Thursday, January 10, 2008

Real Science vs Intelligent Design

If Intelligent Design advocates are so insistent that most of the human genome is functional, why aren't they doing any research like this? Eric Lander's group at MIT devised a way to test whether the thousands of non-conserved, putative protein-coding genes are likely to be spurious or true protein-producing genes.

From the paper, here is their rationale:

The three most widely used human gene catalogs [Ensembl, RefSeq, and Vega] together contain a total of 24,500 protein-coding genes. It is broadly suspected that a large fraction of these entries is simply spurious ORFs, because they show no evidence of evolutionary conservation. [Recent studies indicate that only 20,000 show evolutionary conservation with dog.] However, there is currently no scientific justification for excluding ORFs simply because they fail to show evolutionary conservation; the alternative hypothesis is that these ORFs are valid human genes that reflect gene innovation in the primate lineage or gene loss in other lineages.

Here is what they test:

The purpose of this article is to test whether the nonconserved human ORFs represent bona fide human protein-coding genes or whether they are simply spurious occurrences in cDNAs.

And here is their conclusion:

Here, we provide strong evidence to show that the vast majority of the nonconserved ORFs are spurious.

This is how you do science. If ID advocates were serious about science, they would be testing similar hypotheses and publishing them.

6 comments:

RBH said...

If ID advocates were serious about science, they would be testing similar hypotheses and publishing them.

And if cows had wings we'd all have to carry cast-iron umbrellas. :D

I don't think there's any danger of either one happening!

BOB said...

QUESTION ? WHY WOULD YOU VIEW THAT ID ADVOCATES WOULD PRESENT A DANGER TO YOU, WHEN IN FACT, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF ANY EVOLUTIONARY PROCCESS ,THAT HAS EVER BEEN CLAIMED ,OF HAVING EVER TAKEN PLACE ,BUT ONLY THE POSTULATING OF SPECULATIVE THEORIES ? HOW IS THAT CONSIDERED SERIOUS/REAL SCIENCE ? IN FAIR CONSIDERATION ,AS FAR AS, THOSE WHO ADVOCATE THE "ID" POSITION MAY IF FACT BE ONLY INTRODUCING THE OUT SIDE OF THE BOX TO THE INSIDE OF THE BOX.

ReginaldSkeptic said...

BOB said...
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF ANY EVOLUTIONARY PROCCESS . . ..


Isn't it uncanny how a cdesign proponentist can actually read an article summarizing new evidence for evolution, and then immediately repeat the claim that there is no evidence for evolution?

What the heck does he think he was just reading?

Mike said...

reginaldskeptic said: "Isn't it uncanny how a cdesign proponentist can actually read an article summarizing new evidence for evolution, and then immediately repeat the claim that there is no evidence for evolution."

cdesignproponentist - I love it!!

It's a mantra they have to repeat to keep down the cognitive dissonance...

It also makes it easy to avoid talking about detailed evidence and specific, testable hypotheses (or lack thereof, in the case of intelligent design).

I think I'm safe not investing in cast-iron umbrellas any time soon.

scripto said...

"QUESTION ? WHY WOULD YOU VIEW THAT ID ADVOCATES WOULD PRESENT A DANGER TO YOU....

They don't unless they are school board officers or have teaching certificates (or scalpels or drivers' licenses).

BOB said...

EVIDENCE FOR ONLY(LENDS TO) BUT DOSE NOT CONCLUSIVELY PROVE ANYTHING, AS OPPOSED TO, CONCLUSIVE PROOF, WHICH IS AN ABSOLUTE. BY THE WAY MR. EDUCATED REGINALDSKEPTIC SINCE YOU CANNOT READ ACCURATELY ,I NEVER SAID ANY THING ABOUT "EVIDENCE" FOR OR AGAINST OR NEW OR OLD, BUT "CONCLUSIVE" (WITHOUT DOUBT) PROOF, WHICH BY THE WAY IS A "CONFERMATION" OF EVIDENCE, -NOT- "SIMPLY" ADDITIONAL OVERLY EXCITED ANTICIPATIONS