Julie Theriot: Discovering Design Principles for Cells and Organisms


…there is immense diversity in cellular structures. What are the underlying physical principles that allow these structures to emerge? Julie Theriot argues that protein folding theories fail to explain how cells build large-scale assemblies, and so scientists are working to develop a new theory of cell structure determination.

See also: Why are bacteria different from eukaryotes?


…there is a bacterium with the wonderful name Gemmata obscuriglobus that is described as having a double membrane enclosing the DNA in a nucleus-like structure [3], although the structure is apparently contiguous with the plasma membrane [4], so in that sense it is very different from a eukaryotic nuclear membrane and this is certainly a special case. But leaving that example aside…

My comment: If you leave out any example that does not fit within the biophysical constraints of ecologically determined variants, you can continue to dispense with other similarities across species and focus on differences throughout the required progression of niche construction that enables our observations (i.e., from ecological to social to neurogenic and to socio-cognitive niche construction).

For example. the excerpt above continues uninterrupted below. It exemplifies the exclusion of ecological variation and across species similarities in niche construction during the progression of organismal complexity. The focus is on differences.

…the main consequence biologically of having a membrane-enclosed nucleus is that transcription and translation are uncoupled. So there is a fundamental kinetic and organizational difference between eukaryotes and bacteria in the way that genetic information is expressed in the form of protein and is therefore allowed to be converted into cellular structure, function and organization.

My comment: The questions arise:
1) How were transcription and translation uncoupled?
2) Does any experimental evidence suggest that the biophysical constraints on niche construction (e.g., of physics and chemistry) can simply be dismissed?

If ecologists and or ethologists cannot answer those questions, their biologically uninformed minions are left with no answers to any other questions about biophysically constrained adaptations. Ecological variants automagically become incorporated into a theory of how mutations somehow cause mutation-initiated natural selection and evolution. Few people look back to see the explanatory power of similarities. Anyone who does look back will understand the lack of explanatory power that is so pervasive in discussions among physicists that might simply begin with the question: “What about birds?”

Unfortunately, attempts to find answers to questions about cause and effect from ethologists have failed from the start. Discussion of differences between bird species and other species continues, and discussion is based on what ethologists can observe. Looking back on what Dobzhansky wrote in 1964,  I suspect it was discussion of differences by ethologists that led him to claim: “…the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists!”

See for comparison:

David Haussler: What Can We Learn From Sequencing Our Genomes?


By comparing the sequenced genomes of different organisms, researchers can identify changes in the genetic code that led to specific evolutionary innovations in the past. The implications for medicine and biology are profound.

I find something else equally profound. The Hebrews appear to have linked RNA-mediated cell type differentiation to biodiversity thousands of years ago. The fact that most deleterious mutations to our genes have arisen since then suggests that people should have learned more about biologically-based cause and effect before they were taught to believe in the pseudoscienitific nonsense about mutations, natural selection and evolution.

See:  The 72 Angels and the Power of the Hebrew Letters


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