Fascinating! I wonder if anyone has compiled a website with a title like “The Catalog of Broken Genes.” Even as someone with limited knowledge of evolutionary biology and genomics, I can think of quite a few “broken genes” in an ever growing list which constitute powerful evidence for Common Descent.
SIDE NOTE: As a has-been linguist, I am often impressed at how effectively scientists have used mnemonic morphemes in their terminology since the dawn of modern science. For example, in Joshua’s post he referred to chitinase. Now I had never seen that term before—but because it combines descriptive morphemes, I instantly knew that chitinase must be an enzyme (due to the -ase suffix) which digests/degrades/breaks-down the chitin which is important to arthropod exoskeletons as well as fungi structures. It is also worth noting that chitin is a polysaccharide, where the Greek morpheme poly means “many” and saccharide is from the Greek word for sugar. So a polysaccharide is a molecule consisting of many sugars (typically glucose, though other simple sugars are also possible, if I recall correctly.) Even without any training in biochemistry, I would instantly have a good idea what the term polysaccharide describes.
I think science education, even at the middle-school level, would be greatly aided by one-credit hour courses on Greek and Latin morphemes. Even learning just a few hundred morphemes would go a very long way. This would greatly aid reading comprehension, not only in science but in philosophy, art, mathematics, political science, and many other fields of the humanities.
It always saddens me when I hear politicians, journalists, comedians, and even some Christian apologists who should know better deriding scientists for “speaking jargon”, as if the technical terminology is meant to confuse or obscure. In reality, I’m often favorably impressed at how the technical terms coined by scientists are remarkably effective at communicating meanings. Chitinase is just the latest example which I could cite.