Thursday, May 4, 2017

Call to Ken Miller Regarding Chromosome 2

Hoax Busters: Conspiracy or just Theory? - Live & Recorded Episodes:

Kenneth Miller

"Kenneth Raymond Miller is an American cell biologist and molecular biologist who is currently Professor of Biology and Royce Family Professor for Teaching Excellence at Brown University."

I (Chris Kendall) speak with Ken Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University to speak about, what I was told, is the single greatest piece of evidence for Evolution Theory. From what I gather, chromosome fusion happen regularly but usually not regarded as evolutionarily significant. Also of interest, Mr. Miller was not familiar with the convergent evolution claim in regards to squid bioluminescence trait that is regarded as an example of "convergent evolution".

In Evolutionary Biology, does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Hmmm...

"Striking" similarity in gene sequencing can be observed in unrelated animal species, as in the case of unrelated squid that both possess the bioluminescence trait, have "strikingly similar" genetic "synteny"and are regarded as examples of convergent evolution, meaning that the similarities are not the result of ancestry yet, in the case of humans, any sequencing we share with the great apes, is regarded as highly significant.

So basically the question is this, why is a given set of observations regarded as significant to make a case for a certain conclusion and yet, in another instance, comfortably accommodates the opposite conclusion?

That's really the question I had for Ken, but failed to wedge it in when he launched into to his human/squid eye comparison dissertation.

"In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches."

"Unless there are strong constraints, the probability of complex organs originating multiple times through similar trajectories should be vanishingly small. Here, we report that similar light-producing organs (photophores) evolved separately in two squid species, yet each organ expresses similar genes at comparable levels. Gene expression is so similar that overall expression levels alone can predict organ identity, even in separately evolved traits of squid species separated by tens of millions of years. The striking similarity of expression of hundreds of genes in distinct photophores indicates complex trait evolution may sometimes be more constrained and predictable than expected"

Another question...How qualified is Ken to make emphatic declarations about DNA, at this point?...

"In fact, the human genome is littered with pseudogenes, gene fragments, "orphaned" genes, "junk" DNA, and so many repeated copies of pointless DNA sequences that it cannot be attributed to anything that resembles intelligent design. If the DNA of a human being or any other organism resembled a carefully constructed computer program, with neatly arranged and logically structured modules, each written to fulfill a specific function, the evidence of intelligent design would be overwhelming. In fact the genome resembles nothing so much as a hodgepodge of borrowed, copied, mutated, and discarded sequences and commands that has been cobbled together by millions of years of trial and error against the relentless test of survival. It works, and it works brilliantly; not because of intelligent design, but because of the great blind power of natural selection to innovate, to test, and to discard what fails in favor of what succeeds. The organisms that remain alive today, ourselves included, are evolution's great successes."
"Life's Grand Design," Technology Review 97, no. 2 (1994): 28-29, by Kenneth R. Miller

"For years, the vast stretches of DNA between our 20,000 or so protein-coding genes" more than 98% of the genetic sequence inside each of our cells" was written off as "junk" DNA. Already falling out of favour in recent years, this concept will now, with Encode's work, be consigned to the history books."

Yet another question...Why is it that biologist aren't required to be highly conversant in coding?...

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