Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thoughts on Evo-Devo

I found this week's material challenging to wrap my head around. The scientific languaging was complex and hard for me to dissect. If I'm understanding the Evo-Devo theory correct, then it says that a species starts out with an information program and evolution occurs when this information is used in new and different combinations. Thus, every time a new member of a species is born, it does not start from scratch. It just uses the foundational genes in a new and different way. This theory seems very logical to me and addresses some of the holes in Darwin's theories (for instance, if evolution is all about improving the gene pool, then what accounts for undesirable/negative mutations of a species?). I just don't feel comfortable saying that I support one theory all together (i.e. Creationism, Darwinism, Evo-Devoism, etc). The more I learn about evolutionary theories, the more my mind gets jumbled and I don't know what to believe.

It was interesting learning about how hard researchers have been working over the past few decades to crack the evolutionary codes. I think I will bust out the fly experiments as a dinner table discussion sometime soon. And I was impressed with the UCSD/Salk Institute study on human embryonic implants in mice's brains. UCSD is my alma-mater and we used to sneak around the Salk Institute to try to find out what crazy research they were doing at the time. It really is mad-scientist type work.

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