Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:23 pm

Yes - I did catch sight of this short blog post earlier this week: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2012/09 ... e-fro.html

Looking forward to Georgia Purdom's Part 2!
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:24 pm

PS
Linked to in today's BCSE blog (only just seen): http://arstechnica.com/staff/2012/09/mo ... c-history/
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby Brian Jordan » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:46 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:I'll catch up with this later, but WHY is Dr Purdom calling so-called Junk DNA 'Dark Matter'?
Probably because she thinks they have both been postulated by dark, Satanic, evilutionists.
"PPSIMMONS is an amorphous mass of stupid" - Rationalwiki
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby GrumpyBob » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:22 am

I think a commentary in Science used the term 'dark matter' in the context of junk DNA - I suppose meaning DNA of unknown function.

R
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:57 am

Thanks.

In fact I've flagged this ongoing thread to YEC Tim Gilleand.
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:41 pm

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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby Peter Henderson » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:28 pm

Dr Michael White writing in the the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-w ... 81788.html

The Washington Post headline read, "'Junk DNA' concept debunked by new analysis of human genome." The New York Times wrote that "The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as 'junk' but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave." Influenced by misleading press releases and statements by scientists, story after story suggested that debunking junk DNA was the main result of the ENCODE studies. These stories failed us all in three major ways: they distorted the science done before ENCODE, they obscured the real significance of the ENCODE project, and most crucially, they mislead the public on how science really works.

What you should really know about the concept of junk DNA is that, first, it was not based on what scientists didn't know, but rather on what they did know about the genome; and second, that concept has held up quite well, even in light of the ENCODE results. Among the reasons that scientists in the 1970s and '80s began to believe that much of the genome is non-functional was the observation that very similar species could have very different genome sizes. There is no reason to believe that similar species require dramatically different amounts of functional DNA, and thus something other than functional requirements must explain differences in genome size. Scientists also discovered that our genomes contain parasitic, virus-like elements called "transposons" that have the ability copy themselves within our cells. This DNA ecosystem makes our genomes more like a jungle than a precision machine. At the latest count, transposon-derived DNA makes up at least half of our genome. The transposon-derived sequences in our genomes do not have to be explained by invoking some useful function for it. There is no mystery here: this DNA is there because it can replicate.


Perhaps Dr. Purdom and AiG are far too quick to jump to conclusions.
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby GrumpyBob » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:01 am

Peter's link is very helpful.
From where I sit, the whole 'junk DNA debunked' myth is risible. If one takes the species I work with, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the genome is rife with transposable elements. The P element, for example, is not present in all strains of the fly. It possesses as single gene, which can encode a transposase (which copies the transposable element) and a repressor (which suppresses the transposase), controlled by differential splicing. Clearly this would fit 'function' as defined by ENCODE type analysis: it binds proteins, it's transcribed, etc. But it's clearly not functional for the fruit fly, since some strains completely lack P elements. Same is true of other transposable elements in Drosophila, and the transposable elements in the human genome (about 50% of the genome).

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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby Peter Henderson » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:46 am

From P.Z. Myers:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... -delusion/

I refer to the third sentence of the abstract of the initial overview paper published in Nature; the first big razzle-dazzle piece of information the leaders of the project want us to take home from the work. That 80%:

These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome.


Bullshit.

Read on into the text and you discover how they came to this startling conclusion:

The vast majority (80.4%) of the human genome participates in at least one biochemical RNA- and/or chromatin-associated event in at least one cell type.


That isn’t function. That isn’t even close. And it’s a million light years away from “a critical role in controlling how our cells, tissue and organs behave”. All that says is that any one bit of DNA is going to have something bound to it at some point in some cell in the human body, or may even be transcribed. This isn’t just a loose and liberal definition of “function”, it’s an utterly useless one
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:29 pm

More comment here: http://eyeonicr.wordpress.com/2012/09/2 ... e-at-last/
(Whether there is yet to be a Part 2 to this remains unclear: http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs ... -part-one/)
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:55 pm

Donald Prothero's post on the latest devlopments:

http://www.skepticblog.org/2013/02/27/j ... nist-lies/

The ENCODE work demolished:

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/e ... hort?rss=1

More from P.Z.Myers:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... c-reaming/

I await Dr. Georgia's response with interest.
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:05 pm

I've just read the Prothero blog post (surprised he made no mention of Susumu Ohno; the Graur paper has also been flagged at the 'Science only' forum). No sign of any response by Georgia Purdom so far (I'm not sure that the Graur paper has been widely reported, though I assume AiG keep an eye on evolutionist bloggers like Prothero and Myers).

But the first item here is interesting and highly relevant (a discussion with Chris Ponting and Ewan Birney; note that when Birney first starts speaking it's not made clear that it's Birney not Ponting - also I couldn't catch part of Birney's final remarks, made over the telephone, at the end):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... 8_02_2013/
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Re: Good news for creationists - and evolutionists

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:33 pm

I haven't studied this:
http://eyeonicr.wordpress.com/2013/03/2 ... #more-6209 (I think it's the first time creationists have acknowledged that Graur paper)
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