Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Shifting Universe.

There is currently a revolution underway in our understanding of genetics and biochemistry.  The traditional understanding of human DNA, as being comprised of approximately containing 2% useful information and the rest of it being junk, is rapidly being debunked by research into non-coding RNA.

The junk appears to matter, and matter a lot, especially with regard to our understanding of ourselves. It's my opinion that these findings will lead to the death of Darwinism and pose a serious scientific challenge to the belief of Atheism, not because evolution will be seen to be impossible, but far less probable. It's an Gallileo moment.

Here is a talk by professor John Mattick, whom I've spoken about before. Mattick is not some scientist from Flat Earth Ministries or the like. From what I can gather, Mattick believes in evolution but this talk of his, based upon the latest findings in molecular biology, illustrates just how much contemporary science has under appreciated the enormous complexity of the DNA/RNA transcription mechanism. Furthermore, Mattick explains how contemporary understandings of evolutionary biology are just flat out wrong.

The talk, titled, Most assumptions in molecular biology are wrong,  lasts about an hour and gets pretty technical towards the end but I feel it's worth persisting with.

Intersting titbits. (Mainly at the end.)

It appears that Lamark may have been right all along.
The brain can rewirte its own DNA!
(That is shot accross the bow to the eugenicists and the Hard-HBD crowd.)
Most molecular biologists have a hard time thinking around mainstream paradigms.
The genetic processes in the brain seem to have an analogy with the immune system.
Our favourite idiot, Richard Dawkins, gets an oblique put down.

If you've got the time, get a coffee and sit down and have a listen. Most of it is easy to understand for those with a bit of scientific understanding.

In addition, those who have interested in the subject and like to keep abreast of things, this blog keeps a digest of the latest findings with regard to non coding RNA.


kurt9 said...

I'm not sure why you have a problem with eugenics. Everyone knows that the quality of any human organization is based on the quality of the people that comprise it. Many books on management theory are written each year as to this reality. This is called human capital. It is a tautology that any nation-state is only as good as the quality of the human capital that comprises it. This is just common sense. Its hard to despute.

This research finding is not really new and it really does not say Lamark was correct. What is does say (which we have known for years) is that the so-called non-coding DNA is really regulatory in nature. It regulates much of molecular biology. Epigenetics is something different. It is the role of Methyl groups in regulating gene expression. Methylization of DNA has also been known for long time.

These findings do not render evolution as impossible. If anything, they reinforces the theory of evolution by providing more molecular-biological mechanism of how evolution has occurred (for example, infectious agents, especially retro-virus). The idea that evolution can only occur via random damage to DNA, presumably due to ionizing radiation, has been dead for at least a decade.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, not this again. Please take your time to read a real molecular biology textbook (preferably one that isn't 50 years old), like the one I recommended last time. Since you're interested in the stuff, wouldn't it be better to give yourself a proper grounding in it? At the moment, you are like a person attacking orbital mechanics using tools from Aristotle's "Physics".

About non-coding DNA and Darwinian evolution, please re-read my comments in your previous post. Mendel worked out inheritance laws, and Darwin formulated his theory, before anything was known about the actual biochemical mechanisms of inheritance. Mitosis was discovered two years after Darwin published "The Descent of Man". In addition, the regions actually coding for proteins are indeed evolving on average more slowly than most non-coding regions (except rRNA, tRNA and other structural and functional RNA genes, which are extremely conservative) because a mutation easily breaks the protein's function — terminating the amino-acid chain early or substituting an amino-acid which interferes with the protein's delicate internal structure — and you get nasty stuff like cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs when the embryo doesn't self-abort. On the other hand, regulatory sequences are less susceptible to catastrophic breakage, because the fidelity of the proteins and RNAs recognizing them isn't very high.

PS: that "Institute for science in society" also promotes homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and water memory. Nice company if you happen to like it.

The Social Pathologist said...

"Institute for science in society"

Which institute for science society?


( Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation)



(Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering)

They're official bodies here.

The Social Pathologist said...


And another thing. I don't know where you got the idea that the Garvan Institute is some New Age hippy hangout.

Here is their wiki entry.

Homeopathy my arse!

Jack said...

Would be great to be able to see the slides as well.

C3, for the benefit of those who were not here 'last time', what text would you suggest?

The Social Pathologist said...


The book that Candide3 suggested was

The Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Link here:

BTW, in case you are interested, Mattick here;

Presents a more technical version of his talk which covers a lot of the same material in the initial you tube video.

Jack said...

Thanks Doc. Behavioral genetics was a favorite subject back in the day.


The Social Pathologist said...


Sorry for the late reply.

These findings do not render evolution as impossible.

Correct, yet but they make the spontaneous genesis of life far less probable.

Methylization of DNA has also been known for long time.

Mattick seems to suggest, at least in the brain, that the modification of DNA is more profound, i.e deliberate codon change.

As for human capital, as I've said before it's a combination of genetics and culture.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bruce said...

Bruce Charlton had an interesting post about the cognitive genome. I guess the idea is that the genome can increase the probability of adaptive mutations. I don’t really understand how the required feedback mechanism is supposed to work.

The Social Pathologist said...


As I've said before, where on the brink of several major paradigm changes in our society. Our current concepts with regard to Darwinian evolution, at least on a molecular level, are wrong.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kurt9 said...

Correct, yet but they make the spontaneous genesis of life far less probable.

Actually, it does not. There are two bottlenecks here. The first is the emergence of prokaryotic bacteria. The second is the emergence of the Eukaryote via Hydrogen Hypothesis of Endosymbiosis. This second process is, by far, the more rare event. But it is not impossible.

Nick Lane has written much about the emergence of the eukaryote and, how once formed, drives the development of more complex life forms.

The hydrogen hypothesis is quite profound. If true (and I think it is), we are most certainly alone in the galaxy at least (no ET's). It also explains why there are 2 sexes and the aging process (which is due exclusively to mitochondrial DNA damage) and how to cure it.

kurt9 said...

Mattick seems to suggest, at least in the brain, that the modification of DNA is more profound, i.e deliberate codon change.

I think this an overreaching conclusion. I would have to see more experimental replication to believe this.

BTW, we do know that infectious agents are a major driver of evolution. 40% of the human genome is identifiable HERV (human endogenous retro virus) code.

The Social Pathologist said...


I think this an overreaching conclusion

That's why I said Mattick "suggests" rather than states. In the video, Mattick mentions that the results are preliminary and not definitive.

There are two bottlenecks here.

Understatement de jour.

These aren't some simple "bottlenecks" rather, they are events which, effectively, have a probability of zero. Self replication is a complex process of many disparate parts which in-themselves are complex. The probability of these individual parts coming together ex nihlo is astronomically small. My objection to current conceptions of evolution isn't based upon some deistic imperative, rather an assessment of the probabilities which I believe make the theory impossible.

BTW, we do know that infectious agents are a major driver of evolution

Sloppy logic and an example of the "Darwin of the Gaps argument"

In order for infectious agents to drive evolution, you've suddenly got two bottlenecks to overcome, the spontaneous origin of the host and the spontaneous origin of the infective agent. The probabilistic chance of this happening is now even more fantastically remote than previously.

This virus shit really does my head in. Viruses don't replicate ex nihlo, they need to take over a host in order to replicate, in the pre-Darwinian void there were no hosts to hijack

Furthermore, the fact that viral code and human code have homology does not mean that they are of the same origin.

Two different programmers can write two different programs and analyst looking at the two may see homology in certain sections of the code. It does not mean that the code was of the same origin.

Unknown said...

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