Intelligent Design

Pax genes and BOULE have a Precambrian origin

Spread the love

Genome sequencing has allowed families of genes to be mapped across the phyla, and it is presumed that the presence of a specific gene in different animal groups signifies a shared common ancestor. Over the years, it has become apparent that many significant genes are widely shared in the animal kingdom, and this blog is concerned with two more cases recently published.

Pax genes are typically linked to eye development, although they have a variety of other functions. Pax-6 is regarded as a master control gene known to turn on eye development in the arthropoda, the mollusca, and the vertebrata. The new work extends the analysis to a jellyfish.

“Here we have isolated three Pax genes (Pax-A, Pax-B, and Pax-E) from Cladonema radiatum, a hydrozoan jellyfish with elaborate eyes. Cladonema Pax-A is strongly expressed in the retina, whereas Pax-B and Pax-E are highly expressed in the manubrium, the feeding and reproductive organ.”

For more, go here.

25 Replies to “Pax genes and BOULE have a Precambrian origin

  1. 1
    Petrushka says:

    Not particularly news. Most genes are found in microbes.

    It might create a problem, however, for folks who think the genes for eyes and body plans jumped out of nowhere in the Cambrian explosion.

  2. 2
    Oramus says:

    Petruska,

    A rather limp wristed dismissal of the OP, wouldn’t you say?

    Rather, it IS a problem for you to account for the fact that genes were in existence way before they were needed.

    Meaning, evolution was not the cause of genes but in fact was the effect created by the expression of pre-existing genes.

    All you have to do now is work out how genes came into existence all by themselves from a physics and chemistry POV and then explain why they hung around with nothing to do for millions of years and then at some particular point in time – Whammo, we’ve got mail!

  3. 3
    vividbleau says:

    “It might create a problem, however, for folks who think the genes for eyes and body plans jumped out of nowhere in the Cambrian explosion.”

    LOL. Are you referring to yourself? After all your the one who holds to the position that something can come from nothing.

    Vivid

  4. 4
    Graham says:

    From the article: design inferences stimulate numerous avenues for research

    So, could we see some of this research ?

  5. 5
    Granville Sewell says:

    David,

    p123-4 of my book :

    Perhaps nothing illustrates how “unfalsiable” today’s evolutionary theory really is than the “front-loading” being discovered by modern science in the genes of primitive animals. Consider, for example, this report from a recent article in Science [Pennisi 2008]:

    Trichoplax adhaerens barely qualifies as an animal. About 1 mm long and covered with cilia, this flat marine organism lacks a stomach, muscles, nerves, and gonads, even a head…yet this animal’s genome looks surprisingly like ours, says Daniel Rokhsar, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Its 98 million DNA base pairs include many of the genes responsible for guiding the development of other animals’ complex shapes and organs, he and his colleagues report in the 21 August issue of Nature… Adds Casey Dunn, an evolutionary biologist at Brown University, ‘It is now completely clear that genomic complexity was present very early on’ in animal evolution…’Many genes viewed as having particular functions in bilaterians or mammals turn out to have a much deeper evolutionary history than expected, raising questions about why they evoloved,’ says Douglas Erwin, an evolutionary biologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington.

    Front-loading is completely fatal to Darwinism: there is no possible selective advantage for the possession of genes for traits which would not evolve until millions of years later! Yet for today’s evolutionary biologists, such discoveries only “raise questions about why they evolved.” They seem completely incapable of drawing the obvious conclusion, that processes incapable of planning ahead—incapable of design—could not possibly cause genes to appear long before the traits they control exist.

    —— end of quote

    How do Darwinists explain front loading? In your article, one says these genes “may have played redundant roles at that time.” Of course…what else CAN they say!

  6. 6
    ellazimm says:

    IF it was front loaded. Just saying some of the genes are much older than previously thought is not the same as saying they’ve always been there!!

    But it does sound like something ID researchers should pursue. Is any work being done in that regard?

    And, I notice, that despite many people’s contention that ‘materialism’ is fatal to true scientific progress, some of the evidence brought up to support the ID paradigm comes from mainstream research.

    Science is a conservative occupation and it usually moves forward in small steps. But I don’t see it being limited in what it pursues eventually.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    idnet.com.au says:

    The interview is with Australian biologist John Mattick.

  9. 9
    Granville Sewell says:

    Ellazimm,

    By “front-loaded” I didn’t mean to imply “always been there”, just put there in anticipation of a later need.

    And I don’t know many ID proponents who believe materialism is “fatal to true scientific progress.” In fact, I would say in most cases it has been helpful for scientific progress, only occasionally in the study of origins does it impede progress, by discarding a priori what may be the best explanation.

    And you are certainly correct in saying that some of the evidence brought up to support the ID paradigm comes from “mainstream research.” In fact no doubt most of the research used to support ID is actually done by people who don’t believe in ID, simply because the majority of researchers don’t believe in ID. But a lot of successful scientific theories were based on research conducted by people who weren’t proponents of the new theory (at least at the time they did the research, if ever).

  10. 10
    ellazimm says:

    GS:

    Ah, sorry I misinterpreted you. That is an important distinction.

    Sorry to to have been too . . . critical. I really am trying to understand.

    And, I have to say, being able to trade ideas back and forth over the last few days has given me a much better understanding of what you and other folks are saying and thinking. I’m not changing ‘sides’ but I feel I understand where you are coming from. Thanks again!

  11. 11
    Granville Sewell says:

    Ellazimm,

    I said in most cases materialism has been “helpful” for scientific progress because I, and most ID proponents, agree with the materialists that an unintelligent cause is to be preferred when one is available. Where we disagree is, when (and only when) it is obvious that an unintelligent cause not only has not been found, but CANNOT be found, one should consider intelligent causes.

    And in the questions of the origin and evolution of life I do see the need to give up on finding unintelligent causes, and here is why I believe this.

  12. 12
    ellazimm says:

    GS: Yup, you did! My bad.

    Read your link. No matter how good a simulation/model it was it wouldn’t be the same as what actually happened. (Besides not ever being able to actually do what is proposed! Fortran! hahahahahahahaha) I’m not ready to admit that an unintelligent cause cannot be found. Not yet. Too many thing still to discover and learn.

  13. 13
    Petrushka says:

    Rather, it IS a problem for you to account for the fact that genes were in existence way before they were needed.

    That nearly sets a record for dumb and ignorant. What makes you think they have no function in microbes?

    How about all the genes necessary for the E.coli flagellum that are found in microbes that do not have rotary flagella? You think they have no function?

  14. 14
    Petrushka says:

    Front-loading is completely fatal to Darwinism: there is no possible selective advantage for the possession of genes for traits which would not evolve until millions of years later!

    Except for the minor detail that these genes are quite functional in the organisms that have them.

    Is there some selective advantage for ignorance of biology 101 on this website?

  15. 15
    uoflcard says:

    ellazimm (6)

    And, I notice, that despite many people’s contention that ‘materialism’ is fatal to true scientific progress, some of the evidence brought up to support the ID paradigm comes from mainstream research.

    I don’t know of anyone that says materialism stymies all scientific progress, just some possible avenues, like an intelligence that predates the Universe. No one is saying a materialist can’t study genomes.

    To everyone:

    Does anyone know more about Trichoplax adhaerens? Do they use all of those genes? If they have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of unused genes, that is impossible to explain in a Darwinian framework other than saying it used some type of horizontal gene transfer to “steal” genes from more complex organisms.

  16. 16
    uoflcard says:

    Sorry ellazimm, I should have finished reading before I commented. Didn’t mean to double-up on you!

  17. 17
    Petrushka says:

    Does anyone know more about Trichoplax adhaerens?

    Trichoplax has no neurons, but has many genes that are associated with neural function in more complex animals. “It lacks a nervous system, but it still is able to respond to environmental stimuli. “It has genes, such as ion channels and receptors, that we associate with neuronal functions, but no neurons have ever been reported,” explained Rokhsar.

    “Some of our new placozoan species show frequent sexual reproduction while others never show any signs of sex,” said Schierwater. “The genome data allow us to search for the genes responsible for sex and life cycle complexity.”

    http://www.science20.com/news_.....pabilities

  18. 18
    Granville Sewell says:

    Petrushka,

    Apparently you are going to claim that all these Trichoplex genes which “guide the development of other animal’s complex shapes and organs” must have completely different original uses, as PZ Meyers illustrates here (see his Trichoplex story):
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-resolved/

    Even if you are right—and it seems extremely unlikely to me and to biologists such as Cornelius Hunter (see his comments on PZ Meyer’s story), and apparently even Douglas Erwin can see the problem—your insulting comments such as “this sets a record for dumb and ignorant” are hardly justified.

    Apparently the administrators are not enforcing any standards of civility on this blog right now.

  19. 19
    Petrushka says:

    Apologies for the uncivility.

    I don’t know about uses being “completely different.” I haven’t seen that proposed in any theory.

    What you appear to be asserting, without any evidence that I can see, is that the genes under discussion have no functions at all in early organisms.

    I’ll gladly depart with apologies all around if that turns out to be the case.

    What a mainstream biologist might argue is that things like glass and perfume atomizers might have functions prior to their incorporation into automobiles. It makes no sense to say their function is completely different.

    Just as it makes no sense to argue that their existence anticipates automobiles.

  20. 20
    Joseph says:

    Perhaps it’s just me but where some people see evidence for front loading I see evidence for common design.

    Designers can take parts that have one function in one system and use them for another function in another system.

  21. 21
    Petrushka says:

    Designers can take parts that have one function in one system and use them for another function in another system.

    And human designers do this without regard to descent, the way humans do genetic engineering.

    So whatever attributes you might or might not ascribe to the Designer, thinking and designing like a human isn’t one of them.

  22. 22
    Joseph says:

    Petrushka:

    And human designers do this without regard to descent, the way humans do genetic engineering.

    And we do it with regards to descent- that is using the same part- or modified version thereof- for the same function- perhaps with more efficiency- when upgrading the original design.

    There is descent with modification in the design world.

    So whatever attributes you might or might not ascribe to the Designer, thinking and designing like a human isn’t one of them.

    I can only use the tools I have.

  23. 23
    Petrushka says:

    I can only use the tools I have.

    You’re missing the point. For a human designer, once a feature like cup holders exists in one venue, it is copied to cars, planes, boats, theater seats and so forth.

    This is a hallmark of human designers. It’s completely missing from life. This is among the strongest evidences for common descent (along with the inheritance of discarded designs).

    So we can rather confidently say the the Designer of life doesn’t think or behave like a human designer.

  24. 24
    Joseph says:

    Petrushka:

    For a human designer, once a feature like cup holders exists in one venue, it is copied to cars, planes, boats, theater seats and so forth.

    OK

    This is a hallmark of human designers. It’s completely missing from life.

    DNA, the genetic code-> ribosomes to make polypeptides out of mRNA, vertebrae, immune systems, geez how can you say “it’s missing from design”?

    This is among the strongest evidences for common descent (along with the inheritance of discarded designs).

    What is “this”? Evidence for universal common descent relies on similarities.

    The more similarities shared the closer the evolutionary relationship.

    So we can rather confidently say the the Designer of life doesn’t think or behave like a human designer.

    Apologies but I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  25. 25
    Petrushka says:

    The more similarities shared the closer the evolutionary relationship.

    It’s not the quantity or percentage of similarity that matters.

    It’s the nested tree.

    Human designers don’t honor inheritence trees when they design. Human gentic engineers have already produced organisms that could not have evolved by incremental change.

Leave a Reply