More Complex than Previously Thought-Part V

The New York Times ran an article last November on the Language of Biology. This article is more amusing than anything else for some of the language that is used in the article.

Scientists have learned that the canonical “genes” account for an embarrassingly tiny part of the human genome: maybe 1 percent of the three billion paired subunits of DNA that are stuffed into nearly every cell of the body qualify as indisputable protein codes. Scientists are also learning that many of the gene-free regions of our DNA are far more loquacious than previously believed, far more willing to express themselves in ways that have nothing to do with protein manufacture.

So much for the Junk DNA myth that was advanced by Darwinists as previous “proof” of their theory. But we’ve already been down that road, so let’s get to the interesting part.

Dr. Keller is a big fan of the double helix considered both in toto and in situ — in its native cellular setting. “DNA is an enormously powerful resource, the most brilliant invention in evolutionary history,” she said. “It is a far richer and more interesting molecule than we could have imagined when we first started studying it.”

Still, she said, “it doesn’t do anything by itself.” It is a profoundly relational molecule, she said, and it has meaning only in the context of the cell. To focus endlessly on genes, she said, keeps us stuck in a linear, unidirectional and two-dimensional view of life, in which instructions are read out and dutifully followed.

“What makes DNA a living molecule is the dynamics of it, and a dynamic vocabulary would be helpful,” she said. “I talk about trying to verb biology.” And to renoun it as well. Writing last year in the journal PloS One, Dr. Keller and David Harel of the Weizmann Institute of Science suggested as an alternative to gene the word dene, which they said could be used to connote any DNA sequence that plays a role in the cell. So far, Dr. Keller admits, it has yet to catch on.

So a blind process is brilliant. That’s impressive language, and so is “verb biology.” I wonder if dene will be a verb (That ribosome is dening a protein.) And indeed, Darwinists “never would have imagined” the complexity they would encounter, and they continue to be surprised.

Here is the part I found most amusing:

In a similar vein, we may never understand the workings of our cells and genomes as comfortably and cockily as we understand the artifacts of our own design. “We have evolved to solve problems,” Dr. Keller said. “Those do not include an understanding of the operation of our own systems — that doesn’t have much evolutionary advantage.” It’s quite possible, she said, that biology is “irreducibly complex,” and not entirely accessible to rational analysis. Which is not to say we’re anywhere near being stymied, she said: “Our biology is stretching our minds. It’s another loop in the evolutionary process.”

I guess we’ll have to wait until we do evolve to understand the operation of our own systems, and that may entail waiting for a selection process that allows only those with greater understanding to live. Note also, the Darwinists use the term “irreducibly complex,” but not in the way intended by Behe. I think what they mean is, “So complex we could never understand it.”

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17 Responses

  1. 1) “We have evolved to solve problems,” Dr. Keller said. “Those do not include an understanding of the operation of our own systems — that doesn’t have much evolutionary advantage.” 2) It’s quite possible, she said, that biology is “irreducibly complex,” and not entirely accessible to rational analysis. Which is not to say we’re anywhere near being stymied, she said: 3) “Our biology is stretching our minds. It’s another loop in the evolutionary process.”

    1 and 3) I thought we had a commenter named Davis on this site that said something to the affect, “Evolution is a fact, and it is also a fact that the evolution process has completed its work, so its no longer in effect?”

    2) I love this phrase, “rational analysis!” Coming from this person, “rational” is a pretty irrational word!

  2. As a species with creative and artistic abilities “descended from” a Creator, this makes total sense to me.

    An artistic decision need not be made in order to facilitate creative efficiency. My own experience in the creative arts bears witness to this. Slighlty varying the rhythm in the second verse of a song, double-tracking a guitar solo, singing the same background parts under each chorus instead of cutting/pasting them digitally. All these are simply good artistic decisions.

    Leave it to the Darwinian mind to assume that nothing is designed because there is variation. This variation is part of the glory contained in the *art* itself. A decision was made to do it this way. That decision has value, because we can see that there are in fact other ways it could have been done. That’s where our jaws should be dropping! But leave it to a technical society with a fetish for efficiency and utility to not see it. Until one has disected a Beethoven symphony, all the artistic decisions seem to be random – until you start to pull the details apart and realize the alternatives that were NOT implemented – which leads to a further revelation and deeper understanding of the mind of the creator/artist!

  3. But leave it to a technical society with a fetish for efficiency and utility to not see it. Until one has disected a Beethoven symphony, all the artistic decisions seem to be random – until you start to pull the details apart and realize the alternatives that were NOT implemented – which leads to a further revelation and deeper understanding of the mind of the creator/artist!

    Great analogy and point, Mike!

    This is true even of a piece as random sounding as The Rite of Spring, by Stravinsky. This piece, as with Beethoven’s works, was designed with great care and brilliance by its creator/designer. “But leave it to a technical society with a fetish for efficiency and utility to not see” and be dead artistically, because they have denied the greatest designer and artist, God! To live in this kind of world, is to live in black, white and gray and in great tone deafness. What a pitiful place!

  4. Shrink: “Note also, the Darwinists use the term “irreducibly complex,” but not in the way intended by Behe. I think what they mean is, ‘So complex we could never understand it.'”

    Darwinists use this term in the same way as Behe does, but without the metaphysical baggage. In fact, Darwinists invented the concept, as an explanation of how evolution can produce complex systems.

    In 1918, Hermann Muller explained how evolution enabled systems of “interlocking complexity” to develop. A systems would start out being simple and not irreducible, then would accumulate links or steps over time and gradually change to become more interdependent, until the steps could no longer operate independently. That, of course, is the Intelligent Design state of irreducible complexity. And if Behe’s mind had not been so corroded by association with the Discovery Institute, he would have found the reference to Muller in his research.

  5. DB: “Until one has dissected a Beethoven symphony, all the artistic decisions seem to be random – until you start to pull the details apart and realize the alternatives that were NOT implemented….”

    You don’t have to pull anything apart. All you have to do is look at Beethoven’e sketchbooks. Mozart, on the other hand …. there were no alternatives; the right notes srang fully formed from his head. (And Mendelssohn too.)

    Someone once said that the best music is where before you hear it, you have no idea what the next note will be, but afterward, there could have been no doubt.

    I really doubt, however, that anyone versed in music could ever think that artistic decisions are “random,” even at a first hearing. Go listen to some stochastic tone-row compositions, then tell me whether you still think that.

  6. Ragnarok, I think you’ve misunderstood the claim that Mike and DB were making.

    Their view, so far as I understand it, is that since human beings create things of magnificence and beauty, but do not create according to principle of random variation and natural selection, it does not seem plausible to them that anything magnificent and beautiful — such as various natural phenomena — could have emerged through variation or selection, either. Or, at any rate, it is far more probable that design was involved in the creation of natural phenomena, than not.

    At a highly abstract level, the argument is perfectly valid:

    1) Some Xs are caused by Ys.
    2) Therefore, it is possible that all Xs are caused by Ys.

    But it does not yield any conclusion stronger than mere possibility, so far as I can see.

  7. Olorin-Rag wrote:

    Darwinists use this term in the same way as Behe does, but without the metaphysical baggage. In fact, Darwinists invented the concept, as an explanation of how evolution can produce complex systems.

    Read the article. That’s not what they meant in context.

    Also, Darwinists seem to now think everything Darwin said that was unfalsiable is true, and everything that was falsifiable is false. In other words, at each point where Darwin seemed to think his theory could be falsified, they discount it because it has indeed been falsified in those areas. So, they sidestep the issue altogether by saying that Darwin was wrong on those points, or they engage in “science by imagination.”

  8. Their view, so far as I understand it, is that since human beings create things of magnificence and beauty, but do not create according to principle of random variation and natural selection, it does not seem plausible to them that anything magnificent and beautiful — such as various natural phenomena — could have emerged through variation or selection, either.

    No, creativity often emerges through variation and “selection,” the main point is that some are trying to reduce intelligent selection and sight that we already have knowledge of to blind processes. We know that we see and select by experience but they argue that this is an illusion. The language used to specify the views of Darwinists is consistently contradictory because we are in fact living, seeing, knowing beings who cannot be reduced to blind, dead, ignorant processes. The only people who argue that we can be are those who are dead in the head themselves. They pollute language and speak in contradictions but in so far as they are supposedly saying anything Darwinists argue that humans themselves arose through variation and natural “selection”/culling. They probably imagine that they happened across the truth of things by some happy happenstance in their own biological brain events. But given their admittedly ignorant and imbecilic view of things human beings creating “things of magnificence and beauty” are themselves created by variation and culling. This is why Dawkins believes that it is possible to breed for things like mathematical or musical ability.

    So do you similarly agree that the creativity of human beings was created mainly by processes like random variation and natural culling or not?

  9. I really doubt, however, that anyone versed in music could ever think that artistic decisions are “random,” even at a first hearing. Go listen to some stochastic tone-row compositions, then tell me whether you still think that.

    That’s my point exactly! Even a tone-row is called into existence by the free decision of a mind, choosing to act. There can be no true randomness in creativity.

    So, for example, is the genetic code merely a biological tone-row, or is it not?

  10. Darwinists seem to now think everything Darwin said that was unfalsiable is true, and everything that was falsifiable is false.

    Very good. 😉 Not only that, some actually cite falsifications as evidence of inevitable Progress towards verifying evolutionary creation myths instead of viewing it as scientific evidence that “evolution” may have limitations or may even be fundamentally false. It seems that it is not possible for some think that evolution is false. In the end one is left wondering if there is any possible line of scientific evidence which would falsify “evolution” in any meaningful way.

  11. So, for example, is the genetic code merely a biological tone-row, or is it not?

    I could be wrong because I don’t know your terminology but the argument seems to be that we’re supposed to imagine “one or a few” tone-rows capable of reproduction originally. And in this imaginary world* they reproduce until they reach a limit/specification that is derived from the space of their environment. So in the end whatever specification they have is a result of the environment they exist in. I’m not sure how you would model filtering through some reproducing tone-rows musically but processes of culling coming about the the environment never seem to explain creative variation as we know it anyway.

    *There are problems with applying Darwin’s hypothetical world to biology given that many organisms do not reproduce until they reach the limit of their food supply, “struggle” with other organisms, etc.

  12. I could be wrong because I don’t know your terminology but the argument seems to be that we’re supposed to imagine “one or a few” tone-rows capable of reproduction originally.

    I simply mean that no matter how granular one’s view is of anything created, a revelation of the mind of the creator is always possible. Always able to be revealed to those with eyes to see (or with ears to hear, as the case may be). Denying the existence of the creative mind in either case leads to some rather foolish statements.

    In any case, a tone-row by itself isn’t capable of anything. But, depending on *how it is designed*, it lends itself *artistically* to certain uses (ie: the retrograde, transposed up an octave, superimposed over the inverse taken in half time, may yield a *beautiful* result). And a hundred years later, some kid sitting in a composing class, will notice this design and get a glimpse into the creative decisions that were made, which will leave him perhaps wondering about the unique nature of this composer that lead him to make those decisions. Or not.

  13. Olorin,

    You attributed a quote to me that wasn’t mine, since I was quoting it!

    You wrote,

    DB: “Until one has dissected a Beethoven symphony, all the artistic decisions seem to be random – until you start to pull the details apart and realize the alternatives that were NOT implemented….”

  14. Their view, so far as I understand it, is that since human beings create things of magnificence and beauty, but do not create according to principle of random variation and natural selection, it does not seem plausible to them that anything magnificent and beautiful — such as various natural phenomena — could have emerged through variation or selection, either.

    Have you ever wondered why something seems “magnificent” or “beautiful”? Is it not because of its self-evident design?

  15. To go back to the music example:

    Let’s say that all music as we know it exists – but nobody creates it. It’s part of nature. We just hear Mozart when the wind blows, or Beethoven when the leaves on the tree rustle, or Mendellson when a army of ants go by, or Stravinsky when the sun sets. Would we think of music in the same way as we do now? I think not. We would be debating over whether this music was intelligently-designed by a Creator/Designer, or just blindly evolved from simple primordial air refractions! (I’m sure I know what side Carl would be on 😉

  16. But leave it to a technical society with a fetish for efficiency and utility to not see it.

    Maybe an oil painter mixed his own greens by combining his blues and yellows. Would one deny his work, saying that “a real artist would have simply used the green paint that comes in the tube, that would have been more efficient”? Or, “a real artist would have used orange instead, so that the painting could be displayed in more living rooms”?

  17. So a blind process is brilliant. That’s impressive language, and so is “verb biology.” I wonder if dene will be a verb (That ribosome is dening a protein.) And indeed, Darwinists “never would have imagined” the complexity they would encounter, and they continue to be surprised.

    Yeah, it’s stunning how casually anthropomorphisms are thrown around by evolutionists. Nature is “brilliant”, or “clever”, or “seeks/affirms life”. Perhaps our good friend Dr. Freud would have few interesting things to say about the subconscious of these people. What they are really marvelling at is self-evident design, whether they admit it or not!

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