Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Key Evidence for Evolution Involving Mobile Genetic Elements Continues to Crumble

More Junk DNA That Isn’t Really Junk After All

It is difficult to keep track of all the studies indicating that junk DNA isn’t really junk DNA after all. I have no idea how much actual junk there is in our genomes, but evolution has a long history of failed claims of disutility, inefficiency and junk in nature’s designs. That is why I think Dan Graur took the wrong side of history in his “either the genome is mostly junk or evolution is false” proposition.

A study published last week found strong signs of function in mobile repetitive DNA elements. Mobile genetic elements have been heavily recruited by evolutionists in recent years as powerful, undeniable proofs of common ancestry. An underlying assumption in those proofs, aside from the usual non scientific metaphysics, is that such mobile elements insert themselves into the genome at random. But this study suggests they are at least sometimes nonrandom and functional. As one report explains:

“We’ve come to understand that not all repeat sequences are junk DNA,” said Pawel Michalak, an associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.  “These repetitive sequences are increasingly being recognized as agents of adaptive change. We discovered a larger than expected amount of genetic variation in these repeating sequences between the fly populations and saw that the variation resulted in potentially functional differences in important biological processes, such as stress resistance and mating.”

[…]

The biological roles of these place-jumping, repetitive elements are mysterious
.

They are largely viewed as “genomic parasites,” but in this study, researchers found the mobile DNA can provide genetic novelties recruited as certain population-unique, functional enrichments that are nonrandom and purposeful.

“The first shocker was the sheer volume of genetic variation due to the dynamics of mobile elements, including coding and regulatory genomic regions, and the second was amount of population-specific insertions of transposable DNA elements,” Michalak said. “Roughly 50 percent of the insertions were population unique.”

The fact is, as this study further suggests, we don’t really understand genetics well enough to support the kind of hard claims evolutionists make about the evidence.

9 comments:

  1. Hübner et al., Genome differentiation of Drosophila melanogaster from a microclimate contrast in Evolution Canyon, Israel, PNAS 2013.

    Oddly enough, those silly researchers think they are studying evolution.

    "Drosophila belong to organisms that undergo recurrent boom-bust cycles dramatically reducing the long-term Ne {effective population} and allowing adaptation during the boom years to occur in populations of large short-term Ne, making short-term evolution act primarily on preexisting intermediate-frequency genetic variants that are swept the remainder of the way to fixation, a process known as a soft sweep"

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  2. An underlying assumption in those proofs, aside from the usual non scientific metaphysics, is that such mobile elements insert themselves into the genome at random. But this study suggests they are at least sometimes nonrandom and functional.

    Nonrandom insertion of P elements has been known and studies for 30 years.

    Structures of P transposable elements and their sites of insertion and excision in the Drosophila melanogaster genome.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6309410?dopt=Abstract

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  3. Dr Hunter,

    In reference to "junk DNA," what do you think is the relevance of the "C-value paradox," if any?

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  4. The point is that the most brilliant minds in Evolutionary Thinking make hard and fast predictions based on the theory as they've fashioned it, but their predictions turn out wrong. Maybe there is something wrong with the theory?

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    1. Glenn J,

      Examples, please?

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    2. If a theory base on a four wheeled, self powered vehicle predicts a light truck, but, to our surprise we end up with an el camino that we've never hypothetically seen before, would that mean there is something "wrong" with the theory?

      IOW, it's not that predictions being false isn't important, but how they are important.

      If all predictions of a theory can be is wrong or right and none are more important than another, that's instrementalism, which is anti-realism. It's meaningless to ask if a theory is true in realty, or just a useful fiction to predict phenomena.

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    3. Scott, you aren't arguing with CH. CH has made clear who he's arguing with. He's arguing with those who say UCA or certain posited (but unobserved and thus far inexplicable by genetics, etc) lineage histories are known by certain humans to have occurred--i.e., they are known to be facts or supported by overwhelming evidence, where "evidence" is neither inductive evidence or otherwise defined.

      Delete
  5. “We’ve come to understand that not all repeat sequences are junk DNA,” said Pawel Michalak

    So the reasoning that leads one to believe the genome contains junk is less effective now. I wonder how many more surprising new discoveries will it take before the idea is discarded? The concept of junk DNA is one more brick in the Tower of Babel that is macro evolution.

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  6. Marcus:

    So the reasoning that leads one to believe the genome contains junk is less effective now.

    What reasoning is that?

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