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Complex design.

I am an Athiest or evolutionist, whatever.( A rose by any other name.) I agree with Richard Dawkins mostly , except in one instance. He goes on to say that any designer capable of designing something really complex, ( the design in nature.) has to be even more complex himself. What he has not taken into consideration is the species themselves. What could be a more simple explanation. When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

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    Jun 16 2011: That makes no sense whatsoever, can you please rephrase it?
    • Jun 16 2011: Hi Mat. Please read my reply to the others.
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        Jun 17 2011: I'm out of this thread, this isn't science. This is some weird obsession you have with selection at the level of species and some sort of inexistent guiding force of nature.
        • Jun 17 2011: Hi Mat. It will always be non-existent to you. With respect, you have given up thinking.
    • Jun 19 2011: Hi Mat. If you are still there, look up my reply to Alex; it will explain my view on, "The Blind Watchmaker."
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        Jun 19 2011: I'm pretty sure Richard Dawkins wouldn't confirm your thoughts at all. You clearly haven't read anything that he or any biologist have written have you? First of all, let's get one thing strait: mutations are random but the process of natural selection isn't. It's not hard from here to see how the better adapted organisms triumph over the less adapted ones over eons of time. That's in no way total randomness. There is still no need here for any driving force from within a species or whatever level of selection you want to ascribe a hidden force to.

        There are very good reasons why it is theorised that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs, it isn't just a popular idea. For one, the K-T boundary is particularly rich in Iridium, an element that is rare on Earth but commonplace in asteroids. You can find some of the other evidence yourself. Not going to spoon-feed you all of the science when wikipedia and the internet are at your disposal.

        I don't know where you get the idea that everything in life has a purpose, I think it's something you cling on to from your religious past. As far as I can tell, the universe is meaningless. Meaning and purpose are human constructs.

        There is also a distinct possibility that if intelligence went extinct, it would not resurface. It's not the most popular survival strategy. To focus on intelligence rather than anything else to me sounds like uninformed narcisim. Sounds like the age old misconceptions that somehow humans are the most evolved, the finished product of evolution or some such ridiculoud notion. What matters, is how well your genes replicate. All living species are champions in that respect in all but few seriously rely on intelligence for survival.

        Edit: Seriously read "The Blind Watchmaker".
        2nd edit: Dawkins giving your intelligence obsession a serious stab. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/genius-of-britain/4od#3080365 41 minutes in.
        • Jun 19 2011: Matt, I have looked up "The Blind Watchmaker." Dawkins cannot get away with random when he comes up against a brick wall. Random only feeds that what he doesn't believe in. How silly can you get. You mention genes replicating; Answer me, how do those genes know what design is needed to allow the species to survive. Survival of the fittest only produces a symmetrical copy of the original only maybe stronger adapted, but only adapted to the same environment. Most of the time during the billions of years, the mutations have also required a change in DNA. Survival of what? produces this change. Random means no purpose and so no thinking. That's not for me. You also say that my ideas are uniformed nasissism, what is it when science and yourself use the word random because you have no other way to go, you have stopped thinking. You say "Distinct possibility." when referring to the possibility of intelligent life not resurfacing after an extinction. This only proves you are basing some of your iknowledge on theories and I am sorry, but theories have to be challenged, otherwise the world would still be flat. I am sure you will agree with the next observation; science and logic dictate that the first life-form must have been a dormant one. If this is so, all life on earth must have inherited some traits from that ancestor. All life has a subcoscious, otherwise it would have nowhere to store its memory. How would it know what to eat and where to find it. When we dream, most of what we dream can be explained by our every day experiences, but occasionally there comes a dream that defies any explanation. Is this the dormancy we have all inherited? All life has this dormancy because all life has a subconscious. This dormancy must be as important today as it was billions of years ago. The secret of intelligence; is it in there somewhere? Much more to come. (Fact.)
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        Jun 19 2011: You're talking absolute nonsense. Read the goddamn book, not some description you found on the internet!

        "how do those genes know what design is needed to allow the species to survive.", they don't. That's why deleterious genes perish whilst adapted genes prevail in a given environment. It's pretty straighforward.

        "Most of the time during the billions of years, the mutations have also required a change in DNA" A mutation IS consistently a change in DNA. How can you have a non-genetic mutation?

        "Random means no purpose and so no thinking. That's not for me.","what is it when science and yourself use the word random because you have no other way to go, you have stopped thinking." All your unfounded opinions that real scientists couldn't give a crap about.

        "science and logic dictate that the first life-form must have been a dormant one." Uhmm what?

        "All life has a subcoscious, otherwise it would have nowhere to store its memory. How would it know what to eat and where to find it." Bacteria don't have a subconscious. They don't need to store memory. Plants don't have a subconscious. All the resources they need are available without them having to seek it and if it is not they'll simply just die while others live in resource-rich environments.

        I honestly think most or all your questions would be answered by a good old science book on the subject. You seem to base your ideas mostly on questions rather than answers which is fine except your questions have been answered already and they don't look good for your natural guiding system or whatever it is. You can continue trying to ridicule my views but it's falling on death ears, nobody here thinks you have an ounce of credibility and I feel particularly unmoved by comments like "How silly can you get.". You're a stubborn man that doesn't want to admit that his pet idea might be wrong.
        • Jun 19 2011: Hi Matt. Deleteriuos genes perish while adapted genes prevail. Of course they do! I have no broblem with that. I am on about a completly new ball game which you ignore, why I don't know. I am trying to convey the why's and how's that caused intelligence to evolve. How would adapted genes be able to do this? You seem to be avoiding answering the purpose of the reign of the dinosaur. You also avoid saying anything about the dormancy that all life possesses. The virus is a dormant form of life, consists as you know of RNA or DNA. Because it can only replicate by attaching to a living body it is presumed dead by science. (This is for the benefit of the readers, you already know this.) The virus can survive in extreme heat, extreme cold and even in a vacuum. This dormancy, that you did not comment on, is connected to all life, the virus perhaps could be our ancestor from when life first began. Could you confirm or deny that this is possible, with a proper explanation. You may not think so, but I am genuinely interested in your answer. I am aware that the virus as far as we know has no subconscious, but it does possess one emotion. The need to survive. Without this there would be no beginning.
        • Jun 20 2011: Derek, I tried to explain the how and why of the evolution of intelligence. It is random changes that are selected for. Mutation have a certain probability of happening (http://www.genomeweb.com/sequencing/1000-genomes-researchers-find-variable-germline-mutation-rates-humans says that humans pass on in the region of 30-50 de novo germ line mutations to their offspring). The chance of any of these affecting intelligence in positive fashion is not quite zero, but probably approaching zero. The mutations that confer a benefit are selected for, deleterious ones selected against.

          I also don't see why there must be a purpose to the reign of the dinosaurs. They were the best adapted larger life form at that time in those niches, and therefore they were widespread.

          In my view (as a virologist) you cannot assume that the first lifeform was "dormant" (which is not a word we'd use anyway, I think you are looking for "parasite"), as it wouldn't be able to survive without the machinery of other living organisms. The likelyhood is that the first self-replicating molecules (or life if you will) were either protein based (think prions) or RNA based.

          You do have a tendency in your answers to be anthropomorphic and anthropocentric. You assign emotions to things that don't have them (viruses for starters) and you suggest that other organisms are further down the evolutionary scale than us. We are not the pinnacle of evolution, we are one branch. Apes are not less evolved than us, neither are rabbits, butterflies or dandelions. All have undergone the selection process through random mutation and selective pressures as we have, their adaptations just manifest themselves in a different way.
        • Jun 20 2011: Hi Matt. I feel I must apologise for misleading you, it was not done purposely. Somewhere along the road our paths met for a fleeting moment. The path I am on cannot be observed under a microscope, at least not yet, but who knows in the future? I admire your knowledge of biology and know you speak the truth, I agree with what you say. I am to old and thick to challenge you in this field anyway. Let me leave you with this last insight to where I am coming from. An individual learns a trade then decides to change to another type of work. That trade will still be with them whenever its use is needed. However when that individual dies, all that they have learned, dies with them. (Remember the dormancy that connects us all.) When an individual dies within a species, the species does not die. In the absence of divine help, the species can only rely on the individuals to supply that information for it to evolve, it can only do this if it can retain that information. (Memory, remember the virus, perhaps the beginning of memory.) I know you are going to jump in here and say environment, but environment is only the trigger, its what pulls the trigger that I am seeking. Ability without some kind of guidance would spiral out of control.
        • Jun 20 2011: Sorry for jumping into your debate with Matt here, but I am intrigued by what you're saying, eventhough I think that you are going down the wrong track with this.

          A species does not want to evolve, it does so as a result of the environment. An Individual dieing in a species does cause the loss of any beneficial mutations as they they would have been passed on to the next generation. Any learnt traits will not be passed on genetically (that would be Lamarckist in the extreme). The only way for learnt traits to pass on is through culture/nurture/whateveryou like to call it.

          I am also still unclear what you understand by dormancy. I don't think you areusing it in the classic biological fashion where it is used for things like dormant bacterial spores in extreme environments that will start growing again when conditions suit reproduction, as I don't see how this can be connecting us all.
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        Jun 20 2011: I appreciate your apology although I still believe that you're attempting to fill the gaps in your own knowledge rather than in our scientific knowledge. Maybe if you just read some evolutionary biology you would realize you're trying to fix a problem that isn't one. I know everyone wants to have the revolutionary idea that changes everything in science, but stubbornness is not a good measure of how great an idea is.

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