Home » Genomics, News » James Shapiro: Genome is a read-write system, not a read-only system

James Shapiro: Genome is a read-write system, not a read-only system

“How life changes itself: The Read–Write (RW) genome” in Physics of Life Reviews:

Abstract

The genome has traditionally been treated as a Read-Only Memory (ROM) subject to change by copying errors and accidents. In this review, I propose that we need to change that perspective and understand the genome as an intricately formatted Read–Write (RW) data storage system constantly subject to cellular modifications and inscriptions. Cells operate under changing conditions and are continually modifying themselves by genome inscriptions. These inscriptions occur over three distinct time-scales (cell reproduction, multicellular development and evolutionary change) and involve a variety of different processes at each time scale (forming nucleoprotein complexes, epigenetic formatting and changes in DNA sequence structure). Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.

No surprise that Darwin’s boys don’t like Shapiro.

Question: Most Darwinian propaganda is decades-old, in the sense that it assumes concepts like the Central Dogma, the selfish gene, and (when evidence fails) ghost lineages. Will they be able to update these concepts in order to defend their thesis intellectually? Or must they continue to rely on persecution and concealment of problems?

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14 Responses to James Shapiro: Genome is a read-write system, not a read-only system

  1. And of course this “intricately formatted Read–Write (RW) data storage system constantly subject to cellular modifications” evolved from the “primordial soup” by chance. In fact it is notorious that hard-disks are not designed and arise randomly.

  2. 2

    Niwad, you just don’t understand. It isn’t just a chance driven process. Natural selection plays a role. Take the cell as an example. You really can create a mind-bogglingly complex self-replicating nano-bot that dwarfs the most advanced technology currently available by several orders of magnitude through the simple accretion of random errors that have been sorted through a fitness function. Yeah, it’s true. You’ve gotta believe.

    I wish I could believe. I wish I could just drink the Kool-aid and lie down and rest in the Darwinian consensus. I just can’t handle the faith commitment required.

  3. Don’t forget the billions of years, Barry. Time makes all things possible.

  4. Clearly you guys just don’t understand evolution or you are dishonest creationists!

  5. @ Andre:

    Clearly you guys just don’t understand evolution or you are dishonest creationists!

    My experience is that evolutionists are the ones who understand evolution the least. There is a simple reason for that. The theory of evolution is and was a big lie from the beginning. Like all big lies, it has a kernel of truth, just enough to attract the gullible.

  6. Mapou, ain’t that the gospel truth, the ones I know are all gullible…..

  7. Simple-minded creationists, as well. Don’t forget that.

  8. @ Axel

    I know I shouldn’t ask and don’t feel you have to reply but what’s the big deal? Jesus didn’t concern himself with the minutiae. Why the need to draw lines in the sand?

  9. Do mean metaphorical ‘lines in the sand’, Alan? Or are you talking about when he was addressing the matter of the woman caught in adultery?

    Whatever you do mean, could you expand a little on what you mean by:

    ‘I know I shouldn’t ask and don’t feel you have to reply but what’s the big deal? Jesus didn’t concern himself with the minutiae.’

    What is it that I’ve written that you are referring to?

  10. …are you talking about when he was addressing the matter of the woman caught in adultery?

    I wasn’t. But I think John 8:7 is something we should all bear in mind.

  11. 11
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Conrad Hal Waddington was arguing some of the same stuff as Shapiro in the 1940-60s but was ignored.

    Adam S. Wilkins described Waddington’s criticism of Neo-Darwinism in the paper;

    Wilkins, Adam S. (2008). Waddington’s Unfinished Critique of Neo-Darwinian Genetics: Then and Now. Biological Theory 3 (3):224-23

    Mostly an ignored paper. But worth a look.

  12. 12
    TheisticEvolutionist

    A paper by František Baluška that mentions Shapiro

    Evolution in Revolution A Paradigm shift in our understanding of life and biological evolution

    Biological evolution represents one of the most successful, but also controversial scientific concepts. Ever since Charles Darwin formulated his version of evolution via natural selection, biological sciences experienced explosive development and progress. First of all, although Darwin could not explain how traits of organisms, selected via natural selection, are inherited and passed down along generations; his theory stimulated research in this respect and resulted in the establishment of genetics and still later in the discovery of DNA and genome sequencing some hundred years after his evolutionary theory. Nevertheless, there are several weaknesses in classical Darwinian as well as Neodarwinian gene-centric views of biological evolution. The most serious drawback is its narrow focus: the modern evolutionary synthesis, as formulated in the 20th Century, is based on the concept of gene and on the mathematical/statistical analysis of populations. While Neodarwinism is still generally considered a valid theory of biological evolution, its narrow focus and incompatibility with several new findings and discoveries calls for its update and/ or transformation. Either it will be replaced with an updated version or, if not flexible enough, it will be replaced by a new theory. In his book “Evolution – A New View from the 21st Century,”1 James A. Shapiro discusses these problems as well as newly emerging results which are changing our understanding of biological evolution. This new book joins a row of several other recent books highlighting the same issues.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3204118/

  13. Your #8 Alan:

    I’m none the wiser. You still haven’t told me what you were talking to me about re minutiae, pedantry, Christ and, seemingly, my ‘need to draw a line in the sand’.

    Is it that you consider answers to questions put to you which you can’t answer, a pedantic requirement, or the questions, piffling, or what? I think we should be told.

  14. Of course, you don’t need to answer, any more than any other matter you address on here, but it seems very odd to leave what you meant as a mystery.

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