Re: [asa] Front-loading thoughts

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Tue Sep 08 2009 - 23:25:56 EDT

I don't get it. Neither artificial selection nor natural selection is
built into the cells or organisms. They can only take advantage of such
changes as occur within the genome, which does not have to be chromosomal
though that is what is usually considered. Some changes my be
deleterious, even to the point of immediate death. But there may be
accidents that kill what, had it survived, would have been a marked
advance. How are lethal mutations and accidental deaths front-loaded to
guide development?

The thesis held by some who push ID, that information cannot be expanded
internally but only with external input, is incompatible with
front-loading. For them all the information in advanced plants and
animals would have to be contained within the original life form, an
impossible situation. They have to show that new information, that is,
new genes and controls, have to be inserted to promote the development of
more advanced forms.
Dave (ASA)

On Tue, 8 Sep 2009 22:40:53 -0400 "Nucacids" <>
Front-loading is the hypothesis whereby the original cells were designed
in such a way that their subsequent evolution was under some form of
control. It thus represents one way in which evolution can be designed.
Yet this control is not deterministic. Instead, it nudges and encourages
evolution to explore certain trajectories, by predisposing entry into
those trajectories with particular preadaptations.
In essence, front-loading is a hypothesis which posits that evolution is
guided. All of our data and experience with artificial selection teaches
us evolution can be guided. But in such case, the guidance is extrinsic,
as the designers choose the environments and selection pressures. In the
case of front-loading, we envision a very clever designer that is able to
replace extrinsic guidance with a specific cellular architecture and
composition that will subsequently guide evolution intrinsically.
Artificial selection is a crude model of front-loading in that not only
is the guidance extrinsic, but also exists over very short spans of time.
 Front-loading would employ a softer touch, where the mechanisms of
intrinsic guidance are solid enough to exert effect, but also robust
enough to exploit and tolerate, rather than be drowned out, by
contingency over spans of millions/billions of years.
What is most encouraging is that in the years I have been proposing and
attempting to flesh out this hypothesis the case for the plausibility of
front-loading has gotten stronger. Not weaker. Not the same. Stronger.
It has become more clear that deep homology, symbiogenesis, and
preadaptation have played key roles in significant evolutionary
transitions. It has also become even more clear that convergent
evolution is not some fluke, but instead speaks to a core aspect of
evolution. It has even become more clear that organisms are not being
passively shaped by their environment, but actually play a role in their
own evolution. Not only does this all support the plausibility of
front-loading, but the hypothesis of front-loading coheres these together
into a larger perspective. In contrast, the non-teleological perspective
typically views these phenomena as separate processes.
What’s more, there really is no argument against the plausibility of
front-loading. In all the years I have proposed this hypothesis, I have
yet to encounter such an argument. I have encountered complaints,
misrepresentation, and sometimes ridicule. But none of that provides any
reason to think the hypothesis of front-loading is not true.
So as the case for front-loading gets stronger, and as arguments against
the hypothesis fail to materialize, I have no choice but to proceed. :)
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Received on Tue Sep 8 23:28:59 2009

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