The Human Genome Project

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 18, 2002.

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    Human Genome Project

    HELEN
    The following article is basically an admission of the vast ignorance we still have regarding the genome -- of any organism, really. The implication is that all bets are off regarding control and direction mechanisms for heredity and development. Please note the reference to 'junk' DNA. That is actually another admission of ignorance. It means there is DNA which is a puzzle to us. That should not be surprising... what is surprising the arrogance that would call what we do not yet understand 'junk.'

    That is not to say that there have not been mutations through time which have disabled some genes. Undoubtedly there has been -- that is part of all of creation being subject to decay. But to figure that so much of the human genome is 'junk,' is, well,....

    Then, of course, there is the evolutionary presupposition that the material and natural is all that there is, so the human mind is somehow a result of all this, too...

    well, you read the article:

    A glance at the September issue of "Zygon": Genes and God

    One of the most shocking discoveries of the human-genome project was that very little separates humans, genetically speaking, from yeast or roundworms. In response to all the hand-wringing that finding has evoked, Ursula Goodenough, a professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, examines how we can account for our phenotypic complexity given our genome, and the metaphysical implications that accompany that complexity.

    Scientists had long predicted that humans must have around 100,000 genes, since fruit flies have 14,000 and mustard plants have 25,000. But when the two genome projects produced evidence of only 30,000 genes in the human genome, scientists were aghast, and began to consider that genes were less vital to human development than previously thought. Ms. Goodenough, however, posits that genetic biology is more complex than "one gene, one trait." Instead, she points out that genes control proteins, which in turn control an organism's traits, and suggests that genes have the ability to create different variations of proteins, depending on the situation. That would help account for more variation and complexity than 30,000 genes can ostensibly be responsible for. But even assuming that such genetic complexity exists, Ms. Goodenough writes, "genomes are absurd. They really are." Small numbers of meaningful genes existing alongside meaningless so-called "junk DNA" -- the bulk of our genome -- cannot account for the "serendipitous creativity of Nature." Instead, our genes are responsible for our "emergent properties." For example, a gene controlling the firing of a single neuron is just that -- a gene controlling a neuron. But the firing neurons make up neural communication, the functioning of the human brain. So does that mean there are genes that code for self-awareness or intelligence (in the sense that all humans are intelligent)? No. But those properties emerge from constituent genetic arrangements. And, she writes, the relationship between protein sequences and the ethereal functioning of the human mind begs a question: In which genetic details can one find the work of God?


    This article is not available online, but information about the journal can be found at http://zygoncenter.org


    THE BARBARIAN
    Scientists have long known that there are hierarchies of genes, with some much more important than others. And they are ancient, some of them.

    We share basic metabolic features with bacteria. And the same genes that mediate eyes in houseflies, do so in vertebrates. I once had a long argument with an ID enthusiast, who contended all eyes evolved from a common form. It's not true, BTW.

    It's also good to remember that scientists refer to what some call "junk DNA" as "noncoding". Given nature's tendency to use all sorts of things for all sorts of purposes, it's a fair bet that a lot of it does something, even if it doesn't code for protein.

    And there is more to development than genes. Have you read D'Arcy Thompson's classic "On Growth and Form"? He shows how basic mechanical forces and geometry have much to do with the way an organism develops.

    A very old work, from the early years of the last century, but worth checking out.



    Helen
    Scientists have long known that there are hierarchies of genes, with some much more important than others. And they are ancient, some of them.

    Wow, can you pack a lot of semi- and misinformation in to a couple of sentences, Pat!

    1. Please explain what YOU mean by 'hierarchies of genes.'
    2. In what way are some genes 'more important' than others?
    3. How do you know they are ancient unless you presume that evolution is true to begin with?


    We share basic metabolic features with bacteria.

    Such as.... ? (just trying to get you to be specific here instead of these broad and misleading generalizations you like to indulge in)


    And the same genes that mediate eyes in houseflies, do so in vertebrates.

    and many other genes which should do the same sorts of things don't. And many other features are regulated by entirely different genes. So if there is a sometimes similarity in gene function, why should that surprise anyone?
    Basic design would seemingly require basic similarity in coded 'blueprints, eh?


    I once had a long argument with an ID enthusiast, who contended all eyes evolved from a common form. It's not true, BTW.

    "an ID enthusiast" says nothing about what poor schmuck you took on. In the meantime, I am aware that the current estimation by evolutionists is that eyes evolved independently about thirty or forty times. What amazes me is that this can be stated with a straight face.


    It's also good to remember that scientists refer to what some call "junk DNA" as "noncoding".

    That is also a matter of ignorance, actually. We don't know what some of it codes for, and we don't know but that a good deal might not be related to timing of expression or other matters -- which means it is coded but not so humans understand it at this point.


    Given nature's tendency to use all sorts of things for all sorts of purposes, it's a fair bet that a lot of it does something, even if it doesn't code for protein.

    Nature's tendency? Nature's tendency is to fall apart, disintegrate, decay. But that concept of 'nature's tendency' sure gives you all a backup position after declaring it junk, doesn't it? In the meantime, creation geneticists are quite aware that we are just barely scratching the surface of this incredibly complex mechanism in our cells. DNA contains enough specified complexity to indicate direct intelligent design to anyone not brainwashed with evolutionary theory.


    And there is more to development than genes.

    I have been telling you that for at least two years on the forum I moderated until recently.


    Have you read D'Arcy Thompson's classic "On Growth and Form"? He shows how basic mechanical forces and geometry have much to do with the way an organism develops.

    You will find better and more recent information in a number of current peer-reviewed journals. In the meantime, embryologist Jonathan Wells has been working in precisely this area and I was fortunate enough to hear a presentation by him regarding frog embryos this summer. D'Arcy Thompson didn't know the half of it! And what this means is that evolutionists are stuck again (although the grab bag of tricks and explanations runs the gamut to even definitions and explanations that contradicts earlier ones). Genetics isn't all there is to development, as I stated in the opening post here. Unevenness related to spindle development during cell division is part of it, as are a number of other factors. The current information is quite interesting. It shows the remarkable Intelligence involved in each basic kind, which keeps them related enough for a food chain and distinct enough to show Genesis is quite correct in referring to living organisms by kind.


    THE BARBARIAN
    1. Please explain what YOU mean by 'hierarchies of genes.'

    Some genes control other genes. Some control timing of development. Some activate entire sequences of genes.
    Neotony is one very common form of evolutionary change, and it's often one gene that makes the difference.
    Developmental timing is what created a cline of leopard frogs after the last ice age.


    2. In what way are some genes 'more important' than others?

    "More important" is not the way I'd describe it. Some control the expression of others.


    3. How do you know they are ancient unless you presume that evolution is true to begin with?

    By evidence showing that simple life is more ancient than metazoans, for example. No presumptions, just inference from the evidence.


    We share basic metabolic features with bacteria.

    --Such as.... ?


    DNA for example. Protein synthesis uses the same molecules. Yes, I know the process has been slightly modified, but why is the code so similar in all living things? And why does an analysis of the differences once more confirm phylogenies based on other evidence? It makes no sense except in light of evolution.

    Glycolosis for another. Interestingly, enough, it is the way that organisms can produce ATP in the absence of oxygen. It is, therefore not surprising that it is one of the most widely-found biochemical processes since early cells would have had to have gotten along without much oxygen. Another bit of evidence that the geologists are right about an ancient earth, as well as evidence for the common ancestry of living things.

    I don't know enough about God's purposes to know which things He should do, and shouldn't do in genetics. I'm merely pointing out the deep and pervasive commonality in genes among living things.


    Basic design would seemingly require basic similarity in coded 'blueprints, eh?

    Except that we see "errors" like psuedogenes that exist in closely related species. We also see viral fragments, and in the case of humans and chimps, we find that human chromosome 2 has the same sequences as two chimpanzee chromosomes, including the remains of a telomere that tell us that this chromosome was once two chromosomes almost identical to the chimpanzee chromosomes (and the differences are simple inversions, that when corrected, line up with the chimp chromosomes. God would have to be highly deceptive to have created each separately, and then plant such misleading evidence.


    [I am aware that the current estimation by evolutionists is that eyes evolved independently about thirty or forty times.

    I think thirty or forty times is a bit high. The evidence for at least three seems irrefutable.
    Homobox genes that control eyes in such diverse animals as flies and humans do not control certain light-sensing organs in echinoderms and pit vipers.


    What amazes me is that this can be stated with a straight face.

    Well, it's not hard to see why people believe it. There are quite a number of very different eyes out there, with different tissues forming the constituent parts. Mollusks, for example, have the retina right side out, while ours is "wrong side out", causing a blind spot. Some jumping spiders, capable of seeing about as well as we do at the same distances, have long tubes for eyes, which are moved internally to track targets.


    Nature's tendency? Nature's tendency is to fall apart, disintegrate, decay.

    That's half true. The other half is nature's tendency to grow and change. I've raised lots of creatures, and it is very clear that both growth and decay are part of nature.


    In the meantime, creation geneticists are quite aware that we are just barely scratching the surface of this incredibly complex mechanism in our cells.

    I guess that's because they read the work of scientific geneticists. Haven't seen any major breakthroughs by creation geneticists lately.


    DNA contains enough specified complexity to indicate direct intelligent design to anyone not brainwashed with evolutionary theory.

    Nope. In fact, no one can even measure the supposed "specified complexity". It would be good to first demonstrate that it exists and can be detected, before using it in a theory.


    Genetics isn't all there is to development, as I stated in the opening post here. Unevenness related to spindle development during cell division is part of it, as are a number of other factors. The current information is quite interesting. It shows the remarkable Intelligence involved in each basic kind, which keeps them related enough for a food chain and distinct enough to show Genesis is quite correct in referring to living organisms by kind.

    I can't see how god made humans more palatable by inserting a defunct chimp telomere in the second chromosome. I don't see how possums got to be more edible by making their fetal ear bones part of their lower jaw, precisely as we see in the fossils of late therapsid reptiles. No, that argument isn't going to persuade many people who understand biology.

    On the other hand, I can't see any way to explain common pseudogenes in closely related organisms, except in terms of evolution. Genetics and biochemical similarities have confirmed phylogenies worked out earlier on entirely different evidence. I can't see any way to explain away facts like that. Can't be anything but evolution.

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     

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