Some not so new insight into the dependencies of Evolution & Mutation (specifically the small changes within the DNA) from a more philosophical point of view.
Genes and DNA
‘They seem likely to move further away from regarding this or any other of their models as final and direct description of the world, and towards treating each having only limited and provisional use. It would accordingly be very naive to use quantum mechanics as Monod apparently wants to, to prove a lapse of order as an objective fact.’ (M. Midgley, p. 80)
‘It is now clear that no mechanical explanation is available ... . Of course, molecular biologists generally ignore the implications of physics, except when these implications support their own position.’(David Bohm cited by M.Midgley p. 99)
‘He wants to give a special status to science, to show it as the one thing which does have real, undeniable value. Since he has just stressed that no values are given and that we must be equally free to accept or reject anything, this is hard.’
‘... (Monod) calls for ‘censorship’ to preserve its (science) purity. Accordingly he presents ‘objective knowledge as the only source of real truth.’ So what sort of truth do we deal with in everyday life, in personal relations or in the study of history? And since scientists frequently disagree and change their theories, which scientific truth are we to accept?
‘David Bohm reasonably remarks on the extreme dogmatism, shared by Monod and by the religious authorities, ... One could indeed regard the postulate of objectivity as a paraphrase of former articles of religious faith which people were required to accept. ... To carry the parallel further, it was supposed by the church that, if man is to be good, he must freely assent to God’s will (as interpreted by the religious authorities) ... . Both the religious authorities and Monod agree on the need of a strict ‘censorship’ of views contrary to what is right and good. They both talk in terms of ‘commandments.’ In effect, Monod is proposing that objective scientific knowledge should replace religion, not only as a source of knowledge of the world, but also as a source of authority which determines the whole man’s being, even his innermost feelings and aspirations’ (M. Midgley, p. 85f)
‘Like successful Chicago Gangsters, our Genes have survived, in some cases for millions of years,...’ (R. Dawkins, cited by M.Midgley p. 122)
‘The individual organism is only the vehicle (of genes), part of an elaborate device to preserve and spread them with the least possible biochemical perturbation . ... The organism is only DNA’s way of making more DNA’ (Edward Osborne Wilson, cited by M. Midgley p. 123)
‘These (the genes) are treated as real calculating agents, manipulating human beings and other animals, who may suppose that they have purposes of their own, but are deceived in this, being in fact only ineffectual pawns, puppets or vehicles of these ‘hidden masters.’ […] ‘At that point the genetic forces appear as inescapable fates, and the rhetorical tone varies between reverence for their power and contempt for humans who suppose that any other element in life need concern them. It is strongly fatalistic, that is not just resigned to evils which have been proved inevitable, but more generally contemptuous of all human effort, from a sense of perceiving a conscious being which will not let in prevail. This fatalism, too, is linked to egoism, since the being in question is treated as the prime case, the central example and source of selfish motivation prevailing everywhere else. It is, in fact, a simple self-justifying projection of human selfishness’(M. Midgley, p.128f)
‘By what right, and in what sense, can we consider ourselves as the directional pointer and aim-bearer of the whole evolutionary process?’
‘... Certainly Judaeo and Christian thinking made the human race much more central than many other religions do’ (M. Midgley, p. 69)
‘The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. (Steven Weinberg cited by M. Midgley, p. 75)
‘it is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe’ ( M. Midgley, p. 93)
‘Of course human beings did not earn their niche in the wild sense of entirely inventing it by their own power. No organism needs or expects to do that. The environment came to them from outside ...’ For human beings living their lives, everything in their natural constitution comes from outside anyway as luck, in the sense that they did not make it. (M. Midgley p. 89)
Microscopy: selected images of proteins: Connexin, Filaments, Tubulin, NF-KappaB, etc. are visualized here in different cell types (e.g. fibroblasts, hepatocytes, ...).