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Morphogenetic fields and intelligent design


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#16    Br Cornelius

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:41 PM

If we are postulating a fixed unchanging morphic field which has the blueprint for all future evolutionary development (like a divine plan) then i'm certainly not buying it. My conception of the concept is that the field is subject to evolution and development and is driving the organic DNA evolution.Anything else requires belief in determinism and I could never see the point of a universe which was predetermined at the start. Even if there is a creative force I can't believe it would write a script and sit back and wait for it to play out as written - why ?

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#17    danielost

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:50 PM

Yes but when you go to calling a cancer a new species.

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#18    AlexG

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 06:05 PM

Has anyone suggested the physical mechanism for Morphogenetic fields?

Reading something they can understand, that seems to make sense, that presents itself as technically competent, non-scientists are easily gulled by fake science. --Henry H. Bauer

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#19    Guyver

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:00 PM

Excellent article!  Great read - well spoken.

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#20    Guyver

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:27 PM

Br Cornelius on Oct 10 2008, 09:41 AM, said:

If we are postulating a fixed unchanging morphic field which has the blueprint for all future evolutionary development (like a divine plan) then i'm certainly not buying it. My conception of the concept is that the field is subject to evolution and development and is driving the organic DNA evolution.Anything else requires belief in determinism and I could never see the point of a universe which was predetermined at the start. Even if there is a creative force I can't believe it would write a script and sit back and wait for it to play out as written - why ?

Br Cornelius



Every choice, situation, or decision can lend itself to an innumerable potential of outcomes, right?  What if the entirety of every action was not scripted but rather the outline for the infinite number of potential outcomes was scripted.  Then the Supreme Being could sit back and watch things play out without knowing anything but the range of possibilities.  That would keep things interesting.



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#21    Br Cornelius

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:35 PM

Guyver on Oct 10 2008, 08:27 PM, said:

Every choice, situation, or decision can lend itself to an innumerable potential of outcomes, right?  What if the entirety of every action was not scripted but rather the outline for the infinite number of potential outcomes was scripted.  Then the Supreme Being could sit back and watch things play out without knowing anything but the range of possibilities.  That would keep things interesting.


How could you achieve a predictable predetermined outcome through a series of totally random events. that seems very illogical to me.

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#22    Guyver

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:41 PM

I couldn't but God could?  I don't know; I'm merely speculating but I'm sure there's got to be an explanation for this existence that goes beyond survival and reproduction.

I don't know if morphogenetic fields are the answer or not.  I couldn't find a source, but I do remember that holograms can be cut in two and the original hologram will appear under ultraviolet light.



Edited by Guyver, 10 October 2008 - 07:57 PM.

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#23    jingwen

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:57 PM

dear copasetic

well, about the worms.  Who's to say they haven't been under our feet all this time, just no one took the time to analyze their  digestive system.  Once again your "evolution" happened in a dark corner where no one was really looking or keeping records.  If the worms underground can give rise to new species in the last few years, why haven't humans?  Why does evolution apply to every other species except humans?  That's convenient.  I really think, in accordance with my original comment, that these worms were the product of cows interbreeding.  They are the germ species.  

P.S I'm leaving the discussion. I'm sorry if I challenged your belief system. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.


#24    Guyver

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:20 PM

jingwen on Oct 10 2008, 01:57 PM, said:

dear copasetic

well, about the worms.  Who's to say they haven't been under our feet all this time, just no one took the time to analyze their  digestive system.  Once again your "evolution" happened in a dark corner where no one was really looking or keeping records.  If the worms underground can give rise to new species in the last few years, why haven't humans?  Why does evolution apply to every other species except humans?  That's convenient.  I really think, in accordance with my original comment, that these worms were the product of cows interbreeding.  They are the germ species.  

P.S I'm leaving the discussion. I'm sorry if I challenged your belief system. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.



Are you kidding me?  You're a scientist and you're going to wimp out of this discussion.  These guys have been begging for someone like you to step up and go toe to toe with them over in the SvsS board.  Step back into the discussion and use your reasoning powers as a scientist to establish your points.  MAN UP.

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#25    Guyver

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 11:30 PM

jingwen on Oct 10 2008, 01:57 PM, said:

dear copasetic

well, about the worms.  Who's to say they haven't been under our feet all this time, just no one took the time to analyze their  digestive system.  Once again your "evolution" happened in a dark corner where no one was really looking or keeping records.  If the worms underground can give rise to new species in the last few years, why haven't humans?  Why does evolution apply to every other species except humans?  That's convenient.  I really think, in accordance with my original comment, that these worms were the product of cows interbreeding.  They are the germ species.  

P.S I'm leaving the discussion. I'm sorry if I challenged your belief system. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.


That's what I thought.  You didn't hurt his feelings or challenge his belief systems.  He's a real scientist.

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#26    Tiggs

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 12:36 AM

It's funny that you should mention cows and human evolution, as one of the most easily recognisable human evolutions is that of Lactose tolerance.


#27    Copasetic

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 05:58 AM

Ok Mr. Stoecker, let's continue where we left off shall we?

UM-Bot on Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

But their failure to explain the development of species is only one of the problems for the materialists. They insist that all of heredity is encoded in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in the genes, and that the genes completely control the development of every organism. But genes only carry a code to produce certain proteins, nothing more.


Sorry that's incorrect. Let me help you. Gene's are actually much more than "protein encoders", while they are certainly that -That is a very simplified (1980s'ish) view. Genes also encode for functional RNA's which never get transcribed, because they are functional. The functional RNA's do everything from gene regulation to immune-like functionality. A nice list can be found here.

UM-Bot on Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

That is not quite the same as determining structure. And even that is not well understood; researchers used to claim that human beings have some hundred thousand genes and that each gene codes for one, and only one protein. But the Human Genome Project found that thousands of genes patented by private companies do not even exist, and current estimates for the number of human genes have been downsized to perhaps thirty to thirty five thousand...no one really has a clue. And the human body is now known to contain at least 300,000 proteins; if each gene codes for one, there is a bit of a problem.



Well hold on to your butts, cause (not surprisingly) your developmental biology is about as bad as your regular biology. I am going to bold this section here, because it is important to refuting the base of your argument.

First I would like to point out that we don't currently know how many protein species are contained in the human body. It has been estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000. What I think you fail to realize is not all proteins come straight off the transcriptional press and are ready to go. In fact very few proteins are directly coded for by our genes. The vast majority of them are post-translationally modified (referred to as PTM henceforth).

Let's go over this real fast to make sure you are understanding it. Let's say we have a segment of DNA that reads as follows: (fyi I have broken it down into codons to allow easier reading)

TAC-ATA-GTA-CCG-GTA-AGT-ACT

Thus our mRNA reads;

AUG-UAU-CAU-GGC-CAU-UCA-UGA

Knowing this we know the amino acid sequence looks like this;

START-Tyrosine-Histidine-Glycine-Histidine-Serine-STOP

So we have this short pentapeptide. We can further PTM it.
1. We can add an actyl group at the N-terminus of the protein (actylation)
2. We can add an akyl group at any of the residues (akylation)
3. We can add an amide group at the C-terminus (amidation)
4. We can add lipids
5. We can add carbohydrates
Well this is actually getting boring and I don't really wish to list out the 40 or so types of PTM that we can do. Wikipedia actually has a pretty comprehensive list of PTM for anyone brave enough to look: HERE

Hopefully from just these 5 examples, you can see that this one amino acid sequence can represent literally thousands of proteins (No really, with just these 5). There are many other PTM which can be done as well. Meaning from a single sequence of amino acids, we can create thousands maybe even millions of different proteins.

Well, let me now say I am guilty of extreme simplification. I know, I know *GASP*. I would like to rectify that if you will follow a long with the biology lesson a little more.

In the above example, we go from DNA directly to mRNA. In eukaroytic organisms it is not that simple. Eukaryotic genes are made up of regions we call introns and exons. The introns, or intergenic regions are not actually coded into the protein. In fact, they never make it into the mRNA. From the DNA we first create, through translation, a primary transcript. Which is then modified into our actual mRNA inside the nucleus via spliceosomes. Spliceosomes are another example of functional RNA (meaning the genes that encode for them, don't encode for proteins), which can add great diversity to our genomes. Let me put up a little picture here to help anyone following along who is a little lost.

linked-image

So let's talk about splicing for a moment because it directly refutes your claim (as well as PTM) that one needs 300,000 genes to have 300,000 species of proteins. Splicing can occur by different spliceosomes in different ways, to yield different mRNA transcripts -Ultimately making many species of proteins from a single gene. We have three basic types of alternative splicing:

1. Acceptor site splicing- A different 5' or 3' site is used for initiation/termination which results in a frame shift (just like the mutation outcome) which alters, of course, the final protein product.
2. Intron retaining- an intron is simply left in the transcript. The average number of introns in a human gene is 8, which means a great variety of proteins can be created from one protein encoding gene (PEG). Which introns are left in can be mixed in matched, we are not limited to leaving in 1 or all.
3. Exon cassette- exons are spliced out of the transcript. On average our a human gene contains 9 exons. Again, as you can see, this leads to a wide variety of protein species from a gene.


But wait, it gets worse for your argument. We also now know, that in many cases (probably a vast number of them) complex splicing occurs -That is a varied combination of the above alternative splicing methods. So we may start with 3 down on the 5' end (that's five prime in case you were curious), leave in 2 introns and remove an exon. As you can see the possible combinations then- Become a rather stupidly high number. Remember also, that all of these protein species created in alternative splicing methods can be PTM as well. So there is no doubt that 25,000 genes can encode for 300,000 proteins. To be honest, I would not be surprised if the actual number were much closer or even over a half million protein species.

Well now that we got that first part out of the way, let's look at your claim that DNA is not capable of producing structure. Because ultimately, that is untrue. In order to do this we will need to take a trip down developmental biology lane.

I am going to assume by structure you are referring to macro scale structures -Like limbs and body parts (since that seems conceptually the hardest to envision DNA creating). What we have learned is that during development, one has specialized cells which reside in your different tissues responsible for directing anatomical development (this is really neat stuff here). These cells create gradients of morphogens, which are small signaling molecules (directed by DNA!).

It is important to note here, that the great difference between us all (animals) is not that our genes are very different -because they are not. It is the timing and expression of those genes during development that drastically alters appearances.

Anyway, so these specialized cells create gradients of morphogens. Where the gradient is steep, that is a greater amount of morphogens, then the neighboring cells react more drastically. This maybe best explained with an example -I think examples always help people visualize things better.

So lets say we have a small wing bud in a developing chicken embryo. Cells on the wing bud, excrete morphogens for very specific periods. Morphogens work by regulating gene expression -In turn, the cells that produce them do so by gene regulation and expression. The morphogen gradient created cause the local cells to grow and respond such that the chicken's wing develops.

But how do we know morphogens are actually controlling this growth? (Now it gets fun  wink2.gif )

Let's say we were to take a piece of the polarization zone (think morphogen expressing cell area) and flip it around. If morphogens (controlled by that lil'ol DNA) really do what we think, then we should get a mirror image created -

linked-image

And behold! We do!

In fact, everything in your developing body is controlled by similar gradients -From establishing limbs/organs to figuring out your dorsal and ventral sides. And it is all done through the wonderful magic of your DNA -Specifically a large set of genes which plays a huge role, the HOX genes


UM-Bot on Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

Biologists and geneticists have always been a bit hazy, to put it mildly, about how embryonic cells, all carrying the same genes, differentiate into completely separate tissues and organs in different parts of the body.


Actually I just gave you a foundational introduction above. We are certainly still learning about development -But, we're far from clueless. We know that the timing of expression is what creates the vast differences between organism. We know that while all cells "carry the same genes", not all cells express the same genes. We have a much better understanding of how tissue differentiation occurs, though you don't seem to know that. It's getting late so I will skip a lecture if you don't mind. Please read Wikipedia's page on Cellular Differentiation, that will provide anyone who is interested a good foundation on tissue differentiation. If anyone is further interested in discussing it, or has any questions; start a topic or feel free to PM me.

UM-Bot on Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

Enter Rupert Sheldrake. Fringe researchers and writers theorized that there might be "morphic fields," perhaps transcending time and space, that serve as a data base for mental and physical forms.

For example, a group of quartz crystals would generate such a field, and new crystals would tune into that field and their development would be controlled by it. They would also reinforce the field and add new information to it; this is called "morphic resonance." The "akashic records" mentioned in the ancient Hindu Vedas would be an example of a mental field, as would Jung's collective unconscious, which may be the same thing. Such fields might influence human culture and behavior. Needless to say, there is nothing in conventional physics that allows for any of this.


Needless to say there is no evidence to support any of this. We also have a very good understanding of structural development without calling on help from imaginary magical fields.

UM-Bot on Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

Rupert Sheldrake, with a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge, is a fellow of the Institute for Noetic Sciences, founded by former astronaut Edgar Mitchell. In his 1981 book A New Science of Life: Hypothesis of Formative Causation  he coined the term "morphogenetic field" for morphic fields that govern the development of living organisms. This would at least begin to explain how different tissues and organs develop in different parts of the body. Sheldrake believed that DNA might actually function like an antenna (the double helix even looks a bit like an antenna) and receive instructions from the field.


Well, firstly he did not coin the term "morphogenetic field". Morphogenetic field has been used by biologists to mean a local grouping of cells which respond to a discrete signal that causes a specific developmental pathway to be followed (like the limb/wing bud examples above). In fact, we have been using this term since Alexander Gurwitsch coined it in 1910 -Some 30 years before ol' Sheldrake was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

As for DNA looking like an antenna....I think you need to lay off the cartoon drawings.

QUOTE (UM-Bot @ Oct 9 2008, 06:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So intelligent design (which does, indeed, require a Designer) seems to explain evolution and morphogenetic fields seem to explain organ development. But the individual's part of the field, though connected with the rest of it, begins to sound like the astral body hypothesized by occultists. And does the act of procreation then involve merely sperm and egg, or is there a spiritual component? Is there some truth to the Catholic belief that the soul is injected into the body at the moment of concepcion? But note then that the soul, via the astral body, would govern the development of that body. And this interconnectedness of all things has long been a belief of mystics. And these fields may then play a role in the process of intelligent design, with the Supreme Being, either directly or through lesser angels, fairies, or nature spirits, modifiying the morphogenetic fields to create new life forms.
    
This is a truly exciting area of study, scoffed at by materialists. Proper research in this area might well lead to medical breakthroughs and even a higher spiritual understanding.
    
William B Stoecker


Well Mr. Stoecker, Sheldrake's MFs don't really explain anything. Because, there is no evidence they exist. Furthermore, they are unneeded to explain development -In both people and animals. So I guess that leaves you cdesign proponentsists about where you started -With absolutely zero evidence that:
A.) Design from an intelligent agency is present in our world
B.) Such a designer even exists
C. Or you cdesign proponentsists are capable of formulating a scientific hypothesis worth a damn.

Good day to you sir!

Edited by Copasetic, 11 October 2008 - 06:44 AM.


#28    Copasetic

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 06:23 AM

Guyver on Oct 10 2008, 03:00 PM, said:

Excellent article!  Great read - well spoken.


Sure a little Sci-Fi/Fantasy always makes a great read!  thumbsup.gif



jingwen on Oct 10 2008, 05:57 PM, said:

dear copasetic

well, about the worms.  Who's to say they haven't been under our feet all this time, just no one took the time to analyze their  digestive system.  Once again your "evolution" happened in a dark corner where no one was really looking or keeping records.  If the worms underground can give rise to new species in the last few years, why haven't humans?  Why does evolution apply to every other species except humans?  That's convenient.  I really think, in accordance with my original comment, that these worms were the product of cows interbreeding.  They are the germ species.  

P.S I'm leaving the discussion. I'm sorry if I challenged your belief system. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.


Well I hate to have to tell a fellow scientist his critical thinking skills are sub-par, but your critical thinking skills are sub-par.

First had you taken the time to read the article you would have noted it was a new protein that give the worms the ability to be unharmed by the heavy metals. So we have worms, living in areas exposed to toxic metals due to human activities (which means in recent history), who had to have this develop recently.....Can you spell it from here?

Who says that speciation cannot happen "quickly" -No one but yourself and fellow creationists. We know speciation can happen quickly, look at Dodd's fruit fly experiment (I'll let you use your scientific credentials to access that) in which speciation happened in few generations.

Why haven't humans evolved into a new species in the last few years? Well, can you show me a reproductively isolated group of people with different selective pressures which would result in a new species? New species, very often depend on one thing (not so simple it seems though) reproductive isolation. Really, that's it. When you have multiple populations that become isolated from each other, and gene flow is cut-off, each population's allele frequencies will be maintained under the slightly different selective pressures of their respective environments.

Don't worry though, you didn't hurt my feelings and your "arguments" against evolution certainly didn't challenge anything. By the way, evolution is not part of my belief system -Evolution is a fact of life, so it does not require belief, merely that you understand the evidence. And contrary to the popular creationist bigot, not everyone who understands evolution is some kind of god hating atheist.

Guyver on Oct 10 2008, 06:20 PM, said:

Are you kidding me?  You're a scientist and you're going to wimp out of this discussion.  These guys have been begging for someone like you to step up and go toe to toe with them over in the SvsS board.  Step back into the discussion and use your reasoning powers as a scientist to establish your points.  MAN UP.


I am not sure if you are being sarcastic here or not Yeti, but maybe (I don't know call me crazy) there are some clues to be picked up in his posts. That whole lack of critical thinking thing, the whole "dinosaurs are just lizards" thing, I am going to go out on a limb and say don't hold your breath that this guys is a scientist or has the the scientific know-how to even address a basic argument over the fundamentals of biology/evolution.


Guyver on Oct 10 2008, 07:30 PM, said:

That's what I thought.  You didn't hurt his feelings or challenge his belief systems.  He's a real scientist.



Huh? Sarcasm?


#29    Copasetic

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 04:42 PM

Don't run away creationists I am enjoying this exchange!


#30    DemonWatcher

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 08:47 AM

Copasetic, it is always a learning experience when i approach a thread and you are there, appreciate the added Bio 115 info.

I am a Watcher by birth, and so it should not surprise any when my observations are truthful.

History is where you confuse the long since deceased
And irritate the h**l out of the living.~ Golden Hawk




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