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Symbiotic Homeostasis: A Case for Intelligent Design?

Discussion in 'The PatsFans.com Pub' started by All_Around_Brown, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    The phenomenon of symbiotic homeostasis is a direct assault to traditional evolutionary theory. Homeostasis, by definition, is resistance to change. This is the process by which certain physiological functions are maintained in equilibrium through negative feedback loops. These loops are common processes in many biochemical reactions of all living things. The human body reacts to increasing ambient temperature by vasodilation and sweating, for example, thereby cooling the body down by allowing greater heat to be exchanged from the body to the environment. Take out any component of the equation and you have pyrocephallacy. But how on earth might this have come about?

    If any single component of the negative feedback system is removed, then the system breaks down and homeostatis cannot be achieved. Subscribers to the theory of evolution have yet to provide evidence which would describe a plausible progression of evolutionary designs in humans which would have allowed for this complex system to occur, and it does appear to fall under the category of irreducible complexity. Just by looking at the image, one can see that omitting either receptors or effectors at any point along the way would lead to a complete breakdown of the entire cycle. Darwin pointed out that if any structure could not have come about by a serial progression then the entire theory fails. Michael Behe describes irrecucible complexity as "a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution."http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html Behe has pointed to irreducibly complex structures such as the camera eye and flagella to make his case. But what about functional aggregates? Behe points to blood clotting cascades and immunological responses as irreducibly complex as well. This makes a lot of sense. The mousetrap is often cited as a comparative analogy. If you remove any part of the mousetrap, it no longer functions. So how could it have come about by a serial progression of steps through evolution?

    A bigger issue is that of the entire complex which makes up the feedback loops seen above, and how these loops apply not only in biochemical processes, but ecological interactions as well. The best example of such that I can think of are symbioses. Symbiosis, literally speaking, is two or more separate organisms (species) living together. Examples include coral reefs which make up a large and important component of marine systems, mycorhizzae which contribute to the health of boreal forests, and even malaria (plasmodium) which threatens large populations of humans in a variety of places around the world. All of these symbioses are of global reach. In fact, there are numerous examples of how symbioses are universal. Everywhere you look in biology, you are likely to find a symbiosis. I used these three examples for a good, logical reason too. And that is because each of them are slightly different types of symbiosis. It is first and foremost important to understand that there are three gradations of symbiosis: parasitism-commensalism-mutualism. Many people assume symbiosis to infer the last of these three, but that is a flawed use of the term, technically speaking. Symbioses do not always benefit both species. In the case of corals, both species benefit. This is a mutualism. In the case of mycorhizzae, only one benefits the other is unaffected. This is a commensalism. In the case of the third example, the parasite that causes malaria benefits, which the host human is affected negatively, health-wise. This is a parasitism. But all three examples are symbioses. Now to the interesting part. There are numerous examples in nature of these three distinct systems, but there are absolutely no definitive examples of the intermediary steps that one would expect if one were expecting these associations between organisms to have evolved.

    read the rest here...http://symbiol.blogspot.com/
     
  2. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Well put together, I guess you really have had an epiphany AAB :). So......where do you go from here? Take care.
     
  3. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    Well as a scientist, I have to devise an experiment to prove it. Any thoughts?

    Computer modelling comes to mind. Perhaps if we were to find intermediate forms in nature, the argument falls apart. But I know of none.
     
  4. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Computer modeling sounds good; have you thought of maybe using models that deal with mathematical probability? Those are usually pretty effective in discounting a naturalistic cause, although I am not sure how far they would go toward "proving" your hypothesis. I'm going to give this some thought and get back to you. I also want to go a bit more in depth with some discussion of your proposal, but I want to read through it a few more times first in order to completely process what you have posited. Have a merry Christmas and we'll talk soon. Take care.
     
  5. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    The computer modelling is inherently mathematical, and any good model must use sound probabilistic determinants. The website I provided is a draft, I would not consider submitting it for review until I've had the opportunity to include a deeper discussion of intelligent design, and edit it up. It still needs work, but is a good start.

    My thinking is that homeostasis, being the near exact opposite of evolution, is the key biological phenomenon that most IDers keep ignoring. There are so many examples of it from the most simple systems to the most complex, and from the molecular to the universal, and yet almost no examples of how biological systems get around it.
     
  6. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Hey AAB, how are you? I thought I would make a few quick comments.

    Symbiosis is definitely a strong argument for design. When we consider two organisms who depend on each other for survival the imediate thought is ; which came first? I was wondering if you were aware of a particular species of leaf cutting ant in South America? These ants cultivate mushrooms using leaf cuttings instead of soil. They cannot eat the leaves because of a natural insecticide that exists within them and the mushrooms cannot live on the leaves because they are coated with a prohibitive wax. So the ants must avoid the poison as they scrape the wax from the leaves so that they can decay into mulch and allow the mushrooms to cultivate. In turn the mushrooms absorb the insecticide, turning it into an edible food for the ants called gongylidia. This alone is an impressive example of an irreducibly complex symiotic relationship but studies done as recently as 1999 have shown that this may very well be a three way symbiotic relationship. It would appear that the mushrooms have a parasitic enemy that would normaly destroy them but they are protected by an antibiotic procuced by a special bacterium that actually lives on the ants bodies. So, in conclusion, the bacterium depends on the ants body for survival, the ant depends on the mushrooms for survival, and the mushroom depends on the bacterium and the ant for survival. If any one of the "partners" within this relationship is missing the entire group dies. I imagine in your field you must have heard of this particular species of ant, I wonder what the mathematical probability of these "partners" naturaly evolving would be? Thoughts? Take care.
     
  7. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    That is a great example, CPF. Thanks for sharing that. Symbioses are definitely one of the frontiers of biology. It would be hard to imagine how such an arrangement would evolve, as you say. The counter argument would be that this three-way association was designed.

    I've put an article on the prisoners dilemma on the blog http://symbiol.blogspot.com/, and am still editing the primer. However, when you get a chance, have some fun with prisoners and see how non-zero-sum games work. This will give you a real good feel for the math behind homeostasis. Also, the thermostat analogy works well.

    http://www.winwenger.com/homstas.htm

    This is a good background on homeostasis, before we get too far ahead with specific examples of symbioses, its probably best to understand the principles, and mutual areas we agree on.

    PS I also had the thought that you should sign up at that blog and post comments directly to the articles as they come out. What do you think of that? That way, we won't bother Patsfans servers with our drivel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  8. JLC

    JLC Practice Squad Player

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    Not a bother to this Pats fan. This is very interesting to me, and I appreciate the opportunity to "listen in" on your thoughts regarding this subject.

    I intend to check out your links for additional information and discussion of this subject.

    Thanks to both of you!
     
  9. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    I agree, let me ask you though, do you feel like a bit of a "hybrid" for lack of a better word? What I mean is that while you seem to be exploring the case for I.D I'm pretty sure you still accept the majority of the ToE; am I wrong about this assumption?

    I already took a look at the prisoners dilema, and tried the game, it's very interesting how non-zero-sum works.

    Yes I am anxious to see what we agree on as well, let me take a look and I'll get back to you.

    Well as you can see by what JLC posted; not everyone considers this "drivel". I personally find it fascinating, but I will sign up at your blogspot as it appears it will make things a bit easier. Take care.
     
  10. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Geeze - if you're really grappling with this issue and want to risk blowing a microchip, take this to the next level and consider the "rare earth" theory from a scientific standpoint

    http://www.forum2.org/tal/books/rare.html

    It's all conjecture of course, presupposing that our "conditions" for life are for the most part necessary in all cases, but the authors have attempted to attach some scientfic probablity to elements a bit more realistic than the typical "billions and billions of stars = intelligent life" hypothesis

    But since we don't have any other examples of life existing elsewhere, its the best and only testable hypothesis of what elements and conditions need to come into play to create, not only life, but intelligent and complex life

    In essence the authors take a different look at the scientific variables that created life on earth - essentially suggesting that an amazing number of coincidences have transpired to create stable complex life even before one begins the debate over God's hand in evolution.

    Such conditions necessary for complex life include:

    Proper distance from the star.
    Proper distance from the center of the galaxy.
    A star of a proper mass.
    A planet of proper mass.
    Oceans.
    A constant energy output from the star.
    Successful evolution.
    Avoiding disasters.
    The existence of a Jupiter-like planet in the system.
    The existence of a large, nearby moon.
    Earth's tilt
    Plate tectonics.

    Quell conicidence, non? Of course the impact of each of these can be debated and is discused in greater detail in the book and on the above link.
     
  11. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post JSP. From this perspective, it is truly obvious how precious earth is. And just as an aside...There are many adherents to the Gaia Hypothesis, and people that contend the earth is the "God" ....for the reasons implied in that very book. Rare find this earth is. Glad we're here and not somewhere else. Astrobiology is very interesting however.
     
  12. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Hey AAB; are you going to be posting anything else at your blog site? I made some comments a while back but I haven't noticed any activity from you in quite a while. Take care.
     
  13. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Hey Joe, thanks for the comments as well as the link. The "rare earth" hypothesis has been a basic tenet of the I.D movement for quite some time now and makes some compelling arguments in support of design. Jay W. Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez have done some ground breaking research in this field, here is one of their articles http://www.arn.org/docs/richards/jr_arewealone.htm You can also check out other things they have published at the ARN website. Take care.
     
  14. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    I've had a short hiatus. There's new content now. Enjoy.
     
  15. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Where is the blog site?

    Q: What was the only all-white band on the Motown Label?
    A: Rare Earth
     
  16. CPF

    CPF Practice Squad Player

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2006
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Not the most sexy of blogs AAB but I found all the articles you posted quite interesting

    On the symbiotic bacteria and stomach flora, its interesting to note that when you take anti-biotics orally for other infections you are of course potentially killing off your own stomach flora

    There's a lot of wacky stuff in homeopathic and natural medicine but there's a lot that's beneficial and one can buy "pills" that contain the beneficial bacteria to counter the unitended consequences of anti-biotics


    Aside from that, let's not forget that the mitochondria itself - present in every cell working as the powerhouse of all cells (without which we could never have evolved as complex creatures requiring high levels of energy) are thought to originally have existed as bacteria that formed a symbiotic relationship with single celled creatures

    today they are the essence of our very cells - quite amazing! Coincidence? Intelligent design? who knows... but it certainly seems as though the occurrances of coincidences are growing longer each day as science looks into these issues deeper and deeper

    Eventually one may determine that there are so many coincidences, that aspects of Intelligent Design become increasingly probable
     
  18. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown In the Starting Line-Up

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    Not sexy, I know. But just you wait. When I figure out this whole technology thingy, it will improve!! The blog is a work in progress. Bear with me.

    I think the fact that Darwin dropped the ball on cooperation in biological systems opens up room for the ID camp. Is there emerging evidence to support ID here??? Symbiology explores this and other things.
     

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