An ID perspective on epigenetics
|February 11, 2017||Posted by News under Epigenetics, News|
Someone asked. Essentially, a great deal of important biological information is captured and stored outside of our DNA, as opposed to arising, Darwinism-style, through random genetic mutations. Neo-Darwinian evolution means that all new traits are due to mutations in DNA, acted on by “natural selection.”
Jonathan Wells summarizes the problem here:
[T]he idea that embryo development is controlled by a genetic program is inconsistent with the biological evidence. Embryo development requires far more ontogenetic information than is carried by DNA sequences. Thus Neo-Darwinism is false.” (Wells, “Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA,” BIO-Complexity
These different sources of epigenetic information in embryonic cells pose an enormous challenge to the sufficiency of the neo- Darwinian mechanism. According to neo- Darwinism, new information, form, and structure arise from natural selection acting on random mutations arising at a very low level within the biological hierarchy— within the genetic text. Yet both body- plan formation during embryological development and major morphological innovation during the history of life depend upon a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. If DNA isn’t wholly responsible for the way an embryo develops— for body- plan morphogenesis— then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely and still not produce a new body plan, regardless of the amount of time and the number of mutational trials available to the evolutionary process. Genetic mutations are simply the wrong tool for the job at hand. (Darwin’s Doubt, p. 282)
The neo-Darwinian mechanism does not account for either the origin of the genetic or the epigenetic information necessary to produce new forms of life. (p. 286)
Of course, it is possible to ignore the contradiction if one’s job depends on doing so.
See also: Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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