Intelligent Design

The Mystery of Extreme Non-Coding Conservation

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Evolution is unique in that while it is well known amongst evolutionists to be a fact, its predictions often turn out false. Consider this new paper from the Royal Society on “The mystery of extreme non-coding conservation” that has been found across many genomes. Years ago an evolution professor told me, in defending the claim that evolution is falsifiable, that if functionally unconstrained yet highly similar DNA sequences were found in different species, then evolution would be false. A few years later that is exactly what was discovered. In fact, the DNA sequences were extremely similar and even identical in different species, and when they were altogether removed from mice it made no detectable difference. Hundreds of tests showed no significant difference between mice with and without long stretches of these DNA sequences. Did the professor agree that evolution was false? Not at all. For the fact of evolution goes far deeper than scientific findings and failed predictions. Nonetheless, ten years later, the mystery of extreme DNA conservation remains.  Read more

14 Replies to “The Mystery of Extreme Non-Coding Conservation

  1. 1
    Sebestyen says:

    Maybe it’s source code commentary. 😉

  2. 2
    Mapou says:

    Hunter:

    Hundreds of tests showed no significant difference between mice with and without long stretches of these DNA sequences.

    I am not entirely convinced that this is a good test. I mean, it does not really prove that the sequences are non-coding or non-functional. Maybe the sequences are meant to be expressed in certain very specific environmental conditions that may or may not occur during the lifetime of the organism.

    Having said that, I agree that natural selection has no way to select these sequences so as to conserve them across distant branches of the tree of life.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Jonathan Wells on Darwinism, Science, and Junk DNA – November 2011
    Excerpt: Mice without “junk” DNA. In 2004, Edward Rubin?] and a team of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California reported that they had engineered mice missing over a million base pairs of non-protein-coding (“junk”) DNA—about 1% of the mouse genome—and that they could “see no effect in them.”
    But molecular biologist Barbara Knowles (who reported the same month that other regions of non-protein-coding mouse DNA were functional) cautioned that the Lawrence Berkeley study didn’t prove that non-protein-coding DNA has no function. “Those mice were alive, that’s what we know about them,” she said. “We don’t know if they have abnormalities that we don’t test for.”And University of California biomolecular engineer David Haussler? said that the deleted non-protein-coding DNA could have effects that the study missed. “Survival in the laboratory for a generation or two is not the same as successful competition in the wild for millions of years,” he argued.
    In 2010, Rubin was part of another team of scientists that engineered mice missing a 58,000-base stretch of so-called “junk” DNA. The team found that the DNA-deficient mice appeared normal until they (along with a control group of normal mice) were fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet for 20 weeks. By the end of the study, a substantially higher proportion of the DNA-deficient mice had died from heart disease. Clearly, removing so-called “junk” DNA can have effects that appear only later or under other circumstances.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-junk-dna/

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    bornAgain77 @3,

    Thank you for that interesting report.

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    Shades of Emil Zola and his claim that he’d believe in miracles when he saw one, which he did and didn’t.

  6. 6
    scordova says:

    Exactly Dr. Hunter.

    If one removes a stretch of DNA and the organism lives, it shows it is not under selection.

    These stretches may have function, but like spare tires, they can be removed with no immediate effect on fitness. Redundancy is a nasty problem for Darwinism.

    Fault Tolerance, A greater foe to Darwinism than Irreducible Complexity.

    Nonetheless, persistence of unconstrained sequences is a problem for natural selection.

  7. 7

    scordova:

    If one removes a stretch of DNA and the organism lives, it shows it is not under selection.

    That depends a lot on the specific approach, so I don’t think a blanket statement is warranted.

    At what point in the reproduction cycle was the DNA removed? What kinds of environments can the organism live in, and are there any negative effects? How many generations were monitored? Is there degradation over time? So on and so on.

    I agree that redundancy and fault tolerance in some cases might be invisible to natural selection, but that is probably not true across the board for knock-out experiments.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Hunter, I have a feeling you are going to enjoy this post very much:

    Marshall McLuhan Responds to the National Catholic Register – Michael Behe November 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79201.html

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Salvador:

    If one removes a stretch of DNA and the organism lives, it shows it is not under selection.

    It shows no such thing.

    You should stick to your own self-authored threads where you can turn anything I write into something I did not write.

  10. 10
    jerry says:

    The sequences are conserved. If they are not selected for how do they get conserved. So the knock out would say they are junk DNA but the conservation says they are functional.

    They are more than conserved, they are conserved over millions of years. How does that happen without functionality. I read bits and pieces of the article. The exons in the neighboring genes are not as well conserved as these sequences. So changes in these sequences seem to be more sensitive to the functioning of the organism than are potential changes in proteins.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    jerry:

    So the knock out would say they are junk DNA but the conservation says they are functional.

    This appears to be a claim similar to the one made by Salvador. If it can be removed from a living organism and the living organism does not die, it must be junk DNA.

    My response is the same. If you remove a sequence of DNA from a living organism and the organism does not die, it does not follow that the sequence is junk DNA.

  12. 12
    lifepsy says:

    The vast majority of ‘beneficial’ genetic changes are invisible to natural selection, a simple common sense fact which has been disastrous to evolution theory for decades.

    They need to get non-variant bacteria to starve to death in order to drive fixation. That’s how inept NS is as a mechanism.

    The ability of evolutionists to ignore such elephants in the room is truly fascinating. None of them will speak openly on the subject except for the simple hand-wave: “genetic drift dunnit”… why do people still believe in this obviously crippled metaphysical theory?

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    My response is the same. If you remove a sequence of DNA from a living organism and the organism does not die, it does not follow that the sequence is junk DNA.

    I am sorry, I wasn’t very clear on the point I was trying to make. A knock out will never solve anything in the short term since one has no way of knowing what function is really being knocked out. See comment by Bornagain77 above on quote from Wells book.

    I was responding to the redundancy comment. Redundancy would let something mutate and not be conserved. Essentially, if it is not being used how does it know it a backup system and has to be conserved.

    We are a long way from understanding this issue. The article that Hunter reviews says it is a mystery.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    jerry,

    I thought you were trying to defend Salvador’s nonsensical statement that I quoted in my #9.

    So now you tell me you were not responding to me at all, but were expanding on yet another nonsensical statement that Sal made.

    Salvador:

    These stretches may have function, but like spare tires, they can be removed with no immediate effect on fitness.

    In what sense is a spare tire redundant? I’d really like to know. If spare tires are redundant, why do so many vehicles have them?

    One definition of redundant:

    not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous

    Is a spare tire not useful? Is a spare tire superfluous?

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