Is There Evidence of Function for Pseudogenes in Mice?

Over the past year or so I’ve corresponded with a pro-Darwin graduate student in biology at a major public research university on the east coast. Unfortunately, I had to end the correspondence because, despite my repeated pleas for civility and personal forgiveness towards him, he simply could not restrain himself from personal attacks against me. Though I ended any personal correspondence with this Darwinist, he recently asked me a question worth answering here on Evolution News & Views. To give some background, his question asks how I calculated that a mouse “pseudogene,” if it were truly a non-functional pseudogene, would tend to be rewritten by neutral mutations in about 125 million years: I had a question about a figure you Read More ›

Will Darwinists try to pull a “Flock of Dodos” and Rewrite the History of Junk-DNA?

Junk-DNA is clearly going the way of the dodo, in more ways than one. The film Flock of Dodos has become a textbook example of Darwinists attempting to rewrite history to erase their past scientific and textbook mistakes. Now that we’re witnessing the apparent death of the “Junk-DNA” Neo-Darwinian paradigm, some pro-Darwin bloggers are already trying to rewrite history by claiming that Neo-Darwinism never supported the “junk-DNA” hypothesis after all. As one Scienceblogger wrote, “If you read evolgen you know that the term ‘Junk DNA’ is crap. From an evolutionary viewpoint it also seemed a bit peculiar to relegate most of the genome to non-functional status…” Just how valid is that statement? In 1995, Scientific American plainly expounded that under Read More ›

Dual-Coding Genes “Nearly Impossible by Chance” — How Would Francisco Ayala Respond?

We mortals are easily impressed by palindromes — words or phrases that have the same spelling forwards and backwards. But try writing a sentence which has two different meanings: One meaning is gained when you start with one letter of the first word, and then an entirely different meaning is understood when you start reading with the second letter of the first word. Such a sentence would be most impressive, but what if such “sentences” existed in our DNA? Leading evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala recently wrote in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that “Chance is an integral part of the evolutionary process.” Ayala then explained why he thinks Darwinian evolution is right and ID is wrong: “Biological Read More ›

Intelligent Design and the Death of the “Junk-DNA” Neo-Darwinian Paradigm

Two recent news articles are discussing the death of the junk-DNA icon of Neo-Darwinism. Wired Magazine has an article pejoratively titled “One Scientist’s Junk Is a Creationist’s Treasure” that emphasizes the positive point that intelligent design has made successful predictions on the question of “junk-DNA.” The article reports: [A] surprising group is embracing the results: intelligent-design advocates. Since the early ’70s, many scientists have believed that a large amount of many organisms’ DNA is useless junk. But recently, genome researchers are finding that these “noncoding” genome regions are responsible for important biological functions. The Wired Magazine article then quotes Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer explaining that this is a prediction of intelligent design that was largely unexpected under neo-Darwinian thought: “It Read More ›

Biologists Report Important Gene Regulation Function for Transposons

Transposons are a type of DNA which many Darwinists have written off as mere genetic junk. The pro-Darwin TalkOrigins archive tells us that transposons “can be thought of as intragenomic parasites.” But don’t feel bad for the poor transposons — it looks like they might be looking at a new career as “the DNA formerly known as junk”: biologists from Stanford and UC Santa Cruz are reporting that “‘Junk’ DNA Now Looks Like Powerful Regulator.” That type of “junk” is the transposon. As the press release about the study explains, “Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections.” The scientists report that in the past, they “had identified a handful of transposons Read More ›