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Randomness of DNA Mutation     and the Possibility    of Guided Evolution                    Daan van Schalkwijk    Who am...
Contents•   Introduction•   DNA mutation and repair•   Guided Randomness?•   Conclusion
Introduction• Philosophy• Modern world view based in part on  enlightenment  – World can be explained    completely ration...
Introduction• But what is the starting point?   – Do we want a satisfactory world view?   – Or do we want to search for re...
Introduction• Darwinism is the biological culmination  of this line of thought:  – A system that could explain living bein...
Introduction• Darwinism has two pillars:  – Random mutation  – Natural selection• So not pure randomness!  Selection could...
Introduction• Here: closer look at mutations  – Are they really random?  – If so, in what sense?  – What does this say abo...
DNA mutation• Fours bases,  specific pairing
DNA mutation• Transcription process  – DNA is transcribed by specific proteins  – The process sometimes introduces errors
DNA mutation• Tautomeric shift• Interaction with UV light / mutagen
DNA mutation• Repair process  – Many errors are repaired by the cell’s    repair processes  – Occasionally, also these fai...
DNA mutation• Elements of randomness:  – Tautomeric shift  – Induction by UV light / mutagen  – Recognition of transcripti...
DNA mutation• How random is random?• Quantummechanics:  fundamental stochasticity• i.e.: experimentally verified that scie...
Guided Randomness?• Does ‘fundamental stochasticity’ from a  natural sciences perspective imply the  absence of guidance? ...
Guided Randomness?• Does ‘fundamental stochasticity’ from a  natural sciences perspective imply the  absence of guidance? ...
Guided Randomness?• Problem has two ‘levels’  – Material  – Spiritual• Are these incompatible?
Guided Randomness?• Two levels can give a different  perspective:
Guided Randomness?• But spiritual guidance could be present,  without being detectable scientifically• Idea: small differe...
Guided Randomness?•   Example: horserace through woods
Guided Randomness?• Analogy with DNA mutation:  – Replication is a fast process  – Mutation induction depends on equlibriu...
Guided Randomness?• Is this the ‘God of the gaps’?  – I.E. God is not ‘needed’ – there is only    place for Him near unexp...
Conclusions• DNA mutation depends on  quantummechanical processes   is fundamentally stochastic• This does not imply the ...
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Possibility of Guided Evolution through the Randomness of DNA mutation

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This presentation argues that there is room for guided evolution in nature.
DNA transcription mechanisms work at a level where the fundamental stochasticity of quantum mechanics plays a role. Therefore, mutations can be induced in a guided way, without being noticed as violations to natural laws.
By Daan van Schalkwijk.

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
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Possibility of Guided Evolution through the Randomness of DNA mutation

  1. 1. Randomness of DNA Mutation and the Possibility of Guided Evolution Daan van Schalkwijk Who am I? http://nl.linkedin.com/pub/daan-van-schalkwijk/a/b07/667
  2. 2. Contents• Introduction• DNA mutation and repair• Guided Randomness?• Conclusion
  3. 3. Introduction• Philosophy• Modern world view based in part on enlightenment – World can be explained completely rationally – This is taken to imply no necessity for the supernatural – Laplace to Napoleon on the place of God in his theory of celestial mechanics: “I have no need of that hypothesis”
  4. 4. Introduction• But what is the starting point? – Do we want a satisfactory world view? – Or do we want to search for reality?• In other words: – Our worldview or – The world?• Correct order: the world  worldview• Incorrect: our worldview  the world• So keep listening to reality!
  5. 5. Introduction• Darwinism is the biological culmination of this line of thought: – A system that could explain living beings without needing anything but itself – intellectually speaking – It has had big consequences.
  6. 6. Introduction• Darwinism has two pillars: – Random mutation – Natural selection• So not pure randomness! Selection could lead to “extreme value distribution”• Evolution biologists: focus on natural selection• Biochemists: mutation process
  7. 7. Introduction• Here: closer look at mutations – Are they really random? – If so, in what sense? – What does this say about the possibility of guidance?
  8. 8. DNA mutation• Fours bases, specific pairing
  9. 9. DNA mutation• Transcription process – DNA is transcribed by specific proteins – The process sometimes introduces errors
  10. 10. DNA mutation• Tautomeric shift• Interaction with UV light / mutagen
  11. 11. DNA mutation• Repair process – Many errors are repaired by the cell’s repair processes – Occasionally, also these fail – This failure results in a mutation
  12. 12. DNA mutation• Elements of randomness: – Tautomeric shift – Induction by UV light / mutagen – Recognition of transcription error• These processes occur at a quantummechanical space scale!
  13. 13. DNA mutation• How random is random?• Quantummechanics: fundamental stochasticity• i.e.: experimentally verified that science cannot predict the exact outcome!
  14. 14. Guided Randomness?• Does ‘fundamental stochasticity’ from a natural sciences perspective imply the absence of guidance? – If guidance should be ‘material’: yes! – If guidance could be spiritual: no!  this lies outside the domain of the natural sciences
  15. 15. Guided Randomness?• Does ‘fundamental stochasticity’ from a natural sciences perspective imply the absence of guidance? – If guidance should be ‘material’: yes! – If guidance could be spiritual: no!  this lies outside the domain of the natural sciences
  16. 16. Guided Randomness?• Problem has two ‘levels’ – Material – Spiritual• Are these incompatible?
  17. 17. Guided Randomness?• Two levels can give a different perspective:
  18. 18. Guided Randomness?• But spiritual guidance could be present, without being detectable scientifically• Idea: small difference in process, drastically different effects• Thought experiment: horserace in wood – Branch falling from tree: stochastic event – Effect on horse-rider: victory or defeat!
  19. 19. Guided Randomness?• Example: horserace through woods
  20. 20. Guided Randomness?• Analogy with DNA mutation: – Replication is a fast process – Mutation induction depends on equlibrium state of base at replication• Minute differences in timing of mutation induction, lead to different outcomes! – These timing differences fall within natural stochasticity - no laws need be violated – Spiritual guidance can work undetected
  21. 21. Guided Randomness?• Is this the ‘God of the gaps’? – I.E. God is not ‘needed’ – there is only place for Him near unexplained events (gaps in the fossil records)• No, this argument would imply: God the G.A.P.S. Good All-Powerful Sustainer!
  22. 22. Conclusions• DNA mutation depends on quantummechanical processes  is fundamentally stochastic• This does not imply the absence of guidance, if spiritual guidance is not excluded beforehand – This falls outside the realm of the natural sciences• The concept of God acting in nature: God the G.A.P.S.!

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