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Darwinists try to come to terms with horizontal gene transfer


Where bacteria mutate simply by sharing genes, not by Darwinian struggle, survival of the fittest, etc.

From “Study Shows Unified Process of Evolution in Bacteria and Sexual Eukaryotes”
(ScienceDaily, Apr. 5, 2012), we learn,

But how an advantageous mutation spreads from a single bacterium to all the other bacteria in a population is an open scientific question. Does the gene containing an advantageous mutation pass from bacterium to bacterium, sweeping through an entire population on its own? Or does a single individual obtain the gene, then replicate its entire genome many times to form a new and better-adapted population of identical clones? Conflicting evidence supports both scenarios.

In a paper appearing in the April 6 issue of Science, researchers in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) provide evidence that advantageous mutations can sweep through populations on their own. The study reconciles the previously conflicting evidence by showing that after these gene sweeps, recombination becomes less frequent between bacterial strains from different populations, yielding a pattern of genetic diversity resembling that of a clonal population.

The “single individual”would be vastly more suited to Darwinism (“survival of the fittest”) than the gene sweep, which has been generally conceded (including in the authors’ paper) to be the way it really happens.

The release reads somewhat confusingly, probably because a Darwinian thesis is being confuted by evidence; most researchers prefer to talk around such matters.

The problem no one wants to confront is that if lateral gene transfer is a usual way bacteria mutate, then Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) does not create new information but merely winnows it – which is the role ID theorists assign to it.

Then what is the source of new information?

ForJah, you appear to be presuming that a) the mechanisms for HGT are entirely "natural"; and b) that the source of the original information needs not be accounted for. Both of those assumptions are questionable. See this video. Specifically, conjugation appears to rely on a specific mechanism for the transfer of plasmids. Transformation also appears reliant on a mechanism for importing gene fragments. And the transfer of existing information does not explain the genesis of that information. At best it shows some specific ways that information can be propagated once it exists. Chance Ratcliff
I know this is an old topic but I can't seem to find anything on horizontal gene transfer and it's relation to ID. IF horizontal gene transfer can happen...then it does create new information. Right? If a slug turns green because of what it sucked from someone else, it has developed an innovative feature. Therefore, that falsifies ID since a purely natural process can cause new information. ForJah

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