Evolutionary biology Gene Sharing Intelligent Design

At Evolution News: Gene Sharing Is More Widespread than Thought, with Implications for Darwinism

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David Coppedge writes:

Evidence is growing that organisms share existing genetic information horizontally, not just vertically. This has immense implications for neo-Darwinian theory that are not yet fully recognized. If traits can be shared across species, genera and even phyla, they are not being inherited from common ancestors. The findings might also cast stories about convergence and co-evolution in a completely different light. Let’s look at some of the news on this front.

Introgression

Last month, Current Biology posted a Primer on Introgression by four authors. Introgression refers to “lasting transfer of DNA from one of the species into the genome of the other” by means of hybridization and backcrossing. Basically, it describes “the incorporation of the DNA from one species into another.”

Kleptomania

In news from the Florida Museum of Natural History, biologists discussed how a new genome for ferns reveals “a history of DNA hoarding and kleptomania.” The article is classified under “Evolution” but what is Darwinian about it? 

Photo credit: Clyde Gravenberch via Unsplash.

The article references a 2014 study that showed another instance of kleptomania. Ferns seem to have inherited genes for thriving in shade from distantly related plants, but “exactly how organisms separated by millions of years of evolution are able to swap fully functional genes remains unclear.” 

“The mechanisms behind horizontal gene transfer remain one of the least investigated areas of land plant evolution,” Doug Soltis explained. “Over evolutionary timescales, it’s a bit like winning the lottery. Any time a plant is wounded, its interior is susceptible to invasion from microbes, but for their DNA to be incorporated into the genome seems amazing.

These examples illustrate a sea change in thinking about horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which was formerly thought to be restricted to microbes. 

Library Books

A related preprint by Haimlich et al. on bioRxiv investigated “Widespread horizontal gene transfer between plants and their microbiota.” Finding 180 genes that indicated “prevalent horizontal gene transfer,” they concluded,

Our results suggest that horizontal gene transfer between hosts and their microbiota is a significant and active evolutionary mechanism that contributed new traits to plants and their commensal microbiota.

Crediting evolution seems stretched, though. Information shared is not the same as information innovated, nor is borrowing a book as difficult as writing one.

From Division of Labor to Expertise Sharing

Speaking of bacteria, Duke University proclaims that “Microbial Communities Stay Healthy by Swapping Knowledge.” How and why microbes do this prompted a metaphor that portrays intelligent action:

Put another way, a construction crew could be extremely resilient to electricians quitting if the plumbers on site also knew how to wire a building. But the same crew would be even more resilient if the remaining electricians could simply transfer their expertise to anyone on the job when needed, no matter their profession.

Dr. Lingchong You at Duke considers HGT a “dynamic division of labor” by which bacteria maintain their health in nature.

Human Sharing

With these reassessments of heredity in mind, how much of assumed “human evolution” could be explained by gene sharing instead of by the neo-Darwinian mutation-selection model? Have human beings been sharing library books or downloading each other’s software apps instead of writing them from scratch?

News from the University of Tübingen says that paleoanthropologists are considering the degree to which genetic hybridization affected the human skeleton and skull shape.

Many people living today have a small component of Neanderthal DNA in their genes, suggesting an important role for admixture with archaic human lineages in the evolution of our species. Paleogenetic evidence indicates that hybridization with Neanderthals and other ancient groups occurred multiple times, with our species‘ history resembling more a network or braided stream than a tree. Clearly the origin of humankind was more complex than previously thought.

Similar conclusions are being reached at North Carolina State University where a news item says that “Ancient DNA caused a revolution in how we think about human evolution.” Out is the old single-file march of progress from ape to man. In is the “a series of streams that converge and diverge at multiple points.” The “exploratory study” going on at NC State is changing the view that evolution is driven by external environmental factors, such as climate, and toward the view that internal gene flow causes the variations in human anatomy.

A question arises whether these variations and combinations of variations are random when introduced by gene flow instead of mutation. If the latter, then old-school Darwinians might argue that they are merely additional manifestations of neo-Darwinism’s unguided process of random variation and selection. 

But if these shared genes are instead modular pieces of functional information that are pre-adapted to join up in certain ways, then biologists will need to consider whether the source of that information requires an intelligent cause. The case for intelligent design in instances of gene flow can be further strengthened by observing whether newly incorporated genes are epigenetically regulated, targeted to functional loci, and responsive to signals from the environment. If so, organisms have been equipped with mechanisms to ensure robustness to changing conditions. That implies Foresight.

Full article available at Evolution News.

The analogy of gene sharing with taking a book from a library implies not only that the borrowed book was already written, but that the borrower knows how to read it and to apply the information in a beneficial way. Such abilities are consistent with pre-existing intelligence (a divine Creator) actively coordinating the design of living organisms.

44 Replies to “At Evolution News: Gene Sharing Is More Widespread than Thought, with Implications for Darwinism

  1. 1
    Sir Giles says:

    I don’t see any significant implications to Darwinism. Darwinism only requires a source of heritable variation that natural selection can act on.

    In fact, it may explain some of the “rapid” changes that people here attempt to use as evidence against evolutionary theory.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    HGT is completely consistent with Darwinian processes.

    Why this keeps coming up is a mystery since it’s been known for years. Just how much is this issue not that it happened. My guess, every now and then and changed very little.

    Could be determined with the right research.

  3. 3
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 2,

    That’s baloney. Pure baloney. Evolution has no brain, no goals, nothing.

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    SG at 1,

    Evolution has no goals. Man is just an accident.

  5. 5
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Evolution is a hoax but the level of brainwashing among westerners is so high that majority are “afraid” to deny it not to look stupid. Well the choice is to agree with a lie or to look stupid chose your damn burden.

  6. 6
    PaV says:

    Jerry @ 2:

    If you mean that HGT is consistent with the randomness asserted by neo-Darwinism, per Coppedge, that is still in debate.

    Yet, conceding the point, here is the huge problem for neo-Darwinism: what is ‘ancestral’ to what? IOW, how does this impact the already problematic area of phylogenetic trees? Where does this leave evolution? With HGT you have large changes and NO evolution–just transfer. Evolution, per Darwin, is ‘gradual.’ HGT is NOT ‘gradual.’ So, then, why call neo-Darwinism by that name if Darwin’s theory–the one he proposed, and insisted upon, does not apply any longer?

  7. 7
    Sir Giles says:

    With HGT you have large changes and NO evolution–just transfer

    If it is acted on by selection then it is evolution as Darwin proposed. I really don’t see why ID keeps bringing this up. It doesn’t support their opinion.

  8. 8
    EvilSnack says:

    Darwinism doesn’t require that the inheritable changes be caused by any specific mechanism.

  9. 9
    relatd says:

    ES at 8,

    Darwinism does something? By accident? Not very good I’d say. HGT happens quickly and the transfer means a transfer – not evolution by blind, unguided chance.

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    So, I think the point is, that the concept of the common ancestor becomes even less meaningful.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    chuckdarwin says:

    Sir Giles is right. This is another one of ID’s broken record themes. The author of the OP tries to imply that HGT in some fashion undermines Neo-Darwinism and the tracing of common ancestry (i.e., common descent).
    Knowledge of horizonal gene transfer has been around since the 1930s. It doesn’t challenge the phylogenetic tree; it just makes it a bit more complicated. Some biologists refer to it as the phylogenetic “bush.” The core lineages are not affected by HGT.

    More important, HGT is actually being used as a tool to study phylogenetics and NS, including real time observation of gene acquisition. This from Wiki:

    While HGT is often seen as a challenge for the reconstruction of the tree of life, an alternative view is that oppositely it provides additional valuable information for its reconstruction.

    First, for the recipient organism, HGT is a DNA mutation like others [Sir Giles’ point] and as such, it can be modeled and used in tree reconstruction and rooting.

    Second, it is necessary that the recipient of a gene acquisition by HGT lives at the same time, or at an ulterior time, as the donor. In consequence there is an information on the timing of diversification in HGT. This is all the more remarkable since the principal usual source for dating in the living world, the fossil record, is absent precisely where HGT is abundant, in the microbial world.

    Third, it provides information about the extinct biodiversity, because transfers are likely from extinct species. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizontal_gene_transfer_in_evolution#The_use_of_horizontal_transfer_for_evolutionary_studies)

  12. 12
    relatd says:

    CD at 11,

    “exactly how organisms separated by millions of years of evolution are able to swap fully functional genes remains unclear.” Luck? Not credible. Not credible at all.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    If you mean that HGT is consistent with the randomness asserted by neo-Darwinism, per Coppedge, that is still in debate

    I have no idea what you are talking about

    If one analyzes what can happen to a genome, HGT is just one of the many sources of variation. HGT is completely compatible with Darwinian processes and ID which accepts both. It is just one of the many possible sources of variation that affect organisms.

    Darwinian processes are 1) variation – HGT is definitely that. 2) heritability- HGT is definitely heritable. 3) selection – it’s definitely possible the HGT may lead to more offspring.

    Absolutely nothing controversial and all accepted by ID.

    The issue is how frequently it happened. The answer is available with the right research. Because of the lack of adherents, my guess not very often.

    HGT will never cause Evolution since it affects the genome and the Evolution process lies elsewhere. It’s also too trivial.

    Aside: evolutionary biologist don’t care a rats rear end whether Evolution happened slowly or quickly. They only care that it happened naturally.

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Unfortunately, HGT screws up evolutionary estimates for time scales (HGT acts as a shortcut). But don’t worry. Darwinists simply cherry pick the data that conforms to their pet theory, which functioned as a racist 19th century rationale for colonialism and eugentics.

    But this and more is all described in Perry Marshall’s Evolution 2.0 (https://evo2.org/), which has been widely ignored by academic fundamentalist Darwinism.

    Of the five or six evolutionary mechanisms he describes, Marshall claims that random mutation is the least effective (marginally effective) mechanism.

    Darwinists, since you’re so sure of yourselves, you can win US $10 million here: (https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0), which states

    No one knows how the first cell came about. But there’s a simpler, more fundamental question: Where did the information come from? An answer will trigger a quantum leap in Artificial Intelligence. This may be as big as the transistor or the discovery of DNA itself. A new $10 million prize seeks a definitive answer.

    The independent judges are:

    George Church is a geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist. He is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, and was a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

    Denis Noble is an Oxford Professor and a fellow of the Royal Society. He is editor of the society’s journal Interface Focus and he holds a Commander of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth. He organized the Royal Society’s 2016 conference “New Trends in Biological Evolution” in conjunction with the British Academy. He is president of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

    Michael Ruse is a philosopher of science who specializes in the philosophy of biology. He is director of the Program in the Philosophy of the History of Science at Florida State University and author of numerous books including “Darwinism and Design”, “The Cambridge History of Atheism” and “Science, Evolution and Religion”.

    So, no LAME EXCUSES. Claim your $10 million and shut us up!

    -Q

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    Again Darwinian evolution is a god of gaps argument that allows atheists to be intellectually fulfilled. With enough time and material a toaster can evolve into existence without any form of design

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    AS1978,

    So, that’s how my toaster came into existence…

    Yeah, right. 🙂

  17. 17
    PaV says:

    Sir Giles @ 7:

    If it is acted on by selection then it is evolution as Darwin proposed. I really don’t see why ID keeps bringing this up. It doesn’t support their opinion.

    Please explain the difference between “change” and “evolution”? That is, “evolution” is progressive. HGT represents “change,” and nothing more.

    Jerry @ 13:

    It’s very simple what I mean, Jerry. Read the last two paragraphs of the OP (Opening Post).

    Darwinian processes are 1) variation – HGT is definitely that. 2) heritability- HGT is definitely heritable. 3) selection – it’s definitely possible the HGT may lead to more offspring.

    And, tell us Jerry, how powerful are these processes? That is, how “progressive” are they. Have you not read Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution”? Do you not understand the serious limitations Behe’s opus of papers and books imposes on the putative “evolutionary (?Darwinian?) process”? [I don’t know how you can call the entire transfer of a gene/s from one organism to another “Darwinian.” It’s saltational, not gradual.]

  18. 18
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ 16 the toaster fossil record absolutely supports my assumption that toasters have evolved in a step wise fashion since their first and sudden appearance in 1893

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    Have you not read Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution”?

    I was the first person on this site to read “The Edge of Evolution.”

    I constantly bring up Behe on this site and almost no one responds to my comments including you. Maybe you should read more before making accusations.

    Please tell me anything I said was wrong. Especially about Darwin. You seem to be making things up.

    Aside: I constantly point out that Darwinian processes work extremely well in genetics but not Evolution. This is exactly what Behe says in all his books and writings. Anyone who disagrees should read “Darwin Devolves.”

  20. 20
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 18,

    Toasters are an example of Intelligent Design.

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Relatd @20,

    Toasters are an example of Intelligent Design.

    Sir Giles would ask you whether you believe that toasters changed. Since they obviously have, he would triumphantly announce that toasters MUSTA evolved according to the racist 19th century Darwinian model, one tiny random increment at a time.

    -Q

  22. 22
    relatd says:

    Querius at 21,

    Well, in that case, cars evolved. From the Model T to all the small, incremental, and some large, changes. Take those tail fins from the 1950s and their disappearance in subsequent years. Punctuated equilibrium? Retrograde evolution? No. Intelligent Design all the way to the present.

    But sure, I can invent OTHER – evolution based – explanations, but that would ignore the complex arrangement of parts, their working interrelationship, and the addition of computer chips. None of it was ‘natural,’ meaning not made by human beings. Then we have the ‘evolutionary’ leap to electric cars.

  23. 23
    AaronS1978 says:

    Toasters, like cars, show a gradual change over the years as supported by the instructions manuals found through out time. These changes were obviously cause by natural selection working tirelessly on the toaster’s genome just has it did the car

    By the way also fun fact if natural selection is the primary mover and shaker of all biodiversity then there is no nature vs nurture, only the environment directly determining the outcome of all genes

  24. 24
    PaV says:

    Jerry:

    I assumed you had read Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution” and was confused as to why you wouldn’t admit to the limitations documented there and elsewhere. I was confused and remain confused by the position you’re taking vis-a-vis “genetics” and “evolution.”

    So, as I scratch my head, can you explain in a paragraph or two what you mean when you write:
    “I constantly point out that Darwinian processes work extremely well in genetics but not Evolution.”

    That would be helpful. It would at least be a start. (To most persons versed in science, genetics and evolution are synonymous; but that doesn’t seem how you see it.)

  25. 25
    Querius says:

    Relatd @22,

    But sure, I can invent OTHER – evolution based – explanations, but that would ignore the complex arrangement of parts, their working interrelationship, and the addition of computer chips.

    And that’s the general problem–inventing things for what MUSTA happened and insisting on orthodoxy and consensus rather than allowing things to remain unsolved or weakly held, being open to new data rather than filtering out conflicting data.

    PaV,
    My best guess is Jerry meant that natural selection (“Darwinian processes”?) affects the genetic frequencies of certain traits in a population for a given environment, but this doesn’t result in de novo features such that a mouse evolves into a human.

    Did I get it right, Jerry?

    -Q

  26. 26
    jerry says:

    Did I get it right

    Part of what I maintain.

    Traveling now – maybe a better answer tomorrow.

    Genetics and Evolution are no way related. A basic flaw in all the discussions.

  27. 27
    Alan Fox says:

    Genetics and Evolution are no way related. A basic flaw in all the discussions.

    Absolute nonsense! The modern synthesis was their formal union. Genetics is the key that opens the door to the mechanism of selection.

  28. 28
    Alan Fox says:

    I think Richard Buggs would agree with me on this.

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    Absolute nonsense

    No, perfect sense.

    There’s no evidence they are same. All you did was make an assertion. You constantly commit the fallacy of begging the question. So do a lot of other people here.

    Genetics definitely analyzes change. That’s the only similarity. But all genetic change is trivial relevant to Evolution.

    It’s designed to be so. Behe has shown the limitations of genetic change.

  30. 30
    Alan Fox says:

    There’s no evidence they [evolution and genetics] are same.

    I said genetics and evolution together form the modern synthesis

    All you did was make an assertion.

    I learn from you. You’re the best by far if the asserted here. 😉

    You constantly commit the fallacy of begging the question. So do a lot of other people here.

    Well, people are committed to their point of view and I don’t expect them to change their mind simply because they are wrong. The real commitment is emotional

    Genetics definitely analyzes change. That’s the only similarity. But all genetic change is trivial relevant to Evolution.

    Seems bizarre you can accept genetics and not see the connection between genotype and phenotype.

    It’s designed to be so. Behe has shown the limitations of genetic change.

    I don’t think any of Behe’s claims are considered as genuinely problematic for evolutionary theory. I see Bill Cole regularly brings them up at Peaceful Science where they get politely demolished.

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    I assumed you had read Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution” and was confused as to why you wouldn’t admit to the limitations documented there and elsewhere.

    Ironic, since I constantly promote limited changes due to genetics and anything else.

    I was confused and remain confused by the position you’re taking vis-a-vis “genetics” and “evolution.”

    Because there is no reason they are related and should be considered together.

    Genetics analyzes change within a species. Evolution is about the appearance of complex life systems. Why should they be considered together other than both look at change in life forms?

    Behe has spent an enormous amount of time documenting that they are not related. Especially in “Darwin Devolves.”

    In the past and still used in the present. species have been classified into various categories based on similarities. The bottom two categories are species and genus.

    In the past this was based on morphology or physical characteristics but the more recent way is to do this based on genome similarity. Behe has shown that all changes due to Darwinian processes have resulted in nothing above these bottom two levels. In other words the only thing that has happened is that the allele distributions have been shuffled, or certain genes have disappeared or as he has put it devolved. Even if a new gene appears it is rare and on little consequence.

    So any new species or genera are essentially the same as the old species. These results are the result of Darwinian processes described above, variation, inheritability and selection.

    Some people will point to this as examples of evolution which is why I use the term “Evolution” with a capital “E” to distinguish it from the real debate which is quite different. I pointed this out here over 16 years ago but people still like to use the same things over and over even if they are not relevant.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-argument-from-incredulity-vs-the-argument-from-gullibility/#comment-40952

    So, as I scratch my head, can you explain in a paragraph or two what you mean when you write: “I constantly point out that Darwinian processes work extremely well in genetics but not Evolution.”

    So to sum up, Darwinian process work in genetics. Does anyone doubt this?

    There is no evidence anywhere that the same process have produced anything complex even with a zillion accumulations. It is all wishful thinking. There is zero evidence they work in Evolution.

    My guess is if Darwin was alive today, he would abandon his ideas quickly because what he believed in 1859 was in no related to what he was trying to show. He used one genetics example after the other though the term had not yet been invented nor the science around it.

    Aside: relevant to the OP, Darwin would have accepted HGT as a source of variation in a heart beat even if it is not the accumulation of a zillion little changes which he thought was behind major changes.

    Aside2: there is little reason to believe DNA/genes is what is behind body plan changes which is a major part of Evolution. People have been conditioned to believe DNA changes are what it is all about not by evidence or logic but by rhetoric and unsupported claims.

    Aside3: Allan MacNeil included HGT as one of his engines of variation. He was also a proponent of punctuated equilibrium which is the accumulation of thousands of little changes eventually being exapted into a working protein and eons. But again without any proof, just wishful thinking.

    So genetics and Evolution are quite different and conflating the two has just confused the thinking about what must have happened.

    Hope this helps.

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    Jerry @31,

    Nicely described and good points. Thank you!

    -Q

  33. 33
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Behe has shown the limitations of genetic change.

    What if Dr Behe’s argument is incorrect? What ramification would that have as far as the relationship between genetics and evolution goes?

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    good points

    Written on the fly so I am sure they can be tightened, especially by a better writer.

    Behe has an interesting concept that natural selection leads to dead ends. I’ll have to read it again to understand it better. I believe because natural/artificial selection ends up with reduced genomes. Thus, building anything is actually less of a possibility due to natural selection. Certainly it is with artificial selection. All those breeds of dogs while cute are sub-optimal.

    Another point is that natural selection if it had the potential to build anything of substance would actually kill the species. By making it superior in some characteristic such as strength, eye sight, agility, life span, etc. would allow it to outdo all other variants and enable it to subdue competitors. This would eventually destroy the ecology and the species itself that depends on the ecology.

    A good example is humans where strength would have enabled it to produce more food. But it never happened. Certainly stronger parents would have been in a better position to provide more food for their offspring. And all this is just genetics.

    Too many obvious contradictions that never get discussed. Instead we get wishful thinking. It’s the Star Trek effect: it all seems so matter-of-fact on the telly, must not be that hard to do.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    Jerry: This would eventually destroy the ecology and the species itself that depends on the ecology.

    That would depend on how much of an advantage a variation imparted and how fast a particular characteristic was improving. Notice that humans are now in danger of destroying their own environment.

    Certainly stronger parents would have been in a better position to provide more food for their offspring.

    Improving one particular characteristic can sometimes take away resources from other characteristics. And sometime can lead to other problems. For example: it was probably beneficial for primates to evolve larger brains but if women didn’t evolve at the same time to handle giving birth to offspring with bigger heads then lots of them would have been dying in childbirth.

    So, it’s a give-and-take, give a bit here, get a bit there. And, if a particular species is well suited for it’s environment then many variations would have no particular advantage and wouldn’t be selected for. The variation might still continue if it wasn’t detrimental and might come into play if the environment changed.

  36. 36
    PaV says:

    Jerry @31:

    Well there seems to be no difference in how we look at genetics and its inherent, demonstrable limits.

    I agree, and have stated numerous times on this blog, that Darwin would likely retract his theory given what we now know.

    Here’s where we disagree–although ‘disagree’ might not be the right word: I talk about “progressive” evolution and you capitalize it can call it “Evolution.” While I think that science indicates that these two realities are distinct, my sense is that to phrase things thusly would only convince a Darwinian proponent that some kind of religious instinct has taken over.

    There’s likely a better way of phrasing this, but I think such a position becomes a non-starter. Do I think that Darwinian “true-believers” can be convinced? No. I think the history of this blog bears that out. Nevertheless, it strikes me that it is better to meet the Darwinians where there at and then try to move them forward in their thought.

    Let me just note this: implicit in “neo-Darwinism” is the notion that genetics is “progressive.” This is what R.A. Fischer was convinced that lab studies had shown. So, if we were to say that “neo-Darwinism” is valid, we will have given away the ship. There’s nothing left.

  37. 37
    jerry says:

    So, if we were to say that “neo-Darwinism” is valid, we will have given away the ship. There’s nothing left.

    But I and no one else who supports ID say that ID supports neo-Darwinism.

    What we do say is that Darwinian processes work in genetics. So why not admit it. This is not neo-Darwinism. It’s just using a form of Darwin’s name. That’s the only similarity.

    It’s what Behe, Meyer, Richards and other prominent ID writers say too. It’s actually a much more nuanced approach.

    So the tact is to say the truth.

    Darwinian processes work in genetics – true

    It is extremely limited in effects in genetics – true

    It has not produced anything novel in genetics – true

    It actually reduces genetic variability – true (I always found it kind of absurd of claims that genetic drift leads to Evolution when genetic drift is the lost of variability)

    It’s thus, impossible for it to have any effect in Evolution – true

    Nothing has ever been shown to contradict any of the previous – true

    I cannot see how the above honesty about the truth is giving anything away. It also let’s ID take the high road. It forces those who are anti ID on the defensive to show ID is wrong on anything.

    The clowns who criticize ID here are limited to snarky or absurd remarks and accusations of religion. There is zero religion in the above facts.

    Aside: maybe some could add to the above truths. They are limited to life forms. OOL and the universe/our solar system are origin events that are just as or more spectacular.

  38. 38
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 37,

    ID, the science, contains no religious statements but it does contain an observation regarding an “intelligence” at work. It does not identify this intelligence. However, much like evolution, people do extrapolate from the data and ask, “Who is this intelligence?” Since aliens and similar explanations are not tenable, people are connecting it to God regardless if anyone who promotes ID the science thinks that’s a good idea. Just like atheists using evolution as evidence of their worldview. But, in the search for the truth about living things, it is appropriate to say that ID fits the facts far better than evolution.

  39. 39
    Fasteddious says:

    I didn’t get past, “Gene Sharing Is More Widespread Than Thought”.
    Yes, thinking is not very widespread these days. Sorry, 🙂

  40. 40
    PaV says:

    Jerry:

    No need to keep kicking this around. We see different ways of attacking the out-sized claims of Darwinian theory.

    “What we do say is that Darwinian processes work in genetics. So why not admit it. This is not neo-Darwinism. It’s just using a form of Darwin’s name. That’s the only similarity.”

    First, it might be better to substitute “survival of the fittest” for “Darwinian processes.” I think that’s whay you mean.

    Second. We should not “admit it” because Darwin did not write a book called, Origin of Adapatations, but, Origin of Species. To say that “Darwinian processes work in genetics”, coupled to the fact that ‘genetics’ and ‘neo-Darwinism’ are, for the most part, interchangeable, it sure ends up sounding like, “neo-Darwinism” is true. And then the game has been lost.

    If what you’re saying–who has known you for over 15 years on this blog and know you support ID, sounds to me like you’re supporting neo-Darwinism, what does it sound like to an evolutionary biologist?

    In mathematics, there are “trivial solutions.” They’re valid and true; but trivial. What is “true” about genetics/neo-Darwinism is ‘trivial.’ In a sense, this is what you’re saying. You’re saying, “Yes, Darwinism is ‘trivially’ true in genetics.” However, mathematicians generally ignore such trivial solutions. It is our job, it seems like to me, to point out this “triviality” and insist on its relative unimportance in the grand scheme of things. I think evolutionary biologists should be hammered over this. If they’re not, they will never give up the ghost.

    Again, this is a matter of rhetorical means, rather than one of knowledge and of logic.

  41. 41
    relatd says:

    PaV at 40,

    The pro-evolution troops have been deployed here to promote evolution and will never stop. Logic or knowledge will not stop them.

  42. 42
    asauber says:

    “The pro-evolution troops have been deployed here to promote evolution and will never stop. Logic or knowledge will not stop them.”

    This is true. Chatty Evo Dolls who just keep pulling their own strings.

    Andrew

  43. 43
    Alan Fox says:

    It actually reduces genetic variability – true (I always found it kind of absurd of claims that genetic drift leads to Evolution when genetic drift is the lost of variability)

    Jerry has written a fair amount of (harmless*) nonsense upthread but he’s right that genetic drift will not lead (without selection) to adaptive change.

    * Well, mostly harmless.

  44. 44
    jerry says:

    has written a fair amount of (harmless*)…

    I agree that truth is harmless.

    There may be some occasional exceptions. Nothing that I have written is not true. If describing what happens over time in genetics is nonsense, then I plead guilty.

    Aside: Darwinian processes are 1) variation, 2) heritability and 3) selection.

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