Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fishy note on Beast in the Cave

As I often relate, I believe that The Beast in the Cave was influenced by the NeoLamarkian views of Apheus Spring Packard, Jr. He worked intensively at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky and it was a notable claim to his fame when he studied the blind fish in that cave study.

NoeLarkianism has fallen out of favor. It basically states that if a species is seculded in it's ecosytem and that ecosystem traumatizes part of it, then that trait will dominate. In this case, fish in caves do not need to see light frequencies, and therefore over millions of years the eyes are useless. The controversy is that many scenarios exist whereby this does NOT happen. You can cut the tails off of a dog and yet every dog will always be born with a tail. Billions of men have been circumcised, but peple are not born uncircumcised. Despite millions of apendectomies and gall bladder removals, people are still born with those organs.

Now we have some insight in 12 January 2008 Science News.

Richard Borowsky of New York University cross bred two different unsighted cave species. That crossoing bred some % of sighted fish. Lineages of the same sepcies, long sepereated in different caves may all end up being blind, but different genes have mutated to converge on the same result. Thus pairing them off again reactivates dormant functionality.

This is called the "Scenario of Convergence".

Borowsky mixed and matched fish from 29 different caves.

Now how does one rationalize Lovecraft's fictional Lamarkianism? Perhaps the advanced species - the gods, the Old Ones - realize that humans' traits are as limited and limiting as those of blind fish. A sudden transfusion of new Dna quickly and permannnetly alters the DNA of humans to becomes Icky Ichthus men, or froggish things, or lobster clawed morphs, ar even star-headed monsters?

Stay tuned as science gets closer to solving Lovecraft's mysterious ideas.

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