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  #1  
Old 10-12-2005, 07:31 PM
Dan Mezick Dan Mezick is offline
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Default Darwin and DNA

I wrote in response to an earlier post that “Darwinists” and “Creationists” are so busy apologetically defending their respective paradigms that they miss some very interesting opportunities to change their beliefs. It appears both camps may be inattentionally blind.


Some very interesting ideas come from what is by far the most interesting paper I have examined this year in reading about evolution and genetics. The title is NeuroTheology: Brain, Science Spirituality, Religious Experience by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D. I was able to download the PDF for free but have been unable to locate the link I used. (If I do locate it, I will post it.)


The Book:
Neurotheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience


With scientific rigor, the author presents premises and argues the following summary:

1. All ‘evolved’ properties of past, present and future species exist a priori in DNA, in a non-activated (intron) form. What appears to be mutation is in fact the activation of a priori potential, coded in DNA. Speech in humans, for example. It was always there. It is also in mice, rats and dogs in an inactive ("intronic") state.


2. DNA components in an inactive state can and will conditionally respond to environmental factors. Environmental factors can activate genes existing a priori in a non-activated state. This can lead to what we currently call "evolved" features and even some all-new species. In all cases the potential for all polymorphism in living creatures lies dormant, pre-coded in their DNA until environmental factors activate it.

[ QUOTE ]

As per the amazing claim that evolution is based on “random mutations” let us consider the so-called “language gene” known as FOXP2. This gene existed prior to the evolution of language, and is found in the genome of other mammals, including mice, rate, dogs, cats, chimopanzees and so on, but in a non-activated proteim-protected form. The gene was identified by Dr. Anthony P. Monaco of the University of Oxford. FOXP2 is believed to switch on other genes during the development of the brain thus giving rise to the neural circuitry which supports human language.

However, Dr. Svante Paabo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, reported in the August 2002 issue of NATURE, that the exact same gene exists in a non-activated form, in mice, chimpanzees and other primates (Enard et al 2002). According to Dr. Paabo, the FOXP2 gene has remained largely unaltered during the evolution of mammals. However, in humans this formerly silent gene became activated through changes in the shape of its protective protein coat. Protein prevents the activation of genes, and removal or alteration in the shape of this protein overcoat allows for the gene to be activated.


Thus, the “language gene” did not randomly evolve through random mutations. It existed prior to the evolution of humans and prior to the evolution of language, in a silent non-activated state.


The genetic code is for the most part universal (Strachan and Reed 1996; Watson et al 1992) and there is no evidence of randomness in its organization or expression—as demanded by Darwin’s theory.


[/ QUOTE ]

Skeptics might be wise to withhold judgement until they have examined this book and checked the current state of scientific research in this area of genetics.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2005, 01:57 AM
benkahuna benkahuna is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

I'm very skeptical. I'll give you a few reasons.

1. You need a direct lineage to hold onto a genetic lineage. Are nearest common ancester with dogs was much longer ago than that with chimps. Once there's a split, genetics alone can't hold onto this information unless there's something Lamarckian or absolutely revolutionary in genetics that has gone down and I missed it.
2. It sounds like some new agey BS to make us respect animals more. Sounds like the idea came before the evidence.
3. Nature abhors waste as a general rule. Specialization seems to be more useful than something akin to the backward compatability of windows 98 with windows 3.1. So, I doubt a bunch of those introns have all this latent potential encoded in them.

It's a compelling idea and I'm interested in the book, but I have serious doubts.

Even if there's some theory that intron DNA isn't just a bunch of junk and some regulatory genes and structurally useful DNA, I would prefer to have enough data to support this theory that there are review articles with a meta-analysis confirming this idea is likely. A couple papers along this line are not enough.

I have a friend doing post-doctoral work in genetics that I'll talk with about this idea as he keeps current in the field.

How is the referencing in the back of the book? Does it cite a lot of scientific literature from journals like Science, Nature, PNAS, Cell Genetics, etc. (I realize that the first two have fallen out of favor to some extent over the last few years)?
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2005, 07:22 AM
Trantor Trantor is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

[ QUOTE ]

1. All ‘evolved’ properties of past, present and future species exist a priori in DNA, in a non-activated (intron) form. What appears to be mutation is in fact the activation of a priori potential, coded in DNA. Speech in humans, for example. It was always there. It is also in mice, rats and dogs in an inactive ("intronic") state.


2. DNA components in an inactive state can and will conditionally respond to environmental factors. Environmental factors can activate genes existing a priori in a non-activated state. This can lead to what we currently call "evolved" features and even some all-new species. In all cases the potential for all polymorphism in living creatures lies dormant, pre-coded in their DNA until environmental factors activate it.



[/ QUOTE ]

This is an argument presented by creationists who agree that evolution takes place but say it can happen only within constraints set by God at the time of creation. Ie no evolution can lead to organisms not already potentiated explicitly by the initial creation. This argument is part of the Jehovah's Witnesses portfolio of arguments, for example.
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2005, 07:26 AM
benkahuna benkahuna is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

Oh crap, I didn't pay enough attention to the future part.

What terrific BS. It's like the X-files latent alien hybrid DNA thing, but way, way , way more implausible.

I can't believe I bothered to reply to that crap seriously. I want that 15 minutes back.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:40 AM
Dan Mezick Dan Mezick is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

If you come across more research in this area I appreciate you posting or PM ing me the links as you find them. The entire subject of introns is wide open.

Introns comprise some 97% of the strand, and very little is understood about intronic DNA. The human genome is held in exons, comprising about 3% of the strand.

Current science labels intronic DNA 'junk DNA'. It is anything but. Introns contain non-random coding that no one to my knowledge has been able to read-- YET.
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:45 AM
Dan Mezick Dan Mezick is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

Creationist and God and Intelligent Design (ID) and so on...all these terms are buzz phrases intended to shunt the wide-open debate to a few well-defined ideological containers.

For example many say and believe and hammer the 'intelligent design' = "teach the kids Adam and Eve in high school" notion. That is a total distortion of ID.

For example look at the theory of
Cosmic Ancestry. Few traditional religionists would even look at the first three sentences of this theory. They would throw it out. Yet, it supports the ID notion.
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2005, 09:01 AM
benkahuna benkahuna is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

[ QUOTE ]
If you come across more research in this area I appreciate you posting or PM ing me the links as you find them. The entire subject of introns is wide open.

Introns comprise some 97% of the strand, and very little is understood about intronic DNA. The human genome is held in exons, comprising about 3% of the strand.

Current science labels intronic DNA 'junk DNA'. It is anything but. Introns contain non-random coding that no one to my knowledge has been able to read-- YET.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'll let you know what I find. I can tell you don't know much about genetics though. I don't mean it as a slight either. I'm just being completely honest. Before we can intelligently discuss an issue like this one, you need to know the basics of genetics and of current research and knowledge in genetics. My background is limited to basic biology coursework in high school and in college as well as courses in molecular biology and cell biology with section devoted to genetics but you've already made a few mistakes.

I'm also disappointed you didn't answer any of my questions.

Beyond that you didn't deal with any of my concerns either.

It strikes me as all very suspect. I swear the closest thing you have to evidence here is Mr. Ed.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2005, 09:12 AM
Dan Mezick Dan Mezick is offline
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Default The Worship of Random, God of Darwinism

Now, the entire Darwinian model ( so called "evolution") depends upon randomness as it's bedrock foundation. It's randomness that causes mutation, and it is mutation that the evolution theory depends on as the change mechanism.

The randomness idea is comforting to those who might not believe in a plan of any Kind or Type. You know what I am getting at.

Randomness is the central underlying theorem of Darwinism.

To question randomness is to question everything in the theory. And it is a theory. It may partially explain some phenomena. It's just plain lazy to assume Darwin explains everything.

DNA is anything but random. Introns contain vast non-random sequences that are as yet undecoded. For now, we simply label introns JUNK DNA.

Introns science is in its infancy.

The idea that DNA contains all the coding a priori for what we currently call "random mutations" is at least as good as any competing theory that attempts to describe parts of the Way Things Really Work.

It continues to amaze me how dogmatic people can rabidly be about their current beliefs.

As for the origin of life on earth, consider:

Cosmic Ancestry

Few religionists (including the set of all dogmatic fundamentalists, darwinists, etc) will buy this. Or even consider it. The idea is a threat to their nice convenient worldview. The idea actually supports both camps. Imagine that.

This is just ONE THEORY of MANY theories that are competing for your attention.

And we know there is no perception without attention.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2005, 09:18 AM
Dan Mezick Dan Mezick is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

I'm not a biologist. I'm not an authority on DNA. I am a layman curious about genetics who reads. Alot.

Consequently I cannot answer your specific questions about genetics with any authority. This explains my request for links to genetic research you may find.

What I can do is raise some obvious questions. This forum seems a perfect place to do that.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2005, 10:59 AM
Rduke55 Rduke55 is offline
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Default Re: Darwin and DNA

Entertaining concepts but wrong. It's basically taking some interesting concepts in genetics and twisting them around.
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