Evolution Archive List

Sun, 30 May 1999 13:15:00 EDT

Subj: Re: evolution archive list
CC: Huxter4441

Huxter said:
>##### Sincerity or none, Denton used out of date data for his claims, and as
>one familiar with the literature and how to search it, he MUST have known
>about the more recent papers. Then it becomes a question of motive. WHile
>it is not uncommon for researchers to use 'old' data to support a claim, it
is >uncommon for them to use 'old' data that has been supplanted by newer,
more >complete data. He can 'believe' whatever he wants to, but if he is
going to use >scientific evidence to prop up his beliefs, he'd be well
advised to use data that >actually supports him.

I hope you are not a scientist. I would hate to think most scientists
regard such deceit as common practice. I would hope those willing to use
fraud are very, very rare-- including those scientists whose conclusions I
disagree with.

>>Your information is interesting and seems compelling evidence for common
>>descent. Thanks. You say the bulk of the mutations are in non-coding
>>DNA regions. (Am I right?) Therefore they couldn't have evolved. (Not
>>by Natural Selection, anyway.)

>##### They most certainly could (can) - it is called drift. Since the DNA
in >these non-coding regions is neither detrimental nor beneficial, mutations
>therein can become fixed in a population, and 'spred' via descent. This is
>'covered' by the neutral theory, which has a great deal of observational
support >in its support.

Could you explain in more detail how Natural Selection works on non-coding
regions of DNA? Natural selection allows the survival of those traits which
allow tho organism to produce the most survivable offspring, right? How
could non-coding DNA contribute to the "fitness" of the organism, and
therefore be "selected"?

>#### I would not say non-coding regions are 'random nonsense' - at least not
>all such regions. Some areas of non-coding (i.e., those that do not specify
a >protein product) DNA are involved in the regulation of gene expression by
>providing binding sites for proteins involved in such activity.

Some non-coding DNA specify protein products? How is it determined which
protein products they specify? Other non-coding DNA provide binding sites?
How do they do that if they are not expressed?

> Most, however, are not, as can be seen in experiments in which large
>amounts of these regions are removed with no detrimental effects, or even in
>observed instances of large-scale natural deletions. My own hunch (for
which >I have no evidence, just an observation) is that the bulk of what is
now 'junk' >DNA may at one time have been functional genes, or duplicates of
functional >genes, that were mutated out of service, and which are now free
from the >contstraints of selection. Pseudogenes - genes that have had their
promoter >regions 'turned off' via mutation, accumulate mutations at 4 times
the rate of >functional genes. What do you mean by 'information?'

By information I meant coding for proteins or gene regulation. But you've
already answered that by explaining that non-coding DNA does code for
proteins and provide binding spots. Thank you for your patience.