9/10/2007

VOX DEI-BATE: ON HOLD?

Has my 'debate' with Vox run its course? One of my readers suggested as much to me in an email over the weekend. However, let me remind y'all that:

1) Vox has essentially requested more time: ".....I'm doing some reading to catch up before responding to Scott's latest post..... I have a weekly column to write, after all, which takes priority over the debate on evolution."

2) The NFL got under way with a full slate of games over the weekend, and Vox is clearly a big-time NFL fan.

Speaking of which, how 'bout dem Cowboys?

4 comments:

jack said...

Hi Scott:

I was wondering about the debate's end as well. I just sent VD an email with an attachment that consisted of a discussion concerning Lamarchism and the fact that there may be some truth to those ideas. The latest argument revolves around the role played by microRNA in relation to DNA and what seems to be a paradigm shift in the science of DNA.
Briefly, the base argument is that this thing called microRNA may carry down modified genetic information that can influence DNA by 'hitching' a ride on sex cells. The microRNA can, apparently, be influnced by environmental factors during the course of the entity's life. The author of the article pretty much seemed to believe in a lot of design involved in it all rather that chance mutation. I can supply more info if you like.

jack

jack said...

Me again. I meant to mention how much I'v been enjoying the evolution debate. Like Vox, I am learning a lot!
I've got all the posts, on both sides, and saved all the comments. too. When its done I will burn to cd for archive and to give to a few people that could not follow the whole thread.

Jack

Scott Hatfield . . . said...

Jack, your interest is commendable. Indeed, miRNA ('microRNA') may well have regulatory functions that are sensitive to environmental effects and which can trigger major events of genomic reorganization. If true, these are 'Lamarckian' only in the sense that the genomic reorganization is heritable. It is highly unlikely that the organism, during its lifetime, experiences a dramatic phenotypic change which is then inheritable. The possibility of what Goldschmidt referred to as a 'hopeful monster' still remains remote, and in any case if the new phenotype which emerges in an individual is to be involved in speciation, it must fall into the cauldron of natural selection in order to become widely-distributed in a population.

It is nice to see, however, that people on both sides of the 'debate' are starting to appreciate the possibility of novel scenarios outside of Darwin's original vision.

windy said...

It is nice to see, however, that people on both sides of the 'debate' are starting to appreciate the possibility of novel scenarios outside of Darwin's original vision.

Sounds very "fair and balanced", but I think this is a bit insulting to actual working biologists. "Starting to appreciate?" That happened a hundred years ago, man! Darwin had as little clue about DNA as microRNA.