The Right Track

Okay folks, I’m starting to feel that I am indeed on the right track here. Back in the early 2000s, I introduced the term “front-loaded evolution” to cyberspace, as I began to publicly mull over the possibility that evolution was influenced and/or shaped by design. I began to explore ways a designer would recruit evolution to carry out design objectives, which eventually led to me outlining the logic of front-loading in my book, The Design Matrix.

Yet I also put a specific hypothesis on the table back in 2002 (on the Brainstorm and ARN forums)– that protozoan life forms would be endowed with information to increase the likelihood that metazoan life would evolve. I even predicted that we would find metazoan-specific information in protozoan life forms. Here are some examples I have been able to track down:

Yes! Put yourself in a designer’s shoes intent on seeding the planet with microorganisms tweaked to evolve into metazoans. Surely, you face a design problem. The problem is this: there are likely to be metazoan-specific functions that you’ll need to implement. Thus, how do you get those metazoan-specific functions to metazoans-to-be when you are stuck with protozoans? One thing you can do is bury your metazoan-specific function in a protein that serves protozoa. The protozoan function doesn’t have to be essential to protozoa. In fact, it is not unreasonable to suppose that some metazoan functions are not going to be essential for protozoa. But it better serve the protozoa in some way or it will disappear from the face of the earth long before your metazoans-to-be begin to take shape. Thus, we have the basis for my prediction. 1/16/2002

Yes, an imperfect replicator will necessarily evolve. But this does not mean unicellular organisms will necessarily evolve into a multicellular organism. In fact, a planet-full of unicellular organisms could very well undergo billions and billions of years of darwinian evolution without ever evolving a multicellular organism. My perspective explores the possibility that unicellular organisms were designed in such a way that the evolution of multicellular organisms was made more likely.
It seems to me that an effective front-loading strategy would have to employ things like preadaptation, cooption, and buried design. The alternative is to directly design all the genes needed far in the future and deposit them in the present. The two main design problems come with storing all this information and maintaining it until it is used. Preadaptation, cooption, and buried design are solutions to these design problems.
I already explained that the outcome of FLE is the thing in question. But logically, the best place to start, after positing that the original life forms were unicellular organisms seeded on this planet, would be to investigate whether such cells were front-loaded to evolve into multicellular organisms. So I’ll put that hypothesis on the table. – 5/7/2002

For example, my working hypothesis (just recently being seriously entertained) is that the original cells were front-loaded to make it more likely that multicellular states would evolve. These leads me to predict that we will find remnants or “fossils” of such front-loaded distributed among protozoa. Specifically, we will find various pieces of information, necessary for multicellular life, not necessary for single-celled existence, yet still present in many single-celled organisms. – 5/20/2002

Now that it is 2009, what have we discovered since these predictions?

And there is more to come!


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