More thoughts on the Grand Blueprint
A half-formed thought ... well, maybe a 1/10 formed thought ... continuing the theme of the Grand Blueprint.
The image of the Grand Blueprint is rapidly sharpening as more genetic research finds more evidence. Looks like the codes for all the basic physical parts of complex animals and plants were present in some distant ancestor, and each type of life picked the codes it needed.
Previous thinking held that life began with simple organic molecules and gradually built up complexity through random mutation.
Nope, change happens by subtraction, not addition.
The addition concept never made a lick of sense. You can't build anything, houses or cars or software, by randomly accumulating happenstance ideas onto a blank slate. In the real world you start with a reasonably complete sense of the finished product, and then do a small amount
of subtracting and adding as you find unanticipated limitations or needs.
And now we know that Nature didn't build at random either.
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Okay, all of that applies to the physical side.
How about the purposes of life?
You could hypothesize that learning/adapting, communication/reciprocity, emotions/moods, caring/altruism, and competition/deception
are major observable purposes of life.
We've known for a long time that our fellow vertebrates share these purposes to varying degrees. Elegant experimental example in the news today: Rats like to help their friends as much as they like chocolate.
In the last decade we've started to realize that simpler animals, plants and protists accomplish the same purposes in surprising ways, often mediated by actual exchanges of genetic material. For instance, we've found that plants are Facebook Friends. They send signals to neighboring plants
via underground networks of Mycorrhiza fungus. When a bug starts eating a tomato plant, the plant builds its own chemical weapons against the bug, and also passes a chemical chain letter to its neighbors, telling them to start building their own weapons.
More recently we're seeing
that plants send coded gene-modifying messages to their seeds and fruits via messenger RNA, and those codes can be read by our genes when we eat the seeds.
Finally, here's the 1/10-assed question.
Is the blueprint solely meant to provide physical details? Or is it primarily aimed at these 'soulful' purposes? Is the physical design relatively unimportant, varying to suit local conditions and material availability, as long as the purpose is accomplished? Is all of life a feedback loop in which the goal variable is to maximize communication, altruism, etc?
Are all physical organisms just tools to accomplish those purposes?
And does the living universe provide an error-correcting signal when large segments of life deviate seriously from their intended purpose?
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Sidenote: I suspect there is older research
on this hypothesis. Perhaps this older work deserves re-reading in light of the new factual
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Pet peeve: I don't expect the secular fucking fools to understand purpose
. The Dawkins and Grayling types are locked into primitive brutal genocidal Leninist ignorance on all topics, refusing to acknowledge that life is anything special. But I do
expect better from the Intelligent Design types. Some of them (not all) show a more subtle form of theorigenic blindness. Their need to assume that humans are unique, made in the image of God, prevents them from seeing the full picture of commonality among life forms. They insist that the human version of these purposes is qualitatively
different from the canine or plant version.
Labels: Grand Blueprint