Trying to Explain Specified Complex Systems In Biology

A wide range of complex dynamics and precise architectures have been a great interest in many areas in science especially in biological systems. Using the assumption of evolutionary explanation, Monteiro and Ondrej Podlaha write a paper in PLoS Biology titled; “Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?”

“Throughout their evolutionary history, organisms have evolved numerous complex morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to increase their chances of survival and reproduction.”

“Insects have evolved wings and flight, which allowed them to better disperse, beetles have grown horns to fight over females, and moths and butterflies have decorated their wings with bright circles of colored scales to scare off predators.”

“The way that most of these and other adaptations first evolved, however, is still largely unknown.  In the last two decades we have learned that novel traits appear to be built using old genes wired in novel ways, but it is still a mystery whether these novel traits evolve when genes are rewired de novo, one at a time, into new developmental networks, or whether clusters of pre-wired genes are co-opted into the development of the new trait.”

“The speed of evolution of novel complex traits is likely to depend greatly on which of these two mechanisms underlies their origin.  It is important, thus, to understand how novel complex traits evolve.”

So this particular explanation based on evolution gives you a choice like on a food menu, either chicken patties, or the whole chicken itself. The first choice is telling a story on how genes would cause mutations to drift or fixate in a progressing manner. The second choice is co-opted the equipment from previous complex systems with other functions and applied them in new ways.

The paper goes on to say complexity is poorly understood and suggests evolutionary scientists are still at square one on this subject. They did favor the gene network co-option hypothesis as the best explanation in evolution for complex dynamics and precise architectures in living organisms.

In PNAS, Ross and Arkin make note also of the importance of understanding the origin of complex systems. They cover pretty technical topics that range from information processing in their signaling network and the organization of their metabolism, to how populations of differentiated cells communicate with one another to coordinate behavior, and to how “evolution has arrived at different recurrent motifs of control and linked together different physiological functions.”

Not surprisingly even in an pro-evolution publication like PNAS, after the above quotation, one cannot find them mentioning evolution. In fact, the word “design” appears much more often advocating “identification of design principles.”

What is truly sad about these papers, it’s based on merely the assumption of evolution which I call story telling and not the explanation of it; it had to evolved because it evolved and this is how we got to where we are right now! Not a logical conclusion by any means, but it makes more sense, design principles are created by intelligence whether it be a car or a house, or a computer and in nature as we see it as a highly advance being (more advance than we ever understand living on earth) who loves His people unconditionally is the designer of nature’s complexity with precise architectures which will always need more study.

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