Re: A biological singularity?
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:03:29 EDT

In a message dated 9/20/98 10:36:42 PM, wrote:

> Wrote:
>>It's not a "higher level code" or anything like that. The similarity
>>between different high-level developmental control genes just reflects
>>the extreme difficulty of changing anything essential to the organism's
>I don't understand your distinction. it seems to me that if that's not a
>high level code it is most certainly something like that.

A code allows you to decode something. Knowing the eye-signal gene allows you to spot other eye-signals - but gives you no idea what any other gene does. With the genetic code, by contrast, I can give you the amino acid sequence of any gene, including ones I've never seen before.
>> Anyway, it's not the highly conserved genes that differentiate
>> us from the chimp - they don't distinguish us from anything.

Developmental morphology, metabolism enzymes, promoter recognizer, etc. genes - the ones for which such claims are made - are functionally the same in us, fruit flies, nematodes, and chimps. Your eye-signal gene can't differentiate you from a chimp because it's not different in any functional sense. A human who had all the highly conserved genes from a chimp would be a human to all tests, except to a sequencing machine.