Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun

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Joseph Potter

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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Hello all,


It is summer in central Florida and our thoughts turn to
air-conditioning and summer reading, hence a fun
topic for summer.

Dr. Gould, I believe, once wrote that every evolutionary
biologist had a favorite enigma in nature. He has offered bamboos
as one of his. In particular *Phyllostachys bambusiodes* of China
which flower and set seed every 120 years, and then up and die.
Transplants taken to far counties die in unison with the originals in
China. He also indicated that Darwin found Orchids to be
a great one.


So, here is the game.

In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
will you offer any of the below:

1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas

2) Just your favorite biological enigma

3) Either of above, but with a description of the
enigmatic nature of the example[s]

4) Any explanation of yours or someone else's
enigma

Note: If someone offers a great example that interests
the denizens of T.O then you might want to start a thread
on that example.

Votes on the top ten will be taken at the end of summer.
Good luck, and may your favorite be voted number one.

CC: to several who might be interested

ZeldaG

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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>Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>

>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas

OK, but not in order.

1. I recall being totally flumoxed by the impossibly slow mutation rate of
histones. I could not see how they could develop in the first place if the
change between yeast and humans was so small. The answer is supposed to be
billions of years of evolution, with perhaps faster biochemical evolution on
the front end. Thus, my objection is an argument by incredulity.

2. I still think ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. I gather much
material relating thereto was exaggerated or mistaken. Oh, well. I can't help
but suspect that the counterarguments were a means to garner publicity for its
originators.

3. Platypus.

4. 100 um bacteria (recently discovered)

5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.

6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.

7. The Heart

8. Frog oocyte mRNA amplification.

9. Vulture immunity to Botulinum Toxin.

10. Hyenas as being the only mammals with undescended testicles(?).

Andre G Isaak

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <19990625140138...@ng-fd1.aol.com>,
ZeldaG <zel...@aol.com> wrote:

>OK, but not in order.

An interesting concept. How does one go about posting an unordered
list?

Andre
--
Andre G Isaak agi...@linguist.umass.edu
Department of Linguistics (413) 586-8949 (Res)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Ken Cox

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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Andre G Isaak wrote:
> An interesting concept. How does one go about posting an unordered
> list?

Use the UL markup. The list items come out with little bullets
in most browser implementations.

--
Ken Cox k...@research.bell-labs.com


Joseph Potter

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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Andre G Isaak <agi...@linguist.umass.edu> wrote in message
news:7l0gts$8...@wilde.oit.umass.edu...

> In article <19990625140138...@ng-fd1.aol.com>,
> ZeldaG <zel...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> >OK, but not in order.
>
> An interesting concept. How does one go about posting an unordered
> list?
>
> Andre
>

Come on fellow, until you give a try take quibbles to
talk.flame.quibble.who. cares :-)

Seriously, it is in spirit of the list-fun. You do not really
have to post in order, as the order comes from the voters
and the end.


Regards, Joe

Joseph Potter

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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*Hemidactylus* <hemida...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:7l0lft$dcq$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...
> In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,

> Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > It is summer in central Florida and our thoughts turn to
> > air-conditioning and summer reading, hence a fun
> > topic for summer.
> >
> > Dr. Gould, I believe, once wrote that every evolutionary
> > biologist had a favorite enigma in nature. He has offered bamboos
> > as one of his. In particular *Phyllostachys bambusiodes* of China
> > which flower and set seed every 120 years, and then up and die.
> > Transplants taken to far counties die in unison with the originals in
> > China. He also indicated that Darwin found Orchids to be
> > a great one.
> >
> > So, here is the game.
> >
> > In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
> > will you offer any of the below:
> >
> (snip)

> >
> > 2) Just your favorite biological enigma
> >
> >
>
> Biological? Darn. I was going to use Jerry Seinfeld as an example. I mean
> what is with this guy? How'd he keep a TV show for so long? (annoying scene
> change bassline)
>
> Biological enigma? Archetypes. Are there essences in nature (ala Richard
> Owen)? Is there an underlying conservatism that channels evolution. This
> could arise from some pie in the sky "self-organizing" pixie or it could be
> the cumulative result of history (i.e.-a long series of past selective
> events).
>
> In general: From where do motifs spring?
>
> --
> Scott Chase
>

Scott,

Sounds like you want to start your own list. I think
you are free to do so. You might even bring it to
the central Florida howlers-fest.

Regards, Joe

Joseph Potter

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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Ms. Zelda G. ,

Congratulations, you are the first to respond to the
Summer Fun list. I hope the judges (those that vote
at the end of summer) will take into account your
fearless nature in going first.

Warmest Regards & Respect,
Joe

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
CC: various to shame them into
matching the lady's courageous effort


==================================
ZeldaG <zel...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:19990625140138...@ng-fd1.aol.com...


> >Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> >From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>
>
> >1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>

> OK, but not in order.
>

> 1. I recall being totally flummoxed by the impossibly slow mutation rate of

*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to

--
Scott Chase


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.


Andre G Isaak

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <3773CC...@research.bell-labs.com>,
Ken Cox <k...@lucent.com> wrote:

>Andre G Isaak wrote:
>> An interesting concept. How does one go about posting an unordered
>> list?
>
>Use the UL markup. The list items come out with little bullets
>in most browser implementations.

Yes, but they still come out in an order (maybe not one which is
intended to convey anything meaningful).

However, I concede that the poster who accused me of ``quibbling'' was
absolutely correct, and I do hereby drop the issue.

*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <19990625140138...@ng-fd1.aol.com>,

zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:
> >Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> >From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>
>
> >1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>
> OK, but not in order.
>
(snip)

>
> 2. I still think ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. I gather much
> material relating thereto was exaggerated or mistaken. Oh, well. I can't help
> but suspect that the counterarguments were a means to garner publicity for its
> originators.
>

Must...resist..no...cannot respond...the allure...too great...can't keep
away...

After suffering a recent outbreak of this, I'll stick to the basics.

So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).

>
> 5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.
>
> 6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.
>
>

The syncytia resulting from fusion or division of myoblasts?

Laurence A. Moran

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

>Dr. Gould, I believe, once wrote that every evolutionary
>biologist had a favorite enigma in nature. He has offered bamboos
>as one of his. In particular *Phyllostachys bambusiodes* of China
>which flower and set seed every 120 years, and then up and die.
>Transplants taken to far counties die in unison with the originals in
>China. He also indicated that Darwin found Orchids to be
>a great one.

Here's the essay that Joe refers to,

"Of Bamboos, Cicadas, and the Economy of Adam Smith"
in EVER SINCE DARWIN, S.J. Gould (pp. 97-102)

Gould discusses bamboo and cicadas, which also reproduce infrequently.
These are interesting reproductive strategies that make you wonder whether
they evolved by natural selection. Gould asks,

"... we must seek an explanation ... in the advantage that
it confers upon individuals. What, then, does an individual
cicada or bamboo gain by induling in sex so rarely and at
the same time as all its compatriots?"

Gould then proceeds to supply a reasonable answer based on sound
evolutionary principles. I won't give the answer away because I want Joe
to actually read the essay to find out. Gould concludes,

"The hypothesis of [...] though unproven, meets the primary
criterion of a successful explanation: it coordinates a
suite of observations that would otherwise remain unconnected
and, in this case, downright peculiar."

The point is that Gould does not find bamboo enigmatic in spite of what
Joe Potter would have us believe. It's just another example of Joe's
inability to read with comprehension.

Larry Moran


Splifford

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to

> >Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> >From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>
>
> >1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>
> OK, but not in order.
>

> 1. I recall being totally flumoxed by the impossibly slow mutation rate of


> histones. I could not see how they could develop in the first place if the
> change between yeast and humans was so small. The answer is supposed to be
> billions of years of evolution, with perhaps faster biochemical evolution on
> the front end. Thus, my objection is an argument by incredulity.
>

> 2. I still think ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. I gather much
> material relating thereto was exaggerated or mistaken. Oh, well. I
can't help
> but suspect that the counterarguments were a means to garner publicity for its
> originators.
>

> 3. Platypus.
>
> 4. 100 um bacteria (recently discovered)
>

> 5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.
>
> 6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.
>

> 7. The Heart
>
> 8. Frog oocyte mRNA amplification.
>
> 9. Vulture immunity to Botulinum Toxin.
>
> 10. Hyenas as being the only mammals with undescended testicles(?).

Nope. Look up whales. I think that the larger seals also qualify. And I
_know_ that elephants do, too.

Now, hyenas may be the only mid-size mammalian land carnivores that
qualify, but not the only mammals.

--
Scientific creationism: a religious dogma combining massive
ignorance with incredible arrogance.
Creationist: (1) One who follows creationism. (2) A moron. (3) A
person incapable of doing math. (4) A liar. (5) A very gullible
true believer.


Wade Hines

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
Perhaps along the theme that Larry presents, I will list one of
my favorite pseudo-enigmas of evolution. It's stolen from
either Dawkins or Gould. Someone will probably provide the ref.
Such a list seems more appropriate somehow.

Camouflage is an evilutionary strategy to help prey evade
predators. Yet in the Great White NorthNorth, the polar
bear is camouflaged white. She is at the top of the food
chain and has no predator to hide from so why is the polar
bear white?

Please note that this micro riddle should not be answered. The
answer is obvious and trivial but that doesn't mean that it
will reveal itself to everyone. (reference ye hither to a
common fallacy involving ignorance) Further note that it does not
qualify as a true enigma as the only mystery to it is derived
through misunderstandings of evolution.

WRowe0521

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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----> Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> invited us to provide:

>A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas

I can't come up with ten, but here are 4, all concerned with humans

1. The origin of the sense of humor

2. The common feature of all jokes - ie what structural or other feature do
jokes have in common? (yes, it is biology)

3. The origin of the capacity to enjoy music

4. The unnecessary sophistication of the linguistic faculty.

Bill Rowe

ZeldaG

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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>Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>From: *Hemidactylus*

>So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
>von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).

I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me to
opine, I will.

>> 5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.

>>
>> 6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.
>>
>>


>The syncytia resulting from fusion or division of myoblasts?

I believe that is the case. I guess I don't know how the tissue becomes
polynucleate. Is it fusion, nuclear division, or both?


ZeldaG

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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>Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>From: zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG)
>Date: Fri, 25 June 1999 01:58 PM

While I'm at it,

11. Prions

12. T-viruses that read in both directions.

13. Dracunculus Medinensis- A particularly nasty parasite that grows up to a
yard long and can only be removed by waiting till its head chews its way to the
surface, and then very slowly wind it around a stick)

14. Tapeworms with segments that undergo a transition form male to female as
they age.

>>Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>>From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>
>
>>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>
>OK, but not in order.

(I meant they were numbered but not prioritized)


>
>1. I recall being totally flumoxed by the impossibly slow mutation rate of
>histones. I could not see how they could develop in the first place if the
>change between yeast and humans was so small. The answer is supposed to be
>billions of years of evolution, with perhaps faster biochemical evolution on
>the front end. Thus, my objection is an argument by incredulity.
>
>2. I still think ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. I gather much
>material relating thereto was exaggerated or mistaken. Oh, well. I can't
>help
>but suspect that the counterarguments were a means to garner publicity for
>its
>originators.
>
>3. Platypus.
>
>4. 100 um bacteria (recently discovered)
>

>5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.
>
>6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.
>

>7. The Heart
>
>8. Frog oocyte mRNA amplification.
>
>9. Vulture immunity to Botulinum Toxin.
>
>10. Hyenas as being the only mammals with undescended testicles(?).

(Counting aquatic mammals isn't fair because the cooling water allows the
spermatocytes to form. How is it that Hyenas were the only ones to solve this
problem above-ground?)


Mark Isaak

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
>will you offer any of the below:
>
>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>[. . .]

I'll have to think longer to come up with ten. Here's a couple to start.

1. Dreams.

2. _Philya californiensis_ - a thorn mimic which lives exclusively on a
species of plant with no thorns.

--
Mark Isaak atta @ best.com http://www.best.com/~atta
"My determination is not to remain stubbornly with my ideas but
I'll leave them and go over to others as soon as I am shown
plausible reason which I can grasp." - Antony Leeuwenhoek


PZ Myers

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <19990625205730...@ng-fq1.aol.com>, zel...@aol.com
(ZeldaG) wrote:

>>Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun

>>From: *Hemidactylus*
>
>>So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
>>von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).
>
>I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me to
>opine, I will.

How many volumes do you want to read?

>
>>> 5. syncitial moulds. Squishing protoplasm around like toothpaste is wild.
>
>>>
>>> 6. Polynucleate muscle tissue.
>>>
>>>

>>The syncytia resulting from fusion or division of myoblasts?
>
>I believe that is the case. I guess I don't know how the tissue becomes
>polynucleate. Is it fusion, nuclear division, or both?

Vertebrate muscle forms by fusion of mononucleate myoblasts into polynucleate
myotubes. Other cells in development may become polynucleate by suppressing
cleavage.

I guess this is another case where I'm baffled about why anyone would find
it enigmatic.

--
PZ Myers


PZ Myers

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <19990625210817...@ng-fq1.aol.com>, zel...@aol.com
(ZeldaG) wrote:

[snip]

>>
>>10. Hyenas as being the only mammals with undescended testicles(?).
>
>(Counting aquatic mammals isn't fair because the cooling water allows the
>spermatocytes to form. How is it that Hyenas were the only ones to solve this
>problem above-ground?)

What about monotremes, hyraxes, elephants, anteaters and sloths? Rhinos also
have descended but ascrotal testicles.

You might want to look up:
Werdelin, L and A Nilsonne (1999) The evolution of the scrotum and testicular
descent in mammals: a phylogenetic view. J. theor. Biol. 196:61-72.

--
PZ Myers


PZ Myers

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <7l19e6$8bt$1...@shell6.ba.best.com>, at...@best.comNOSPAM (Mark
Isaak) wrote:

>In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
>Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>>In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
>>will you offer any of the below:
>>
>>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>>[. . .]
>
>I'll have to think longer to come up with ten. Here's a couple to start.
>
>1. Dreams.

A little more fundamental: sleep.

>
>2. _Philya californiensis_ - a thorn mimic which lives exclusively on a
>species of plant with no thorns.

--
PZ Myers


*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <19990625205730...@ng-fq1.aol.com>,
zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:
> >Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> >From: *Hemidactylus*
>
> >So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
> >von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).
>
> I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me to
> opine, I will.
>
>
I was trying to be Mr. Concise.

You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
so? The ball's in your court.

In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their
ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect
recapitulated instead the degree of complexity, as terminal addition would
add layers upon layers atop ancestral ontogenies?

Or do embryos just tend to proceed (quite sloppily) from the development of
general characters that are shared within a phylum, class and order into more
specific characters that one finds in genera and species?

*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
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In article <myers-25069...@ppp102.blackbox1-mfs.netaxs.com>,

my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:
> In article <7l19e6$8bt$1...@shell6.ba.best.com>, at...@best.comNOSPAM (Mark
> Isaak) wrote:
>
> >In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
> >Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> >>In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
> >>will you offer any of the below:
> >>
> >>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
> >>[. . .]
> >
> >I'll have to think longer to come up with ten. Here's a couple to start.
> >
> >1. Dreams.
>
> A little more fundamental: sleep.
>
>
Perchance to dream?

ZeldaG

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
>Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>From: *Hemidactylus* <hemida...@my-deja.com>

>> >So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
>> >von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).
>>
>> I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me
>to
>> opine, I will.
>>
>>
>I was trying to be Mr. Concise.
>
>You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
>so? The ball's in your court.

Granted mutations can affect any stage of development. I would expect mutations
affecting earlier periods of gestation to be riskier, but having a more
profound effect on the individual. As a rule then, more mutations should
successfully add on to later stages of development where their effect is less
potent. Thus, the earlier, more primitive species-type development would be
relatively preserved.

I also had the impression from disparate biochemical factoids that biochemistry
evolved with earlier, more critical biochemistries remaining more intact, and
less critical biochemistries flowering into diversity in the later stages. ORP
had also been claimed for the appearance of antibody classes, and their serum
titer, mirroring their perceived evolution.

I know this subject is controversial and I cannot claim to be authoritative
enough to render a verdict regarding validity. I still consider it an
interesting area.

>
>In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their
>ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect
>recapitulated instead the degree of complexity, as terminal addition would
>add layers upon layers atop ancestral ontogenies?
>

Can you explain the application of the word: scaler.

Wade Hines

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Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to

*Hemidactylus* wrote:
> zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:

> > I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me to
> > opine, I will.

> I was trying to be Mr. Concise.

> You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
> so? The ball's in your court.

> In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their
^^^^^


> ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect

Boy, I must be even more confused than I thought I was.

I never even knew the recapitulation was supposed to be about
adult forms but thought instead that it involved the suggestion that
"new" stages were added at the end of old sequences of embryonic
development. I'm not saying that's the way things work but I
did think that was what was claimed as the generality.


Wade Hines

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to

ZeldaG wrote:


> While I'm at it,

> 11. Prions

Nothing enigmatic about prions.

The simple fact is that some proteins fold into a metastable
state which is useful. That they can also fold into forms
which are refractive to normal cellular recycling schemes
is not suprising. That such systems can survive and not be
effectively eliminated via evolution ought to be expected.

Of course you are welcome to add some details about why
you think that prions are defiant of evolutionary explaination.
Joe tried that about apoptosis but the replies seem to have
left him speechless.


*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
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In article <19990625233532...@ng-cp1.aol.com>,

zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:
> >Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> >From: *Hemidactylus* <hemida...@my-deja.com>
>
> >> >So what is your synopsis of Haeckel's dogma? In a nutshell, I still prefer
> >> >von Baerian divergence (spectral) to Haeckelian progression (scalar).
> >>
> >> I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me
> >to
> >> opine, I will.
> >>
> >>
> >I was trying to be Mr. Concise.
> >
> >You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
> >so? The ball's in your court.
>
> Granted mutations can affect any stage of development. I would expect mutations
> affecting earlier periods of gestation to be riskier, but having a more
> profound effect on the individual. As a rule then, more mutations should
> successfully add on to later stages of development where their effect is less
> potent.
>

So your talking about a genetically based terminal addition? Of course, gene
effects should be considered and not necessarily genes themselved.

Wallace Arthur, in _A Theory of the Evolution of Development_ (1988?)(not
presently handy but I read it recently) bases some ideas on a mathematical
abstraction from Ronald Fisher. It brings timing of gene activity, magnitude
of phenotypic effect and selective disadvantage into play. In a nutshell,
early acting genes have a more profound effect on the phenotype and early
mutations would likely have selective disadvantage.

He develops a morphogenetic tree concept where there is a hierarchy of
allelic causal links. Modifications to this tree can take one of three types.
The first is von Baerian divergence, where the allelic message itself is
changed. The second is Gouldian heterochrony, where the timing or
relationship between links is warped and the third is Haeckelian
addition/deletion of links, where complexity of the tree could increase or
decrease. I think this latter type is what you're hinting to.

>
>Thus, the earlier, more primitive species-type development would be
> relatively preserved.
>

There might tend to be a degree of conservation, but probably not a literal
parallel of O and P or recapitulation.

>
> I also had the impression from disparate biochemical factoids that biochemistry
> evolved with earlier, more critical biochemistries remaining more intact, and
> less critical biochemistries flowering into diversity in the later stages. ORP
> had also been claimed for the appearance of antibody classes, and their serum
> titer, mirroring their perceived evolution.
>

I hazily recall this from an immunology class. Was it Ig M which was more
primitive and appears earliest in ontogeny? I would appreciate a brief
explanation of the paralellism between Ig appearance in ontogeny and
phylogeny:-) I was still a bit unclear after that class, since the focus was
on human immunology and not evolution. I've been meaning to find a good
comparative immunology text. It's been a while since I've given this much
thought.

BTW, didn't Metchnikoff (spelling?) do some work relate to
evolution/development?

>
> I know this subject is controversial and I cannot claim to be authoritative
> enough to render a verdict regarding validity. I still consider it an
> interesting area.
>

Same here.


>
> >
> >In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their

> >ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect

> >recapitulated instead the degree of complexity, as terminal addition would
> >add layers upon layers atop ancestral ontogenies?
> >
>
> Can you explain the application of the word: scaler.
>

It would refer to a linear progression or ascent. Traditionally this could be
a scale of nature, but it could also refer to changes in "complexity" :-/

Spectral OTOH relates to branching.

*Hemidactylus*

unread,
Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <3774506C...@ix.netcom.com>,

Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>
> *Hemidactylus* wrote:
> > zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:
>
> > > I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough for me to
> > > opine, I will.
>
> > I was trying to be Mr. Concise.
>
> > You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
> > so? The ball's in your court.
>
> > In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their
> ^^^^^

> > ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect
>
> Boy, I must be even more confused than I thought I was.
>
> I never even knew the recapitulation was supposed to be about
> adult forms but thought instead that it involved the suggestion that
> "new" stages were added at the end of old sequences of embryonic
> development.
>
Actually Ernst Mayr places the emphasis on "permanent" versus "adult".

Mayr E. 1994. The Quarterly Review of Biology (69): 223-232

Mayr E. 1997. This is Biology. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 171

????

Paging Myers :-)

The last part you hint to up there is the mechanism of terminal addition.
Defined by Stephen Gould (1977, Glossary, p. 486): "TERMINAL ADDITION- One of
the necessary laws of recapitulation... New evolutionary features are added
to the end of ancestral onogenies (so that previous adult stages become
preadult stages of descendants)."

Gould SJ. 1977. Ontogeny and Phylogeny. The Belknap Press of Harvard
University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to


I will get back to it. I have yet to give my list of enigmas.

I also wanted to get off "Fair is Fair" as a thread title,
and use a title that tells what we are talking about in that
case.

I am hoping that folks will spin off new threads from this
one as a subjects interest them.


Regards, Joe
-----------------------------------------
"We can always invent a plausible adaptive
advantage for an observed or supposed trait."
(McFarland, 1985, p.528)


Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
On 25 Jun 1999 21:08:19 -0400, at...@best.comNOSPAM (Mark Isaak) wrote:

>In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
>Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>>In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
>>will you offer any of the below:
>>
>>1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
>>[. . .]
>
>I'll have to think longer to come up with ten. Here's a couple to start.
>
>1. Dreams.
>

>2. _Philya californiensis_ - a thorn mimic which lives exclusively on a
>species of plant with no thorns.

This is great, you do not have to give ten unless you
want to.

The real "top ten" comes later when the denizens of
T.O vote on a list. That should be fun, and
I hope that the voting will happen after the summer fun
of playing with various enigmas.

Thanks for contributing.

R Thearle

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
> > >Subject: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
> > >From: Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net>

> >
> > >1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas

Here are a few that I don't know the answers to:

1) The origin of sexual instead of asexual reproduction

a) Why, having evolved sexual reproduction, some creatures promptly
lost it again (e.g. some lizards).

i) Double parsing of DNA in some viruses

A) The ability of some people to simultaneously adhere to two or more
contradictory concepts

I) The origins of religion, and why it is so widespread

@ Seedless grapes

Roy


PZ Myers

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <3774506C...@ix.netcom.com>, Wade Hines
<wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>*Hemidactylus* wrote:
>> zel...@aol.com (ZeldaG) wrote:
>
>> > I'm not familiar with the distinction. If you'll spell it out enough
for me to
>> > opine, I will.
>
>> I was trying to be Mr. Concise.
>
>> You said that you thought ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny makes sense. How
>> so? The ball's in your court.
>
>> In development, do embryos more or less repeat the adult stages of their
> ^^^^^
>> ancestors, kinda ascending the scale of nature? Is the scalar aspect
>
>Boy, I must be even more confused than I thought I was.
>
>I never even knew the recapitulation was supposed to be about
>adult forms but thought instead that it involved the suggestion that
>"new" stages were added at the end of old sequences of embryonic

>development. I'm not saying that's the way things work but I
>did think that was what was claimed as the generality.

The mechanism for Haeckel's ontogenetic recapitulation was based on
a Lamarckian use/disuse idea and pangenesis -- the state of the soma
influenced the state of the germ line. If you read Haeckel very closely
and very generously, you can see where it *would* be possible for non-
terminal changes to occur. However, it would require modification of
the embryo during a brief, transient period in development that would
feed back onto the germ cells, and it would be unlikely to have as
great an effect as a change in the prolonged period of adulthood.

But yes, this was a key distinction between Haeckelian and von Baerian
embryology. Haeckel saw embryos as resembling the *adult* stages of earlier
phylogenetic stages, von Baer saw embryos as resembling the *embryos* of
other animals.

--
PZ Myers


Wade Hines

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to

Joseph Potter wrote:
> On 26 Jun 1999 00:00:40 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

...

> >Joe tried that about apoptosis but the replies seem to have
> >left him speechless.

> I will get back to it. I have yet to give my list of enigmas.

> I also wanted to get off "Fair is Fair" as a thread title,
> and use a title that tells what we are talking about in that
> case.

> I am hoping that folks will spin off new threads from this
> one as a subjects interest them.

I am hoping you won't use this as an excuse to avoid addressing
the points made elsewhere both with respect to your usage
of "enigma" and your stated misdirections about apoptosis.

Change the titles when you respond but if you completely ignore
those who corrected your strange ideas about immortal cells
it will be clear that this thread was just some slight of hand
to avoid having been cornered.


PZ Myers

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <3774D502...@ix.netcom.com>, Wade Hines
<wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

I see you noticed that, too.

I would add that I don't think a list of 'enigmas' is very
interesting. There really ought to be a little more thought put
into *why* a particular phenomenon is enigmatic, and why it has
some evolutionary significance. Depth is something Potter would rather
avoid, but I think it is something more intelligent posters ought
to pursue.

--
PZ Myers


Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
On 25 Jun 1999 16:32:50 -0400, lam...@bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca (Laurence A. Moran) wrote:

>In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
>Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>

<snip>


>
>The point is that Gould does not find bamboo enigmatic in spite of what
>Joe Potter would have us believe. It's just another example of Joe's
>inability to read with comprehension.
>
>
>
>Larry Moran
>

Ah, Larry weighs in with insult on first post.

No matter, it will take every one time to get the hang of this. To
show you, Larry, I have started a tread on Enigmas --- Bamboo where
I will respond to your whole post. Then everyone who is interested
in bamboo can take a look, make a comment, or ask a question.

If it is only the two of us, then so be it.

Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to

This new thread demonstrates the advantage of moving specific discussions
to a new thread. That way we can read everybody's enigmas in the main thread
in an easier manner, and yet still raise hell with each other over
specific examples.


If anyone just does not care about bamboo, then Larry and
I will not waste their time.

Even though bamboo was just an example, and is not yet
nominated for the list I still think it worthy of a chat so
I'll give Larry a go.

On with the show:

On 25 Jun 1999 16:32:50 -0400, lam...@bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca (Laurence A. Moran) wrote:
>In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
>Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>

>>Dr. Gould, I believe, once wrote that every evolutionary
>>biologist had a favorite enigma in nature. He has offered bamboos
>>as one of his. In particular *Phyllostachys bambusiodes* of China
>>which flower and set seed every 120 years, and then up and die.
>>Transplants taken to far counties die in unison with the originals in
>>China. He also indicated that Darwin found Orchids to be
>>a great one.
>
>Here's the essay that Joe refers to,
>
> "Of Bamboos, Cicadas, and the Economy of Adam Smith"
> in EVER SINCE DARWIN, S.J. Gould (pp. 97-102)
>
>Gould discusses bamboo and cicadas, which also reproduce infrequently.
>These are interesting reproductive strategies that make you wonder whether
>they evolved by natural selection. Gould asks,
>

They make one wonder whether Bamboo evolved in the modern
synthesis paradigm, this is true. But bamboo is enigmatic
regardless.


>
> "... we must seek an explanation ... in the advantage that
> it confers upon individuals. What, then, does an individual
> cicada or bamboo gain by induling in sex so rarely and at
> the same time as all its compatriots?"
>
>Gould then proceeds to supply a reasonable answer based on sound
>evolutionary principles. I won't give the answer away because I want Joe
>to actually read the essay to find out. Gould concludes,
>

Whoa there fellow. I have read the essay. As a matter of fact, I read it
the year it came out, several times since, and then the day I wrote
the summer list invitation.

How else would I know that he uses the "Sleeping Beauty" tale to
start the essay? (and essay it is, it is not a science "paper")
Or that he drug Adam Smith into the discussion?

You do make it hard to communicate. by starting with insult
and innuendo. Please give us the science.

If you think Gould actually did spell out a "reasonable answer" to show
Bamboo (especially the species he mentions) is not enigmatic,
then please share your thoughts with us.


After all, you issued the challenge.


> "The hypothesis of [...] though unproven, meets the primary
> criterion of a successful explanation: it coordinates a
> suite of observations that would otherwise remain unconnected
> and, in this case, downright peculiar."
>

>The point is that Gould does not find bamboo enigmatic in spite of what
>Joe Potter would have us believe. It's just another example of Joe's
>inability to read with comprehension.
>
>

Can you offer some proof Larry, or is insulting others a full time
hobby?

Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
On 26 Jun 1999 09:58:22 -0400, my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:

>In article <3774D502...@ix.netcom.com>, Wade Hines
><wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>>Joseph Potter wrote:
>>> On 26 Jun 1999 00:00:40 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>>
>> ...

<snip>


>
>I would add that I don't think a list of 'enigmas' is very
>interesting. There really ought to be a little more thought put
>into *why* a particular phenomenon is enigmatic, and why it has
>some evolutionary significance. Depth is something Potter would rather
>avoid, but I think it is something more intelligent posters ought
>to pursue.
>

Ah, PZM weighs in with a small insult.

Well Paul, if you do not care for enigmas in biology, then do
not participate. After all it is only an invitation to those who want
to share some things they find enigmatic.

No one will force you to join, although I wager several would enjoy
your list given your training and experience.

And the depth is suppose to come as threads spin off onto
specific examples.

Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
On 26 Jun 1999 09:21:51 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>
>
>Joseph Potter wrote:
>> On 26 Jun 1999 00:00:40 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>

<snip>

>
>
>> I am hoping that folks will spin off new threads from this
>> one as a subjects interest them.
>
>I am hoping you won't use this as an excuse to avoid addressing
>the points made elsewhere both with respect to your usage
>of "enigma" and your stated misdirections about apoptosis.
>

As a matter of fact, I plan on giving examples over time
on this thread, and apoptosis may be on the list. :-)

(in reality, I have no intentions of leaving you in the lurch
on apoptosis)


>
>Change the titles when you respond but if you completely ignore
>those who corrected your strange ideas about immortal cells
>it will be clear that this thread was just some slight of hand
>to avoid having been cornered.
>

This thread is for summer fun, and I enjoy the weird and strange
in biology, and hence love seeing what others find enigmatic.
Are you so jaded in biology that you have no wonder left?

Wade Hines

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to

Joseph Potter wrote:
> On 26 Jun 1999 09:58:22 -0400, my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:

> <snip>

> >I would add that I don't think a list of 'enigmas' is very
> >interesting. There really ought to be a little more thought put
> >into *why* a particular phenomenon is enigmatic, and why it has
> >some evolutionary significance. Depth is something Potter would rather
> >avoid, but I think it is something more intelligent posters ought
> >to pursue.

> Ah, PZM weighs in with a small insult.

> Well Paul, if you do not care for enigmas in biology, then do
> not participate. After all it is only an invitation to those who want
> to share some things they find enigmatic.

You seem to be avoiding what he wrote. He did not say he does not
care for(about) enigmas in biology: he said that about a list of
enigmas. Then, using the same language --- English --- he added that
he would prefer to see some thought put into why something is
supposedly enigmatic.

Let's re-emphasize as you seem to have trouble with this. A list
of things that confuse you, me, Paul or others is rather silly
unless you accompany it with the reasons --- in some depth ---
why you find the items confusing. As I pointed out before and
Paul seems to agree (boot licking lackey that he is), Joe seems
to be avoiding discussion of the details of why something is
supposedly enigmatic.

What is bothering some is not just the lack of depth but the
gamesmanship that seems to be there with a pretense of caring
about the science but an unwillingness to stick to an issue.

> No one will force you to join, although I wager several would enjoy
> your list given your training and experience.

> And the depth is suppose to come as threads spin off onto
> specific examples.


Seems like the most effective way to communicate would be to
say why up front. The most effective way to cause confusion
is to avoid saying why.


PZ Myers

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <377bfd66...@netnews.worldnet.att.net>,
joe.p...@worldnet.att.net (Joseph Potter) wrote:

>On 26 Jun 1999 09:58:22 -0400, my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:
>

>>In article <3774D502...@ix.netcom.com>, Wade Hines
>><wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>>

>>>Joseph Potter wrote:
>>>> On 26 Jun 1999 00:00:40 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>>>

>>> ...


>
><snip>
>
>
>>
>>I would add that I don't think a list of 'enigmas' is very
>>interesting. There really ought to be a little more thought put
>>into *why* a particular phenomenon is enigmatic, and why it has
>>some evolutionary significance. Depth is something Potter would rather
>>avoid, but I think it is something more intelligent posters ought
>>to pursue.
>>
>
>Ah, PZM weighs in with a small insult.

Why, no insult at all. Ask Arthur Biele to explain it to you.

>
>Well Paul, if you do not care for enigmas in biology, then do
>not participate. After all it is only an invitation to those who want
>to share some things they find enigmatic.
>

>No one will force you to join, although I wager several would enjoy
>your list given your training and experience.
>
>And the depth is suppose to come as threads spin off onto
>specific examples.

You've already given us one supposed example; there has been absolutely
no depth at all to your contribution to the threads on apoptosis. Why
should anyone think this little game of yours now will be any different?

--
PZ Myers


*Hemidactylus*

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <myers-26069...@ppp119.blackbox1-mfs.netaxs.com>,
my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:
>
(snip)
>
Yoda speaks:

>
> But yes, this was a key distinction between Haeckelian and von Baerian
> embryology. Haeckel saw embryos as resembling the *adult* stages of earlier
> phylogenetic stages, von Baer saw embryos as resembling the *embryos* of
> other animals.
>
>

Ah, and this is the 4th of von Baer's generalities (resemblance to embryos of
other animals). The other 3 generalities cover expression of general to
specific characters and divergence. This is from the Book of Gould, p. 56.

So what about Mayr's emphasis on "permanent" versus "adult" wrt
recapitulationism (i.e.- Meckel-Serres, Haeckel et al)? This takes us back to
archetypes :-/

PZ Myers

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <3779f789...@netnews.worldnet.att.net>,
joe.p...@worldnet.att.net (Joseph Potter) wrote:

Good grief. At least get the spelling right in your subject line.

Wha...?

You claim to have read the article, but you don't recognize that Gould
was actually addressing the problem within that article?

>
>
>
>
>
>
>> "The hypothesis of [...] though unproven, meets the primary
>> criterion of a successful explanation: it coordinates a
>> suite of observations that would otherwise remain unconnected
>> and, in this case, downright peculiar."
>>
>>The point is that Gould does not find bamboo enigmatic in spite of what
>>Joe Potter would have us believe. It's just another example of Joe's
>>inability to read with comprehension.
>>
>>
>
>Can you offer some proof Larry, or is insulting others a full time
>hobby?

There are just so darn many morons out there, that yes, insulting them
cannot be done half-heartedly.

I think the words so far are sufficient proof that you are incapable of
comprehending much of anything.

--
PZ Myers


ZeldaG

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
>Subject: Re: Engimas --- A Top Ten List for Summer Fun
>From: Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com>
>Date: Sat, 26 June 1999 12:00 AM EDT
>Message-id: <37745175...@ix.netcom.com>

>ZeldaG wrote:

>> While I'm at it,

>> 11. Prions

>Nothing enigmatic about prions.

Those who have worked years to understand the transmission of scrapie might
disagree with you. It was a vexing riddle for a long time and, by virtue of
violating the dogma claiming polynucleic acid to be the only valid transmission
agent. Presumably this virus(s) also has a transmissable genetic form, or did?

>The simple fact is that some proteins fold into a metastable
>state which is useful. That they can also fold into forms
>which are refractive to normal cellular recycling schemes
>is not suprising. That such systems can survive and not be
>effectively eliminated via evolution ought to be expected.
>
>Of course you are welcome to add some details about why
>you think that prions are defiant of evolutionary explaination.

>Joe tried that about apoptosis but the replies seem to have
>left him speechless.

I never meant to imply I believed it defied evolutionary explanation; perhaps
rather that said explanation would be at the periphery of common experience.


howard hershey

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
Mark Isaak wrote:
>
> In article <7kvqu2$55d$1...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
> Joseph Potter <joe.p...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> >In regards to the neo-Darwinism paradigm,
> >will you offer any of the below:
> >
> >1) A top ten list of your favorite biological enigmas
> >[. . .]
>
> I'll have to think longer to come up with ten. Here's a couple to start.
>
> 1. Dreams.
>
> 2. _Philya californiensis_ - a thorn mimic which lives exclusively on a
> species of plant with no thorns.

Who's the prime predator and what is its brainpower? In short, the
dummy predator might not be able to distinguish species of plants as
well as humans.
>
> --
> Mark Isaak atta @ best.com http://www.best.com/~atta
> "My determination is not to remain stubbornly with my ideas but
> I'll leave them and go over to others as soon as I am shown
> plausible reason which I can grasp." - Antony Leeuwenhoek


Joseph Potter

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Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to

Programming note:

This side thread is started for general whining, complaining
and flaming in regards to the list.

Some more explanation of the list does follow in this reply to Wade,
so it may be worth reading, even to those who don't care
about personal issues.

CC: Wade, so he will not think I did not reply:
no CC to Paul, as he has asked me not to,
but hopefully he will see this

On 26 Jun 1999 13:35:46 -0400, Wade Hines <wad...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
>
>Joseph Potter wrote:
>> On 26 Jun 1999 09:58:22 -0400, my...@netaxs.com (PZ Myers) wrote:
>
>> <snip>
>
>> >I would add that I don't think a list of 'enigmas' is very
>> >interesting. There really ought to be a little more thought put
>> >into *why* a particular phenomenon is enigmatic, and why it has
>> >some evolutionary significance. Depth is something Potter would rather
>> >avoid, but I think it is something more intelligent posters ought
>> >to pursue.
>
>> Ah, PZM weighs in with a small insult.
>

>> Well Paul, if you do not care for enigmas in biology, then do
>> not participate. After all it is only an invitation to those who want
>> to share some things they find enigmatic.
>

>You seem to be avoiding what he wrote. He did not say he does not
>care for(about) enigmas in biology: he said that about a list of
>enigmas. Then, using the same language --- English --- he added that
>he would prefer to see some thought put into why something is
>supposedly enigmatic.
>

Do you not see the words below where it is stated that I do hope
spin off threads are begun and those interested have
a good time discussing their topics?

No one is going to garner enough votes to win without saying
a few words about their favorite enigmas, and even if they
choose not to comment on first posting their list, I am sure
they want feed-back ---- and hence, a chance to talk about it.

As to Paul's preferences on thought being put into a list;
so what? I share the same sentiment, but so what?
The list is for some fun, and hopefully a few good topics will come out
of it --- and a few good discussions.

>
>Let's re-emphasize as you seem to have trouble with this. A list
>of things that confuse you, me, Paul or others is rather silly
>unless you accompany it with the reasons --- in some depth ---

> ...

Utter nonsense. The list is a good place for folks here to share some
thoughts on what they find enigmatic. Some may not even know
exactly why they find the item an enigma. So What? May they not
share?

I find other people's enigmas interesting, and if you do not --- do
not download and read. Pretty simple concept.

Feel free to ask anyone about their entries. I hope you do not go into
attack mode with them, but you are free to do as you please.


>
>why you find the items confusing. As I pointed out before and
>Paul seems to agree (boot licking lackey that he is), Joe seems
>to be avoiding discussion of the details of why something is
>supposedly enigmatic.
>

Heck, I have yet to enter a list item. Even so, I have just
started a thread with Larry Moran over bamboo. Looks like
fun, why nor join in yourself?

As to boot-licking, I think you are both just blinded by your bias
to the point you see only "enemies" and "allies."

For example, if I had picked up a book by an author but it
was the wrong book --- and then lambasted Paul based on my
own error, I'm sure you would have commented. But alas, it
went the other way and Paul made the embarrassing mistake
so you kept mum.

As to "avoid," I have typed many a word on apoptosis, unfortunately
it is an enigma and hence makes PZM snarl. The fact neither
of you can win seems to just tear you up. But be patient, it will arise again.


>What is bothering some is not just the lack of depth but the
>gamesmanship that seems to be there with a pretense of caring
>about the science but an unwillingness to stick to an issue.
>

>> No one will force you to join, although I wager several would enjoy
>> your list given your training and experience.
>
>> And the depth is suppose to come as threads spin off onto
>> specific examples.
>
>

>Seems like the most effective way to communicate would be to
>say why up front. The most effective way to cause confusion
>is to avoid saying why.

Are you trying to keep people from posting? You seem afraid
some folks might post their enigmas even if they choose not to
go into depth. (or can not)

Regards, Joe

Mark Isaak

unread,
Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
In article <377522...@indiana.edu>,
howard hershey <hers...@indiana.edu> wrote:

>Mark Isaak wrote:
>> 2. _Philya californiensis_ - a thorn mimic which lives exclusively on a
>> species of plant with no thorns.
>
>Who's the prime predator and what is its brainpower? In short, the
>dummy predator might not be able to distinguish species of plants as
>well as humans.

The prime predator is probably some kind of spider, but that's just a
guess. There are lots of insects which eat the same shrub and lots of
different predators which are attracted to the insects, including many
kinds of parasitic wasps and various ladybugs, lacewings, and birds.

_Philya_ actually has very good camouflage even from my viewpoint. Its
color and texture are almost identical to the plant's dead leaves, and its
size and shape aren't that much different. But that's from looking at
them in beating trays; I haven't spent much time looking for them on the
shrubs themselves. (The shrub, if you're interested, is coyote brush,
_Baccharis pilularis_.)