In the past days animals represented moral qualities of mankind. Nowadays according neodarwinian school they are doing nothing else but "struggling for their life" from the morning till the night. Such views are nothing else as "sociomorph" modelling of prevailing reality in society and putting it into Nature. Nowadays it is "competition" with it's most bizzare idea of Dawkins' "Selfish gene".
The more more noble animal the less the "struggle for life". That's the reason the kings of the past put on their coats of arms lions etc... But according neodarwinism they should have put there rats. They are more proliferous, more "selfish genes" remain after them. But the neodarwinian school doesn't accept notions as "noble animal" even though every child and every unprejudiced person perceive it as a fact of life.
Professor Zdenek Neubauer UNI Prague has criticised neodarwinism and "selfish gene" concept in his books repeatedly. Professor Zdenek Neubauer published as a very young scientist several articles on microbiology, also in the Nature. Neubauer: A brief consideration on the meaning of the lysogenic conversion. Nature (1967) 213:1263
Oppenheim, Neubauer, Calef, Antirepressor: A new element in genetical regulation. Nature (1970) 226:31
Oddly enough there is no possibility to discuss "selfish gene" concept at EvC. I don't know if idiots "Admin" and "Adminnosy" have ever published any article at any scientific journal. But these idiots and neodarwinian fanatics block any discussion here about the topic. The idiot Admin Percy has closed an open thread and started abusing me as "dumb", "foolish" etc.
NWR has finally gotten around to formulating and posting his alternative theory to neo-darwinism. Since he is currently inactive on this forum you can find his post over on Dreamcatcher.
The main thrust of the idea, as I understand it, is that junk DNA acts as a genetic reservoir allowing for complex genetic variation to be produced without being subject to natural selection which can then be transposed into a region where it becomes functional allowing an organism to exploit novel niches (the invasive part of the theory). The junk DNA is also a potential area where once successful genes can be archived in some way against possible future deployment when they might be beneficial once again.
I think there are a number of problems with NWRs theory. My main objection is that it seems to have added an unnecessary level of teleology and un-evidenced and unnecessary genetic mechanisms to explain things that I at least consider already well explained by understood genetic and evolutionary mechanisms.
We should already have the data to confirm/disconfirm his proposal
I'm not sure that the mechanisms he posits are well enough defined for this to be true, certainly I don't think that there is any particular evidence supportive of this theory that isn't better explained by already understood mechanisms.
Does comparative DNA research show that it is not uncommon for junk DNA in one species to be active DNA in a related species?
This is a complicated question. The most obvious thing in this line would be pseudogenes. There are lots of cases where non-coding copies of genes which are coding in other species are known to exist but I don't see how there is any way to differentiate in NWR's theory between a gene being prototyped, as it were, in the junk DNA and an 'archived' gene.
So looking at the cluster of olfactory receptor (OR) genes and pseudogenes in the primates for example (Rouquier et al., 2000) we see a pattern of phylogeny, adopting the idea that pseudogenes are genes in the process of development rather than degradation, almost exactly opposite that suggested by all other phylogenetic methods with humans being the most primitive (with ~70% of putative OR sequences lacking an open reading frame (ORF)) and a new work monkey like the marmoset the most derived (with 100% of putative OR sequences posessing an ORF).
If we consider the pseudogenes to be archived no longer necessary sequences then our expectations are the same as with the neo-darwinian view of pseudogenisation except that for the pseudogenes to be 'recommissioned' will require a large number of mutations to combat the genetic degradation from conserved functional sequence which has occurred.
So while the answer to your question is strictly 'yes', I don't think that the pattern in which such active and inactive copies between species occur fits with NWR's theory.
There are lots of cases where non-coding copies of genes which are coding in other species are known to exist...
Okay, so it's a known phenomena that genes can become pseudogenes and vice-versa.
...but I don't see how there is any way to differentiate in NWR's theory between a gene being prototyped, as it were, in the junk DNA and an 'archived' gene.
If I understand Nwr's proposal, it's that some genes have evolved as pseudogenes in junk mode and then are moved to active status, in which case here you're saying that we couldn't tell by inspection whether a gene had evolved as a pseudogene or not.
But doesn't Nwr's proposal lack a selection mechanism for pseudogenes? That's what I think you're saying when you talk about OR genes and pseudogenes, but I'm not certain.
The inability of selection to operate on pseudogenes would mean the likelihood of preservation of useful mutations is tiny, wouldn't it? Like way tiny? Like tornado through a junkyard tiny? :)
Looks to me as if the idea has similarities to transposons and "duplication and divergence".
The biggest issue to me is that the gene would have to be reactivated before it was hopelessly corrupted - and offer some benefit. I'd guess that the odds of that happening in any individual case are low so we would need a lot of pseudogenes for this to be a major contributor to evolutionary change.
My initial assessment is that it is something that might happen on rare occasions but it isn't of any great significance.
Okay, so it's a known phenomena that genes can become pseudogenes and vice-versa.
Its know that genes can become pseudogenes and that some of what we consider pseudogenes are functional, but I don't know of any example where a pseudogene is thought to have reacquired functionality as a protein coding gene. I'm not sure how we would detect such a thing except as an anomaly in a set of phylogenies, i.e. a species which for all other genes trees out as being highly derived trees out as primitive for a particular gene which is a pseudogene in all the most closely related species. It would be a similar pattern to that seen for flight in the Whiting paper on the re-evolution of flight in stick insects (Whiting et al, 2003), but for a genetic rather than a phenotypic trait.
The inability of selection to operate on pseudogenes would mean the likelihood of preservation of useful mutations is tiny, wouldn't it? Like way tiny? Like tornado through a junkyard tiny?
That was one of my principal objections, in his efforts to try and overcome what he saw as an inability of neo-Darwinism to combat arguments regarding irreducible complexity NWR has in fact come up with a theory which really is susceptible to the arguments Behe and Dembski make, but which they only address to a strawman version of current evolutionary theory.
By removing natural selection in an effort to maintain some potentially useful genetic variation, specifically by moving the focus to sequences in the Junk DNA in regions to which selection is blind, NWR has also done away with its ability to maintain currently useful variation.
The other part is also a bit dodgy. It seems to argue that species will tend to generalise. But as far as I can see there is no such tendency. Specialisation is common - as would be expected given conventional theory.
(As I understand it, specialists can be very successful in the short term - relatively speaking - but are more vulnerable to disasters or environmental change. So that there is, if anything, a tendency to specialise balanced by more frequent extinction of specialised species).
Are you suggesting that the theoritical evolution of genes and genetic complexity stems from natural selection?
What exactly do you mean by 'stems'? 'Stems' is a rather imprecise term. Natural selection is necessary but not sufficient for the evolution of functional genetic complexity as it is understood in modern evolutionary theory.
While natural selection cannot create novel variation it has a key role in maintaining variation which is beneficial to an organism's reproductive success.
The creation of genetic variation relies on mutation.
I don't see how you can have been discussing evolution on this site for several years and not understand what Percy was saying, its the very basic formulation that adaptive evolution is principally the result of Random Mutation and Natural Selection acting on a population.