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Old 01-31-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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Been watching interesting documentary for several nights. Creatures that defy evolution. You can watch for yourself, but something caught my ear yesterday.
I have known this for years, as I had 11 chemistries, including biochemical. We had extensive education on DNA/RNA and back in that time, virtually had to have sequences and reactions memorized, to human abilities, of course.
To my best knowledge, all replication is doing is creating, or duplicating, amino-acids. Chemicals, in principle. That is it. It is a simple template duplication process. Smart, but nothing really special.

What it does NOT do, is to duplicate INFORMATION. It does not duplicate KNOWLEDGE. Chemicals, chemical compounds of various complexity, yes. But not instincts, habits, or something as complex as for a caterpiller to know how to crawl on a leaf and eat it, then turn into a larve, then into a butterfly, and suddenly KNOW how to fly and eat nectar. Or, how and where to fly for 2500 miles, and INTO the wind, in a very complex trajectory, as butterfly does not have any power to overcome any oncoming wind?

Yes, I have heard THEORIES that specific amino acid sequences influence one's behavior and inclinations, and things of that nature. Maybe, but it still does not explain anything anywhere close to what living creatures KNOW how to do and do.

Can anyone indulge me with a SOLID research, outside of mostly speculative propaganda in official science, on how DNA (read - genes) actually do convey THAT type of information?
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Been watching interesting documentary for several nights. Creatures that defy evolution. You can watch for yourself, but something caught my ear yesterday.
I have known this for years, as I had 11 chemistries, including biochemical. We had extensive education on DNA/RNA and back in that time, virtually had to have sequences and reactions memorized, to human abilities, of course.
To my best knowledge, all replication is doing is creating, or duplicating, amino-acids. Chemicals, in principle. That is it. It is a simple template duplication process. Smart, but nothing really special.

What it does NOT do, is to duplicate INFORMATION. It does not duplicate KNOWLEDGE. Chemicals, chemical compounds of various complexity, yes. But not instincts, habits, or something as complex as for a caterpiller to know how to crawl on a leaf and eat it, then turn into a larve, then into a butterfly, and suddenly KNOW how to fly and eat nectar. Or, how and where to fly for 2500 miles, and INTO the wind, in a very complex trajectory, as butterfly does not have any power to overcome any oncoming wind?

Yes, I have heard THEORIES that specific amino acid sequences influence one's behavior and inclinations, and things of that nature. Maybe, but it still does not explain anything anywhere close to what living creatures KNOW how to do and do.

Can anyone indulge me with a SOLID research, outside of mostly speculative propaganda in official science, on how DNA (read - genes) actually do convey THAT type of information?
Well, given that this is the C-D Forum, the shining city on the hill of speculative propaganda, I'll speculate on this.

Behavior always comes down to pleasure/pain. Animals and plants behave the way they do because it gives them pain, or at least discomfiture, to not do so. Plants turn their flowers to face the sun, because it "feels" good and it ""hurts" not to. The reason for that is because they have evolved a preponderance of cells that react in such a manner to stimuli, which may be chemical, or temperature- or light-sensitive, or whatever. (Even lunar gravitation, which would lend credence to Astrology, another topic.) Over millions of generations, the organism evolved into a package of cells that respond to those stimuli, like a butterfly that enjoys the feeling of tacking into the wind will reap the rewards for doing so, and maximize its survival chances. Creatures have "likes and dislikes", which are hereditary, and govern behavior.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-01-2013 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Yes, I have heard THEORIES that specific amino acid sequences influence one's behavior and inclinations, and things of that nature. Maybe, but it still does not explain anything anywhere close to what living creatures KNOW how to do and do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post

Can anyone indulge me with a SOLID research, outside of mostly speculative propaganda in official science, on how DNA (read - genes) actually do convey THAT type of information?
First of all, THEORIES are the best you will get, even from the most rigorous sciences. Secondly, you've posted this in the philosophy form, so I guess you will have to forgive me if what I'm about to say falls into the realm of speculation.

If you believe in the physical nature of matter, and realize that all material systems are composed of interconnected elements, and if you accept the notion of physical cause/effect, then - thanks to our growing understanding of dynamical systems over the past few decades - you have the basic tools at your disposal for a rough idea of how complex instinctive behaviors can arise from a combination of genes and environment. The key concept is emergent self-organization. DNA makes the proteins; proteins form the biological structures. Of particular interest for behavior you need to think about the interconnectivity of neurons with the rest of the physical body and the rest of the world. I would argue that even the most hard-wired instinctive behavior cannot be explained in terms of DNA alone. Behavior will always depend on interactions between the developing organism and its environment.

So let's take an example like suckling. This is a simple behavior that is required shortly after birth, so there is no time to learn this behavior over an extended period of trial and error. It is a simple behavior, but it nevertheless involves the highly coordinated activities of vast numbers of neurons and muscle cells. How does DNA pre-program this? It doesn't. What the DNA programs are the construction of muscle groups and sensory neurons in the lips, tongue, cheeks, etc. The suckling behavior emerges as a self-organizing set of behaviors given the complex interconnections between the muscle groups, the neurons, and the environment (the presents of a teat near the lips, etc.).

I'm not saying that we can actually model all of this emergent behavior in precise detail at the present time, but we know enough about the principles of self-organization, and we know enough about the interconnected nature of the elements involved (the muscles and neurons) to be able to say, with reasonably high confidence, that an instinctive behavior like suckling could emerge from these elements.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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Just theories? Behavior can certainly be genetically encoded. How about the plethora of examples of genetic diseases that alter behavior. Take for example people that suffer from Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. People with that disorder feel the compulsive urge to chew the tips of their fingers off. They'll also say nasty things and cuss at people near by in order to try to get those people to hurt them.


One of the signs of Huntington's Disease is a sudden change in persona, one day a completely loving husband can turn into an abusive wife beater out of thin air.


Watch this very interesting video about a study in which researchers, using babies, try to determine whether our sense of morality is genetically encoded

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRvVFW85IcU

Last edited by fibonacci; 02-01-2013 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:57 PM
 
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Of course it's speculations.
Same documentary I watched, said something interesting. There are, basically, 2 types of science. Operative science and forensic science. Operative science is science that works with something, and in a manner, that EVERYONE ELSE can repeat and reproduce, with consistently identical results, within normal stochastic deviation(10% I believe). Simple example - water boils at 100 Celsius under 760 mmHg pressure.
Forensic science is science that is, basically, metaphysical naturalism. It is a speculation based on observed phenomena, that can not be reproduced, as they are in operative science, but theoretical, or speculative, conclusions are assumed. Example - Big Bang. You can not reproduce it, or prove its existance. You can only specualte, based on various assumptions, based on observations, resulting from perceiving that observation in a particular manner. This is why operative science basically stays same through centuries, and forensic science continuously morphs, as it continuously changes its assumptions=speculations=theories.
With all the esteemed posts above, non really explains how INFORMATION is being transmitted via genes. Genes=DNA and RNA sequences, once again, do nothing more than to determine a specific chemical reaction. OK, biochemical reaction. That is it. This is operative science. What genes do otherwise, is forensic science. Not everyone with a specific gene will suffer form a specific disease. That is operative science. Some MAY suffer from it - that is forensic science.
Did you ever consider, that something else determines what the body, plant, animal to be will be, and that something determines what the genes will be? Which, of course, CURRENTLY is speculation, that can not be proven by operative science(maybe because it is looking at things upside down), but it, logically, makes more sense, as it explains, HOW information is being embedded into a plant, animal, human, etc.
Oh, not to forget to say. You all of course know, that in entire flora and fauna, with humans included, there is not a single organism, more complex than a single cell one, that has cells DIRECTLY connected with each other? And from perspective of cellular biology, distances between those cells are HUGE? And as of now, no one really knows, how such a complex conglomerate of un-connected cells as, say, a human body, or a whale, stays TOGETHER and functions AS ONE?
Oh, yes, it's chemicals.. I forgot. Are you serious?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
With all the esteemed posts above, non really explains how INFORMATION is being transmitted via genes. Genes=DNA and RNA sequences, once again, do nothing more than to determine a specific chemical reaction. ... And as of now, no one really knows, how such a complex conglomerate of un-connected cells as, say, a human body, or a whale, stays TOGETHER and functions AS ONE?
Oh, yes, it's chemicals.. I forgot. Are you serious?
It appears to me as though you didn't really understand the concept of emergence, or self-organization that I referred to in my earlier post. I admitted, of course, that we do not yet have detailed models of complex behavior in animals, but once you understand the principles involved, it becomes fairly obvious that the theoretical tools at our disposal have the potential to explain such behavior in whatever level of detail you want - all the way down to the sub-atomic, in principle (although I would be surprised if we ever succeed in creating a model that gets that detailed). For clarity I should point out that I'm only talking about instinctive (or "programmable") behavior. Personally, I do NOT foresee these mechanistic models ever fully explaining the conscious behaviors of human beings. It might be easier to grasp the power of these mechanistic models if I outlined what I see as the limitations of these models, so if you will indulge me for a bit, I'd like to point out these limits.

I do not believe that mechanistic models based on known physics and chemistry will ever explain the existence or nature of qualia. The term 'qualia' refers to the subjective/phenomenal character, or "qualitative" nature of experience. Classic examples are the "redness" of red or what it is like to feel a certain kind of pain, or taste the sweetness of sugar, etc.) If we start from the purely mechanistic/non-qualitative principles of physics and chemistry, no amount of complexity or chaotic self-organization will ever explain the qualitative nature of experience. Complexity, in itself, just doesn't have the logical power to explain sentient experience. (This is a highly controversial discussion in philosophy; I'm giving my view on it.) FYI, the difficulty trying to explain how qualia can emerge from the purely mechanistic principles of modern physics has become known as the "hard problem" of consciousness. I'm essentially saying that the hard problem cannot be solved by physics alone, as it is currently understood. Not even quantum mechanics, in its current form, can help us much with this.

Now, if qualia are not important to behavior (if we ultimately don't need to fit qualia anywhere into our models of complex animal behavior), then everything I've just said about qualia is completely irrelevant. I, however, do not believe that qualia are irrelevant to behavior. I believe that qualia are absolutely essential to any reasonably complete explanation of behavior. (This is another highly controversial point, and once again I'm just giving my view on this.) If qualia are essential to some aspects of complex animal behavior (i.e., the sorts of behavior we associate with intelligence and/or consciousness), and if qualia cannot emerge from the purely non-qualitative, mechanistic principles of physics, then the the aspects of behavior that depend on qualia will never be reduced to the principles of physics and chemistry as we currently understand them. As a side note: I strongly suspect that what we commonly call "agent causation," or "free will" will ultimately fall into this category, but that's another long story.

Putting all of this together in light of your question about the transfer of information, I would say this: You ask HOW is information embedded in the genes of a plant or animal, and I've said that information is NOT embedded, and thus it is pointless to ask how it is embedded. Information emerges from the totality of an organism (not just its genes, but its entire body) and the organism's environment. To understand this, you need to make a profound mental shift, but to make this shift you need to understand the principles of emergence in dynamical systems. Instinctive behaviors can, in principle, happen unconsciously and thus, perhaps, without conscious qualitative experience. For this reason, science might someday provide reasonably detailed models of instinctive animal behavior. It will not, however, be able to provide detailed mechanistic models of intelligent/conscious behavior, for the reasons I've tried to indicate above.

There are lots of books explaining emergence/self-organization. One good popular introduction that comes to mind is:
Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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Putting all of this together in light of your question about the transfer of information, I would say this: You ask HOW is information embedded in the genes of a plant or animal, and I've said that information is NOT embedded, and thus it is pointless to ask how it is embedded. Information emerges from the totality of an organism (not just its genes, but its entire body) and the organism's environment. To understand this, you need to make a profound mental shift, but to make this shift you need to understand the principles of emergence in dynamical systems. Instinctive behaviors can, in principle, happen unconsciously and thus, perhaps, without conscious qualitative experience. For this reason, science might someday provide reasonably detailed models of instinctive animal behavior. It will not, however, be able to provide detailed mechanistic models of intelligent/conscious behavior, for the reasons I've tried to indicate above.

There are lots of books explaining emergence/self-organization. One good popular introduction that comes to mind is:
Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
Agreed on highlighted part. It is not pointless to ask how it is transferred by DNA, as, apparently, vastly spread concept is that DNA somehow transfers instincts, behaviors, knowledge, wisdom etc, etc. Which is is not.
If information emerges from TOTALITY of organism, then this is proof to existence of a SUPRA - organismal something, that combines entire organism into a unit, that can function, in whatever manner, as organized unit, not conglomerate of independent cells. As, per se, a cell is only a cell. It functions only as its function. Any aprticular cell does not directly contact with any other cell in an organism. It does not send out emails or letters or has conferences with other cells, saying - guys, we knew how to crawl before, now we all know how to fly. In a heartbeat, by the way. I'll try to use layman example. Brick is a brick. It can be used as a wall, or as a house, or as a weapon, or as a weight. But it's still a brick. Thousand of bricks does not make a wall or a planned house. Ten million of bricks does not make it either. But here comes a mason with plan, and mason arranges bricks into a wall, or a fortress, or a house. It is a conscience organizational principle, in whatever form, that turns bricks into a something different, with a different function, not "self organization" of bricks. Same goes for cells. They are just that - building blocks of a complex entity, conscious only as their function. But neither ten, nor ten billion of them will become "self organized". Which sounds more like an interesting way for a few scientists to come up with a "scientific" explanation to something that real answer is - we do not know.
As I just refreshed myself on DNA and genes, and the basic answer is - we do not know. We do not know even such a basic thing, as why cell replicates a particular protein, least to say - why a creature that used to crawl, comes out of cocoon and suddenly knows how to fly, eat nectar, and go into wind that by all laws of physics should have blown it in the direction THE WIND blows, not in the direction the butterfly wants to go.
Like I asked originally does any one know how THAT information is given onto any creature that comes to existence, should it be amoeba of a human. What we do see, is that particular manifestations in creature phenotype, are statistically high level matched with a particular genotype. That we do. But then a quantum leap is made, and same mechanistic approach is transposed onto matters of much higher nature. Genes determine ones behavior. Or level of intelligence. Or abilities. And triple helix will give us geniuses. Which is just not true. Convenient for for scientists to stay on their Olympus, but simply not true.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Kent, Ohio
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It is not pointless to ask how it is transferred by DNA, as, apparently, vastly spread concept is that DNA somehow transfers instincts, behaviors, knowledge, wisdom etc, etc.
It is not widely agreed that DNA somehow transfers instincts, etc. In fact, it is widely agreed that DNA does NOT transfer these things. DNA simply "guides" the building of proteins (in roughly the way that, say, the properties of water molecules "guide" the formation of frost crystals on a window). Evolution has favored DNA that builds useful proteins in a useful way.
Quote:
If information emerges from TOTALITY of organism, then this is proof to existence of a SUPRA - organismal something, that combines entire organism into a unit, that can function, in whatever manner, as organized unit, not conglomerate of independent cells.
What combines the organism into a unit is the fact that all of the organism's cells are interconnected in certain ways. These interconnections are what lead to self-organization.
Quote:
Thousand of bricks does not make a wall or a planned house. Ten million of bricks does not make it either. But here comes a mason with plan, and mason arranges bricks into a wall, or a fortress, or a house.
Bricks don't self-organize into houses because bricks are not dynamically interconnected in the ways necessary for self-organization to occur.
Quote:
It is a conscience organizational principle, in whatever form, that turns bricks into a something different
In the case of bricks, yes, conscious organization is required. But biological cells don't need anyone with a master plan to organize them. All they require is inputs of energy and the availability of the right nutrients. There are plenty of deep mysteries of life and consciousness to puzzle about, and until 50 years ago, the origins of order in chaotic systems was among these deep mysteries. Today the origins of order are not as mysterious as they used to be. We can model self-organization and study the principles involved in great detail.
Quote:
But neither ten, nor ten billion of them will become "self organized". Which sounds more like an interesting way for a few scientists to come up with a "scientific" explanation to something that real answer is - we do not know.
One could chant this litany endlessly, but repeating a falsehood does not make it true. We have seemingly endless empirical examples of self-organizing systems, and we have mathematical models to explain how and why some kinds of systems self-organize, while other kinds of systems do not. We know exactly why bricks don't self-organize; we know exactly why cells do. (To be more precise: We know the necessary and sufficient conditions for cellular self-organization to occur.)
Quote:
...we do not know. We do not know even such a basic thing, as why cell replicates a particular protein...
Perhaps your biology text book is a few decades out of date. We actually know quite a lot about the mechanisms by which proteins are produced in cells. As for "why" these proteins are produced, rather than some others, the answer can be found in evolution. Cells of type X produce proteins of type Y because this arrangement has facilitated an unbroken line of successful reproduction for eons. Nothing succeeds like success.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:05 PM
 
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Perhaps your biology text book is a few decades out of date. We actually know quite a lot about the mechanisms by which proteins are produced in cells. As for "why" these proteins are produced, rather than some others, the answer can be found in evolution. Cells of type X produce proteins of type Y because this arrangement has facilitated an unbroken line of successful reproduction for eons. Nothing succeeds like success.

Actually no. I checked on this yesterday. Seems to be up to date, I think, online updates itself every yey instantly? Says though, that it is unknown, what causes specific choice of specific replication. Not HOW it is done. What CAUSES it. Also, this is actually outside the premise of question asked, as question is - even if inherentrly disorganized system, such as a cellular conglomerate, somehow self organizes (which is against the law of entropy, as entropy has tendency to grow in any system including universe), it is not known, how information on that self organization is transmitted onto generations. Though I am firm, that a human can not appear out of something, that is based on, basically, a loose array of particles, in continuous - once again, entropic, or chaotic - Brown's movement.
But at this point, we are way beyond the OP premise and simply trying to prove that one of us is right. Which I grant you that. You are right. Did I quench your thirst for feeling better? Though saying that, say, intelligence appeared out of non-intelligence, is proving only one thing - a miracle, as this is against all known laws of known nature. Nowhere in known nature, a tree appears out of a fish, unless by a cause, called miracle. Otherwise, entire talk about fundamental laws of nature becomes irrelevant and should be tossed.

Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.
The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result(this is, btw, what is called self - organization). Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end;

The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence – which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity(or their organization, my comment)

With this, I shall graciously bow out of this conversation. It's been pleasure and I am glad I had opportunity to read from one, obviously more esteemed than I am. We will both stay with our beliefs, with one going from self organized matter to nothing, as with physical disorganization of what was self organized, that organization and its result, intelligence, perishes; and one going through organized matter to something, staying with and in the organizational principle.

Btw, I am not belonging to any religion. I, also, do not believe, as intelligent creature, that intelligence appeared out of non-intelligent molecular, atomic, electric, and so on and so force, interactions.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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I wanted to express my gratitude to all who posted here, esp, to Gaylenwoof. We had some most coherent and educative responses I have seen in years and through many forums.
It's been great pleasure and very rewarding to have such an input.
Thank you very much.
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