Evolution by Gene Duplication Falsified

first_imgA common hypothesis in evolutionary circles is evolution by gene duplication.  It posits that duplicated genes are free to evolve new functions without affecting the primary gene.  This idea has been dealt a serious blow by a paper published in Complexity on Dec. 22.1    Joseph Esfandiar Hannon Bozorgmehr first dealt a falsifying blow to natural selection as a creative force for genetic information:Research into the evolution of genes has shown that the peptides they code for are of a finicky and precarious nature, both marginally stable and prone to aggregation.  Protein folding happens to be a highly complex and synergistic process, involving a number of epistatic relationships among many residues.  This phenomenon, compounded with the issue of interactions between protein molecules, can significantly complicate adaptive evolution such that in the majority of cases the overall effects on reproductive fitness are very slight.  Many arguably “beneficial” mutations have been observed to incur some sort of cost and so can be classified as a form of antagonistic pleiotropy.2    Indeed, the place and extent of natural selection as a force for change in molecular biology have been questioned in recent years.  Detecting the incidence of any beneficial substitutions in genes has so far relied on statistical inferences as empirical evidence is less readily available.  In many instances, nonsynonymous changes and shifts in allelic diversity may be induced by factors that can serve to imitate selective effects—biased gene conversion, mutational and recombinational hotspots, hitchhiking, or even neutral drift being among them.  Moreover, several well-known factors such as the linkage and the multilocus nature of important phenotypes tend to restrain the power of Darwinian evolution, and so represent natural limits to biological change.  Selection, being an essentially negative filter, tends to act against variation including mutations previously believed to be innocuous.That’s right out of the starting gate in this paper.  What about gene duplication?  Isn’t evolution free to “tinker” with the copy (paralog) without affecting the function of the original?  The idea that natural selection is more permissive with duplicated genes was analyzed by Bozorgmehr.  Then he examined the best examples presented by evolutionary biologists.  For a duplicate to be preserved at all, rather than eliminated by negative selection (also called purifying selection), it must provide some benefit:Were selection to be completely relaxed and any manner of changes permitted, this would only serve to guarantee complete degeneration.  It would invariably lead to the introduction of null and nonsense mutations, scrambling the open reading frame (ORF), and degrading the cisregulatory elements involved in transcription—leading to the gene’s pseudogenization.  Thus, a measure of purifying/stabilizing selection seems necessary for duplicate preservation, and any evolutionary divergence would proceed under a relaxed regime rather than none at all.His primary purpose was to see if novel genetic information can arise by gene duplication.  He first defined information in functional terms (contra Shannon information): genetic information is “The qualitative increase in operational capability and functional specificity with no resultant uncertainty of outcome.”  The paper then described how to test for novel genetic information, described the way evolutionists believe it arises in duplicated genes, and looked at the best examples cited in the literature.    When citing one case, he stated a principle Darwinians need to keep in mind: “A key problem associated with the Darwinian mechanism of evolution is that many of the putative incipient and intermediate stages in the development of a biological trait may not be useful themselves and may even be harmful.”  Finally, the author spent a paragraph on “de novo recruitment without duplication”; i.e., the emergence of new genetic information out of the blue.  “This represents a return to the idea of the hopeful monster at the molecular level,” he said of recent attempts to revive Goldschmidt’s long-discredited hypothesis (cf. 02/24/2010).  After looking at the examples, he said, “de novo recruitment of noncoding DNA would seem extremely improbable and implausible.”    In conclusion, he noted that accidental gene duplication clearly adds to the size of some genomes.  “However, in all of the examples given above, known evolutionary mechanisms were markedly constrained in their ability to innovate and to create any novel information, he said.  “This natural limit to biological change can be attributed mostly to the power of purifying selection, which, despite being relaxed in duplicates, is nonetheless ever-present.”  He allowed that subfunctionalization (division of function between copies) might act in some cases, but that, too, provides no new functional information (cf. 10/24/2003, 07/26/2006, 10/17/2007).  Then he examined cases of co-option cited by Darwinists, but found, again, that “a proclivity toward functional stability and the conservation of information, as opposed to any adventurous innovation, predominates.”    In short, neo-Darwinism fails by both natural selection and tinkering with duplicate genes.The various postduplication mechanisms entailing random mutations and recombinations considered were observed to tweak, tinker, copy, cut, divide, and shuffle existing genetic information around,but fell short of generating genuinely distinct and entirely novel functionality.  Contrary to Darwin’s view of the plasticity of biological features, successive modification and selection in genes does indeed appear to have real and inherent limits: it can serve to alter the sequence, size, and function of a gene to an extent, but this almost always amounts to a variation on the same theme—as with RNASE1B in colobine monkeys.  The conservation of all-important motifs within gene families, such as the homeobox or the MADS-box motif, attests to the fact that gene duplication results in the copying and preservation of biological information, and not its transformation as something original.His ending paragraph is like a good-news-bad-news joke on neo-Darwinism.  Good news: “Gradual natural selection is no doubt important in biological adaptation and for ensuring the robustness of the genome in the face of constantly changing environmental pressures.”  Bad news: “However, its potential for innovation is greatly inadequate as far as explaining the origination of the distinct exonic sequences that contribute to the complexity of the organism and diversity of life.”    So what comes next after neo-Darwinism’s demise?  He didn’t offer a replacement evolutionary theory, but warned that any new contender must think holistically about the cell (cf. 04/02/2008).  “Any alternative/revision to Neo-Darwinism has to consider the holistic nature and organization of information encoded in genes, which specify the interdependent and complex biochemical motifs that allow protein molecules to fold properly and function effectively.”  None of the 95 references in the paper referred to intelligent design or creationist sources.1.  Bozorgmehr, “Is Gene Duplication a Viable Explanation for the Origination of Biological Information and Complexity?,” Complexity 22 Dec 2010, DOI: 10.1002/cplx.20365.2.  Regarding pleiotropy, see 01/17/2005, 10/17/2007 bullet 3, 11/03/2008, 04/02/2008, and 04/12/2006.  Regarding antagonistic pleiotropy, see 09/30/2010 and 06/30/2009, 03/17/2003.  Regarding epistasis, see 10/17/2007 bullets 3-4, 12/14/2006 and 10/19/2004.Whew.  Now that that’s over, it’s time to clean up the mess left by the Darwin Party parade.  Don’t let any new usurpers in the lab who don’t understand biological information and the holistic nature and organization of information encoded in genes.  Scientists need to learn from their mistakes.  They haven’t learned yet.  Evolution has been falsified many times before (e.g., 10/19/2004), and yet the myth goes on.    Bozorgmehr did not refer to intelligent design, and did not cite any ID sources, but arrived at the same conclusions about the natural limits to biological change that creationists and ID advocates have been preaching for decades.  This indicates that common sense and honest evaluation of the facts falsifies Darwinism without reliance on religious or creationist sources.  (Where ever did anyone get the idea that informational codes could arise, or have any meaning, apart from intelligent design?)(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Slot machines ‘target the poor’

first_img15 August 2003South Africa does not need the rollout of additional slot machines, as they are likely to target poor people, according to Rob Davis, chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry.Davis was speaking at the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Project’s public debate on poverty and gambling on Wednesday.The issue has been under constant debate since three months ago, when the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board announced its intention to roll out 3 000 gambling machines in the province by the end of 2005.“The limited payout machines (LPMs) are not intended to be placed in casinos, which targeted by tourists; they will be in licensed taverns, in corner shops and will be largely targeted at the poor,” Davis said.He explained that large numbers of people were ignorant about the odds and the extent of the prize money involved in this form of gambling.“They expect to win large amounts of money to pay household debts and support their families. The fact is that if you hit the jackpot on one of these machines, you will not win more than R500.”He said a lot of people were hooked on gambling as they believed if they won once, they would keep on winning, making them spend much more money than they could afford.Waldie Terblanche, of the Western Cape social development and poverty alleviation department, said the constant availability of the LPMs would have a largely negative impact on poor communities.“We pay out about R280-million per month on social grants in the province. We are worried by certain indicators that people use their grants for gambling instead of household necessities,” he said.According to Terblanche, gambling is a non-productive activity serving as a source of entertainment for rich people who could afford to lose money, but acting only as a temptation to poor people desperately trying to break away from poverty.“We believe that legal gambling should not be rolled out in our poorer communities and that LPMs should not be rolled out at this stage,” he said.A recent study on the socio-economic impact of gambling revealed that 72.5% of the 2 050 participants in the study gambled in the 12 months preceding the study. Of those interviewed, 71.3% indicated that they would have spent their money on household necessities if they had not gambled.The study also found that 22.1% of casino gamblers were unemployed, and that 21.2% earned less than R500 a month.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Computational Propaganda: 70+ Governments use Social Media to Manipulate Opinion

first_imgSuppressing human rightsDiscrediting political opponentsChallenging and drowning out dissenting opinions Philip Howard, director of the Oxford Internet Institute, said that “the manipulation of public opinion over social media remains a critical threat to democracy, as computational propaganda becomes a pervasive part of everyday life. Although propaganda has always been a part of politics, the wide-ranging scope of these campaigns raises critical concerns for modern democracy.” Zeynep Tufecki, researcher, said that “disinformation is a little bit like fat, sugar and salt – humans know it’s bad for them, but at the same time they want a little bit more of it. That’s what algorithms are designed to amplify.” Social media is increasingly being manipulated as a tool for political propaganda. Evidence of manipulation of media in more than 70 different countries by at least one government agency or political party, according to research by the Oxford Internet Institute.center_img “The use of computational propaganda to shape public attitudes via social media has become mainstream, extending far beyond the actions of a few bad actors. In an information environment characterized by high volumes of information and limited levels of user attention and trust, the tools and techniques of computational propaganda are becoming a common – and arguably essential – part of digital campaigning and public diplomacy,” according to the research. The report found that social media is used for controlling information with the goals of:last_img read more

Government Ministers talk water in Nassau Bahamas at CWWA conference

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamian music legend gunned down at home in Turks and Caicos Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bi-lateral talks with Bahamas to resume, UK gives green light to high-level TCI delegation Related Items:bahamas, bahamas deputy prime minister, caribbean water and waste water association, Government ministers, jamaica workinister, phillip davis, tci goverment support groupcenter_img Recommended for you Nassau, 09 Oct 2014 – MINISTERIAL MEETING at Caribbean Water and Waste Water Association conference includes Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister, Turks and Caicos Govt Support Services Minister and Jamaica’s Works Minister. The Bahamas is spending $83 Million dollars with Miya Bahamas for an expansive project in Nassau to reduce water loss.Jamaicans are distressing their system of water delivery to the country by the Govt by not paying their bills. Turks and Caicos is still plagued by challenges stemming from hurricanes and storms.Dep PM Hon Philip Davis said the high level talks were fruitful. Former PM And Deputy PM Christie and Davis Deep in Water Debtlast_img read more

Emery Ramsey remains focused at Arsenal

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery remains pleased with Aaron Ramsey’s commitment on the pitch and will respect whatever decision he makes over his futureReports emerged earlier today claiming that Ramsey has agreed to join Serie A champions Juventus on a free transfer this summer.Apparently, a pre-contract agreement between Ramsey and Juventus will be sorted out after the Bianconeri’s Coppa Italia game against AC Milan next Wednesday.But Emery refused to shed any light on Ramsey’s future and instead praised the Welsh star’s commitment to Arsenal.“I cannot say more about his situation,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“The most important thing is that Aaron Ramsey is with us. His future I respect a lot because he has a very private decision but he is with us every day, and I repeat that I am very happy with him.”Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.Ramsey played the full 90 minutes of last Saturday’s FA Cup third round 3-0 win at Blackpool.“In the last match I was very happy with him,” added Emery.“I asked in the last match at Blackpool if he is okay to help us play and he said, ‘Yeah, coach, I want to play’ and he played with a very big behaviour and commitment to us.“After, his future belongs to him, his family and agent. Every day he’s here with us, he’s working very well. I want his behaviour and his focus to be on West Ham on Saturday.”The Spaniard also announced that Arsenal will only be able to do loan signings this month.last_img read more