
        previously, there is a complex network of interactions involving
        multifunctional genes regulating each others' activities via versatile,
        modular and compound promoters." (Dover G.A., "Dear Mr
        Darwin," 2000, p.172)

    I take these modular genes and Pax-6 fall in the design category and indicate
    that design precedes application and is used in many different applications.
    I don't see straightforward natural selection in it, although natural
    processes are undoubtedly involved.




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