Wilder speculations

So where could all this be leading? Here I have put together some ideas that I guess might prove fruitful. But you readers need to take it all with more than a pinch of salt; and I need to be ready to swallow much embarrassment.

To be continued . . .


Immuno-editing: this is a metaphor that is in danger of becoming a religion. The main reasons I have for saying this are, first, I have recently read that "there is no longer any doubt that immunoediting happens". Strong (absolute) words for a metaphor. Second, the immunoediting concept places much emphasis on the cancer's "intention" to evolve into an anarchic clone. My guess is that we will eventually find that cancer is the outcome of a rare sequence of purely chance events that eventually establish a vicious cycle that is nigh impossible to break. There is no "intention" of the cancer cells to break away or take charge or to have an autonomous existence. On the vast majority of occasions this chance event is never reached and, even when it is, it is often linked to the declining efficiency of the aging morphostatic system and a fortuitous damage to p53 related mechanisms.


A further consequence of the "denial of substrate" hypothesis is that, whenever there is an extended accumulation of tissue debris due to non-infectious causes, it is almost inevitable that colonisation – to some degree – will follow. Hence, in traumatic arthritis (among other things) genetic traces of microbes can be isolated; attempted colonisation is probably very frequent. This is counter to the generally held "sterile" view of the body's tissues. It is only the efficiency of mess clearance that holds off overt infection.

The universe

The principles of emergent morphogenesis and morphostasis may equally apply to planetary and galaxy systems. The idea that a mammalian body falls together as an incredibly rare chance event from its constituent parts would strike us as ridiculous. This is like the argument that a Jumbo Jet cannot fortuitously fall together from its component parts; it requires designers and craftsmen. Nowadays most biologists strongly suspect that mammalian bodies are, instead, the end product of something like three billion years of progressive trial-and-error evolution. However, we are expected to believe in the magical and vanishingly more improbable chance event of an instantaneous, extremely low entropy, "big bang". This can only make sense by concocting an unimaginably large number of other universes from which this special one can be "chosen". Biology gives us a theme that could well inform physicists. Conditions of very low entropy and of complex order (two different but intimately interacting properties) may well emerge through a process of progressive evolution. The so-called "big bang" (as an explanation of the universe's "birth") might be re-analysable from the perspective of the emergent evolution and concentration of neg-entropy and order. These progressively increase as we "move" from deep intergalactic space towards the event horizons of black holes. BUT – we would first need to abandon the entrenched assumption that time always goes rigidly forward, from a moment 13.7 bn yrs ago to now, for all all "observers" and that this applies to every inertial and quantal "frame" of the universe.