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Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1008
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 06 2012,07:12   

Apparently, giraffes aren't the only critter with a  recurrent laryngeal nerve issues.

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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3558
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2012,12:01   

http://www.thisviewoflife.com/index.p....dex.php
Anything and everything from an evolutionary perspective

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Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4362
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2012,17:48   

Quote (midwifetoad @ June 07 2012,12:01)
http://www.thisviewoflife.com/index.p....dex.php
Anything and everything from an evolutionary perspective

Any volunteers to send this to Ace Fake Reporter Denise O'Leary?

the first link I clicked on:  Why Is Everyone Muddled About Selfish Genes?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3558
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 07 2012,20:41   

I think it should be rather obvious that people differ in such traits as empathy an compassion. Like physical traits they exist on a continuum. My personal speculation is that groups benefit from having a mix.

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Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
Henry J



Posts: 4060
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 08 2012,10:42   

Quote (midwifetoad @ June 07 2012,19:41)
I think it should be rather obvious that people differ in such traits as empathy an compassion. Like physical traits they exist on a continuum. My personal speculation is that groups benefit from having a mix.

Of course they do! Why else would we have so many different cell types in our bodies?

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1008
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 11 2012,10:58   

Carnivorous plants are going vegetarian! From PhysOrg:

Quote
Scientists have theorised that plants adopt the carnivorous lifestyle when they can't get enough nitrogen through the more conventional means of absorbing it with their roots. Catching and eating insects provides another source of nitrogen, but it's hardly an ideal solution.

Plants have to spend lots of energy on the specialized equipment; once a species has gone down this path, it finds it hard to compete with non-carnivorous rivals outside its favoured nitrogen-poor setting. These results lend support to that theory - when plants can get away with it, they scale back on their carnivorous activities.

"In the sites with more nitrogen deposition, these plants now get much more of their nitrogen from their roots, but they still have to bear the residual costs of being carnivorous, and other plants without these will be better able to survive," Millett comments. "So it's quite likely we'll see less abundance and perhaps local extinctions from carnivorous species. The individual plants get bigger and fitter, but the species as a whole is less well adapted to high-nitrogen environments and will lose out over time."

This study confirms that it's not just a matter of the plants absorbing more root nitrogen, causing a steady level of prey nitrogen to become more diluted. The level of prey nitrogen actually falls, suggesting the plants are somehow limiting their insect-catching activities, presumably to save energy.


--------------
Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2012,14:23   

http://www.astrobio.net/exclusi....on-past

Pretty neat article on research into early formation of ion channels in membranes. The amino acid polymers called 'peptaibols' are small, 5-20 AA, and have channel functionality.

Very interesting that they aren't built by DNA because they use a non-coded AA.

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2012,16:09   

http://informatics.indiana.edu/rocha......ee.html

For those of us who are incredibly bored with the output of retired veterinarian David Abel, here is a link to an article that is partially a source for his word salad.

"Physicodynamics", "epistemic cut", etc.

The interesting thing is that Pattee's conclusion is exactly the opposite of Abel's.

Quote
13. Real-life conditions for bridging the epistemic cut
Finally, I will summarize some of the physical requirements for successfully bridging the epistemic cut. In effect we are answering von Neumann's "most intriguing, exciting, and important question of why the molecules . . . are the sort of things they are." First is the search problem. It was a problem for Darwin, and with the discovery of the DNA helix and the code that precisely maps base sequences to protein sequences the search problem appeared worse. By assuming that molecular details are significant one sees a base sequence space that is hopelessly large for any detailed search. But while this assumption is correct for the symbolic side of the cut we now know that the assumption is wrong for the function on the other side of the cut. Bridging the epistemic cuts implies executing classifications of physical details, and the quality of the classifications determine the quality of function. We know that protein sequences are functionally highly redundant and that many amino acid replacements do not significantly alter the function. We also know that many base sequence aliases can construct proteins with essentially the same shape. Also, simplified models of RNA secondary folding suggest that the search is not like looking for a specific needle in an infinite haystack, but looking for any needle in a haystack full of needles that are uniformly distributed (e.g., Schuster, 1994). There is also evidence that the search is far more efficient than classical blind variation. Artificial genetic algorithms have shown unexpected success in finding acceptable solutions for many types of search problems that appear logically or algorithmically intractable.

The second requirement is for reliable self-replication. This is a complex adaptive balancing act between conflicting requirements at many levels. On the one hand, complete reliability would not allow any search, variation, or evolution at all. On the other hand, too little reliability will produce extinction by an error catastrophe. At the folding level where the degeneracy of base sequences is partially removed, there must be a balance between a stable energy landscape to allow rapid folding and permanence, and the complex conformational degeneracies necessary for flexible specific binding and rapid catalysis. The folding process is uniquely complex in many ways. It is a transformation across all three spatial dimensions, over temporal scales covering many orders of magnitude, and involving strong bonds and many weaker forces in coherent highly nonlinear interactions. The complexity of any detailed quantum mechanical description of such non-integrable constraints means that such folding problems can only be treated statistically. Even formulating a microscopic description appears intractable. It is not even obvious that a linear sequence of several hundred amino acids, or any such heteropolymer, should fold reliably into a specific globular shape. That such flexible globules should be able to perform high-speed, highly specific catalysis is even less obvious. Yet we know this is the case, and we usually take these incredible functions for granted (e.g., Frauenfelder and Wolynes, 1994).

The last requirement I mentioned was how smoothly variations in the genetic sequences can produce adaptation in functions. Here again there must be a balance between conflicting requirements. Rapid folding and stability of a protein requires steep energy landscapes, while optimization of function requires fine tuning of the folded shape of the protein by small changes in genetic sequences. This requires a relatively smooth energy landscape. Balancing these requirements is eased by large enough molecules so that major folding conditions are buffered from local fine-tuning changes in sequences (e.g., Conrad, 1990). The degree to which these and other requirements are met by natural selection on the one hand and by non-selective ordering principles on the other will only be decided by empirical study of the molecular details.


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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3558
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 14 2012,21:32   

Someone needs to tell UprightBiped about this.

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Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 21 2012,18:40   

It is a pity that UD is flogging the Adam & Eve book right now, because there is some terrific science out there to be talked about.

The cover of New Scientist asks a provocative OOL question, Is Life Inevitable or Chance? The article inside by Nick Lane is good. If you know his work on mitochondria, a lot of it will be a rehash. He's written some good pop sci books on this subject.

His basic position, and the article's conclusion, is that bacterial life is almost inevitable anywhere you can rub H2, CO2, H2O and rocks together. However, the jump to eukaryotes with internal mitochondria is probably rare to a once-in-the-universe event.

That means we should still be able to detect life by its effect on the atmosphere of planets...

Another recent article on bacteria living in ocean bottom muds with very slow metabolisms. Buried 86 million years ago and still alive???
http://the-scientist.com/2012....die-old

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: June 21 2012,19:29   

Quote (dvunkannon @ June 21 2012,18:40)
It is a pity that UD is flogging the Adam & Eve book right now, because there is some terrific science out there to be talked about.

The cover of New Scientist asks a provocative OOL question, Is Life Inevitable or Chance? The article inside by Nick Lane is good. If you know his work on mitochondria, a lot of it will be a rehash. He's written some good pop sci books on this subject.

His basic position, and the article's conclusion, is that bacterial life is almost inevitable anywhere you can rub H2, CO2, H2O and rocks together. However, the jump to eukaryotes with internal mitochondria is probably rare to a once-in-the-universe event.

That means we should still be able to detect life by its effect on the atmosphere of planets...

Another recent article on bacteria living in ocean bottom muds with very slow metabolisms. Buried 86 million years ago and still alive???
http://the-scientist.com/2012.......die-old

I would tend to agree that the chemistry supports the development of life (for some value of life).

I'm wondering if there is another, equally effective method for generating energy for a multi-celled organism...

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 22 2012,12:51   

Quote (OgreMkV @ June 21 2012,20:29)
Quote (dvunkannon @ June 21 2012,18:40)
It is a pity that UD is flogging the Adam & Eve book right now, because there is some terrific science out there to be talked about.

The cover of New Scientist asks a provocative OOL question, Is Life Inevitable or Chance? The article inside by Nick Lane is good. If you know his work on mitochondria, a lot of it will be a rehash. He's written some good pop sci books on this subject.

His basic position, and the article's conclusion, is that bacterial life is almost inevitable anywhere you can rub H2, CO2, H2O and rocks together. However, the jump to eukaryotes with internal mitochondria is probably rare to a once-in-the-universe event.

That means we should still be able to detect life by its effect on the atmosphere of planets...

Another recent article on bacteria living in ocean bottom muds with very slow metabolisms. Buried 86 million years ago and still alive???
http://the-scientist.com/2012.......die-old

I would tend to agree that the chemistry supports the development of life (for some value of life).

I'm wondering if there is another, equally effective method for generating energy for a multi-celled organism...

Photosynthesis, for one.

One of Lane's points is that you need an energy source that can be accessed without a lot of complicated apparatus, to qualify as an OOL-useful source. That motivates his preference for the proton motive force of the electrical potential across a membrane.

He goes on to argue that early life, or probiotic reactions _must_ have been less efficient at ATP use than current life. Part of the reason I linked to that second article was to hint that they might not have been less efficient, just a lot slower in their metabolisms.

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1008
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 22 2012,18:26   

Also, there is this! From Science Daily (long excerpt):

Quote
Colin Russell, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, said: "Viruses that have two of these mutations are already common in birds, meaning that there are viruses that might have to acquire only three additional mutations in a human to become airborne transmissible. The next key question is 'is three a lot, or a little?' "

The scientists explored this key question using a mathematical model of how viruses replicate and evolve within a mammalian host and assessed the influence of various factors on whether the remaining three mutations could evolve in a single host or in a short chain of transmission between hosts

The factors that increased the likelihood of mutations evolving are:

1. Random mutation. The replication mechanisms of influenza viruses don't make perfect copies. On average, every time an influenza virus replicates itself it makes approximately one mutation somewhere in the genome of each new virus. In each infected human there will be billions of viruses, and thus with many viruses replicating, multiple mutations can accumulate within a single host.

2. Positive selection. If some of the remaining mutations help the avian virus to adapt to mammals, then those mutations will make the viruses more fit and thus will be positively selected and preferentially accumulate.

3. Long infection. The longer someone is infected and producing new viruses, the more time there is for mutations to accumulate.

4. Functionally equivalent substitutions. The sets of substitutions identified by Fouchier and Kawaoka are unlikely to be the only combinations of substitutions capable of producing an aerosol transmissible virus. The probability of emergence increases with the number of combinations.

5. Diversity in the within-bird virus population. Given all of the mutations there are likely to be within a host due to random mutation, it is possible that the viruses from a bird that infect a human might have a mutation that would not be detected by routine surveillance. For example, if 100 virus particles from a bird infect a human and one of those particles had a key mutation, it would increase the probability of the mutation reaching high levels within a host even though routine sequencing would not detect it.

6. Transmission between mammals. If mammals are capable of transmitting viruses that have some but not all of the necessary substitutions it could increase the probability of an airborne transmissible virus evolving.

The factors that decreased the likelihood of mutations evolving are:

1. An effective immune response. An effective immune response would shorten the length of an infection and thus decrease the time available to accumulate mutations.

2. Deleterious substitutions. If any of the substitutions necessary for airborne transmission were harmful to the virus it would, on average, slow the accumulation of mutations.

3. Order of acquiring mutations. It is not currently known if the mutations for airborne transmissibility need to be acquired in a specific order. If they do, it would, on average, slow the accumulation of mutations.


The paper is open access and can be found here.

--------------
Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 22 2012,21:00   

Quote (afarensis @ June 22 2012,19:26)
Also, there is this! From Science Daily (long excerpt):

Quote
Colin Russell, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, said: "Viruses that have two of these mutations are already common in birds, meaning that there are viruses that might have to acquire only three additional mutations in a human to become airborne transmissible. The next key question is 'is three a lot, or a little?' "

The scientists explored this key question using a mathematical model of how viruses replicate and evolve within a mammalian host and assessed the influence of various factors on whether the remaining three mutations could evolve in a single host or in a short chain of transmission between hosts

The factors that increased the likelihood of mutations evolving are:

1. Random mutation. The replication mechanisms of influenza viruses don't make perfect copies. On average, every time an influenza virus replicates itself it makes approximately one mutation somewhere in the genome of each new virus. In each infected human there will be billions of viruses, and thus with many viruses replicating, multiple mutations can accumulate within a single host.

2. Positive selection. If some of the remaining mutations help the avian virus to adapt to mammals, then those mutations will make the viruses more fit and thus will be positively selected and preferentially accumulate.

3. Long infection. The longer someone is infected and producing new viruses, the more time there is for mutations to accumulate.

4. Functionally equivalent substitutions. The sets of substitutions identified by Fouchier and Kawaoka are unlikely to be the only combinations of substitutions capable of producing an aerosol transmissible virus. The probability of emergence increases with the number of combinations.

5. Diversity in the within-bird virus population. Given all of the mutations there are likely to be within a host due to random mutation, it is possible that the viruses from a bird that infect a human might have a mutation that would not be detected by routine surveillance. For example, if 100 virus particles from a bird infect a human and one of those particles had a key mutation, it would increase the probability of the mutation reaching high levels within a host even though routine sequencing would not detect it.

6. Transmission between mammals. If mammals are capable of transmitting viruses that have some but not all of the necessary substitutions it could increase the probability of an airborne transmissible virus evolving.

The factors that decreased the likelihood of mutations evolving are:

1. An effective immune response. An effective immune response would shorten the length of an infection and thus decrease the time available to accumulate mutations.

2. Deleterious substitutions. If any of the substitutions necessary for airborne transmission were harmful to the virus it would, on average, slow the accumulation of mutations.

3. Order of acquiring mutations. It is not currently known if the mutations for airborne transmissibility need to be acquired in a specific order. If they do, it would, on average, slow the accumulation of mutations.


The paper is open access and can be found here.

Pah! We have nothing to fear. Behe, Gauger, and Axe have proven that so many mutations could only happen if God wanted humans to suffer millions of horrible deaths by His explicit handiwork.

Avian flu transmissible between mammals in aerosol form is as unlikely as a metazoan parasite living inside your red blood cells and being transmitted via mosquito bites.

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: June 24 2012,22:15   

EteRNA

This site has a 'game' where you try to successfully modify an RNA strand so that it folds into a target shape.

After 10,000 points are earned in the 'challenges', then you can start submitting in the Lab area.  These are shapes that the lab guys want to have.  The top 8 voted submissions are synthesized in the lab and scored based on how well the RNA actually folded (0-100 score).  If none of the designed RNAs did well, then it goes back for another round.

This is pretty much killed my day.  I got to 10,000 points a few minutes ago and have started working on my starter lab designs.  

And no Joe, this doesn't mean that all RNAs are designed.  It just means we have learned how.

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
midwifetoad



Posts: 3558
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 24 2012,23:25   

Modification and selection?

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Ēletís not make a joke of ourselves.Ē

Pat Robertson

  
The whole truth



Posts: 984
Joined: Jan. 2012

(Permalink) Posted: June 24 2012,23:54   

Bummer

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Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. - Jesus in Matthew 10:34

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. -Jesus in Luke 19:27

   
Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1008
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 25 2012,17:53   

Two new gaps created in the fossil record!. It's like one of Zeno's paradoxes, every time we think we have halved the the number of gaps we find they have doubled :angry: From the link:
Quote
This study provides the first detailed description of a primitive flatfish, revealing that the migrated eye had not yet crossed to the opposite side of the skull in early members of this group. Heteronectes, with its flattened form, shows the perfect intermediate stage between most fish with eyes on each side of the head and specialized flatfishes where both eyes are on the same side.


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Church burning ebola boy

FTK: I Didn't answer your questions because it beats the hell out of me.

PaV: I suppose for me to be pried away from what I do to focus long and hard on that particular problem would take, quite honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin to pique my interest.

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: June 25 2012,18:11   

http://science.psu.edu/news-an....t6-2012

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: June 26 2012,11:04   

Quote (afarensis @ June 25 2012,15:53)
Two new gaps created in the fossil record!. It's like one of Zeno's paradoxes, every time we think we have halved the the number of gaps we find they have doubled :angry: From the link:
 
Quote
This study provides the first detailed description of a primitive flatfish, revealing that the migrated eye had not yet crossed to the opposite side of the skull in early members of this group. Heteronectes, with its flattened form, shows the perfect intermediate stage between most fish with eyes on each side of the head and specialized flatfishes where both eyes are on the same side.

I recall an earlier paper. Very similar narrative; grad student finds transitional flat fish in museum drawer, publications ensue...

I think it was this one;

"The evolutionary origin of flatfish asymmetry"
Matt Friedman
Nature 454, 209-212(10 July 2008)
doi:10.1038/nature07108

Edited by Dr.GH on June 26 2012,13:43

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 28 2012,16:33   

http://www.sciencedaily.com/release....723.htm

Cross genome comparison of fungal species, pointing to the evolution of lignin enzyme activity as the event that shut down the Carboniferous period.

Basically, plants evolved lignin to help grow taller and out-compete each other for sunlight. But lignin is a very large, complex molecule, and nothing could break it down. So dead plant material just piled up - these are the coal beds we use today for fuel.

And it all would have continued to pile up, except that white rot fungi evolved enzymes to break the stuff down.

The article is just covered with the "E" word... Cornelius Hunter must be shaking, shaking with rage at the fundamentalist metaphysical assumptions on display.

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: June 29 2012,10:49   

http://the-scientist.com/2012....-cancer

Very cool article on finding retrotransposons ("jumping genes") to be more active in certain cancers. Note only certain cancer types!

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
Quack



Posts: 1755
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 30 2012,03:46   

Quote
The article is just covered with the "E" word... Cornelius Hunter must be shaking, shaking with rage at the fundamentalist metaphysical assumptions on display.

Let him shake!

For the rest of us: Wow, another most beautiful example of evolution!

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YEC creationists denigrate science without an inkling of what their lives would be without it. YEC creationism is an enrageous, abominable insult to the the human intellect.
                                                         Me.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,07:56   

Does someone know (or can point me to easily digestible material) on how genetics determines behavior.

I'm looking at Dilger's work with hybrid lovebirds.  I can understand that nest building behavior IS genetic.  What I'm trying to wrap my head around is how genes, expressing proteins, can determine behavior.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Henry J



Posts: 4060
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,09:49   

Since anatomy is determined by the behavior of the cells in the body (which is presumably also gene based), maybe outward behavior of the organism might be analogous to that?

(Yeah, I know, that probably doesn't help, but the details are over my head.)

  
Henry J



Posts: 4060
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,10:01   

I read that physicists are making some progress toward finding the Higg's boson.

  
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,11:07   

Quote (OgreMkV @ July 02 2012,08:56)
Does someone know (or can point me to easily digestible material) on how genetics determines behavior.

I'm looking at Dilger's work with hybrid lovebirds. †I can understand that nest building behavior IS genetic. †What I'm trying to wrap my head around is how genes, expressing proteins, can determine behavior.

The now classic book I would begin with is Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype, in which he talks about behavior as similar to the physical body in that it is determined by the genes.

I assume you've already seen this
http://scienceblogs.com/grrlsci....e-or-nu

I recently started "The Tinkerer's Accomplice", by J. Scott Turner. Turner is a physiologist and writing explicitly against intelligent design as an explanation of apparent design. He gives a nice example of behavior guided by genetics - termites building mounds.

It turns out that the complex, tall mounds built by some species of termites can be explained by each termite following some very simple rules relating whether they are carrying dirt and local temperature and CO2 concentration.

"I like to pick things up, and put them back down." - Obviously, animals have been doing this behavior for a very long time, and it is integral to nest building in fish, termites, birds, etc. It is not even exaptation, just relinking to new stimuli. For termites, CO2 concentration, for birds, hormone level.

The lovebird behavior is obviously the coordination of more behaviors, therefore more genes. The result of blended behavior also shows that many genes are in play. The issue is also confounded by the fact that the birds are smart enough to learn, and therefore can overcome the deficits caused by the blending.

Flying away with one piece of bark in the mouth is a shortcut of the longer series of behaviors of picking up the bark in the mouth and then storing it in the feathers (repeated) before flying. If the more elaborate behavior is ancestral, as Dilger hypothesized, then simpler behavior reflects silencing a whole group of genes.

It would be cool to go back and sequence the species and the hybrids, to see which genes differ, when they are turned on in the brain, are they related to the genes of other nest building species, etc.

Your other route to understanding some of this might be through artificial animals. There are great examples (video, science papers) of GA or GP driving the wiring of a neural network, which in turn controls behavior such as walking.

Science is so wonderful!!!

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2121
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,13:48   

Also the Russian silver fox experiment...

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,15:04   

I understand that genetics does modify behavior.  Believe me, I know this.

I'm just trying to figure out how.  What is it about some proteins, the interactions thereof, and the development of the organism that results in a specific behavior (for example, cutting long strips of material, sticking them into the feather on the back, and then building a complex cup nest).

The one thing that I can grasp is the innate behaviors of an organism.  As the brain develops, certain circuits are pre-wired evolutionarily, and some of those are these innate behaviors.  I can even see how changes to the DNA could end up modifying those pre-wired circuits because of evo-devo principles.

So, is that it?  Is that really all there is to it?

If so, then we should be able to determine an innate behavior, find the controlling genes during development and change them to see what happens.  Could give us some interesting glimpses into how neural wiring works.

--------------
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
dvunkannon



Posts: 1377
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2012,16:32   

Quote (fnxtr @ July 02 2012,14:48)
Also the Russian silver fox experiment...

Yes, it would be nice to sequence those domesticated foxes to see if the short nose and floppy ears are just hitchhiking, or related to the "function" of domestication.

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Iím referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
Iím not an evolutionist, Iím a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima

  
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