The quote below is taken from this week’s Nature magazine.
Since joining the blogosphere over two years ago, when challenged, I’ve invoked a scenario pretty much like the one the paper summary is making. I suspect Dave Scot has been making this argument for a longer period than that.
While still preliminary, I have to say that when Nature magazine starts running articles saying that “gene regulationÃ¢â‚¬â€ not the creation of new genes Ã¢â‚¬â€ has moulded the traits that make us unique”, then all that can be said is (a la Allen MacNeil): “Darwinism is dead. Long live evo-devo.” Is the war over?
Anyone who has ever put together self-assembly
furniture knows that having the right parts
is important, but what you do with them can
make or break the project. The same seems
to be true of the vast amounts of DNA in an
organismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s genome that used to be labelled as
junk. Studies now indicate that this DNA may
be responsible for the signals that were crucial
for human evolution, directing the various
components of our genome to work differently
from the way they do in other organisms.
The findings seem to bolster a 30-year-old
hypothesis that gene regulation Ã¢â‚¬â€ not the creation
of new genes Ã¢â‚¬â€ has moulded the traits that
make us unique.
While there’s not many particulars in what I’ve quoted, it strikes me as provocative enough to invite comments. Any takers?