Fuz Rana of RTB is sounding more and more like the writers at EN. Please look at this piece and let us know if there is any science here. To me, it is DI-like ramblings on ID.
Typical creationist inference: one member of a large class of sequences is functional, therefore all members of the class are functional. (Actually, I’m not sure this pseudogene is functional, given the explanation.)
This is an interesting question of terminology. Suppose you have a kid’s plastic swimming pool that has a leak in the bottom, so you have to leave the hose on all the time to keep the pool full. Now suppose the leak gets patched but you leave the hose on, causing the pool to overflow. Does that mean the leak was functional because it prevented the pool from overflowing?
Reminds me of @evograd ‘s excellent recent blog post where he discusses the ‘functionality’ of pseudogenes in depth with relevant papers on the topic a bit of the way down the page:
Reviewing “Replacing Darwin” – Part 7: A Nuclear Catastrophe – EvoGrad
[NOTE: I completely flubbed on this post, so ignore everything below.]
From the article:
According to Rana, the pseudogene was non-functional before the mutation so it was junk DNA even according to Rana’s own definition. The mutation gave it function. A mutation creating function in previously non-functional DNA is strong evidence for evolution. This may be a case of being hoisted by your own petard.
From the article:
This is definitely wrong. It seems creationists are still clinging to the ENCODE project. Only around 10% of the human genome has sequence specific function.
What do you mean? The paper (and Rana) suggest that the pseudogene regulates proper expression of the FAAH gene. The mutation to the pseudogene stops this regulation, causing the disease phenotype.
I guess I should have read closer. OOPS.
I can’t believe that Rana gets paid $160K for this stuff. @AJRoberts, Deb Haarsma, and @Agauger do the same (or perhaps better) science work and are paid much less. Is this an example of women scientists being paid less than men scientists? I guess the same applies to Christian apologetics as well.
@AJRoberts you should ask for a raise.
@Patrick I’d settle for more funds to travel and host/attend workshops and conferences. Good scholarship depends on getting out of the echo-chambers. I’m not in it for the money. I keep making career choices that lower my income! Not the best plan for financial success; huh?!
Fuz works really hard and does an incredible amount of work for RTB. No animosity here. But gender based discrepancies in pay are everywhere. (As are discrepancies in titles and general lack of respect for accomplishments reflected in other ways, aka implicit bias.) Reality. And it doesn’t matter how successful or good the women are.
Unfortunately Christian apologetics or other organizations also face historical patristic bias. It’s a good thing not to live this life focused on the discrepancies, but on all the radical ground-leveling promises and affirmations found in Jesus. At least that’s how I navigate it and keep my sanity.
If only RTB would stick with traditional, modest scale apologetics, instead of this drivel. It’s just embarrassing. This is why I eventually stopped reading anything they wrote, years ago.
Hugh Ross is good on astronomy. But Fuz Rana is getting worse and worse on evolutionary science. His professional expertise is not remotely close. He picks up the latest science daily articles and then twists them and usually gets them totally mashed up and incorrect. His assessments on the latest in Human Origins like Neanderthals Denosivans and Homo Erectus is so contrary to the latest finding that he is bringing RTB down to the level of EN and AiG. RTB should stick with the astronomy and let Biologos handle the evolutionary science.
Yearly performance reviews are a necessary evil.
I think the criticisms above have merit but I don’t think we should dismiss this argument that common descent (above the genus level) may not be true. There are other problems along with finding function in pseudo genes. Reconciling splicing changes and how large numbers of genes getting fixed in the population is another.
If you include guidance in common descent then all these problems get handled but then common descent just becomes speculation of how creation was produced.
Interpreting Bill’s incoherence can be a strain. Somebody want to deal with it?
I lost the will.
Genera are human designations that are in large part arbitrary conventions. The level of diversity (e.g., number of species, morphological and genetic differences, etc.) found within genera is wildly variable across different taxa. It makes zero sense to treat any particular Linnaean category as “the limit” for common descent.
If we can show that these changes are very unlikely given proposed evolutionary mechanisms I think it is ok.
How would you model that evolutionary mechanisms can create change beyond the genus level to counter Behe’s argument?
What I’m saying is there is no such as thing as “beyond the genus level” because “genus level” is not a thing that exist in the biological world apart from human convention.
BioLogos has royally screwed that up in recent years. This is not a good plan.
Chimps and humans are in different genera, and the pattern of differences between the two genera are consistent with observed and known processes of mutation: