Epigenetics News

An ID perspective on epigenetics

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Someone asked. Essentially, a great deal of important biological information is captured and stored outside of our DNA, as opposed to arising, Darwinism-style, through random genetic mutations. Neo-Darwinian evolution means that all new traits are due to mutations in DNA, acted on by “natural selection.”

Jonathan Wells summarizes the problem here:

[T]he idea that embryo development is controlled by a genetic program is inconsistent with the biological evidence. Embryo development requires far more ontogenetic information than is carried by DNA sequences. Thus Neo-Darwinism is false.” (Wells, “Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA,” BIO-Complexity

And in Chapter 14 of Darwin’s Doubt, Steve Meyer offers:

These different sources of epigenetic information in embryonic cells pose an enormous challenge to the sufficiency of the neo- Darwinian mechanism. According to neo- Darwinism, new information, form, and structure arise from natural selection acting on random mutations arising at a very low level within the biological hierarchy— within the genetic text. Yet both body- plan formation during embryological development and major morphological innovation during the history of life depend upon a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. If DNA isn’t wholly responsible for the way an embryo develops— for body- plan morphogenesis— then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely and still not produce a new body plan, regardless of the amount of time and the number of mutational trials available to the evolutionary process. Genetic mutations are simply the wrong tool for the job at hand. (Darwin’s Doubt, p. 282)

The neo-Darwinian mechanism does not account for either the origin of the genetic or the epigenetic information necessary to produce new forms of life. (p. 286)

Of course, it is possible to ignore the contradiction if one’s job depends on doing so.

See also: Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!

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6 Replies to “An ID perspective on epigenetics

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    What determines the location of the morphogen sources?
    What determines the timing for their activation and deactivation?
    What determines the expression pace for everyone of the sources?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    What determines the location of the epigenetic markers?

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    What determines the post-transcriptional splicing of the proto-mRNA?

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    What determines the post-translational modifications?

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    What determines the accurate spatiotemporal asymmetric segregation of intrinsic cell fate determinants in mitosis?
    What determines their timely expression?

  6. 6
    Zooman says:

    Interesting related article at, of all places, Popular Science (http://www.popsci.com/body-ele.....ing-bodies): “For decades, genetics taught us a simple truth: Each cell in our body (and there are billions) contains the blueprint that tells us how to grow. That might not be the whole story. Levin and a few others now say that tiny bioelectric signals surging through and among our cells act as an instruction to kick-start gene expression. These signals point cells in the right direction as they start to grow into things like hearts, and influence the shape and function of the body.”

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