Re: Instinct (was: Re: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 22:05:09 MDT

At 08:39 PM 3/07/00 -0700, nigel hammersted wrote:


>> "Can our self-image of fuzzy free spirits long
>survive when the genome proves that life, at its
>deepest level, is scripted by a logical program? The
>program's control is so tight that, as has long been
>known, a single error in the instructions can cause
>malfunctions such as sickle-cell anemia and other
>hereditary diseases"

>the image becomes less like a rigidly engineered
>machine and more like a free-spirited dance when one
>considers transposons, or "jumping genes."

I don't think transposons leap about inside the differentiated cells of
phenotypes, but rather during the formation of new germline cells - which
case one `tight logical program' would be replaced by a minor variant.

More to point, I suspect, is that the `rigid coding' just sets the
machinery in motion. Much of development is stochastic and/or
selected/darwinnowed by exploratory activity within the local environment,
especially in the immune system and the brain's neural organisation.

Damien Broderick

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