Re: Evolution predictions and medicine: (was re: Challenge)

Date: Thu Oct 11 2001 - 16:33:32 EDT

  • Next message: Moorad Alexanian: "RE: Evolution predictions and medicine: (was re: Challenge)"

    Hello Moorad.
    Your wrote:
    >Inheritance and genealogy is limited to one type of being. We do not
    >talk about the genealogy or inheritance of dogs in man's past, do we?

    Actually, we do, at least to the extent that the two species might
    have shared a common ancestor in the past. At least one consideration
    in the choice of animal models is relatedness. Chimps would tend to
    be better stand-ins for humans if it weren't for ethical and environmental

    And, with regard to evolutionary mechanisms, we do expect to share
    more of the specific processes with dogs rather than, say, sponges.

    >Try that with a Mormon friend.


    >We have mutations in physics and we do not invoke the origin of the
    >elements in the Big Bang to know about them and work with them. I don't
    >see why it is not the same in biology?

    Ah, so your basic point was nothing to do with the Nobel awards but
    whether one can do biology or medicine without necessarily thinking
    about how a small furry mammal from 80 million years ago gave rise to

    I agree.

    >Consider natural selection. The emergence of resistant pathogens is
    >just the same as the breeding of dogs.

    Although many in the ICR and even Philip Johnson have tried to deny
    just that claim, I concur that to a first approximation, they are
    similar processes. Isn't it interesting that humans were experimenting
    with evolution long before they knew about it? That's what Darwin
    thought we he discussed pigeon and livestock breeding.

    >One begins with pathogens X and ends up with pathogens X. In the case of
    >AIDS, why do we still call them AIDS viruses if they have changed their
    >nature so dramatically?

    We don't. It looks like HIV descended from SIV and other lentiviruses.
    These have significantly different pathologies and host ranges. Also,
    HIV variants are also assigned sub-types, depending on distinguishable
    factors such as infection modes, sequences or epitope markers.

    Similarly, in a large, freshwater body of water in Africa called
    Lake Victoria, there were once only a few species of cichlids living
    there. Yes, they are still fish, cichlids, even, but we may as
    well call gorillas, chimps and humans, "just a bunch of indistinguishable
    great apes" by similar metrics.

    >Physicists can forget all about the Big Bang and still do 99.9999% of
    >all the physics that there is. Show me why that is not the same in
    >medicine and even biology.

    Hmmm... I never said it isn't. I'm only saying that evolutionary
    and medical biology draw from the same pool of biological understanding.

    FWIW, One can ignore the Krebs cycle and still develop antibiotics.
    You can also forget about the rings of Jupiter, a lot of quantum
    chemistry, or the magnetization of hard disks and still do particle
    physics. Similarly, humans built the pyramids and fired arrows
    with deadly accuracy without a robust theory of gravity. One may
    reliably calculate lunar eclipses without reference to Maxwell's

    Then again, if the Big Bang never happened, would there be anyone
    to do the 99.9999% of physics left over?

    Perhaps the root difficulty is with statements like: "Nothing
    in biology makes sense in the absence of evolution." For me, that's
    akin to saying that little makes sense in global politics in the
    absence of historical knowledge. One can still have a good time
    a remain oblivious to the past, but then some rather interesting
    questions and relationships won't be uncovered. One can't determine
    beforehand how the answers will impact one's future, but they
    may be important.

    Tim Ikeda

    mail2web - Check your email from the web at .

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