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Forum Invite: 'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?'

Davin C. Enigl enigl at aol.com
Mon Jul 15 12:24:13 EST 2002

Thank you for the post.  Perhaps it is a good time to go through a few
good things you brought up.

On Sun, 14 Jul 2002 18:33:21 GMT, JEDilworth
<bactitech at nospamhortonsbay.com> wrote:

>Yes, I'm dated, I'll admit. It's really not a topic discussed in medical
>micro so I'll shut up now. I'll also admit my ignorance, Jarolat, so I
>guess you can crow now :-).

We are all dated.  Nobody knows everything.  I was a Karl Popper
scholar for ten years and it their is one thing Popper taught, it is
that there are no scientific theories than can't stand correction and
improvement because humans are all fallible -- so there had better not
be any "crowing." 

>I am, however, not uneducated,

I also got my MT around the same time.  Most people don't know med.
techs. at the time were in the 10 to 1 club.  That is, 10 really smart
people all trying to get that one med. tech. student position
available.  So, you and I have to beat out 9 other really smart people
to even get a chance to go into MT school, much less a year internship
before being able to take the test.  So, there is no problem with
intelligence or education when it comes to MTs.

Now, down to more important things:

>I do not remember these names or
>subject being bandied about.

That is not surprising.  The first time I remember hearing about
mechanism directed evolution was 1994 -- it trashed (wrongly) by very
authoritarian Neo-Darwinists, who dogmatically cling to only one
mechanism for evolution, i.e., random mutation.  Since then, competing
theories have challenged  random mutations as being the only
mechanism.  Random mutation is still not wrong, not it is also not the
only thing going on.  These new mechanisms are still all within
Darwinian evolution theory, so nothing has changed there. 

>I have been employed in the clinical part
>of micro since 1974 so have therefore lost touch with this lofty and
>erudite branch of the subject. 

Everybody does their "own-thing."  That is the way it should be.

>Since you hadn't gotten many responses to your ng posts, . . .

I have found a lot of microbiologists read the NGs but microbiologists
are just not that talkative, I guess, so there are few "Re: posts."

>I can hardly believe that I'm the only one out there clueless as to what
>this topic is really all about though.

You are not alone, hence the announcements.  I agree the announcements
were too many and too close together.  I deleted the first two myself.
But,  your post was appropriate about that.  In fact, had you not
protested I would not have joined the evomech group yesterday.  So I
thank you for stimulating my thinking.  I have learned a lot that will
help my astrobiology research.

>what exactly does an astromicrobiologist deal with?

It is a new branch of microbiology, or rather I should say biology.
It used to be called exobiology, but NASA wanted a name analogous to
Astrophysics, so they named (or adopted) Astrobiology.  We
microbiologists then added micro to it, . . . of course,  hoho :-). 

Astromicrobiology is basically microbiology off-Earth.  That is, in
space, other planets, moons, that sort of idea.  

The need for a separate branch of microbiology is because we don't
expect life off-earth to look like what is predicted by current
microbiology theory or methods.  So, new theories, new methods are
needed.  We have already seen how the Mars meteorite ALH 94001, is
confusing us when we use our current theories.  The minute something
looks different, we are totally confused and lost.  

So, the Non-Earthcentric AI Life Detection Project is one of the new
programs to combat the confusion.  That program's goal it to develop
an artificial intelligence system (robot/submarine) that can detect
novel lifeforms -- it should be tested on-earth first, of course
(e.g., Antarctica, esp. Lake Vostok?)

Non-Earthcentric means that we are going to formulate theories that
are based on the biology *beyond* just what we know (already) on
Earth.  It will be a more universal and wider biology -- e.g., not
just life based on DNA.  For instance, I work on RNA-life some of the
time and on what is called "protein-casting," and abiotic-lifeforms --
which are technically not even biological-life.  I also need to
distinguish the so-called "Walking Proteins" from life.  So it is not
only, "What is life? What is alive?", but also,  "What is not-alive?"

I have published new discoveries and methods for detecting life in
extreme environments such as high temperature acid environments and
such as, injured-cell recovery methods to revive so-called "dead"
cells.  I detected the fifth known heat resistant mold (_Talaromyces
trachyspermus_(Shear) Stolk and Samson).  I hope to be part of the
team that discovers the first known off-earth life, e.g., an
archaebacterium-like microorganism maybe based on RNA and similar to
mitochondria.  If we are lucky, they are already down in Lake Vostok
waiting for us, having been seeded there by an ancient Mars meteorite
in one of the a "panspermia" scenarios.

-- DCE
>Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
>"Davin C. Enigl" wrote:
>> I think one of the things to be discussed by microbiologist is the
>> "mechanism-directed-evolution," . . .  in that Lynn Margulis, the best
>> known evolutionary microbiologist, thinks the mechanism is "aquiring
>> genomes via symbiogenesis" (e.g., mitochondris and chloroplasts were
>> once (still are?) bacteria).
>> So, this *would* be applicable to microbiology.  (I am a former MT
>> (ASCP) too and I know the above is not taught in my old Med. Tech.
>> school.)
>> -- Davin C. Enigl, Astromicrobiologist.
>> -- Non-Earthcentric AI Life Detection Project (HACCP Validations)

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