OK Mokenstick, this is very good evidence of common descent!
Why (for the uninitiated)? Creationists argue (quite rightly IMO) that homology is evidence for a common creator as much as for common descent. However when this homology persists for degraded genes (non-functional pseudogenes) then, in isolation, this evidence would clearly favour common descent.
The creationist alternatives are:
1. These genes are not really pseudogenes - they have some function even though they are relaed to another gene. 2. Horizontal transfer of pseudogenes (ie it is known that DNA sequences can be passed between organisms and become part of the inherited genome) 3. Some natural agent preferentially changed the DNA bases at the same positions. 4. A supernatural agent preferentially changed the DNA bases at the same positions.
I probably favour option #4. When man disobeyed, Genesis describes a curse that caused man to become mortal, frustrated his work and brought pain durin childbirth. As with everything God has done I believe this curse is manifest at spiritual, mental and physical levels. That is the sort of God he is. And of course this new found mortality would have genomic repercusions. Scripture says that He 'submitted the world to futility' in expectation that this cross-like process would bring a 'new man' through Christ. So whether it was Satan, God or a natural agent I am unsure but I link it to the curse.
PS - you're a very good bioinformatician Monkenstick but your first post was a shocker!
[This message has been edited by Tranquility Base, 08-06-2002]
2) "Horizontal transfer of pseudogenes (ie it is known that DNA sequences can be passed between organisms and become part of the inherited genome)"
Horizontal transfer of a pseudogene to chimpanzees and humans which is present as a working copy in their common ancestors and in most other mammals? Seems like a remarkable coincidence.
3)"Some natural agent preferentially changed the DNA bases at the same positions." seems like clutching at straws to me
4)"A supernatural agent preferentially changed the DNA bases at the same positions." I can't disprove a supernatural explanation, but I don't see that we need one when common descent explains the evidence so elegantly. Plus, the question remains as to why a supernatural agent changed the DNA bases in question in both chimpanzees and humans
I realise that, but were chimpanzees cursed as well? Psuedogenes in humans can be explained by the fall, can almost identical pseudogenes in chimpanzees and humans be explained by the fall? I haven't checked other primates, but I suspect some others also have homologous urate oxidase pseudogenes
^ Scripture suggests that animals were cursed with man. In the flood at the very least this is clear. Scriptually we are give dominion and we effect each other, our planet and our biosphere. Creationism actually does support the the non-extreme aims of the environmental movement.