Hacking the Genome

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: June 15, 2012

In pondering genome structure and function, evolutionary geneticist Laurence Hurst has arrived at some unanticipated conclusions about how natural selection has molded our DNA.
By Karen Hopkin | June 1, 2012
Excerpt: The biggest question of all: Is the genome like an exquisitely engineered Swiss watch, in which carefully crafted parts fit together perfectly and every feature is optimized to function flawlessly? Or, as Hurst puts it, “is it just some cheap Mickey Mouse watch that’ll tell you the time, but its components are poor-quality and it includes lots of crap that’s frankly unnecessary?”
My Comment: Rarely do we see evolutionary geneticists take a stand favoring the “exquisitely engineered Swiss watch” position that so often annoys evolutionary theorists. It is rarer still to see someone succinctly clarify this fact: “It was originally asserted that gene order in mammals is random. This was before anybody even had a complete eukaryotic genome, which was theoretical hubris taken to the nth degree.”
The arrogance of evolutionary theorists who have yet to learn anything about how natural selection continues to epigenetically alter our DNA via the effect of nutrient chemicals and pheromones is like a weight to be dragged forward into a new age of explanations coming from molecular biology.

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