Christ, the state of it….

Posted by

A Twitter thread by @radicalhag

Christ, the state of it. Do some maths/physics. A colour is us perceiving photons at a particular wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum. Sex is the result of a pair (2) of chromosomes, which in turn are the result of a finite number of alleles arranged in a specific order

You get one copy of your genes from mum and the other from dad. This is why we’re called diploid, from the Greek for double (2). Mum always gives you an X chromosome. Dad gives you either an X or a Y. That makes 2 possibilities – XX and XY – unless something goes awry.

The variation in human genotype is because of the rapidity with which powers of 2 get big, not because we’re ‘on a spectrum’. There is a countable, finite number of possible humans. It’s a very very big number but it’s not a spectrum.

There is no underlying continuum (number line) from which values can be selected (which is the meaning of a spectrum – the set of values which are characteristic of a particular chemical element, for example)

One human can produce over 8.3 million possible different gametes based on chromosomes alone, but this is because each of 23 positions can be filled by a chromosome from either grandpa or grandpa (at random), resulting in 2^23 possible combinations.

Then there are alleles (versions of genes) at various positions on the chomosomes, and the probability of inheriting one of those depends on the frequency (number of times it occurs) in the population. This is discrete, combinatorial mathematics.

It’s all based on powers of 2 – binary arithmetic – to the point where I sometimes have the horrors thinking that the people who say we’re living in a computer simulation might be right.

It doesn’t take long to get to 8 million.

And then we get told we’ve never gone beyond high school biology, by people who produce piffle like this which is worthy of David Avocado Wolfe. High school biology beats no biology, mate.