Evolution Icon Evolution

Human Orphan Genes — Interesting YouTube Talk Tonight by Nathan Lents

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).