Catch a Cancer by the Toe

 

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Major Distribution Vessels within the United States

All life is composed of cells. Within each cell there are three primary components: DNA (stored information), RNA (an intermediary acting between information and tools) and tools (proteins). This cellular organization has flourished, ramified and diversified for billions of years resulting in the myriad species within the ecosystem. Even though human senses cannot perceive the substituent cells without technological aid, each and every species is composed of individuals made of cells, pressed into some unique shape by evolution. The cells differ very little from species to species. Many species are either unicellular eukaryotes or prokaryotes (bateria) with only the eukaryotic variety forming complex multicellular organisms.

 

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Major Distribution Vessels within the Human Brain.

Why did evolution result in multicellularity? Why didn’t cells just grow to the size of humans and phagocytose other large organisms while floating in the sea? Mostly because as the surface area of a cell increases the volume inside increases much faster thereby making it impossible to pass enough substances through the membrane to serve the metabolism within. Biological cellular membranes are also composed entirely of lipopolysaccharides and proteins and would have to be thick and immovable to protect cellular contents. Large-scale phagocytoses would become impossible. The solution to making available the nutrition within large evolving organisms was to build them from cells and have them specialize into the organs necessary for respiration, phagocytoses (after chewing)/digestion and reproduction. The distribution of gases and nutrition was accomplished by cells forming pumps and conduits capable of distributing cellular requirements deep within a multicellular body. Humans are just one of many species or varieties, a body plan that is successful at obtaining energy and repulsing invaders, such as pathogenic bacteria. Dissect a frog, a fish, a human and a mouse and you’ll find basically the same cellular organ systems.

 

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Red blood cells passing through an arteriole will find their way into capillaries for exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide. Proteins and other nutrition are carried in the blood plasmas are many metabolic wastes. Red blood cells are loosely equivalent to cars on technological system roads except that the heart provides the motive force for their movement. Gravity keep humans, their factories and their distribution systems close to the ground.

Once all of the basic structures for capturing nutrition and digesting it, exchanging gases with the atmosphere and eliminating wastes had been established in human ancestors there existed the potential for some organism, humans, to attack even larger prey, once again by evolving into larger, coordinated systems . Evolution chose human progenitors because of their large brains with a neocortex capable of evolving new functions, a hand that could grasp objects and eyes/brain that could see the world in three dimensions. The solitary human changed from being an organism that solely used cellular appendages and organs to interact with the world, to one which could leverage its natural abilities by grasping and using objects found in the environment. Other organisms have employed objects found in the environment, like birds that build nests with sticks, but this behavior is instinctual, part of the inherited architecture of the brain. Why didn’t man’s tool use stop at wielding clubs, implanted in the neurology of the human brain? Picking up a club was not an instinctive event as perhaps in the bird, but rather it became a rehearsed event in mind space, an imitative act set down in memory. Eventually a certain repertoire of behaviors beneficial to survival would not only be copied by observation and rehearsed in the brain, but would be encoded in emergent language. Although much of their behavior was still instinctual and still is, humans began to innovate in behavior, try new things and see how they worked. Success resulted in a well remembered opioid reward and a dopaminergic moderated tendency to repeat the same behavior .

After using preformed tools for a long while, humans were able to assemble crude tools to use in the environment just as RNA could assemble amino acids to make a tool. The ability to assemble components into a new tool was also a fast evolving area of the brain, the ability to follow a logical sequence of steps, a procedure. There was a limitation on the evolution of tools related to the complexity of information that the human brain was able to remember and transfer to later generations. The next step in the development of the human RNA was to find a means of storing information apart from the brain or in cells, apart from the sequence of RNA. DNA became the repository in cells for information storage. For humans it was drawing and writing and then with more advanced tools it became printing and then electronic media. Stored information, a nucleus or library, was the precedent both in cells and with humans for creating much more complex tools and relationships. The human brain is incapable of storing large amounts of information invariantly just as RNA was inadequate for the storage of large amounts of complex information. Once the information recording, storage and translation was established, then evolution, both organic and technological could advance more rapidly with much greater complexity without generational loss of data.

The cellular RNA in humans go about their tasks of reading DNA information and building tools from amino acids while at the same time the human goes about its task of reading specifications and drawings and building tools in factories The human has evolved to perform the RNA equivalent task of the technological system to allow acquisition and digestion of massive new prey including herds of large herbivores, the soils, and fossil fuels. But because of its large scale and lack of discipline, human civilization will consume and destroy the very foundation of its own continued existence, the ecosystem. It is strangely overlooked that a key component of the technological system is the human and the human is an organic being dependent upon a healthy ecosystem. The technological system is often seen as proof of human intelligence, but it is rather just a process of evolution carried forward mindlessly with a proximal expiration date.

 

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Not a Cooperative Organization Man

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the existence of two simultaneous information systems is that complex adaptive system II (technological) is always trying by law and coercion to change the natural human behavior produced in complex adaptive system I – DNA. It tries to change behavior in humans to produce maximum growth and complexity, neither which could exist if the behaviors specified by CAS I were allowed free play. Sigmund Freud explored this confrontation between man and society in “Civilization and Its Discontents.”, So men are told by CAS II what to do and how to do it to accomplish order and growth. If uncooperative, you are marginalized or punished and sent to jail or “rehabilitated”. Unfortunately the new civilizational structure and morality/ legal system that creates a framework for order in densely packed human populations is in essence an organizational prison built around the previously relatively free-wheeling human that was specified by CAS I.And now that malignant civilization has nearly consumed, appropriated and destroyed much of the natural environment, there is no easy return to a state of existence dominated by the evolutionary forces of the ecosystem. To go forward, technologically, seems to beckon even more control of human behavior and surveillance which will not alter the course of eventual catastrophic economic and ecosystem collapse. We’re running as fast as we can into an evolutionary dead-end and we’re burning our bridges as we go.

If anyone tells you that humans are the most intelligent species on the planet, please ask them what they mean. I’m sure they’ll boastfully remind you of our technology and landing on the moon, and you remind them that the only really intelligent agent on the planet is molecular RNA by using information and building tools successfully for billions of years without destroying their environment. Humans seem repulsed by their biological natures and the fact of death, wanting to distance themselves from life and striving to become technologically immortal. But technology is mortal too, and hasn’t found a way to interact benignly with the environment, recycle materials or reproduce itself. Civilization in its current form is a cancer run amok with a terminal prognosis.