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Author Topic:   Genetic Redundancy and Natural Selection
BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 1 of 37 (564643)
06-11-2010 2:00 PM


I hate to start a new thread at a time when I am already vastly behind in my replies on other threads - but I just read an interesting article by Dr. Peter Borger on the topic of genetic redundancy (Dr. Borger is an inactive member of these forums I believe).

Dr. Borger's primary assertion is that natural selection and gene duplication can not account for the startling level if genetic redundancy found in the genome.

He uses the SRC gene family as an example case. Summarizing his explanation, the SRC genes code the family of proteins (8 in total) that activate cellular division. Non-synonymous point mutations in these genes are often lethal because they code proteins that don't "turn-off" leading to cancerous cell division.

SRC proteins are not identical (sharing only 60-80% of their sequences), so since these genes are highly selective against mutation it is highly unlikely that they arose as a result of gene duplication - they would have to have evolved separately.

While mutation often results in a lethal phenotype knockout experiments on SRC genes show that mice can survive without some SRC genes.

Now, Dr. Borger argues this as evidence of a designed system - and initially I agree with his assessment - but I'd like to give my darwinist friends here the opportunity to provide a rational explanation. How is it possible for evolution to generate redundancy within genetic systems?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 3:27 PM BobTHJ has responded
 Message 14 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-12-2010 10:15 AM BobTHJ has not yet responded
 Message 15 by Percy, posted 06-12-2010 11:30 AM BobTHJ has responded
 Message 16 by Dr Jack, posted 06-13-2010 5:10 AM BobTHJ has responded
 Message 17 by Wounded King, posted 06-14-2010 11:33 AM BobTHJ has responded

  
Admin
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Message 2 of 37 (564651)
06-11-2010 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 2:00 PM


BobTHJ writes:

I hate to start a new thread at a time when I am already vastly behind in my replies on other threads...

You *are* a bit busy in other threads, but I have a couple requests for this thread proposal.

Could you define "non-synonymous point mutation?" Not everyone is going to know what that means.

And could you explain how evidence *against* evolution as an explanation for SRC genes is evidence *for* a designed explanation?


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 3 of 37 (564656)
06-11-2010 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
06-11-2010 3:27 PM


quote:
You *are* a bit busy in other threads, but I have a couple requests for this thread proposal.

Certainly - sorry for not being more clear.

quote:
Could you define "non-synonymous point mutation?" Not everyone is going to know what that means.

Assuming I don't have a misunderstanding of the concept myself - a non-synonymous point mutation is a change to the nucleotide sequence (GATC) in a gene that causes a corresponding change to the protein(s) coded by that gene by replacing one amino acid in that protein chance with a different one. Because of the redundancy in the genetic code many mutations are synonymous: they change the DNA nucleotide sequence but do not result in a change to the resulting protein because they still code for the same amino acid.

quote:
And could you explain how evidence *against* evolution as an explanation for SRC genes is evidence *for* a designed explanation?

Design is simply the conclusion that I and the author of the article draw. I could go into detail, but it seems to be beyond the scope of the question. I'm not asking readers to come to the conclusion of design - I am asking readers to demonstrate how darwinian evolution explains genetic redundancy. I ask because I'm curious if a functional hypothesis has been developed yet within the darwinian framework.


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 Message 4 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 3:58 PM BobTHJ has responded

  
Admin
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Message 4 of 37 (564659)
06-11-2010 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 3:48 PM


BobTHJ writes:

Design is simply the conclusion that I and the author of the article draw. I could go into detail, but it seems to be beyond the scope of the question.

Issues outside the intended scope of your thread proposal are probably best left unmentioned. There's an edit button.


This message is a reply to:
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BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 5 of 37 (564662)
06-11-2010 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Admin
06-11-2010 3:58 PM


quote:
Issues outside the intended scope of your thread proposal are probably best left unmentioned. There's an edit button.

Good point - here's why I mentioned the conclusion of design: The article I linked is the first in a series. Dr. Borger outlines in subsequent articles a YEC design-oriented baramin-based hypothesis that seems to fit the data rather well. I'm wondering if darwinian evolution has a corresponding hypothesis - and if so how well does that hypothesis fit the data? (I'm not trying to be condescending here - I'd really like to know!)


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 Message 4 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 3:58 PM Admin has responded

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12655
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Joined: 06-14-2002
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Message 6 of 37 (564671)
06-11-2010 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 4:12 PM


BobTHJ writes:

The article I linked is the first in a series. Dr. Borger outlines in subsequent articles a YEC design-oriented baramin-based hypothesis that seems to fit the data rather well.

Okay, if you could include a link to the message in Biological classification vs 'Kind' where the baramin-based hypothesis's supporting evidence is outlined then that should be fine.

Edited by Admin, : Grammar.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 7 of 37 (564676)
06-11-2010 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Admin
06-11-2010 5:03 PM


quote:
Okay, if you could include a link to the message in Biological classification vs 'Kind' where the baramin-based hypothesis's supporting evidence is outlined then that should be fine.

Sorry...I'm not sure I understand. I don't think I've posted the supporting evidence in the Biological classification vs. 'Kind' thread (unless there is a specific post you are referring to?). It was my intention to bring up some of it in responses to posts on that thread - or are you asking me to post the evidence on that thread and then link it from here? I'm happy to comply - just not sure I'm following what your request is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 5:03 PM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 5:23 PM BobTHJ has responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12655
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Member Rating: 3.3


Message 8 of 37 (564678)
06-11-2010 5:23 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 5:13 PM


One of the primary goals of EvC Forum is to host discussions that actually get somewhere, and we attempt to achieve that goal through moderation that keeps discussions from drifting off topic or leaving points hanging or unsupported and so forth. We also try to make sure topics are clearly defined before they're promoted. If you're planning to take your thread in a direction that's based upon baraminology that I'd feel more comfortable if we had a working definition of baraminology and its supporting evidence. So if it's not already in the Biological classification vs 'Kind' thread then that would be a good place to put it.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by BobTHJ, posted 06-11-2010 5:13 PM BobTHJ has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by BobTHJ, posted 06-11-2010 5:34 PM Admin has responded

  
BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 9 of 37 (564683)
06-11-2010 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Admin
06-11-2010 5:23 PM


quote:
One of the primary goals of EvC Forum is to host discussions that actually get somewhere, and we attempt to achieve that goal through moderation that keeps discussions from drifting off topic or leaving points hanging or unsupported and so forth. We also try to make sure topics are clearly defined before they're promoted.

A noble goal indeed.

quote:
If you're planning to take your thread in a direction that's based upon baraminology that I'd feel more comfortable if we had a working definition of baraminology and its supporting evidence. So if it's not already in the Biological classification vs 'Kind' thread then that would be a good place to put it.

I don't intend to discuss baraminology in this thread - I was hoping to receive one or more answers to a specific question posed to darwinists.

I agree it would be good to define baraminology and its evidence - and I have been and will continue to try and do so in that thread. My only reasoning for mentioning mine and Dr. Borger's conclusion of design here was so that respondants would understand my perspective on the issue. Since it is possible my bias toward YEC thinking is influencing my conclusion I may not have adequately considered possible evolutionary hypotheses to answer the question I posed. I felt disclosing my position would give those who responded a better frame of reference to answer the question.

Does that clear things up? If you still disagree I will happily edit out the mention of my conclusion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 5:23 PM Admin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 6:51 PM BobTHJ has responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12655
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Message 10 of 37 (564691)
06-11-2010 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 5:34 PM


Hide comments.

Hi Bob,

Because you first latched onto Mr. Wile and now seem to be latching on to Peter Borger, in order to give you the opportunity this time to know who you're dealing with before you hitch yourself to his wagon, Peter Borger has been known to misrepresent himself. This is from an old post at TalkOrigins where he was representing himself as a PhD at the University of Sydney in Austrailia:

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/apr02.html:

Yet if you go to his biography at Creation Ministries International you find this:

http://creation.com/peter-borger:

There really are people named Peter Borger out there. One of them did used to be a post doc fellow at the University of Sydney. And one did used to be at the University of Groningen in the Medical Sciences college where he published a number of papers in the technical journals in the 1990's. And maybe this Peter Borger's real name is actually Peter Borger, but whoever he is, the information about his credentials is unlikely to be correct.

You sure you want to go ahead with a thread based on articles by Peter Borger? You already noted in your post at Biological classification vs 'Kind' that he didn't provide much detail. There's a reason for that.

Edited by Admin, : Grammar.

Edited by Admin, : Hide comments.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by BobTHJ, posted 06-11-2010 5:34 PM BobTHJ has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by BobTHJ, posted 06-12-2010 2:02 AM Admin has responded

  
BobTHJ
Member (Idle past 3379 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 11 of 37 (564730)
06-12-2010 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Admin
06-11-2010 6:51 PM


quote:
There really are people named Peter Borger out there. One of them did used to be a post doc fellow at the University of Sydney. And one did used to be at the University of Groningen in the Medical Sciences college where he published a number of papers in the technical journals in the 1990's. And maybe this Peter Borger's real name is actually Peter Borger, but whoever he is, the information about his credentials is unlikely to be correct.

I don't know Dr. Borger personally - I have no clue about his credentials nor do I really care. Whoever wrote the article in question makes some good points regarding natural selection and genetic redundancy. The point here is not to perform a character assassination on the author of the article. The point is to demonstrate how evolution can account for this problem. I asked a very specific question and am hoping for a very specific answer - neither really has anything to do with Dr. Borger. I wouldn't be surprised if you and others dodge the question and instead attack Dr. Borger's credentials - but that would lead me to suspect that you don't have an answer....

However, if it needs clarified Dr. Borger has defended his credentials here on these forums. Now, would you please approve the thread?

*Edit: Sorry, after re-reading the above I may have come across rudely - that was not my intent. I appreciate you pointing out the supposed flaw in Dr. Borger's credentials (now resolved), but didn't find it particularly applicable to the question I posed.

Edited by BobTHJ, : Added clarifying note


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 Message 10 by Admin, posted 06-11-2010 6:51 PM Admin has responded

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12655
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 12 of 37 (564752)
06-12-2010 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by BobTHJ
06-12-2010 2:02 AM


Hi Bob,

To avoid having any influence on the thread I'll go back and hide my comments that might tend to do that. Just please keep in mind that you'll be asked for evidence supporting your position.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by BobTHJ, posted 06-12-2010 2:02 AM BobTHJ has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12655
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 13 of 37 (564754)
06-12-2010 9:45 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Genetic Redundancy and Natural Selection thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 14 of 37 (564757)
06-12-2010 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 2:00 PM


Non-synonymous point mutations in these genes are often lethal because they code proteins that don't "turn-off" leading to cancerous cell division.

Although I am not a professional biologist, I seem to remember reading in some popular science book that there's a difference between the concepts "often" and "always". No, wait, that was a dictionary.

SRC proteins are not identical (sharing only 60-80% of their sequences), so since these genes are highly selective against mutation it is highly unlikely that they arose as a result of gene duplication - they would have to have evolved separately.

Since SRC proteins are so variable, it seems that there is not a strong selection pressure against the variations which actually exist in SRC proteins, just against some of the ones that don't.

Fortunately, the theory of evolution is only required to account for things that do exist and not for things that don't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by BobTHJ, posted 06-11-2010 2:00 PM BobTHJ has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19229
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 15 of 37 (564765)
06-12-2010 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by BobTHJ
06-11-2010 2:00 PM


Hi Bob,

Borger begins by describing a family of genes known as SRC genes. The names of the eight family members in mammals are: Src, Yes, Ryn, Fgr, Blk, Hck, Lck and Lyn (Borger doesn't mention a ninth member, Frk, but as far as I can tell it's not important to this discussion). Point mutations in SRC genes are fatal because they cause unrestrained cell duplication.

Borger asks how the family of genes could have arisen. For example, if the Src variant of the family were the original founding member of the SRC gene family, then a new variant would presumably come about through gene duplication followed by mutations. But how, for example, did the Yes variant come about if any single non-synonymous point mutation is fatal?

I tried to verify Borger's claim that single non-synonymous point mutations in SRC genes are fatal, but none of his references mention the SRC gene family, and I also couldn't find anything online. Where's the evidence for this claim?

But for the sake of discussion let's just assume it is true that single non-synonymous point mutations in SRC genes are fatal. In that case, how could the rest of the members of the gene family have arisen? Some possibilities are:

  • Other types of mutations that are not point mutations, of which there are many.
  • A frame-shift mutation inactivating one of the duplicated genes followed by more mutations followed by another frame-shift mutation that reactivates the gene.
  • Evolution in an organism whose makeup was not vulnerable to at least some types of non-sysnonymous point mutations in the SRC gene.

I'm sure there are other possibilities, I'm not a biologist. What's important to note is that the possibilities I listed do not posit never-observed processes or mechanisms.

If the model for design is the way humans design, then in a YEC scenario we should see evidence of massive complexes of laboratories to design organisms on a world-wide scale about 6000 years ago. There would also have to be significant infrastructure for world travel in order to transport organisms from their point of design/creation to their intended environment. We should also see a major genetic bottleneck affecting all species about 6000 years ago.

Can you find evidence for any of this? Can you find any positive evidence for design at all, instead of just negative claims that "evolution couldn't do this, therefore it was designed?"

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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