[Bioforum] What is/are the mechanism(s) of chromosome fusion?

jim via bioforum%40net.bio.net (by jimp69 from verizon.net)
Thu Jan 14 14:28:20 EST 2010


Sir,

By way of introduction, I am a person who has a strong but non-professional interest in science generally, biology specifically, and evolutionary theory particularly.  As you may know, the Discovery Institute and its shills have flooded the internet with their opinions.  Recently, they have questioned the validity of the evidence for the common ancestry between humans and chimpanzees, by arguing that the fusion of human chromosome 2 never happened.  In its turn, this has created ever-widening ripples of point and counter-point in cyberspace.  Some of the people who write these commentaries say that this specified fusion event is called a Robertsonian Translocation.  

Being the kind of person I am, I naturally searched high and low for anything I could find that identified what are the characteristic features of a Robertsonian Translocation.  Not surprising to me, I have found dozens of references, most of them authoritive and respectful, if rather brief regarding the subject.  One of them was this URL:

http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/bioforum/1994-July/009971.html

which apparently you authored.  

Very surprising to me, few of these source agree with each other, and some of them are outright contradictory.  Most remarkably, as far as I understand these descriptions, none of them match the mechanism for the fusion of human chromosome 2 as described by Dr. Ken Miller in his Dover trial testimony.

Now that I have finished writing what might appear to be a significant fraction of my life story, I can now ask my actual question, which consists of three parts:

1. What do you consider to be the characteristic features of a Robertsonian Translocation?
2. Would you call the biological event that formed the human chromosome 2 by fusing two unbroken ancestral ape chromosomes end-to-end, a Robertsonian Translocation? 
3. Why or why not?

Thank you in advance for any time and effort you can spare to clearing up my confusion,
Jim Pilarski


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