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New genes required for the Cambrian explosion?

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Darwinians have insisted when this sort of evidence emerged in the past that it could all have come about by natural selection acting on random mutations (random noise creates remarkable innovations all the time, right?) So, once again …

Well, additional vindication has now come, as a new paper in eLife, “The genetic factors of bilaterian evolution,” has found that 157 new genes were required during the Cambrian explosion to account for the origin of bilaterians (animals with bilateral symmetry):

“The Cambrian explosion was a unique animal radiation ~540 million years ago that produced the full range of body plans across bilaterians. The genetic mechanisms underlying these events are unknown, leaving a fundamental question in evolutionary biology unanswered. Using large-scale comparative genomics and advanced orthology evaluation techniques, we identified 157 bilaterian-specific genes. They include the entire Nodal pathway, a key regulator of mesoderm development and left-right axis specification; components for nervous system development, including a suite of G-protein-coupled receptors that control physiology and behaviour, the Robo-Slit midline repulsion system, and the neurotrophin signalling system; a high number of zinc finger transcription factors; and novel factors that previously escaped attention. Contradicting the current view, our study reveals that genes with bilaterian origin are robustly associated with key features in extant bilaterians, suggesting a causal relationship.”

The paper also disagrees with claims of unambiguous Precambrian bilaterian fossils — a point that paleontologist Günter Bechly made here recently at Evolution News — while making striking statements acknowledging the “abrupt appearance of most bilaterian body plans”

News, “Scientific Paper Reaffirms New Genes Required for Cambrian Explosion” at Evolution News and Science Today

The paper is open access at e-Life.

Psst!: Genes are secret creationists but you mustn’t tell anyone.


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