The world’s simplest animal is trichoplax adhaerens. It is so simple that researchers wisely decided to forego the venerable Biological Species Concept that depends on an animal’s form (tricoplax doesn’t have much of a form) and just use genetics. But when evolutionary biologist Michael Eitel sequenced the genomes of several thousand of them, he was in for a surprise:
A quarter of the genes were in the wrong spot or written backward. Instructions for similar proteins were spelled nearly 30 percent differently on average, and in some cases as much as 80 percent. The Hong Kong variety was missing 4 percent of its distant cousin’s genes and had its own share of genes unique to itself. Overall, the Hong Kong placozoan genome was about as different from that of T. adhaerens as human DNA is from mouse DNA. “It was really striking,” Eitel said. “They look the same, and we look completely different from mice.”
So where do all those genetic changes manifest, if not in the animals’ flabby appearance?
“Even though the placozoan itself looks like a little ball of glue, it probably has cells that are doing some pretty sophisticated things,” said Holly Bik, a marine biologist at the University of California, Riverside, who studies tiny marine roundworms known as nematodes, which can also be cryptic.Charlie Wood, “World’s Simplest Animal Reveals Hidden Diversity” at Quanta
Paper. (open access)
Genetically, humans and mice have more in common than the Hong Kong placozoan and the T. adhaerens placozoan because humans and mice are both mammals. But the genetic distance between the placazoans is greater than between “most vertebrate orders.”
One can take from this the lesson that the genome is very plastic. One thinks of the strenuous efforts of Darwinian biologists to demonstrate speciation according to their concepts (Darwin’s finches come to mind). And it’s probably all for nothing (except ensuring that school textbooks continue to misrepresent the history of life).
See also: A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans
6 Replies to “World’s simplest animals as different from each other as humans and mice”
As to this quote from the article:
This finding is yet another falsification of the Darwinian belief that “your DNA contains all the instructions for making you human”
As well, having the same morphology despite having genetic differences as great “as human DNA is from mouse DNA” also directly undermines Dr. Swamidass’s recent argument for common descent, i.e. “[W]hy is it hard to believe chimpanzees and humans are related (1.5% codons different), when we readily accept mice and rats are related (15% different)??”
Of note: contrary to popular belief, and what Dr. Swamidass stated, Humans and Chimps are NOT 98.5% genetically similar, but are, in reality, closer to 85% genetically similar:
Moreover, another fact that directly contradicts Dr. Swamidass’s argument for common ancestry in general and between chimps and humans in particular, a fact that you will never here from a Darwinist, is the fact that “Human genes are closer to a dolphin’s genes than any land animal”
This is not just an anomaly with Dolphin DNA. Kangaroo and Human Genomes are also unexpectedly similar genetically.
There are many more examples of Darwinists being ‘surprised’ at finding genetic similarity where it ought not be:
In fact, in spite of what Darwinists falsely presuppose, multiple studies of genetic similarity/dissimilarity have all contradicted their belief in common ancestry:
Moreover, Darwinists simply have no evidence that mutations to DNA can produce morphological novelty, as Jonathan Wells states in the following article, Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.
And as Dr. Stephen Meyer stated in the following video, ‘you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan.’
Moreover, the failure of the reductive materialism of Neo-Darwinian evolution to be able to explain the basic form of any particular organism occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself.
In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
The following video goes over many more lines of evidence that show that biological form will forever be beyond the grasp of Darwinian explanations:
Moreover, to state what should be glaringly obvious by now, since neo-Darwinian explanations are grossly inadequate for explaining how any particular organism might achieve its basic form, then neo-Darwinian speculations for how one type of organism might transform into another type of organism are based on pure fantasy and have no discernible experimental basis in reality.
Whereas, on the other hand, Theism, especially with these recent breakthroughs in quantum biology,,,
,,,is found to be very well supported in its claim that God has formed each of us, i.e. each of our eternal ‘souls’, in our mother’s womb.
Just a correction. The species concept itself does not “depend” on form. Using form alone you couldn’t distinguish between a male and female angler fish. For many bacteria, you cannot distinguish different species using form alone. Sometimes chemical interactions are needed.
Form (shape, size, dimensions, etc.) are often used as a convenient tool to shoehorn an unidentified (by the individual examining it) organism into a classification. They use published identification keys. But these keys are only tools. If there is a discrepancy between the key and the genetics, the genetics rules.
R J Sawyer:
So what? They are the same species
To be fair, I just came across a Darwinist that understands DNA is what it’s cracked up to be – see “Life’s Ratchet” by Peter Hoffmann. http://nonlin.org/dna-not-essence-of-life/
…yet somehow he still manages to draw the wrong conclusions.