Darwinism horizontal gene transfer

At The Scientist: Horizontal gene transfer happens “more often than anyone thought”

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DNA passed to and from all kinds of organisms, even across kingdoms, has helped shape the tree of life, to a large and undisputed degree in microbes and also unexpectedly in multicellular fungi, plants, and animals.

Christie Wilcox, “Horizontal gene transfer happens more often than anyone thought” at The Scientist (July 5, 2022)

Well, of course, anything that horizontal gene transfer did, Darwinian evolution did not do. And if HGT is quite common, it’s going to be much harder to tell what Darwinism actually did.

You may also wish to read: Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more

8 Replies to “At The Scientist: Horizontal gene transfer happens “more often than anyone thought”

  1. 1
    JHolo says:

    Well, of course, anything that horizontal gene transfer did, Darwinian evolution did not do

    Darwinian evolution requires a source of heritable variation and selection based on the variation. Since Darwin never knew what the source of heritable variation was, HGT fits right in with his theory.

  2. 2
    Nonlin.org says:

    Darwin knew nothing at all. His theory is therefore just a pipe dream. As demonstrated.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    HGT is one of the many sources of variation that happens to a species.

    This is nothing new and has been discussed before. Demonstrating its effect is the challenge especially multicellular species.

    Searching for the latest on Allen MacNeill’s engines of variation has not been fruitful. Last I remember there were at least 50.

  4. 4
    JHolo says:

    HGT is common and important in bacteria because any gene transfer automatically becomes heritable. In mammals, however, it may be just as prevalent but unless it happens at the gamete level, it can never become heritable.

  5. 5
    JVL says:

    JHolo: unless it happens at the gamete level, it can never become heritable.

    I’ve been hearing this for years and it always made sense but then I was thinking: males make new sperm all the time. So . . . a mutation somewhere in the sperm-producing bits could change the sperm and thus pass on a mutation?

  6. 6
    JHolo says:

    JVL: So . . . a mutation somewhere in the sperm-producing bits could change the sperm and thus pass on a mutation?

    I guess HGT is a type of mutation, but it isn’t the type we generally refer to when we talk about mutations. And the HGT would have to take place in the sperm making buts.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    type of mutation

    Best to use the term “variation” since it includes mutations and other changes to genomes that really are not mutations.

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Jerry @7,

    Best to use the term “variation” since it includes mutations and other changes to genomes that really are not mutations.

    Yes, exactly! It opens up questions such as “Why does whole genome duplication provide any advantage?”

    -Q

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