Sunday, 13 May 2012

Visions - Kaku

Rhodopsin and the master gene theory of Gehrig suggests that eye evolution is divergent. But this paper is not cited again in the next 9 years and so this would seem to be a dead-end so convergence is still probable as suggested by Stewart.
Having a master gene would invalidate the idea of canalisation as it is too deterministic there would be no convergence in related populations, there would be no need for plasticity or evolvability. The system would be very rigid and not very robust to loss of master gene function.
Fru gene controls make sexual response in fruit flies. This would be an example of a single gene and not a system of genes controlling a complex behaviour/trait. This would kill the need for a system and make selfish genes much more likely to exist. But this paper has not been cited again so it was probably a high level transcription factor required for activating many pathways.

Another physicist who sees futility where we do not need to. He worries that the Universe will end in about 13 billion years time and that this will be a waste of intelligent life. I think that if our descendants make it to 1 billion years that will be an outstanding success. At the minute we don't look like making another 100.

p12 "now the heyday of reductionism has probably passed. Seemingly impenetrable obstacles have been encountered which cannot be solved by the simple reductionist approach."

p82 "Sejnowski remarks, 'A lot of the details and organisational decisions in biology are historical accidents. You can't assume that nature took the simplest and most direct route to do something. Some features are remnants of some earlier stage of evolution, or it may be that some genes that happen to be around are commandeered for some other purposes.'"

p169 BPDE causes lung cancer mutations of p53 Science Oct 18 1996. p430.

p333 "For 99% of human existence, we lived in small primitive, nomadic tribes that could economically support perhaps no more than fifty of so individuals. ( Studies have shown that when a tribe expands beyond roughly this number, it cannot support and feed all the additional members and it will split up)."

What studies? Walden Two? Nietzche's sister in Paraguay?

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