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Last year it was reported that humans have three dozen unique protein coding genes when compared to chimps and now we find that of the 244 newly discovered microRNA genes 10% are unique to humans (not found in any other organism). Chimp also has unique microRNA genes. Apparently, this "junk" makes the species. At last we know.
Common descent of humans and chimps cannot be true due to the fact of novel genes in humans not present in chimps, such as the presented microRNA genes. I have abandoned Darwinian common descent.
I don't believe that there is any evidence that "genetic drift" can lead to true speciation: suspecies yes, true species no. Speciation and the formation of the higher categories requires far more dramatic changes than can ever be effected through natural selection and sexual reproduction, both of which are entirely conservative, serving to bring evolution to a complete halt and, with very few exceptions, to ultimate extinction.
In my opinion we are not one of those exceptions.
"The struggle for existence and natural selection are not progressive agencies, but being, on the contrary, conservative, maintain the standard."
Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 406
There are only two changes in the 118 letters of DNA code that make up HAR1 between the genomes of chimps and chickens. But chimps and humans are 18 letter-changes apart.
“That is an incredible amount of change to have happened in a few million years,” Pollard notes.
Subsequent experiments looking at the brains of human and primate embryos revealed that HAR1 is part of two overlapping genes. One of these genes, called HAR1F is active in nerve cells that appear early in embryonic development and play a critical role in the formation of the layered structure of the human cerebral cortex.
The role of the other gene, called HAR1R, is less clear,
“Some DNA regions have hardly changed at all over many millions of years in most species,” said Pollard. “My twist was to look for the subset of these regions that have changed just in humans.”
Forty-nine regions, which the team called human accelerated regions (HARs), rose to the top of the list. Surprisingly, only two of these regions code for proteins. The majority of the regions tend to be located near genes that are involved in regulating the function of genes. Furthermore, 12 of the regions are adjacent to genes involved in the development of the brain.
The Nature paper looks in depth at the region that has undergone the most change in the human lineage, which the researchers called HAR1 (for human accelerated region 1). Only two of the region's 118 bases changed in the 310 million years separating the evolutionary lineages of the chicken and the chimp. Incredibly, since the human lineage separated from that of the chimp, 18 of the 118 nucleotides have changed. This region “stood out,” said Pollard.
But what does it do? To find out, Pollard began working with the wet lab, led by Sofie Salama. Haussler established the wet lab following his appointment as an HHMI investigator. After months of work, Salama and her lab mates determined that HAR1 is part of a larger DNA that is transcribed into RNA in the brain.
Then Salama got lucky. Pierre Vanderhaegen, a neuroscientist at the University of Brussels, was visiting Santa Cruz because he knew Salama's husband, who is also a neuroscientist. “I learned that Pierre was setting up to do in-situ hybridizations [at his lab in Brussels] to look at gene expression patterns in human embryonic brain samples,” said Salama. “So I gave him a DNA probe from the HAR1 region and said, `Try this.'”
A few months later Vanderhaegen e-mailed Salama with exciting news. He had discovered that RNA including the HAR1 region is first produced between the 7th and 9th weeks of gestation in human embryos. Furthermore, the RNA was produced by a Cajal-Retzius neuron, a particular type of cell that plays a critical role in creating the six layers of neurons in the human cortex.
Salama then determined that HAR1 actually lies in the region of overlap of two RNA genes that are transcribed in opposite directions along the DNA. Both genes appear to make RNAs that are not translated into proteins. The UC Santa Cruz team showed that these RNAs fold into particular shapes characterized by several helices. The changes to HAR1 during human evolution seem to have altered the length and configuration of some of these helices. “It's a brand new structure, unique,” said Salama. “The downside is that we don't have many good clues as to how it functions.”
And beyond HAR1 lie HAR2, HAR3, and so on through the 49 regions Pollard identified with her DNA screen. “We've only studied one of these regions carefully,” said Haussler. “Now we have to go through the other 48.”
What I am looking for is an actual genetic mechanism for a change on this level. What do you think the odds of this occuring are. Random mutations could not pull this off and as you know, my main interest is in human evolution. The human brain is three times that of a chimpanzee, that is a giant leap in evolution by all accounts. I have yet to see a single evolutionist admit that they are supprised that the divergence is higher then expected even though the scientific literature does. We have been told for decades that we only diverge by about 1% but no it is 5%.
Hundreds if not thousands of mutations in hundreds if not thousands of genes is not normal evolution, it's highly accelerated. Apparently there are some 40,000 nucleotides that are known to diverge in functionally important genes. That number is going up and the mutation rate, given the deleterious effects that result from mutations makes this neat linear model a whole lot more complicated then we have been told.
The differences are far larger then we have been told. The genetic mechanisms for the rapid expansion of the human brain do not exist. We can chase these anecdotal evidences around all day long and at the end of the day we will still not have an evolutionary mechanism that can pull this off.
"A total of 251 categories showed significantly low KA/KS ratios (compared with 32 expected by chance; P < 10-4). These include a wide range of processes including intracellular signalling, metabolism, neurogenesis and synaptic transmission, which are evidently under stronger-than-average purifying selection. More generally, genes expressed in the brain show significantly stronger average constraint than genes expressed in other tissues"
251 discovered and 32 expected by chance and this doesn't even raise an eyebrow.
Science-fiction tales often fast-forward the pace of evolution to create the big-brained humans of the future - or, for that matter, the big-brained chimps of "The Planet of the Apes." Research published this week in the journal PLoS Biology, however, argues that the more complex your brain gets, the harder it is to evolve further. The subject could have implications for speculation into the future of intelligence.
Curious Molecular Signatures
It is now well known that the explosion of genome data in recent decades has made its own unique contribution to the ever-growing list of falsified evolutionary predictions. High conservation of functionally unconstrained sequences, nonsensical evolutionary trees, molecular clocks that do not run right, and phylogenies that do not resolve are all contributing to a reevaluation of tree thinking. From superoxide dismutase to glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, incongruities are common. And novel designs in similar species, once assumed to have arisen only once and then passed on via common descent, now must be assumed to have evolved multiple times. So it is hardly surprising that a substantial molecular study, recently reported in Science magazine [310:1933], revealed yet more curious results.
The study, encompassing 50 genes in 17 different species, was designed to resolve metazoan evolutionary relationships. But despite the plethora of data, clear results were not produced. Both maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony methods failed to resolve a statistically significant picture of early evolutionary branching, though of course the broad outlines of relationships between very different groups was evident.
So what went wrong? The researchers explored several possible reasons, including the choice of taxa, particular data issues, and mutational saturation. But none of these seemed to pose a problem. So the study was left with only one conclusion: there must have been "a radiation compressed in time." In other words, the new species appeared in rapid fire sequence.
The problem is that even though a substantial quantity of molecular data was collected, there nonetheless is a small level of uncertainty. What if the species split off from each other close in time? If these cladogenetic events were tightly spaced, then the reconstruction would be left uncertain as to specific ordering of events.
The remedy is to use yet more data, but the authors note that this may not be feasible. While species have many thousands of genes, these evolutionary studies are limited to orthologs--genes that can be identified as having an evolutionary relationship across the taxa (yes, there is a bit of circularity in all this). That is not easy, especially when studying a large number of taxa, and unfortunately there may not be many more orthologs available. So this particular story ends with a rain check that, conveniently, may never be cashed in.
They had to evolve all at once, since the same thing probably did not evolve independently many times.
There are many scientific proofs of this but I will show you one that also shows how evolutionary theory has hindered science. Take the case of cancer. For a few decades scientists (following evolutionary predictions) kept looking for a cancer 'gene'. Science has shown that there is no such thing. What it has shown is that the reason that cancer spreads throughout the body is due to the failure of the system which regulates cell reproduction. Cell reproduction is very much controlled throughout human life. At the beginning a large number of cells need to be produced before birth. After birth the process slows down but still a lot of them need to be produced (in exactly the right places) for the baby to grow. At puberty a different set of cells are turned on and the body keeps growing for a few more years. Then the system allows replacement only when needed. When the control system goes completely haywire then cells start reproducing wildly and you have cancer
An experiment in field biology will always suffer from some level of artificiality,
Another common criticism involves well-known pictures of moths resting on trunks, used in many textbooks. These photos were prepared (dead moths pinned to branches), which has been conflated into the idea that all the studies were staged,
The hypothesis behind the classic peppered moth experiment came under fire in Michael Majerus's 1998 book Melanism: Evolution in Action, which was reviewed by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne in Nature. Upon learning that peppered moths are not normally found on tree trunks, and that lichen changes didn't match the observed moth evolution timeline, Coyne compared his reaction to "the dismay attending my discovery, at age 6, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve". He further stated that "For the time being we must discard Biston as a well-understood example of natural selection in action". Coyne's discomfort was from learning that the proposed mechanism of action driving the directional selection (similarity of moth color to tree trunk color, thus affecting predation) did not mesh with recent observations on moth behavior and lichen regrowth timelines, as reported by Majerus. Coyne further notes that "a similar analysis" by Sargent et al (1998) "has just appeared".
The review was subsequently picked up by Sunday Telegraph journalist Robert Matthews, who wrote:
Evolution experts are quietly admitting that one of their most cherished examples of Darwin's theory, the rise and fall of the peppered moth, is based on a series of scientific blunders. Experiments using the moth in the Fifties and long believed to prove the truth of natural selection are now thought to be worthless, having been designed to come up with the "right"
Interspecific hybrids between distant relatives are usually sterile. In 1912 Digby crossed two primrose species, Primula verticillata and P. floribunda: all the progeny was sterile except for a spontaneous fertile plant, which had double the number of chromosomes of its sterile sibs (Digby, 1912). The hybrid became a common garden plant and was called the Kew Primrose, Primula kewensis. It is the first recorded human-made allopolyploid.
The significance of chromosome doubling, however, eluded Digby, but a few years later, Winge, unaware of Digby's results, speculated that speciation could occur by interspecific hybridization followed by chromosome doubling (Winge, 1917). Winge believed that hybrid sterility was caused by unbalanced chromosome sets. He reasoned that upon doubling, a proper pairing partner would be available to each chromosome resulting in fertility. This prediction was experimentally verified byClausen and Goodspeed using tobacco species (Clausen and Goodspeed, 1925), and by Karpechenko using radish and cabbage (Karpechenko, 1927). It was soon realized that allopolyploids, hybrid species that contain two or more diploid sets of parental genomes, are common in nature.
"Observed instances of speciation"
Joseph Boxhorn, author of the talk-origins 'FAQ' on Speciation, makes a bold promise from the outset in his choice of title for his paper: 'Observed Instances of Speciation.' Any rational person visiting this site will naturally expect to find a list of cases where scientists, under controlled experimental conditions, have actually observed the process of speciation taking place.
However, anyone expecting to find such a list in Boxhorn's 'FAQ' is due for a major disappointment. It is true that Boxhorn does list a number of scientific observations, yet -- almost incredibly -- not a single one of these observations can be described as 'speciation' in the Darwinian sense, except by employing the kind of Double-Think used by officials at George Orwell's Ministry of Truth.
I heard about this... back when I was first in grad school, but I think this info is pretty old now.
Personally, and I've grown HeLa Cells for years, I wouldn't consider them to be a different species. Yes they are immortalized, but so are hundreds of other cell lines that were taken from tumor or other genetically compromised tissues. Is each one of these immortalized cell lines a separate species? According to what you've stated above, yes.
HeLa cells have no life of their own, they may survive quite well under laboratory conditions, but have not occupied any particular ecological niche.
If something happens to cease all tissue culture activities, HeLa cells will die off in a matter of days. They can't survive for long outside of their controlled environment. They have no ability to withstand environmental extremes, etc. They've been propagated and contaminate many cultures because of sloppy sterile technique and proliferative growth.
It's not like, you could contaminate yourself with HeLa, and three days later go into some other lab and infect their cultures.
I don't know any scientist considers HeLa a separate species
Some of the problems I found with Evolutionary Theory seem to blow-up the entire argument: in the case for abiogenesis which is the evolution of non-living matter to living mater, there exists no plausable bridge between inorganic and organic molecules. The counter argument of distant origin seems to shift the issue away from our planet and still does not explaing this fundamental part of Evolutionary Theory.
There is no mechanism for the explaination of the formation of a protein and a nucleic acid or the formation of RNA or DNA within the framework of Evolutionary theory.
Genetic mutation of DNA and RNA is used to explain variation in species however, genetic mutation of DNA and RNA does not add new information.
The problem with Morphological evidence: (example) an incomplete half formed wing gives no distinct advantage in reproductive fitness.
The lack of variety of intermediate species showing up in the fossil record is a weak argument, but given the number of fossils that have been found, there should be more. This gives the appearance that species appear in the fossil record as complete and fully formed.
This research will have all the credibility of Lucy (a fraud) and Neanderthal Man (another fraud). This is called propaganda from desparate atheists who rig their "science" to match their pre-determined conclusions.
The fatal flaws of evolution still remain -- no fossil record of cross-species evolution. Dr. Michael Behe's arguments in Darwin's Black Box pretty well proving higher life forms have too many interdependent organs to have evolved from lower life forms...And the fact the almost all mutations in recorded human history have been detrimentrial while evolution is based on the idea that mutations are beneficial.
Over most of the body, hair is so fine and sparse as to reveal the skin under it. Environments known to give rise to naked mammals are tropical (in some larger-sized mammals such as elephants — which are themselves descended from aquatic ancestors — and some rhinoceros species), aquatic (whales, dolphins, walrus, dugongs, and manatees), semi-aquatic or littoral (hippopotamus, babirusas (Babyrousa celebensis)), and subterranean (naked mole rat).
There exist very few bipedal mammals, and humans are the only ones which adopt a full-time, fully-upright posture with a vertical vertebral column. Gorillas, chimpanzees and bears are able to walk on two legs when they have a particular reason, but always revert to quadrupedalism as their basic means of locomotion. Some prosimians such as indris skip sideways on two legs when on the ground, because their adaptations to leaping through trees make ground-based quadrupedalism difficult. Kangaroos and hopping rodent species use a bipedal form of locomotion with bent knees and bent hips in rest. Even birds, with exceptions such as (semi-aquatic) penguins which have vertical vertebral columns, walk bipedally but with a horizontal vertebral column. Creatures such as squirrels and meerkats often adopt an upright posture when stationary, but do not walk or run bipedally. It is hard to see how bipedalism could have evolved on the savannah: the mass of the torso makes it inherently unstable and inefficient for locomotion.
Most land mammals have no conscious control over their breathing. The voluntary control humans have over their respiratory system can be compared to that of (semi)aquatic mammals which inhale as much air as they need for a dive, then return to the surface for air. Morgan argued that this voluntary breathing capacity was one of the preadaptations to human voluntary speech.
Humans have ten times as many fat cells under the skin as would be expected in a non-aquatic animal the same size, and have many adipose cells even when considered slim. Mammals which hibernate have localised seasonal fat humps; but aquatic mammals retain fat (blubber) throughout the year. Human infants are especially fat compared to apes and most other fully terrestrial mammals. The human fatty layer (panniculus adiposus) is also attached to the skin of the central body parts as is the case with most medium- or larger-sized (semi)aquatic mammals, rather than to the muscle as in almost all land mammals. Humans also lack the layer of cutaneous muscle (panniculus carnosus) possessed by land mammals including non-human primates, which allows many land animals to twitch their skin, and which is not present in aquatic mammals.
Dramatic increase in cranium size is a prominent theme in human evolution, making childbirth difficult and dangerous. Water birthing is believed to facilitate childbirth and to reduce risks to mother and infant. Human infants are born covered in vernix caseosa, a waterproof coating also seen in newborn common seals, and continue to draw oxygen through the umbilical cord while underwater. Human infants naturally hold their breath and can swim from birth.
Human brain tissue requires comparatively large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are uncommon in the land food chain but prevalent in the marine food chain. Indeed, most animals which move to plains life tend to develop smaller brains, while aquatic animals tend to evolve larger ones, quite possibly because of access to omega-3. Additionally, these omega-3 fatty acids promote (good) HDL cholesterol and cardiovascular health in humans, while saturated fats in pork, beef and other land-based meats do the opposite. Yet for land-based carnivores the opposite is true and they have special digestive enzymes to neutralize the deleterious effects of dietary cholesterol. It is noteworthy that many nutritionists find seafood to be the most healthful protein sources for humans whereas the meat of land-based mammals such as from beef or pork are the most harmful.
Tears and excessive sweating
Sweating and tears are prevalent in humans but not in other primates
However, the Savannah Theory is riddled with conundrums, such as:
* Primates such as baboons and vervet monkeys live on the savannah - they have not become bipedal, nor have they lost hair
* The many thousands of years it took to evolve from being able to move quickly on four legs, to beings able to run on two legs, would have left the prototype humans extremely vulnerable to predators.
Mammals are not designed to walk vertically, because it is grossly inefficient. If the first apes attempted it, they would have been like year old babies: falling over all the time. Furthermore, the “missing link” would have lacked the locking mechanism of the knees that we have today. Imagine trying to stand with your knees bent for a few hours. Without a high priority reason to do so, the human predecessors would have simply given up. Evolution does not have an agenda. Animals cannot see into the future and aspire to being human, they can only respond to need. To gain a better view over the tall grass, a more obvious change, seeing as our ape relatives are good at jumping, would have been to jump higher.
Turns out that most African hominid fossils have been found in or near bodies of water. This is explained as “they were passing by, and stopped for a drink” or “heavy rains made the river overflow and they drowned”. The obvious explanation, that they lived in and beside the water (as most humans still do), is rarely considered.
A press release from the University of Toronto, August 1999, states:
The popular image of the earliest humans living on the African savanna must be wrong, [Stephen] Cunnane says. His team has found that a specific fatty acid, DHA, necessary for human brain and eye development, is easily available in food near shore environments but not in the diet of savanna mammals. This suggests humans evolved near water before spreading inland, he says.
"We'd like to see early humans as hunters who took advantage of nature and grew a big brain in the process," he says. "But how could that hunting ability miraculously appear overnight? Well, it didn't. Instead, they evolved in a place where they didn't have to hunt."
Charles Darwin once wrote:
“The loss of hair is an inconvenience and probably an injury to man , for he is thus exposed to the scorching of the sun and to sudden chills, especially due to wet weather. No one supposes that the nakedness of the skin is any direct advantage to man; his body therefore cannot have divested of hair through natural selection."
The Savannah Theory fails in this regard. These areas of Africa can cool to 11ºC at night, and it would not be an advantage for humans to sleep there even on a dry night. It is normal for terrestrial animals to have fur or thick hair. Humans still have the capillary muscles which enable our hair to stand on end. If our hair were longer it would then trap a layer of air close to the body, creating a thermal blanket of sorts. Feathers work the same way. Most animals have the ability to adjust their exterior in accordance with changing air temperature, whereas us poor humans have to resort to clothing. Hair or fur is also very useful for protection against injury, something very important in the wild.
ompared to all the other primates, humans definitely deserve the “fatty” tag. A gorilla or chimpanzee kept in a cage might put on a fraction of extra weight, as might an old horse that can’t run about as much as it use to. But the only land mammals capable of doubling or trebling their natural weight, to have rolls of fat hanging from arms, legs, hips and bellies, to be unable to walk without breaking into a sweat, are humans.
This fattiness is normal. If a woman’s body is underweight it chooses not to conceive. A typical 16-year-old girl should have 27% of her body weight in fatty tissue. If it were to drop below 22%, her menstruation cycle will cease. The reason that we need to stitch up serious flesh wounds is because the layer of fat just below our skin tries to ooze out. The edges of the cut become separated and are unable to rejoin and heal - other mammals don’t have this problem, their skin sits on top of muscle, not fat.
The concept of sweating as a cooling device is ridiculous. This system, which is unique to humans (other mammals that sweat do it less profusely than us, and use a different type of gland) is flawed. It is prone to activating at the wrong time (in humid weather), is too slow to start and stop, provides far more than the thin layer of moisture required for cooling, and wastes salt. We are the only mammal that expels salt when we sweat. Even when a human is nearing total dehydration it will continue sweating in hot weather and even die. Our sweating system is yet another disadvantage of being human.
Humans cry, the function of which that has long baffled evolutionary scientists. It is also for the purpose of expelling salt.Seabirds have special glands for removing salt from their body.
Originally posted by Heronumber0
Hollywood11 - love the post mate. However, it is weighty and I have only got through about 5 pages.
So far, you have provided evidence of more than normal genetic difference between chimpanzees and humans and also have cast doubt on the common ancestry of chimps and humans due to the sheer difference of brain function genes (correct me if I am wrong, please).
However, could you please provide a list of points and then append each with a link.
Also, Darwinian evolution supporters will just point out that we are more different than apes than we thought but that we just have to look further back in the evolutionary tree for an ancestor of humans.
By the way, I also think that cladistic methodology is flawed and searches for evidence that is biased towards gradualism.
Originally posted by sirnex
Regardless (and not specifically to you, more so just thinking aloud), From a few of the 'points' I saw made by the OP regarding this topic, it would appear that we evolved from an aquatic ancestor. Or perhaps, common decent wasn't initiated directly from a land based ape-like ancestor, but maybe our common decent was further back than we thought. We came out of the water and one branch became us, but another similar branch became the primates. Perhaps this is why we are genetically related, but at the same time hold unique genes that would seemingly separate us to much to have a 'direct' descendant. In a way, so to speak, our common ancestor branched into two original subspecies, one becoming primates and one becoming us.
This is what I am reading, so I don't really see how it disproves common decent. Just means we may possibly have it wrong or need to look further back or look at another angle. We're obviously related to the primate species in some way, so at some point in history we DID have a common ancestor.
so I don't really see how it disproves common decent.