The rat genome

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science rat

You will often hear creationists claim that there is a growing number of scientists who question evolution, and that Dobzhansky's dictum, that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, is false. They obviously don't read the scientific literature. What's clear in biology is that evolution is the indispensable integrator, the idea that ties together great and growing swathes of information, and that evolutionary biology is becoming ever more essential in research.

A case in point: the latest issue of Nature includes yet another landmark article, a description of the completion of the high-quality rough draft of the rat (Rattus norvegicus) genome (RGSPC, 2004). This is the third mammalian species (after the human and mouse) to have its genome fully sequenced, and we're seeing something that is going to be increasingly true as more and more genomes are completed: much of the interest now is in comparing the gigabytes of data extracted from each of these species, and using that information to evaluate evolutionary hypotheses.

Continue reading "The rat genome" (on Pharyngula)

11 Comments

Just wait until the chimp genome comes out in the next year or so. If you think creationists are pissed now.….….

Andy

When people start applying Hudson’s theory of coalescents to whole-genome data, we will be seeing lots of unhappy antievolutionists.

Of course, I haven’t looked lately, it may already be happening.

According to Jonathan Wells, the rapid accumulation of sequence data is proving to be a “growing embarrassment to Darwinists”. We should all be blushing scarlet in anticipation of the chimp genome.

Has Jonathan Wells issued any justification for that claim? And where did he make it?

I don’t see how it’s embarrassing, when the overall tree topology that one finds is the expected topology of

(human (mouse, rat))

Has Jonathan Wells issued any justification for that claim? And where did he make it?

I don’t see how it’s embarrassing, when the overall tree topology that one finds is the expected topology of

(human (mouse, rat))

Russell, I’m interested in locating that Wells quote as well. It’s especially laughable in light of the conclusions that are being drawn from the sequenced microbial genomes.

In the words of Mandy Rice-Davies :

“Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

Andy

“Has Jonathan Wells issued any justification for that claim? “

To the religious mind, not being right in advance in all cases is a sign that the basic idea is incorrect. There have been many surprises as we have explored molecular biology - including the taxonomy of plants, the number of EPTs and so on.

This is what makes science fundamentally different from religion - the religious world view wants a universe where understanding the principles makes the details merely a matter of explanation back to principles. The scientific world view sees the growth and change of principles in light of new observation and thinking to be the wonder of human discovery.

…Has Jonathan Wells issued any justification for that claim …I’m interested in locating that Wells quote as well…

JW participated in a “debate” in Columbus for the benefit of the state BoE and interested public in 2002 (JW & Stephen Meyer vs. Ken Miller & Lawrence Krauss). He used that remark to introduce his molecular homology shtick, which - if I recall correctly - consisted of a few Cytochrome C anomalies. I just about fell out of my chair. I hope someone has that on tape.

I would not be surprised if those cyt-c anomalies turned out to be a side effect of small-number statistics; comparisons of much greater lengths of genetic material tend to give more consistent results.

There was some recent work on Saccharomyces (baker’s yeast) species in which comparing 100 genes clearly resolved their phylogeny, This turned out to be overkill; 20 genes randomly selected from them could also provide good resolution.

Loren Petrich: I would not be surprised if those cyt-c anomalies turned out to be a side effect of small-number statistics…

That’s exactly what they are. Now either JW couldn’t figure that out, or he was deliberately deceiving this large and scientifically naive audience. I put my money on the latter explanation.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 3, 2004 9:16 AM.

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