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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Old genomes are complex, not simple?:A Darwinist refuses to know

Krauze at Telic Thoughts complained to me that his useful information on the complex genomes of very old organisms was rejected from a prof’s site on invertebrate biology, known as Circus of the Spineless, because Krauze is not a Darwinist.

Essentially, Krauze (from Telic Thoughts, a nearby blog listed on the sidebar) notes that scientists prefer to study life forms that reproduce quickly (so that they can get results before “emeritus” kicks in).

But this very understandable limitation includes a cost:

Many genes present in humans are absent in the invertebrate life forms that scientists commonly study, such as fruit flies and nematodes (worms). These genes are assumed to have been crated in vertebrates. But Krauze argues,

... there’s another possibility, namely that these genes arose before long before either humans, fruit flies, or nematodes diverged, and was subsequently lost in the latter two groups.

According to Krauze, Australian researchers* looked at a coral which is older than insects, worms, and humans. Eleven percent of the same genes are found in humans but only 1 percent in fruit flies or nematodes.

So what does that mean? Well, the finding suggests that gene loss may have been been an important factor in evolution.

According to Krauze, the Australian authors concluded that "the ancestral metazoan [life form with many cells] is likely to have been much more complex than was previously imagined."

Again, you ask, who cares if the ancestral blob was complex?

Okay, recall that Darwin’s account of evolution explains how complex modern creatures arise from older, simpler ones: From goo to zoo to you in six easy, compulsory biology lessons. Followers of Darwin offer to explain how life itself arises from simpler combinations of chemicals (prebiotic evolution).

If, in fact, very old life forms have large, complex genomes from which humans (and fruit flies and nematode worms) inherit what they need, well, that may require a different theory ....

Don’t worry about Darwinists freaking out over the news. According to Krauze, a Darwinist site refused to publish this information, giving its origin as the only reason:

A final note: My policy on this blog is not to have any links in any of my posts to any creationist (including "intelligent" design) sites. Hence I turned down a submission from one such site. I offer no apologies.

Actually, there is no need for apologies. The history of life does not depend on the approval of the Circus of the Spineless.

(*Kortschak R.D., et al., “EST Analysis of the Cnidarian Acropora millepora Reveals Extensive Gene Loss and Rapid Sequence Divergence in the Model Invertebrates”, Current Biology 13(24 ):2190-2195 (2003)
If you like this blog, check out my award-winning book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for the following stories?

Stuart Pivar, a friend of the late Stephen Jay Gould, recently asked NCSE to change the wording of the statement for the Steve list - downplaying the role of natural selection in evolution, and spazzed out a lot of Darwinists. Pivar’s book advocating structuralism (biophysics) is to be reviewed in a science journal.


"Academic Freedom Watch : Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that 'intelligent design isn't science'?".

Roseville, California, lawyer Larry Caldwell is suing over the use of tax money by Darwin lobby groups to promote religious views that accept Darwinian evolution (as opposed to ones that don’t). I’m pegging this one as the next big story. It will be interesting to see the line that the “separation of church and state” people take.
How to freak out your bio prof? What happened when a student bypassed the usual route of getting frogs drunk and dropping them down the chancellor’s robes, and tried questioning Darwinism instead.

Christoph, Cardinal Schonborn is not backing down from his contention that Darwinism is incompatible with Catholic faith, and Pope Benedict XVI probably thinks that’s just fine. Major US media have been trying to reach rewrite for months, with no success.

Museum tour guides to be trained to "respond" to those who question Darwinism. Read this item for an example of what at least one museum hopes to have them say.

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