"Genome Research" Theory Q&A: 3/4

Periannan Senapathy sena at genome.com
Fri Apr 7 08:46:13 EST 1995

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   In fact, the reputed protein structural biochemist and
crystallographer Dr. Colin Blake of Oxford University has said that
this theory comprehensively explains the origin of the split genes of
eukaryotes from random primordial DNA sequences and the origin of the
splicing process (ref: Holland, S.K. and Blake, C.C.F., 1990,
Proteins, Exons, and Molecular Evolution, In Intervening Sequencing
in Evolution and Development, Stone, E.M. and Schwartz, R.J., eds.,
Oxford University Press, New York, page 32): 

   Obviously this finding solves a problem that has been unsolvable
for traditional evolution theory and its modern variants, which all
base their analysis of life on earth on the presumed precedence of
prokaryotic genes and prokaryotic genomes.  Please note that it is
this incorrect assumption that makes evolutionary biologists unable
to explain the origin of even the simplest living cell.

   In fact, I show in the book that given a small finite quantity of
random genetic material, then we could find almost all the genes for
proteins with almost any biochemical function in it.  Then it is not
difficult to demonstrate the possibility that these genes could
self-assemble into numerous genomes.  Again, please note that I am
not saying that the self-assembly produced only viable genomes
capable of giving rise to viable organisms.  To the contrary, I give
probabilistic considerations that show even if one in a million such
randomly self-assembled genomes could give rise to any meaningful
multicellular masses, still the genes present in that finite DNA in a
primordial pond would be able to give rise to billions of complete
genomes leading to the independent origin of multitudes of organisms. 
In fact, such a scenario fully explains why the same genes as well as
utterly unrelatable genes are present in the numerous unrelatable
organisms.  And in fact, this is the only way that we can explain the
mix-and-match mosaic scenario that we observe from the living
organisms today.  The point I am trying to make is that the scenario
of life on earth, including the presence of similar DNA sequences in
widely distinct organisms has been misinterpreted because evolution
has long been mistakenly regarded as an established fact.

   Keith Robinson again:

   > Senapathy brings up the tired old rhetoric about the
   > impossibility of evolving an eye, arguing it is more likely for
   > an eye to spring _in toto_ from the primordial soup.  Recent
   > computer simulations have shown how a very slight the required
   > selective gradient is for the evolution of a focusing eye from
   > a simple photosensitive spot.

   Yes! I certainly say that it is far more likely to assemble the
genes for constructing an eye directly from the primordial pond's
vast gene pool than to evolve an eye starting from a primitive
organism that lacks even a photoreceptor.  This fundamental theme of
organizing the genes for even morphologically complex organs directly
from the primordial pond is precisely what the new theory is all
about.  The book provides many valid scientific principles and
corroborations to demonstrate this thesis.   Certainly no computer
simulation is acceptable unless it characterizes mutational process
at the level of DNA, genes and proteins.  To my knowledge no one has
ever demonstrated the evolution of a complex eye by any kind of
simulation involving the fundamental blueprint of DNA and genes, and
in my view no one ever will.

   Tom Holroyd (tomh at bambi.ccs.fau.edu) writes:

   > Work in artificial evolution using computers (GP and GA) has
   > shown that crossover is a more important mechanism for variation
   > than simple point mutations.  If pre-Cambrian organisms simply
   > replicated themselves, then the emergence of sexual reproduction
   > could have ushered in a large increase in variation - what we
   > now call the Cambrian Explosion.
   > Senapathy's theory suggests an even more dramatic mechanism than
   > the shuffling of genes via sex.  As I understand it, sets of
   > genes became capable of spontaneous self-assembly into genomes,
   > some of which produced viable organisms.  Instead of crossover
   > between similar genomes, there was wholesale re-creation of the
   > genome from a large set of genes each generation. I like the
   > idea of self-assembly.

Thanks for understanding the possibility of self-assembly of genes
into genomes that could produce viable organisms.

   Again from Tom Holroyd:
   > I think Senapathy underestimates the amount of variation that
   > is possible with ordinary Darwinian evolution.  Computer
   > simulations using only mutation would, indeed, not produce the
   > required amount, but as stated earlier, crossover is a more
   > potent force.

In fact, cross-over can only reshuffle or reassort the many variants
of a constant set of genes in a genome, leading only to individual
variations.  As described above, even all the known mechanisms of
genetic mutation and rearrangement collectively cannot explain the
origin of distinct organisms.  I do agree, however, that these
mutational mechanisms are capable of changing every independently
born organism into a set of similar organisms, which are now
classified into genus and/or family.     

Greg Buchanan (gbuchanan at dhvx20.csudh.edu) writes:

   > I agree that there is evidence for micro-evolution based on
   > studies and observations by Darwin.  However, I dont see how
   > micro-evolution is proof for macro-evolution.  To say that a
   > finch develops a different shaped beak due to environmental
   > change is one thing. To say that that same finch originated
   > from a less complex form is quite another.

   I equate micro-evolution to the changes that occur within every
distinct, independently born organism by means of all the mechanisms
of genetic mutation and rearrangement.  These, as we discussed above,
can only lead to the normal individual variations and to the similar
species of every distinct organism, that are now classified into the
genera and families.  Beyond that, what is termed ("macro evolution")
in evolution theory is simply based on belief.  Based on 1) the
inability of genetic mutation to explain macro-evolution, 2) the
ability of my new theory to explain the origin of many genomes
independently from the primordial pond, and 3) the appearance of all
distinct organisms (all phyla, and most classes and orders) right in
the Cambrian explosion, we can see that the concept of macroevolution
is false, and it did not, does not, and will not occur.

   The problem of the origin of higher taxa is well known to
evolutionary biologists (ref: Eli C Minkoff and Douglas J Futuyma,
authors of two popular text books on evolutionary biology, both
entitled Evolutionary Biology).  The explanations offered for this
problem so far--from Richard Goldschmidt's Hopeful monster hypothesis
to Stephen Gould's and Niles Eldredge's Punctuated Equilibrium--are
only truly speculative interpretations of the scenario.  The scenario
is therefore subject to newer interpretations by alternative
theories--if any can offer a valid genetic explanation.

   Andrew MacRae (macrae at pandora.geo.ucalgary.ca) says:

   > The Cambrian was brief on a geological scale, but a) it does
   > have a succession of faunas over a significant period of time
   > (i.e. they are not simultaneous).

   The succession of fauna within the Cambrian explosion opposes
evolution theory, which demands that from a single primitive organism
all the distinct organisms in the explosion should have evolved
within the short geological period.  From all known accounts of
molecular biology, this is simply improbable and unexplainable.  As
Stephen J. Gould notes (1989, Wonderful Life, W.W. Norton, New York),
complexity existed right at the beginning of the Cambrian explosion,
and this is enigmatic for evolution theory:

   This "Cambrian explosion" marks the advent (at least into direct
   evidence) of virtually all major groups of modern animals--and
   all within the minuscule span, geologically speaking, of a few
   million years [pg 24]. ... This chronology poses the two classic
   puzzles of the Cambrian explosion--enigmas that obsessed Darwin
   and remain central riddles of life's history:  (1) Why did
   multicellular life appear so late? (2) And why do these
   anatomically complex creatures have no direct, simpler precursors
   in the fossil record of Precambrian times? ...  Darwin has been
   vindicated by a rich Precambrian record, all discovered in the
   past thirty years.  Yet the peculiar character of this evidence
   has not matched Darwin's prediction of a continuous rise in
   complexity toward Cambrian life, and the problem of the Cambrian
   explosion has remained as stubborn as ever--if not more so,
   since our confusion now rests on knowledge, rather than ignorance,
   about the nature of Precambrian life. [pgs 56-57]

   In fact, the Ediacara softbodied fauna is barely Precambrian in
age and, according to evolutionists, may represent a failed
independent experiment in multicellular life.  (Although according to
my theory this fauna is a separate pond life.)  In any event, Gould
asks:  So if the true ancestors of Cambrian creatures lacked hard
parts, why have we not found them in the abundant deposits that
contain the soft-bodied Ediacara fauna?  It is obvious that many
complex organisms existed right at the beginning of the Cambrian
explosion for which evolution theory has no explanation.

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