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Author Topic:   scientific end of evolution theory (2)
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Message 18 of 214 (14101)
07-25-2002 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by peter borger
07-08-2002 10:19 PM

The issue of genetic redundancies seems like the most laughable example of an observation which supposedly undermines the theory of evolution.

To turn the question around- why would god create organisms with masses of "redundant" genes in them? If the redundancy is completely purposeless then why would god include it at all?

Doesn't it seem intuitively obvious that the "redundancy" is in fact a necessity for evolution, only that we haven't figured out exactly what it does yet?

"Created" organisms should be complete and perfect. Evolved organisms would be still evolving and would display evidence of their origins. I think genetic redundancy is evidence of this process.

Remember that the earlier details of evolutionary theory were based on studying microorganisms which with their higher rate of turn over of generations tend toward much smaller and compact genomes. You would be hard pressed to find genetic redundancy in a virus for example (often genes overlap for even higher efficiency). Multicellular organisms have more complex and therefore apparently redundant genomes in order to facillitate their evolution by nonrandom processes (namely gene splicing). Random mutation is not a pillar of evolutionary theory, only one of the mechanisms by which diversity arises. Gene transfer between organisms is already emerging as another important process.

On the issue of human appreciation for specific complex stimuli (music, art etc) there are interesting theories that suggest the evolution of the human brain was fuelled by sexual selection, in a similar process to the evolution of the "functionless" peacock's tail. Complex display behaviours like singing and dancing were used in order to identify the fittest mates in homonid societies (as they still are to some degree). This accounts for the rapid emergence of human intelligence and the reason why human intelligence seems to be in excess of what is necessary for survival alone. For example I don't doubt that Che Guevara would have had less chance of bedding the lovely lady in the story after embarrasing himself as described

Regeneration of organs may have been selected against for several reasons, the most likely being that is may be linked to cancer and immune disfunction. This fits with the characteristic being lost in organisms with longer life spans. Frogs and lizards rarely live long enough to get bowel cancer or arthitis. Interestingly a strain of knock out mice have been developed which have regained most of the regeneration abilities of amphibians (I think I found the article in New Scientist). The gene silenced was related to immune function. This should highlight the oversimplification of the assumption that fitness is a one dimensional property which seems to underpin your post.

The liana story is a bit presumptious. Has anyone actually studied what the liana needs in order to survive and compete within its environment? My guess would be that the tropical rainforest is an extremely competitive environment for seedlings. They usually only succeed in growing when a mature tree falls and opens a hole in the canopy. The liana may need to disperse its seeds extremely widely in order to optimise the chances that any one seed will be close enough to an opening in the canopy. Given that seed dispersal is so critical to a species survival and therefore subject to the most selective pressure I think this is a poor example of "redundancy". A plant with the face of christ imprinted on its leaves would be a more convincing example of the "work of god".

I would be interested to hear what the creationist explanation for all the "redundancy" in the natural world is. Why did god go to so much bother to create things which you claim have absolutely no function? Was he/she/it just showing off? Did he/she/it loose track of how many copies of transketolase it put in marine polychaete worms?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by peter borger, posted 07-08-2002 10:19 PM peter borger has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by peter borger, posted 07-25-2002 1:22 AM singularity has not yet responded
 Message 21 by peter borger, posted 07-26-2002 1:45 AM singularity has not yet responded

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