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April 29, 2017

Updated Archives

A complete listing of postings to this site is available here.

April 28, 2017

This Is Not the "The Chicken or the Egg?" Question

Let's begin with the definition of a "vital" organ: A group of specialized somatic cells performing a function that is essential to the viability of the organism; if such an organ is destroyed or suffers irreparable major damage the organism dies.

Now here is the question: Which came first, an organism with a vital organ or a gene pool capable of controlling developmental mitosis with the precise efficiency required to construct such an organ?

Obviously, the gene pool had to first acquire the ability to construct before it could actually construct. That leads to the next question: How could it have acquired that ability?

I think the only answer is that something other than organ-construction must have first demanded utmost control over developmental mitosis. Cancer selection is the only serious candidate.

If functioning oncogenes initiated the death of developing organisms following failure to replicate precisely (if somatic mutations occurred) selection pressure would have favored minimization of such errors or even their complete elimination.

The role of cancer selection in the origin of complex animals has been an important part of my theory from the beginning. This is the first sentence in my 1983 Letter (Journal of Theoretical Biology 101,657) with emphasis now added:
Cancer has certain characteristics that lead me to conclude that it functions as an "enforcer" of the genetic program and, as such,played a major role in the origin and evolution of the Bilateria.

Comments and question are welcomed here.

At this site you will find links to additional material including my original Letters to the Journal of Theoretical Biology and the 1992 Nature review of my book.

Copyright © 2017 by James Graham

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June 21, 2016

On the Matter of Citations

Based on the number of page views they have attracted and the nature of their content, I think it possible that certain of my postings (such as those listed below) could lead others to write, and to have published, amplifying papers including, possibly, reports of research prompted by something they read here.

October 30, 2015

My Correspondence with Thomas S. Kuhn

In January 1990 I wrote to Thomas S. Kuhn about the nearly-complete manuscript of my book. In his own classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Professor Kuhn had made a number of points that led me to think he might find in my work-in-progress some points that coincided with his own views. 

October 27, 2015

Cephalopod Secrets

In the years prior to achieving publication of my theory I sent copies of my latest draft to individual scientists in the hope that they might offer encouragement or useful criticism. Mostly I contacted evolutionary biologists, but occasionally I sent the draft to cancer researchers.

In 1978 or 1979 a well-known cancer scientist responded to my latest version by cautioning me about my assertion that the immune system of vertebrates was capable of killing cancer cells; he said it wasn't clear that immune systems could do that.