[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 198, Issue 57

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Tue Mar 24 12:54:29 UTC 2020

On 23/03/2020 21:20, John K Clark wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 23, 2020 at 4:26 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat 
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
> <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>> wrote:
>     > “The genome is not a blueprint"
> True, the genome is the recipe. And in the real world nothing can 
> follow instructions perfectly so 2 cooks will produce 2 cakes that are 
> different even if they're working from the same recipe.

It's not like that, either, really. It's more like an adaptive recipe 
that can see what you're doing (and a bunch of other things, like the 
time and the weather and the price of eggs) and changes in response, in 
real-time. Oh, and it's a recipe without a name or description, so you 
don't know what you're going to get until it's finished.

And of course, this is a bad analogy anyway, unless you regard the cake 
as the entire organism, in which case it's just a fairly bad analogy.

When we say 'a gene for x' what it really means is a gene which has been 
observed to have some connection to the characteristic x. Mendel and his 
peas might have kick-started the science of genetics, but in the bigger 
picture, an understanding of mendelian inheritance can be more of a 
hindrance than a help.

Ben Zaiboc

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