quote:Developmental Biologist Jonathan Wells brings up something that seems to be a death blow to the theory (if he's correct) regarding DNA. He says "When an egg's genes are removed and replaced by those of another type of animal, development follows the pattern of the original egg until the embryo dies from the lack of the right proteins"..."Biologists have found that mutations in developmental genes often lead to death or deformity, but they never produce changes that benefit the organism. DNA mutations never alter the endpoint of embryonic development: they can't even change the species".
First, I would point out that Wells is as much a developmental biologist as I am a famous physicist - I took a couple of physics classes, but that doesn't make me a physicist. Wells' sole purpose for obtaining a doctorate was to lend credence to his anti-evolution claims. After more than 10 years in his graduate program, he produced a measely 2 multi-authored papers, on neither of which was he anywhere near first author. If you do not know, most grad programs in the science only require 4-6 years to complete, and most competent students produce 5+ papers in that time.
On to Wells' claim - he is either monumentally ignorant or is simply deceiving his readers whom he hopes are more ignorant than he is and/or will not bother to think his claims through or check his facts.
Prior to removing the nucleus of the zygote, it has been 'directing' the production of growth and development related proteins. Remove the nucleus, insert the nucleus of another, and, just as Wells claims, development proceeds UNTIL the 'right' proteins are used up.
Which means that the internal structure of the zygote and the blastomeres that are produced during those few rounds of cleavage prior to zygote death require the proteins present in the cytoplasm that were produced prior to the manipulation.
If Wells' claims had merit, then the zygote should have kept on going to develop into the 'new' animal.
The remainder of the quote is simply silly and brings up a rather foolish but typical YEC/IDC tendency/trait - you may want to look into the HOX genes first, but note that Wells is essentially claiming that if we do not have the evidence he thinks we should today, then the entire premise is false. This sort of nonsense is a very common creationist rhetorical tool. Johnson used it a lot in his DoT book. Wells is doing it here. That he claims - and you reiterate - that he is a 'developmental biologist', i.e., a scientist, he SHOULD know that such a position is anathema to science and is on top of that, plain silly.
At best, Wells could claim that there is not enough data/evidence to draw a conclusion. But that would not sell books to the faithful, would it?
Dude - did you ever post on the old CreationTalk forum?
quote:Where exactly is the "3D geometry data" that defines for example, the shape of your skull, located? If cells need to differentiate themselves into structures like that, where is that specified? Sounds like membrane patterns and microtubule arrays according to Wells. But if those only come about under DNA control, then it's back to the DNA. But DNA doesn't hold "shape data" does it?
There is no 3D geometry data, for none is needed. The geometry comes from the effects of concentration gradients and cell-cell interactions. A basic understanding of developmental biology would allay this fallacy (funny Wells didn't explain this).