Saturday, March 22, 2008


J.M.SMITH and me on life

Coding of information

Origin of life

Genetic and memetic people

These are topics I have already written many different articles about. There are thousands of ways how to explain the myriads of coding possibilities. Just consider sound. We have sound coded on CD’s, on tapes, on flash memory cards etc. Your voice can be recorded in a manifold manner and then replayed as many times as you want. Light signals are coded in the same way today; just consider films on tapes, on CD’s or any other medium.

Already few years ago I started to differentiate between “genetic” people and “memetic” people. The difference is this: genetic people pass over to their offspring only the genetically coded information and extremely little memetic information. By memetic people the situation is rather complicated: as we are all born in a genetic way every new-born person must go through its own genetic period of personal evolution. This time can be relatively short or relatively long by memetic people. Genetic people never reach the memetic level. In order to understand this I will use this made-up example: In many societies the tradition goes that a man must plant a tree, make a son, and build a house. All these three tasks for the man in such a society is genetic type. To produce a son is obviously a genetic activity, to plan a tree and build a house is also genetic in that sense that this serves to the family and the son. A friend of mine, a young teacher, came one day to me and complained that he will not be able to fulfill these three tasks, as he will never earn money enough as a teacher in order to be able to construct a new house. So I told him that he is and will be making much more for the mankind when he will be a good teacher and will pass all his super ideas, memes, to the next generation, and not only that, if accidentally, some of his ideas appear to be strong memes, they will spread even among his own generation, or they will be passed from him to his students, and these students will say, reproduce, this meme at home and even parents will get “infected” by his meme.

So, genetic people do not pass too much of non-genetic information and sort of live as animals, as whatever kind of creatures on this earth that reproduce sexually. Memetic people on the other hand, reproduce also genetically, as there is now no other known way and therefore no escape to sexual reproduction, but they pass a huge amount of non-genetic information to their peers as well as to other generations.

And this is the difference between the two: genetic people pass over to the next generation only their genes, whereas memetic people can pass over also non-genetic information.

Origin of life is terribly tricky; basically nobody knows how it happened that some molecules started to function as storage for information that should be passed over to the next generation of that chemical. Later on when we already speak of DNA, then, it appears a bit clearer that DNA is nothing else but a medium for coding, storing, reading and reproducing information. The next stage of this activity seems to be the human language and the possibility it grants: passing over the non-genetic information to peers and to the next generations.

Well, I have felt necessary to write this as I have watched lecture Origin of Life - Lecture by John Maynard Smith because I have had these ideas some time ago already. You may want to compare my simple explanations and those of John Maynard Smith.

You might be interested in knowing more about J.M.Smith and Google is a great help in such research.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Hierarchy IX and again

Suicide More Likely Among Divorced Immigrants

This article brought me again to the question of hierarchy. The article does not mention this word but states that divorced immigrants have higher risk of committing suicide. But why is that so? The answer can be rather lengthy but in its substance it is only one word: hierarchy, hierarchy in human society.

This article states that divorced immigrants commit suicide more often than people born in the USA or who live there longer than 20 years. Usually, a male from another country, another society, who came to the USA and has his wife with him, experiences strange shift in his hierarchy. He falls more down than he used to be in his country of origin but, on the other hand, he has his wife on his side, and for a male this means he is not the last one, as females are basically always in the human hierarchy under the male. Therefore the married immigrant does not perceive his position as extremely bad as he has someone, in this case his own wife, under him. If divorced then, the situation changes dramatically, and he perceives himself as the last on in the hierarchy, he can suffer depressions and out of depression he can commit suicide.

There are many different examples, or even psychological experiments, on animals as well as on human that strongly support this notion.

On Malta, refugees, immigrants coming from Africa are called “boat people”. When they arrive, they are at the absolute bottom of Maltese society, they are even under the “domestic” beggars and prostitutes, and especially these “home” people, born or living long on Malta, really welcome the “boat people” as there is suddenly someone who is under them, suddenly they are not the last ones in this society, the boat people take this last position in hierarchy over.

A psychology experiment was carried out some time ago on USA universities. Subjects tested were students, who were given difficult stuff to learn and then tested in front of a commission. All known signs of stress as hormones in blood, blood pressure, pulse sweating etc were measured and recorded.

Few days later this test was repeated with one exception: every participant could bring his partner with him/her. And again the stress signals were measured, this time with extremely interesting results. Males who brought their female partners with them showed lower stress level in all measured signals and females who brought with them their male partners showed higher levels of stress signals.

One could follow, based on the notion of hierarchy, that males have decreased levels of stress when their female partner is with them, as they feel that there is someone still lower than they are. With females this is completely opposite: when they have their male partner next to them their stress is higher as they know that they are the last ones in the hierarchy, below the testing commission and even below their own partner.

All these events, be it experiments or just real life suggest that hierarchy is heavily influencing our lives, regardless what our consciousness tells us. Our subconsciousness is very often much stronger, and does things that later on our consciousness tries to explain, even if it is difficult.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


DNA and Methyl groups

Agouti mice and DNA with methyl group

This idea might be extremely strange and stupid or it might be quite a good idea, only the future will tell. Agouti mice experiment is well-known. This kind of mice was given food rich in methyl. The impact was huge. Mice receiving this “methyl” food gave birth to offspring with different color than usual. Here are several links on this experiment delivered by Google and I advice all who want to learn more on this experiment to read more than only one link.

Methyl groups are known for silencing impact on DNA sequences and in turn influencing the expression of the information coded in the respective sequence. The only thing that strikes me is, how the heck does it come that only certain sequence of DNA was influenced by this food rich on methyl? As these methyl groups usually get connected to many different DNA sequences, not only that one responsible for the color of fur. It is also responsible for silencing cancer suppressors, and many other sequences. So how come that in this experiment only the fur color was changed?

This brings me to the idea that the methyl group itself appears in different forms, and even the subatomic composition might be of importance, not only the molecular level seems to be the solely important one. So it might be that methyl groups in different forms do “prefer” getting connected to certain sequences of DNA. If this were the case then the next question would have to be, where is the difference in different methyl groups and what type of methyl group gets usually connected to what type of DNA sequence?

The possible differences in methyl groups do not necessarily be at the molecular level, it can be at the subatomic level of DNA sequences “attracting” certain methyl groups.

Well, once again this idea can appear as a total disaster or as something that might be of some importance for future. I like the idea, whatever the outcome will be.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


environment, DNA and sex determination

Sex determination and temperature

Short trip into biology and genetics and epigenetics

To biologists it is known for ages that some species evolve male or female offspring by temperature of the environment. Some reptiles have male offspring when their eggs are exposed to higher temperature, and some have female offspring. The same is environmental influence of temperature occurs in some fish and some other species.

Some species change the sex based on the body size. If the body is relatively small it is female, when the body grows and reaches certain size it becomes male. But let’s return to the influence of temperature.

It is not only reptiles and fish that react to the temperature of the environment. Trees react to it too. If the temperature falls constantly over a period of time - winter is coming - then the trees let their leaves fall.

In human females temperature can be used as indicator for ovulation. There are many more instances of environment variables influencing some phenotypic phenomenon.

Until now biologist are not sure why this sex determination via temperature functions. I, of course, do not know that either, but I would like to suggest a possible solution of the question. Sex chromosomes are only DNA with all the attributes of genetics and especially of epigenetics. So it might be possible that temperature changes some chemicals in DNA, maybe some methyl groups, or even something else and this in turn then, changes the expression of the chromosome and as a result either male or female offspring develops.

I think that the idea that temperature influences DNA is a viable way, though it may happen that the results will be negative, in such a case some other coding influence of temperature must be looked for.

Friday, March 07, 2008



M-L-M Multi-level memory

Scientists have found something that might be viewed upon as the starting evidence for M-L-M. M-L-M is not only a question of memory itself, but also the way how it is stored, that means the way of coding, and it means that MLM is also MLC multi-level coding. It seems that this is exactly that what seems to be discovered and described in these articles.

1. Methylation-Based Epigenetic Control May Be Short-Lived, Research Suggests
2. Turning Genes Off And On: Methylation Process Is Transient, Cyclical And Dynamic, Not Static As Previously Thought
3. New revelations in epigenetic control shed light on breast cancer


Lamarck confirmed II

Lamarck and his ideas still living

It is really funny, how many people and among them even experts oppose the ideas of Lamarck. On the other hand it is also funny, how much evidence has been gathered to support this Lamarckian notion.

The basic idea of Lamarck was that any organism gathers experiences in its life and if it is of advantage it passes this to its offspring. This idea was ridiculed by saying that if it were so then, an organism that learned how to run fast would give its offspring better legs. Obviously, this is not the case in one generation step.

But it is true in many generations steps as this blog post called Doggy See, Doggy Do shows. If wolves cannot understand human gestures and domesticated dogs can, well they have learned that from humans by living with them for eons a noticing what is important and passing this generation to their offspring. And that is the basis of Lamarck’s ideas.

There is no reason for Lamarck’s ideas to be ridiculed; they are valid, regardless some experts denying this fact.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


neuroeconomics 1

Decision making and emotion

This article has come to me this morning through Google Alerts. The basic idea is that scientists are surprised that people do not always act rationally and are severely influenced by their emotions.

The subject of emotions is extremely complex to study. There is not a single answer, at least not yet. Therefore there cannot be a simple answer to the question why people buy things when emotionally sad.

I would like to suggest one possible solution here. The core of my notion is that the solution lies in hierarchy of human society. There are symbols, signs of hierarchy; some of them are well-known as status symbols, cars, houses, expensive fur coats etc. The more you can buy the higher you are in the human society. There is a strong drive in many people to get as high as possible in this human hierarchy. But more general the findings show that it is normally not so important for people to get really extremely high in the hierarchy, but it is really important for them not to be the last on in the hierarchy.

The position of the last one in the hierarchy cannot be exactly determined; therefore people try to get higher as they do not know if they are not still the last ones. If some one feels sad he/she feels down and in order to contradict this feeling they buy things as they believe these things as status symbols will bring them up again, and it is usually the case.

Many observations have been mad as far as buying habits are concerned. In the times of personal success people usually buy dark furniture, if they are in the need of buying some furniture at that time. In the times of personal depression people usually buy white or light furniture if they are in the situation of buying some furniture at that time. Obviously, color of furniture is indirectly related to the personal economic and emotional situation.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Lamarck confirmed

Lamarck was right

Sometimes we people are strange, we say that Lamarck was not right and then we bring evidence demonstrating the correctness of his ideas. Here you can find that the ideas of Lamarck are sometimes ridiculed and put down. Here you can read how humans are hardwired for recognition of snakes, which constitutes strong evidence for Lamarckism.

There are many more examples of how DNA passes over some behavioral information to the offspring. DNA is a very complex system of coding and storing information capable of being passed over to the next generation and so saving energy and time. This fact is exactly that what Lamarck said more than 200 years ago and his ideas were refused and ridiculed a lot.

We are hardwired for many things, for sex, for reading (see Stroop test), language, and many other things. We are hardwired for anything that repeats. This is the basic idea of natural selection. Only that will en recognized by any organism as important when I t repeats many times. The number of repetitions then in turn constitutes the scale for importance of some repeated information, the more it repeats the more important it is.

This in turn is the basis for the criticism of TV for children and for TV programs with violent content. If it repeats very often it becomes “normal” and “important” for our human brain, and it will be passed over through DNA to our offspring, to our children, and the next generation will be a bit worse than the previous generation, that had not been so severely influenced by TV.


Patterns in our life - 1

The importance of Patterns in Life and in Computation

"Management is made easier by having fewer things to manage," eBay distinguished research scientist Paul Strong, who helps to design and manage the company's massive IT infrastructure, said in an interview. "By having patterns and fixing processes around them, you minimize variability, risk, and cost, and you maximize efficiency and to some degree agility."

Google has sent me link to the website where I found the above copied idea.

Actually, the basic idea that things are easier when we have patterns and fixed processes holds true in normal life as well. Just take car driving, after some time and many driven kilometers your brain has created patterns out of all situations you had encountered and creates patterns. These patterns enable fast and proper reaction

The same is valid for sports, in basketball, football, soccer, and ice hockey players learn fixed situation and how to outsmart the guys from the other team. Finally, this is also true for mating and the life lived in partnership.

In computing branch this process is made deliberately and on conscious level because it is necessary to produce programs for machines. In normal life the brain is responsible for the creation of patterns. Patterns are created after some situation has happened many times. Another typical example is language, human spoken language, mother tongue.

In reality we always have problems when some situation does not correspond to any pattern. Our brain is master in using patterns. Even if we encounter some situation we have never seen before our brain searches for similarities and reacts accordingly. That means sometimes our brain cannot find matching pattern and uses some other pattern and we behave strange.

This is actually the point of evolutionary psychology: our brains have stored patterns that developed several million years ago as well as patterns that developed only about 100 000 years ago. We do not encounter these situations anymore and so our brains use wrong, not matching patters.

Even when persons from one social layer meat people from other social layer the patterns do not function.

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