Genetic Effects of Culture + Human-Chimp Interbreed?
The Impetus Of Paleozoic Multicelled Evolution
Natural Selection Is A Two Level Interdependent Affair
Dov, in earlier posts:
1) Evolution, i.e. genome/genes modifications ("mutations"), inherently ever more of them as new functional options arise for the organism.
2) modififications of genome's functional capabilities can be explained by the organism's culture-life-experience feedbacks to its genome, its base organism. The route-modification selection of a replicating gene, when it is at its alternative-splicing-steps junction, is biased by the feedback gained by the genome, the parent organism, from the culture-life–experience of its progeny big organism. THIS IS HOW EVOLUTION COMES ABOUT.
3) The challenge now is to figure out the detailed seperate steps involved in introducing and impressing the big organism's experiences (culture) feedbacks on its founding parents' genome's genes, followed by the detailed seperate steps involved in biasing-directing the genes to prefer-select the biased-favored splicing.
4) I find it astonishing that very few persons, non-professional as well as professional biologists-evolutionists, have the clear conception that selection for survival occurs on two interdependent levels – (a) during the life of the big progeny organism in its environment, and (b) during the life of its genome, which is also an organism. Most, if not all, persons think – incorrectly – that evolution is about randomly occurring genes-genome modifications ("mutations") followed with selection by survival of the big progeny organism in its environment. Whereas actually evolution is the interdependent , interactive and interenhencing selection at both the two above levels.
Earth Life's Timeline
Now, further about the scene that emerges from the above :
1) The first clear evidence of life, single celled bacteria, has been evidenced since circa 3.5 BYA. The onset of the multi-celled ancient life forms is evidenced circa 542 MYA, in the Cambrian period during the Paleozoic era.
2) The age of the Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years, but it's not always easy to grasp the concept of how old our planet really is. To give you an idea of where we fit into that vast span of time, imagine all those 4.6 billion years compressed into a single year. In such a time frame, the Precambrian Era (during which the first life forms evolved) would last from January 1 to mid-November; the Paleozoic Era (the age of invertebrates and primitive fishes) would take up the rest of November and part of December, while the Mesozoic (the age of dinosaurs) would take up most of the remainder of December. Our time, the Quaternary, would occupy only the last four hours on New Year's Eve.
– Life started in the form of single independent naked homeless genes,
– that evolved into genes aggregates and eventually into genomes,
– that evolved membraned cells to control their immediate environment,
– and then evolved the cell membranes into a multi-function organ sensing, reporting and utilizing the out-of-cell environment for the genome, i.e. doing its culture,
– thus starting the culture-life-experiance feedback to the genome-genes for evolution,
– and then extending the innate genes' cooperation to various forms of cells' cooperation,
– i.e. to organs in multicelled organisms and to various forms of cells' associations,
– and the more the consequent experiences and their feedbacks to the parent genomes the more the optional alternative-splicing-steps to the founding parents genomes…
Let's remember that life and evolution is about genomes and genes. Each and all Organisms on Earth, including you and me, are creations-manifestations of the ever-evolving genes-genomes that came into being in the Proterozoic era. All of us are simply the products of their best efforts to survive…
Genetic Effects Of Culture
1) In Science, 1 July 2005: What Genetic Changes Made Us Human, by Elizabeth Culotta.
2) In Scientific American, March 26 2006: Why Some Animals Are Smart.
I note again the common mistake: genetic changes have NOT made us human. Human culture has been changing our genetics. Here is a repeat of t wo non-acknowledged letters I sent to Scientific American:
Sent: April 19, 2006
Subject: SciAm March 26 2006 Why Some Animals Are Smart
My un-acknowledged letter to SciAm, dated July 03, 2005:
Unfinished Evolution Symphony
I find your report about the recent big 'evolution event' truncated at its top.
The event is reported as "The Woodstock of Evolution", Michael Shermer, Scientific American com, June 27, 2005, at http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa…umber=1&catID=4
It is strange that the most obvious and profound aspect of Human evolution is glaringly absent from the agendum of the great June 2005 evolution event. Or, maybe, it is not strange but expected…
From one of my biological forum posts:
"There were two major revolutionary evolution junctions along the course of "Darwinian evolution" from primordial genes to humans:
First was the Celling of the pre-celled archaic genes-associations plus their (nucleolus like?) retinues, that freed genes/genomes from being at the mercy of all environmental circumstances and gave them some control over many of them. The following Darwinian evolution of poly-celled life has been a continuation and an extension of this revolutionary evolution.
The second, very recent, revolutionary life evolution has been initiated, in a similar vein, by our forefathers who adapted from life in semi- or tropical forest circumstances to life on plains. As changed living posture and circumstances led to modified perceptive/adaptive capabilities and eventually to language communication humans have gradually replaced adaptation to changed circumstances with self-evolving cultures/civilizations for control and modification of much of their circumstances. This is essentially similar to Life's earlier celling evolution, but with culture functioning for humans for change/control of circumstances in lieu of RNA and protein toolings that function for in-cell genomes for adapting their cell's physiology to changing circumstances.
Cultural aspects, ALL cultural aspects, function for individual humans and for human communities of all sizes including human phenotypes (distinct ethnic/national/cultural communities) in the same manner and f
or the same ends as biological systems function in and for cells. This is plainly in accord with the fractal nature of Earth Life.
Each and every one of our capabilities and functions is inherited from our predecessors including communication. However, our unique further complexing of communication is the added "intelligent" level that renders human knowledge a tool for exploiting the capability of the novel revolutionary organism to extensively modify its living circumstances instead of physiologically adapting to changing circumstances."
Sent:April 21, 2006
Subject: FW: Re SciAm March 26 2006 Why Some Animals Are Smart
This is a Nov 2, 2005 message I posted in biologicalEvolution forum:
Seeds of Diversity, Human and Chimpanzee/Bonobo Genomes
Chapter One, In which some wonder what made us human.
Three recent quotations from Science, representative of many other recent similar statements in various scientific publications:
A) "Understanding the genetic basis of how genotype generates phenotype will require increasing the accuracy and completeness of the currently available chimpanzee genome sequence, as well as sequencing other primate genomes."
B)"Can we now provide a DNA-based answer to the fascinating and fundamental question, "What makes us human?" Not at all! Comparison of the human and chimpanzee genomes has not yet offered any major insights into the genetic elements that underlie bipedal locomotion, big brain, linguistic abilities, elaborated abstract thought, or any other unique aspect of the human phenome."
C)"What makes us human? This question may be answered by comparison of human and chimpanzee genomes and phenomes, and ultimately those of other primates. To this end, we need to understand how genotype generates phenotype, and how this process is influenced by the physical, biological, and cultural environment."
Chapter Two, In which is explained plainly and succinctly the obvious route by which we evolved,
i.e. that genotype has not generated phenotype, that we evolved from our genotype via a group of feedback loops. From Science, Vol 308, Issue 5728, 1563-1565 , 10 June 2005, Immunology: Opposites Attract in Differentiating T Cells, Mark Bix, Sunhwa Kim,Anjana Rao:
"During differentiation, precursor cells with progressively narrowed potential give rise to progeny cells that adopt one of two (or more) divergent cell fates. This choice is influenced by intricate regulatory networks acting at multiple levels. Early in differentiation, precursor cells show low-level activation of all progeny genetic programs. Bias toward a given lineage comes from environmental inputs that activate powerful positive- and negative- feedback loops, which work in concert to impose selective gene expression patterns".
Chapter Three, In which we explain the revolutionary evolved uniqueness of the human ape's phenotype:
The 6My-old revolutionary life evolution was initiated by our forefathers who adapted from life in semi- or tropical forest circumstances to life on plains. As changed living posture and circumstances led to modified perceptive/adaptive capabilities and eventually to language communication humans have gradually replaced adaptation to changed circumstances with self-evolving cultures/civilizations for control and modification of much of their circumstances. This is essentially similar to early life's celling evolution, but with culture functioning for humans for change/control of circumstances in lieu of RNA and protein toolings that function for the in-cell genomes for adapting their cell's physiology to changing circumstances.
Chapter Four, In which appears, may be, genetic evidence/demonstration of the workings of human cultural evolution.
(a) From Science, 2 Sept 2005: "Page's team compared human and chimp Ys to see whether either lineage has lost functional genes since they split.
The researchers found that the chimp had indeed suffered the slings and arrows of evolutionary fortune. Of the 16 functional genes in this part of the human Y, chimps had lost the function of five due to mutations. In contrast, humans had all 11 functional genes also seen on the chimp Y. "The human Y chromosome hasn't lost a gene in 6 million years," says Page. "It seems like the demise of the hypothesis of the demise of the Y," says geneticist Andrew Clark of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York."
(b) But look at this: From Science, Vol 309, 16 Sept 2005, Evolving Sequence and Expression:"An analysis of the evolution of both gene sequences and expression patterns in humans and chimpanzees…shows that…surprisingly, genes expressed in the brain have changed more on the human lineage than on the chimpanzee lineage, not only in terms of gene expression but also in terms of amino acid sequences".
Chapter Five and conclusion, In which I suggest
that detailed study of other creatures that, like humans, underwent radical change of living circumstances, for example ocean-dwelling mammals, might bring to light unique evolutionary processes and features of evolutionary implications similar to those of humans.
Well-Wired Whales, Michael Balter, ScienceNOW Daily News
27 November 2006
Did humans and chimps once interbreed?
New Scientist Print Edition, 17 May 2006
I suggest that this speculative item is a consequence of misinterpretation of present comparative human-chimp genomes due to inapplicable evolution routes and time rates.
As suggested in my item "Genetic Effects of Culture" culture does play a roll in genetics, as data indicate in the human/chimp case.
Thus in the human-chimp case it is shown that "of the 16 functional genes in this part of the human Y, chimps had lost the function of five due to mutations. In contrast, humans had all 11 functional genes also seen on the chimp Y". This indicates, to me, that for humans the onset of culture in lieu of physiological adaptation decreased drastically the rate of genomic change.
And thus also in this case "… genes expressed in the brain have changed more on the human lineage than on the chimpanzee lineage, not only in terms of gene expression but also in terms of amino acid sequences". This indicates, to me, that culture has affected a specific phenotypic course for human genetics.
The above matters suggest that the scientific community should accept the proposition that culture plays an active role in genetic evolution and that rates of genetic change are duely affected by culture.
May 1 2007, physOrgForum
Chimps 'More Evolved' Than Humans
From New Scientist Print Edition, 16 April 2007.
– …The team found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones,
have been changed by selection since chimps and humans split from their common ancestor about 6 million years ago.
– It is time to stop thinking we are the pinnacle of evolutionary success – chimpanzees are the more highly evolved species, according to new research.
In my opinion there is a basic miss in the thinking and data-assessment in the above New Scientist article.
It does not take into account that the genetics of chimps and humans have been evolving since 6MY ago under radically different environmental circumstances, effected by the chimps' and humans' cultural differences, which in-turn effected differently the genetics of each of them, since culture is a biological entity. The article does not take into consideration the effect of the biological entity culture on genetics, as suggested below.
Genetic Effects of Culture:
Explained in # 207 of this blog