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Human Orphan Genes — Interesting YouTube Talk Tonight by Nathan Lents

Paul Nelson
Image: Nathan Lents, via YouTube.

Nathan Lents, the speaker, has often been at odds with ID people, and published a book a couple of years ago, Human Errors, arguing that human biology could best be understood as the product of undirected evolution, because our form and function were so demonstrably imperfect. 

But, a couple of years ago, Lents became fascinated by orphan genes, and went looking for them in the human genome. This talk tonight at 7:30 is (to my knowledge) his first public statement about what he’s found. I’ll be interested to see what he discovered, and, in particular, the proposed evolutionary mechanisms he offers to explain their origin.

Incidentally, when “orphan gene” was originally coined as a term in 1996, by the French researcher Bernard Dujon, at the Institut Pasteur, commenting on the yeast genome results, Dujon spelled the term as “orphan.” The term “ORFan” was devised later, as a pun employing the acronym for open reading frame (ORF).

Paul Nelson

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Paul A. Nelson is currently a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University. He is a philosopher of biology who has been involved in the intelligent design debate internationally for three decades. His grandfather, Byron C. Nelson (1893-1972), a theologian and author, was an influential mid-20th century dissenter from Darwinian evolution. After Paul received his B.A. in philosophy with a minor in evolutionary biology from the University of Pittsburgh, he entered the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. (1998) in the philosophy of biology and evolutionary theory.

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Bernard Dujonevolutionevolutionary mechanismsgenomeHuman Errorshuman genomeInstitut Pasteurintelligent designNathan Lentsopen reading frameORfan genesorphan genesundirected evolutionyeast