Denis Noble Debates Richard Dawkins (full video)

LIVE DEBATE Oxford professor Denis Noble locked horns with Richard Dawkins in June at the How the Light Gets In UK conference. Is The Selfish Gene holding back medicine and cancer cures? The world’s most incendiary evolutionary biologist asks if we need to rethink DNA.

The debate was both cordial and revealing. One thing that is quite clear from this debate is that Dawkins’ knowledge of biology and genetics lags 20-30 years behind current research.

The best part of this debate was how civil it was. In a world of hyper-polarization – and evolutionary biology historically being one of the worst fields in this regard – the friendly dialogue between the two was refreshing. Dawkins demonstrates great respect for Denis Noble. Appropriately so, since Noble was on Dawkins’ PhD thesis review committee and the two have been friends and colleagues for 50 years.
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2 Responses

  1. Eric Kuelker says:

    If you block the gene that generates 80% of the cardiac rhythm generation, there is hardly any change in the cardiac rhythm. This shows that your formula Cognition -> Code -> Chemical can be expanded. It can be Cognition -> Component (organ) -> Code -> Chemical. This means that the cognitive processes at the organ level select a different component to regulate the rhythm of the heart, since the code (HCN gene) was knocked out. The cognitive capability of the heart can select among various components to replace one that has become inoperable, because the code that the component runs on has become inoperable due to being knocked out. You mention that bacteria in a toxic environment can borrow the DNA to build a pump from another bacteria due to transposition. The component that regulates the internal environment of the cell borrows the code to build a pump, and get rid of the toxin.

    • Eric,

      There has to be some level at which consciousness directly manipulates matter in order to change the pattern of the code, as you indicate.

      The manipulation of the matter may be information (code), and it’s not incorrect to say Chemicals -> Code -> Cognition but what is missing is the link between consciousness and any physical change in matter or energy.

      This is why I think psi research is a key to understanding biology. We know from Jahn and Dunne (Margins of Reality) that humans by concentrating can deflect falling objects so we should be looking closer at how that happens.

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