Shi Huang’s Maximum Genetic Diversity (MGD) hypothesis

Has anyone encountered this before? I’ve only had time to browse a couple of Shi Huang’s papers on this subject but they read like pure bunk.

The first red flags included publishing in Rivista di Biologia”, and naming a concept the “First Axiom of Biology”.

Here’s a couple of his papers outlining his hypothesis:

The genetic equidistance result shows that different species are approximately equidistant to a simpler outgroup in protein se- quence similarity, as first reported by Margoliash in 1963. This result, together with those of Zuckerkandl and Pauling in 1962 inspired the molecular clock and in turn the neutral theory of evolution. Here it is shown that the clock/neutral theory had from the beginning overlooked another characteristic of the equidistance result, the overlap feature, which shows a large number of overlapped mutant amino acid positions where any pair of any three species is different provided that the species concerned differ from one another in complexity as a result of macroevolution. In contrast, when simple organisms of similar complexity and short evolutionary divergence are compared, there are only a small number of overlaps largely consistent with chance or the neutral theory. The full reality of the equidis- tance result strongly supports the Maximum Genetic Diversity hypothesis, a more complete account of hereditary changes.

The genetic equidistance phenomenon shows complex taxa to be all approximately equidistant to a less complex species in amino acid percentage identity. The overlooked mystery was re-interpreted by the maximum genetic diversity hypothesis (MGD). Here, we studied 14 proteomes and their coding DNA sequences (CDS) to see if the equidistance phenomenon also holds at the CDS level. We found that the outgroup taxon was equidistant to the two more complex taxa species. When two sister taxa were compared to human as the outgroup, the more complex taxon was closer to human, confirming species complexity to be the primary determinant of MGD. Finally, we found the fraction of overlap sites to be inversely correlated with CDS conservation, indicating saturation to be more common in less conserved DNAs. These results establish the genetic equidistance phenomenon to be universal at the DNA level and provide additional evidence for the MGD theory.

Here’s his page on the “third way of evolution” site, explaining that Huang takes issue with the idea of a neutral (constant) molecular clock explaining the observation of genetic equidistance between outgroup species and members of an ingroup:

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He’s posted a bunch of this stuff over at Larry Moran’s blog in the past, but I haven’t looked closely at it.

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Ah yes, “gnomon”

You may be less familiar with Shi Huang. He is also part of the Third Way movement but we’ve recently learned a lot more about him because he posts comments under the name “gnomon.”
Sandwalk: Genomics journal is about to embarrass itself with a special issue on junk DNA

My favourite comment of Huang’s from that comments section:

“The overlap feature of the genetic equidistance result, on which I had a full peer reviewed paper published by an evolution research institute named after the only biologist who won a Nobel for studying evolution, apparently means nothing to you.”

He’s referring to his 2010 paper in “Biological Theory”, a journal sponsored by the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. Because everyone knows that only the best papers can get published by a journal sponsored by a institute named after a Nobel prize winner!


From his Researchgate site:

“Molecular interpretation using MGD-based methods reveal novel insights on the origins of humans and other primates that are consistent with fossil evidence and common sense, and reestablished the important role of China in the evolution of humans. MGD theory has also uncovered an important genetic mechanism in the construction of complex traits and the pathogenesis of complex diseases. We here made a series of sequence comparisons among yeasts, fishes and primates to illustrate the concept of limit on genetic distance. The idea of limit or optimum is in line with the yin-yang paradigm in the traditional Chinese view of the universal creative law in nature.”

Balderdash. It is established beyond dispute the primary role of the Klingon Empire in all of evolution.

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