Home » The Design of Life » Design of Life: Was Mendel wrong too?

Design of Life: Was Mendel wrong too?

Well, he could be, at least about some things.Don’t shoot! Look, no one expected that the human being would have only a few more genes than the worms that survived a space shuttle blowup and were returned to their owners. We could be wrong about lots of other things too.

Anyway, here’s Jane Harris-Zsovan’s story, just up at The Design of Life:

Lolle’s 2005 paper with Robert Pruitt of Purdue University, Genome-wide non-mendelian inheritance of extra-genomic information in Arabidopsis”, suggested that a mutant variety of this species overrides its genetic code and does indeed revert back to its wild state.Starting in the 1990s, the researchers began using specimens of A. thaliana to study plant cuticles.

Lolle and Pruitt bred plants with a mutant gene called Hothead (HTH2). The plants used in their research received the HTH2 gene from both parents.

Hothead mutants have fused reproductive organs, making breeding with wild A. thaliana plants from outside their study unlikely. Lolle and Pruitt should have had only HTH2 mutants to conduct their future research with. That’s not what happened …

Read more here.

Also: Today at the Post-Darwinist:

Evolutionary psychology: Where do I go to get my tax money back? These profs know way less than I do!

A thought for your Evolution Sunday service … on why you shouldn’t hold one!

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15 Responses to Design of Life: Was Mendel wrong too?

  1. I believe that the figure of around 20,000-24,000 genes coding for proteins for the human is now considered wrong. First it was thought to be about 100,000 and then after the mapping of genome it was thought to be about 20,000 but now it is back to around 100,000.

    Introns separate the coding regions of the genome and expression of an individual coding regions is often several different proteins as the transcription process picks and chooses from among the same coding region to create different proteins.

    Quite an amazing process to just happen by chance but one that a super clever designer would find easy.

    If anyone has any contradictory information, I would be interested.

  2. Jerry, but maybe tomorrow what is now wrong once again will be right once again …

    Your info aptly demonstrates what goes wrong when materialists try to run science as a materialist religion (cf Expelled and The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul).

    Traditional religions ask for our assent to unchanging doctrines. The atheist materialists in charge of current science demand that we assent provisionally to whatever they happen to think today and immediately change over tomorrow.

    I don’t know why natural selection didn’t give me a head that swivels in all directions, but that may mean that I wasn’t naturally selected to go along with them.

    Or, more likely, that someone needs to open a window on free discussion of design.

  3. Denyse,

    I am about to make a long post on your Design of Life website either today or tomorrow about what we know about evolution that does not get discussed very much by either side.

    Hopefully, it will generate some response to show where I may be wrong or right about what I see as happening/has happened in the origin of species.

  4. As of today, there appears to be 25,431 protein coding genes in the human genome. See: http://www.pantherdb.org/

  5. Anton,

    From what I understand most of the coding regions code for more than one protein. The coding regions are mostly broken up by introns and depending upon the need not all of the coding sections will be transcribed so one coding region can generate several different proteins.

    If you have contrary information, I would be interested. My source for my information on this is the Teaching Company course on genetics which just came out a couple weeks ago.

    I went to your link and did not see anything about the total number of proteins that are coded. Maybe you could point to it.

  6. Your info aptly demonstrates what goes wrong when materialists try to run science as a materialist religion [...]

    The atheist materialists in charge of current science demand that we assent provisionally to whatever they happen to think today and immediately change over tomorrow.

    It’s puzzling that you call something ‘demanding assent’ when in the previous post clearly paradigms in science were shifted multiple times. Who does this ‘demanding assent’. Are the people who demanded assent about 100.000 genes the same ones who demand assent about 20.000 genes?

    Or do scientists put forward their interpretation of the currently available data and change their mind when more data or more convincing interpretations come along?

  7. Jerry:

    I believe that the figure of around 20,000-24,000 genes coding for proteins for the human is now considered wrong.

    Anton:

    As of today, there appears to be 25,431 protein coding genes.

    As I have heard (anecdotally) that the average coding nucleotide codes for 6 different proteins. If this is correct, then both of these responses may be kinda correct. If there’s 25,000 genes, and each codes for 6 proteins, then there’s about 150K different proteins.

    As far as Jerry:

    Quite an amazing process to just happen by chance but one that a super clever designer would find easy.

    All I can say is that I have pulled off one segment of code doing two or maybe three separate (related) tasks, (I often have an add version and an edit version of a dialog box) but getting an average of 6 tasks performed by each subroutine is painfully amazing from where I sit.

    BTW, I understand that when the multiple proteins per gene phenomenon was first reported, Gould suggested that too much such integration would cause him to abandon mutation as a primary cause of change. This kind of integration, this kind of overloading, is extremely resistant to beneficial mutations.

  8. Jerry,
    I would appreciate if you could explain how gene numbers relate to Mendelian laws.

  9. BTW, the world kept revolving since 2005:

    Comai L and Cartwright RA (2005): A toxic mutator and selection alternative to the non-Mendelian RNA cache hypothesis for hothead reversion. Plant Cell 17(11):2856-2858

    Peng P, Chan SW, Shah GA and Jacobsen SE (2006): Plant genetics: increased outcrossing in hothead mutants. Nature 443(7110):E8

    Pennisi E (2006): Genetics. Pollen contamination may explain controversial inheritance. Science 313(5795):1864

    Krishnaswamy L, Peterson T (2007): An alternate hypothesis to explain the high frequency of “revertants” in hothead mutants in Arabidopsis. Plant Biol (Stuttg) 9(1):30-1

    You may describe it as

    The atheist materialists in charge of current science demand that we assent provisionally to whatever they happen to think today and immediately change over tomorrow.

    but that’s how science works.

  10. sparc,

    I never said anything about gene numbers and Mendel. Denyse refers to several things in the post and one of them was about the number of human genes. Since I had just heard something about it 20 minutes prior, I made the comment.

  11. jerry:

    The Human Proteome Initiative’s current count is a million proteins encoded in about 21,000 genes.

    Wow!

    Link

  12. sparc:

    The atheist materialists in charge of current science demand that we assent provisionally to whatever they happen to think today and immediately change over tomorrow.

    but that’s how science works.

    emphasis mine.

    Why is science demanding something of me? Why, even is science demanding of fellow scientists? Why is this just “the way that science works”.

    I think that science should begin to respect its fellows, even those who don’t buy into the current theory. Science doesn’t need to be a bully!

  13. I think nobody really knows how big human proteome is, because the definition itself of protein variants is difficult, and because the corresponding protein products for many genes is not known.

    On the contrary, the number of human genes seems confirmed at about 21000 (more or less). But we must remember that this is the number of recognizable protein coding genes, that is about 1.5% of the genome. Obviously, there may be a lot of non protein coding genes, in other words, functional segments of non coding DNA which, for instance, may just code for regulatory RNA, and not for proteins. Nobody knows how many functional “units” are present in non coding DNA.

    Finally, the real mystery is how big the transcriptome is. There are already evidences that nuclear RNA is much more complex than we once thought. Probably, most nuclear RNA is regulatory, and only part of it is messenger RNA destined to move to the cytoplasm and code for proteins.

    So, the whole mystery of cell life is centered on these 3 entities: genome, transcriptome, proteome. While the first is constant for all cells in a multicellular organism, the other two are highly specific for cell type and cell function, and probably are constantly varying.

    It is usually believed that the control of transcriptome and proteome is a function of the genome and of its interactions with the cellular and outer environment. But, if we consider that the genome is always the same, that would leave all the control to the environment, which seems not a very reasonable assumption. So, at least for me, the fine regulation of transcription, translation and of post-translational modifications in each single cell remains at present a complete enigma.

    Regarding the number of genes and proteins, there is no doubt that proteins are in effect much more numerous than genes. So, the traditional dogma, one gene – one protein, is certainly wrong.

    But we should consider that, if one gene is potentially able to code different proteins, let’s say n different proteins with different functionalities, through one or many of the known mechanisms (alternative splicing, post-translational modifications, and so on), the question remains of what is controlling which of the n proteins will be coded in each circumstance (and how much of it). In other words, if the one gene – many proteins model could potentially explain a proteome which is more abundant and rich than the corresponding genome, still another level of complexity is required in the genome, that is the genes and/or procedure codes which are responsible for the control of the alternative possibilities of gene utilization, according to different requirements.

    And again, it is impossible that such a fine regulation is achieved only thanks to purely mechanical feedback interactions with the environment (more or less the current theory, which I call “the extreme good luck of cells”). Cellular and outer environment are practically subject to infinite variations, and a very complex level of information processing and engineering is certainly necessary to guarantee the efficiency and robustness which are observable in real life. Nobody knows what is the molecular basis of such an efficient and robust coordination.

  14. Non Mendelian inheritance is often observed. It is caused by Variation inducing genetic elements VIGES, previously known as ERVs, LINEs, SINEs, ALUs, etc.

    VIGES integrate into certain areas of non-coding parts of genetic instructions and modify protein expression patterns and other genetic output. They have an ability to excise an reintegrate, duplicate or diminish, and this explains the non-mendelian fashion of inheritance.

    I have completed a MS (200 pages) containing the complete overturn of the main Darwinian hypotheses and GUToB, a set of testable hypotheses that explains what falsifies Darwinism.

    Is there an interested publisher around?

  15. 15

    Hey everyone, isn’t this just the cutest little thing?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330365,00.html

    Darwinists claim another piece in the puzzle of birds!

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