Genetic entropy… Please!!

My response to a Sanford apollogist in a forum:

John Sanford, like the great Young Earth Creationist scientist? You rely on the scientific authority of a deluted man that think that the earth is 6000 years old…
This is getting better and better…

That statement of poor Dr Sanford was based on the work of Crow and Kondrashov, which does not correpond to reality! Empirically we see that species are not extinguished after a few generations. He also made a computer program that proves the quick doom of species… In no way poor Dr. Sanford was arbitrary! But let me give you an example:

In my personal experience, I work with a bacteria that was isolated in the 50′s from the genus Streptomyces. Given that the cultures are renewed on a weekly basis in many different labs around the globe, I think we must be working with virtual bacteria. Believe me they do not present signs of early senescence. Remember, bacteria do not possess a separation of somatic/ germ cell line, it’s all directly inherited. Antibiotic overproducing strains (quite a nice trait to have in the environment! Yep that’s right adaptive advantage) often arise from random mutation screenings with UV light! In fact, pharmaceutical companies use this method to obtain optimized strains. So you see, those mean bacteria that resist genetic entropy empirically refutes poor Dr. Sanford…

If you really want to validate something, you cannot purely rely on mathematical models, bench work is the way! And for what is worth, bacteria would be a tremendous model to test the genetic entropy hypothesis.

Other verified examples:

What is deleterious or positive is not up to you to decide or poor Dr. Sanford! The final judge will be natural selection or genetic drift phenomena. A mutation that is deleterious in one sense may be highly beneficial in other: the example of sikle cell anemia/ malaria illustrates that! Even a putative neutral mutation can be positive in some scenarios: the example of people who are naturally resistant to HIV illustrates that! Environment is an ever-changing madaf****, so adapt or perish!

Therefore, genetic entropy is bogus and the book of poor Dr. Sanford should be renamed from “Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome” into “On the doom of species – How do I mistify the Genome”.

I’ll grant you this, I’ve made one assumption during this debate. I’ve assumed that you were an idiot! But even that has been validated empirically.

I rest my case.

John Sanford… Seriously?! Hilarious!

On the origin of genes

Where does the new genetic material come from?

Well, here’s a really good PEER-REVIEWED article.

De novo origin of human protein-coding genes.

Wu, D.D. et al 2011

The origin of genes can involve mechanisms such as gene duplication, exon shuffling, retroposition, mobile elements, lateral gene transfer, gene fusion/fission, and de novo origination. However, de novo origin, which means genes originate from a non-coding DNA region, is considered to be a very rare occurrence. Here we identify 60 new protein-coding genes that originated de novo on the human lineage since divergence from the chimpanzee, supported by both transcriptional and proteomic evidence. It is inconsistent with the traditional view that the de novo origin of new genes is rare. RNA–seq data indicate that these de novo originated genes have their highest expression in the cerebral cortex and testes, suggesting these genes may contribute to phenotypic traits that are unique to humans, such as development of cognitive ability. Therefore, the importance of de novo origination needs greater appreciation.

http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info…en.1002379

Why ID cannot be taught in science classes!

Intelligent design cannot be taught in science classes simply because it is not science, i.e. it is not refutable. Evolution on the contrary is refutable. If you show me the fossil of a rabbit within cambric fossils, evolution will be refuted! If you demonstrate (bible doesn’t count) that the earth is young, evolution will be refuted!

Learn another thing: evolution is not a theory, is a fact! Modern synthesis fully explains evolution in a very consistent way. So if you want to attack evolution on a scientific basis, you’ll have to attack modern synthesis. However, to do it, you must pose a testable alternative.

Stupid analogies and real analogies.

A common creationist argument is that comparative morphology doesn’t mean a common ancestor; instead, it points out to a common creator. And if you argument that phylogenetics explain the common ancestry, the counter-argument is always an analogy that can be something like this: “imagine an automobile factory, it is obvious that the plans for 2 different utilitarian possess a higher degree of identity between them, than to the plans for a mini-van”. Fair enough, but stupid! And here’s why:

1) Machines do not fornicate or gemulate (seriously!!), thus the analogy is invalid from the beginning..

2) The biological analogies refute this (stupid!!) analogy.

Let me give you the example of the wing in a bat and in an eagle. Aerodynamics dictates that the shape of the wings in both organisms share many characteristics, but if you really look at the genome you’ll realise that it doesn’t point out to a common ancestor. Transposing to the car analogy, they’re both flying animals but the plans (genome sequences) are quite dissimilar. In fact, bats are phylogenetically and morphologically  more related  with a wale (yes, it’s true) than with all the flying birds! This is pure adaptive evolution!!

Probabilities: The last resort!

‘The probabilities of abiogenesis are so low that we can actually put that concept aside’, say creationists! May I reply: can you give me a number for the inteligent designer existence? For a creationist the response would be definitely 1, whereas for a scientist the answer would be “I don’t know and I don’t give a flying f***”.’The point is: abiogenesis possibility may be an improbable hypothesis, but inteligent design is an untestable hypothesis and hence excluded from science by definition.

By the way, what is the probability of our universe being the eye of a cripple Leprechaun?

Why do chickens have wings if they cannot fly?

Why do chickens have wings if they cannot fly? Most certainly because God, in its infinite love, wants us to have fried chicken with little effort!

God wants us to have fried chicken!

Creationists state that vestigial organs are not useless; instead these organs serve other purposes, i.e. god’s  misterious ways. Curiously, they are actually quite right! Indeed, a change in the environment may dictate that a certain organ is no longer needed and thus becomes an obsolete spend of energy. However, in the new set of selective forces, that organ can either become progressively vestigial (in the case it is not needed) or it can become important for a completely different function. Stephen J. Gould explain this with a brilliant analogy in: “The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme”. (http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/SS05/efs/materials/Spandrels.pdf).

As always… the reason why!

Not so long ago I was confronted by a person who trully believes in creationism with the following question: “Do you really think that a clock can be assembled by pure chance?”. Given that I am not a morning person and this question was posed in that (sad) period of the day, I simply replied: “Of course not! Simply because clocks do not fornicate or gemulate.” He just shrugged and walked away thinking that I was just being rude. If he only knew better… In this case I was obviously referring to the fact that evolution can explain complexity without the need of a creator. More especifically, I was referring to the fact that if there is no genetic transmissibility, then evolution will not occur.  And this is the purpose of this blog: a humble effort to clarify some misconceptions about evolution with humour and good science!