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Ancient penguin DNA raises doubts about accuracy of genetic dating techniques
Oregon State University ^ | Nov 10, 2009 | Unknown

Posted on 11/10/2009 10:54:53 AM PST by decimon

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Penguins that died 44,000 years ago in Antarctica have provided extraordinary frozen DNA samples that challenge the accuracy of traditional genetic aging measurements, and suggest those approaches have been routinely underestimating the age of many specimens by 200 to 600 percent.

In other words, a biological specimen determined by traditional DNA testing to be 100,000 years old may actually be 200,000 to 600,000 years old, researchers suggest in a new report in Trends in Genetics, a professional journal.

The findings raise doubts about the accuracy of many evolutionary rates based on conventional types of genetic analysis.

“Some earlier work based on small amounts of DNA indicated this same problem, but now we have more conclusive evidence based on the study of almost an entire mitochondrial genome,” said Dee Denver, an evolutionary biologist with the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing at Oregon State University.

“The observations in this report appear to be fundamental and should extend to most animal species,” he added. “We believe that traditional DNA dating techniques are fundamentally flawed, and that the rates of evolution are in fact much faster than conventional technologies have led us to believe.”

The findings, researchers say, are primarily a challenge to the techniques used to determine the age of a sample by genetic analysis alone, rather than by other observations about fossils. In particular, they may force a widespread re-examination of determinations about when one species split off from another, if that determination was based largely on genetic evidence.

For years, researchers have been using their understanding of the rates of genetic mutations in cells to help date ancient biological samples, and in what’s called “phylogenetic comparison,” used that information along with fossil evidence to determine the dates of fossils and the history of evolution. The rates of molecular evolution “underpin much of modern evolutionary biology,” the researchers noted in their report.

“For the genetic analysis to be accurate, however, you must have the right molecular clock rate,” Denver said. “We now think that many genetic changes were happening that conventional DNA analysis did not capture. They were fairly easy to use and apply but also too indirect, and inaccurate as a result.”

This conclusion, researchers said, was forced by the study of many penguin bones that were well preserved by sub-freezing temperatures in Antarctica. These penguins live in massive rookeries, have inhabited the same areas for thousands of years, and it was comparatively simple to identify bones of different ages just by digging deeper in areas where they died and their bones piled up.

For their study, the scientists used a range of mitochondrial DNA found in bones ranging from 250 years to about 44,000 years old.

“In a temperate zone when an animal dies and falls to the ground, their DNA might degrade within a year,” Denver said. “In Antarctica the same remains are well-preserved for tens of thousands of years. It’s a remarkable scientific resource.”

A precise study of this ancient DNA was compared to the known ages of the bones, and produced results that were far different than conventional analysis would have suggested. Researchers also determined that different types of DNA sequences changed at different rates.

Aside from raising doubts about the accuracy of many specimens dated with conventional approaches, the study may give researchers tools to improve their future dating estimates, Denver said.

Collaborators on the research included scientists from OSU, Griffith University in Australia, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, Massey University in New Zealand, University of North Carolina in Wilmington, the Scripps Research Institute, and Universita’ di Pisa in Italy.

The studies were supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and other agencies. About the OSU College of Science: As one of the largest academic units at OSU, the College of Science has 14 departments and programs, 13 pre-professional programs, and provides the basic science courses essential to the education of every OSU student. Its faculty are international leaders in scientific research.


TOPICS: History; Miscellaneous; Science
KEYWORDS: antarctica; antiscienceevos; barryfell; belongsinreligion; catastrophism; catholic; charismatic; christian; corruption; creation; darwiniacs; dna; evangelical; evolution; evoreligionexposed; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; intelligentdesign; judaism; megafauna; protestant; science; templeofdarwin
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1 posted on 11/10/2009 10:54:53 AM PST by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv

Nun too soon ping.


2 posted on 11/10/2009 10:56:09 AM PST by decimon
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but science has all sorts of built in safeguards to keep their precious dating methodologies from ever being wrong, right???


3 posted on 11/10/2009 11:32:39 AM PST by raygunfan
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but science has all sorts of built in safeguards to keep their precious dating methodologies from ever being wrong, right???


4 posted on 11/10/2009 11:32:52 AM PST by raygunfan
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To: decimon
Nun too soon ping.

Chinese clergywoman?

Regards,

5 posted on 11/10/2009 11:33:40 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: decimon

There is a small, but very good, Arctic museum in Corvallis.


6 posted on 11/10/2009 11:37:27 AM PST by Cold Heart
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To: decimon

I don’t believe this crap. I bet these scientists are funded because they said that they were trying to scientifically prove global warming because of penguin turd.


7 posted on 11/10/2009 11:59:04 AM PST by fujimoh
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To: GodGunsGuts
You will be interested in this article!

"We believe that traditional DNA dating techniques are fundamentally flawed, and that the rates of evolution are in fact much faster than conventional technologies have led us to believe." Exactly what we've been pointing out for years.

8 posted on 11/10/2009 12:09:09 PM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: Liberty1970; metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; ...

Excellent find Liberty1970...and you are exactly right, we have been pointing this out for years!!!

PING!!!!!!!!


9 posted on 11/10/2009 12:19:50 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: decimon

And I was under the impression that man and other life forms on this earth were only 6000 years old. Can someone help me understand how a penguin can be dated at 200,000 years old. It’s a christian thing I have trouble getting past.


10 posted on 11/10/2009 12:20:43 PM PST by hitchit
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To: decimon

11 posted on 11/10/2009 12:24:56 PM PST by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: hitchit
It’s a christian thing I have trouble getting past.

Some Christians.

12 posted on 11/10/2009 1:02:10 PM PST by decimon
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To: hitchit
"Can someone help me understand how a penguin can be dated at 200,000 years old."

Easy - Just decide how old you want it to be, and fudge and fidgit all data to fit. Happens every day.

13 posted on 11/10/2009 1:04:34 PM PST by editor-surveyor (The beginning of the O'Bomb-a administration looks a lot like the end of the Nixon administration)
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To: decimon

I don’t understand how, if the samples are *older* than we thought, that means evolution moves *faster* than we thought. That seems contradictory.


14 posted on 11/10/2009 1:40:37 PM PST by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
I agree.

If you find a 10% genetic change in a non genetic sequence between modern penguins and ancient penguins and you think it corresponds to 20,000 years; but find that instead it corresponds to 40,000 or 60,000 years - that means that the rate of change of that sequence is SLOWER than expected, not faster.

Somewhere between the actual science and this school publication someone got a little mixed up.

And even a doubling or tripling of the expected rate of accumulation of neutral mutations doesn't come close to the speed of evolution and speciation that Creationists would need for every species on Earth to have descended from those that could fit on a boat within the last few thousand years or so.

“I don't believe in evolution, except when it happens thousands of times faster than any evolutionary biologist ever suggested.” the ignorant Creationist maintains.

15 posted on 11/10/2009 1:47:14 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: hitchit

My friend, you’re missing the point entirely. This does not relate to the Bible or Creation v. Evolution, per se. It points out that much of the assumptions of evolutionists are faulty. Like the parable of the man who built his house upon the sand. A poor foundation leads to poor results. Or like the old computer-geek saying, Gargage In — Garbage Out.


16 posted on 11/10/2009 1:53:41 PM PST by rae4palin
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical; allmendream
These synopses are often incomplete and confusing.

I think this is meant to be the explaining sentence: "We now think that many genetic changes were happening that conventional DNA analysis did not capture."

To me this means that the longer time period includes heretofore undetected changes.

17 posted on 11/10/2009 2:06:02 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon
It is still claiming two contradictory things.

1) that DNA change is faster than expected.

2) that the amount of DNA change that you might expect from 20,000 years divergence is actually 40,000 years worth of divergence (i.e. the DNA change is slower than expected).

And in neither case is the evolution fast enough to satisfy the needs of Creationists who, although they actually believe in evolution thousands of times faster than evolutionary biology suggest is possible - usually say they don't believe in evolution at all.

18 posted on 11/10/2009 2:14:40 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: decimon

19 posted on 11/10/2009 2:26:53 PM PST by JRios1968 (The real first rule of Fight Club: don't invite Chuck Norris...EVER)
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To: allmendream
2) that the amount of DNA change that you might expect from 20,000 years divergence is actually 40,000 years worth of divergence (i.e. the DNA change is slower than expected).

I think it's saying that the DNA changes are faster than has been believed because there are more changes than has been believed. But it's hard to be sure with the condensed version.

20 posted on 11/10/2009 2:40:29 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon; martin_fierro; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

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Thanks decimon.

In Horus vol II no 1, a journal published by the late David Griffard, Barry Fell was interviewed. Among other things:
We learned that seals were coming to a bad end and being mummified by nature in Antarctica in 1200 A.D. That was interesting and we wondered what was happening in Antarctica at that time...one of the technicians... noticed that a seal carcass that he himself had shot for dog-meat and that got left out through the winter... [looked] just like the mummified seals that they had been sending in. So without telling too many people what he was doing, he sent this mummified seal to be carbon-dated and do you know it was dated to 1200 A.D., and he had shot it the year before. When that was made public it really caused a storm...

We had two successive volcanic eruptions on the island of Tonga. There were human remains, then a layer of lava, then more human remains, then a layer of lava. We took charcoal out of both layers and had them both dated -- and we didn't tell them, the dating people, which layer which came from -- and to our amazement we learned that the whole island of Tonga has rotated through 180 degrees and is now upside down. The top layer is older than the bottom layer of the charcoal.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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21 posted on 11/10/2009 2:49:48 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SunkenCiv

Great stuff.


22 posted on 11/10/2009 2:55:46 PM PST by rae4palin
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To: decimon
No, the amount of change is set - a measured difference between two species of common ancestry - or a measure of difference between “fossil” DNA and the DNA of its modern descendants.

For example one could see a difference in a particular ERV shared between dogs and wolves that is X% different - and that X% difference is assumed to cover the time that dogs have diverged from wolves. The X doesn't change, it is a measured amount (for those particular sequences).

What the research is attempting to change is the amount of TIME that it would take for an X% difference to form; they say that X% that would be 20,000 years should be 40,000 to 60,000 years.

That means that the RATE of change is one half to one third as rapid as previously expected; not twice or three times as fast - as is also maintained, despite the inherent contradiction.

As I said, somewhere between the actual science and the publication of this in the school paper; someone got confused.

23 posted on 11/10/2009 2:55:52 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: SunkenCiv; decimon
So, some folks have been using the dart board method of dating?
24 posted on 11/10/2009 2:58:57 PM PST by colorado tanker (What's it all about, Barrrrry? Is it just for the power, you live?)
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To: allmendream
No, the amount of change is set...

Not the amount of change but the number of changes.

25 posted on 11/10/2009 2:59:39 PM PST by decimon
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To: SunkenCiv

A man who dates carbon wastes time.


26 posted on 11/10/2009 3:01:15 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

The number of changes adds up to the amount of change.

A 13% divergence in an ERV sequence shared between two species that is 1000 bases long is a “number of changes” of 130.


27 posted on 11/10/2009 3:04:44 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
The number of changes adds up to the amount of change.

But each change is one state of evolution. If there are many more changes than has been believed then the rate of evolution is faster than has been believed.

28 posted on 11/10/2009 3:13:06 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon
But they are not questioning the measurement techniques that derived the amount of differences in similar DNA sequences, the amount of change DID NOT CHANGE for all the species, they are trying to say that absent a good fossil focal point, divergence dates BASED UPON THE AMOUNT OF CHANGE THAT WAS MEASURED AND HAS NOT CHANGED OR BEEN QUESTIONED need to be pushed out two to six times as much.

Are you following?

Say that previously a 10% difference in a particular DNA region between two species of a particular type and generation time (say two types of badgers) was assumed to correspond to a 10,000 year difference should be 20,000 or 60,000 BASED upon their penguin data.

The “rate of evolution” would be SLOWER, if that 10% difference took some 40,000 years instead of 10,000.

Why are we back to this? It is not a difficult concept. I thought we had moved on to EXPLAINING how they could claiming both contradictory things. Why am I having to explain the contradiction again?

29 posted on 11/10/2009 3:21:39 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: allmendream
Are you following?

I'm following you doing everything to promote your own thesis and nothing to understand the article.

30 posted on 11/10/2009 3:31:38 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon
It is suddenly my own thesis that if a change takes three times as long it's rate is only one third as much?

Is it also my own thesis that one third is a slower rate not a faster rate?

OK then.

I consider my very own thesis to be supported by the evidence and the most rudimentary mathematics, therefore anyone who disagrees with my own thesis must not be able to think their way out of a wet paper sack.

31 posted on 11/10/2009 3:58:56 PM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed, so how could it be RE-distributed?)
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To: decimon

Cheers!

32 posted on 11/10/2009 4:05:58 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Buttering me up? I hope it’s real butter. ;-)

Let’s say that it’s been believed that you finished off 100 servings of popcorn over the past 20,000 years (hence the grey whiskers). But it’s now believed that you finished off 2,000 servings of popcorn over the past 200,000 years. The rate of change of your popcorn consumption would thereby have increased by twice.

Substitute DNA changes for popcorn servings and you have it.


33 posted on 11/10/2009 4:19:11 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

I’ve suspected for some time that something isn’t quite right with our DNA science. This may just be one thing that is wrong.


34 posted on 11/10/2009 4:58:52 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I’ve suspected for some time that something isn’t quite right with our DNA science. This may just be one thing that is wrong.

It would be nice to see more things reported as hypotheses rather than conclusions. But then, they might not be reported.

35 posted on 11/10/2009 5:20:07 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

So basically what they are saying is that scientists have no idea what they are doing when it comes to dating techniques. Knock me over with a feature.


36 posted on 11/10/2009 5:46:48 PM PST by Jaime2099 (Human Evolution and the God of the Bible are not compatible)
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To: Jaime2099
So basically what they are saying is that scientists have no idea what they are doing when it comes to dating techniques.

Yeah, it's the jocks that get all the action.

37 posted on 11/10/2009 5:55:13 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon
It would be nice to see more things reported as hypotheses rather than conclusions.

Any good scientist understands that any conclusion is merely tentative based upon the soundness of ALL of the underlying assumptions and ALL of the observed facts, and the change of any of these will likely change the conclusion. So what you hope, actually goes unsaid because it is already known to the professional audience that reads these papers.

38 posted on 11/10/2009 5:59:54 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: GodGunsGuts
we have been pointing this out for years!!!

Sorry GGG, but you cannot disprove the theory of evolution based upon genetic mutations by asserting that someone is mistaken about the rate of mutation, asserting that because the rate is slower than previously believed evolution is disproven. Your argument is an argument for a theory of evolution, just one with the rates jiggered, sort of like claiming Einstein was wrong because the speed of light is 20% slower than everyone thought it was.

39 posted on 11/10/2009 6:04:35 PM PST by AndyJackson
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To: AndyJackson
So what you hope, actually goes unsaid because it is already known to the professional audience that reads these papers.

That's one reason I'm not too critical of these articles. When there is a link to an original paper, that paper is often too much to tackle for a non-professional. The article is just someone's attempt to present the material in the paper to a general audience.

40 posted on 11/10/2009 6:12:18 PM PST by decimon
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To: AndyJackson; decimon; Liberty1970; metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; ...

==Sorry GGG, but you cannot disprove the theory of evolution based upon genetic mutations by asserting that someone is mistaken about the rate of mutation

Sorry AJ, creationist have been all over this issue for about a decade. And as per usual the evos are Johnny-come-latelies. If you want to be caught up to speed, you might consider reading the following. Pay particular attention to the date range the Evos were forced to assign to the “mitochondrial eve”:

http://www.detectingdesign.com/dnamutationrates.html


41 posted on 11/10/2009 7:02:04 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


42 posted on 11/10/2009 7:47:01 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Liberty1970
"We believe that traditional DNA dating techniques are fundamentally flawed, and that the rates of evolution are in fact much faster than conventional technologies have led us to believe."

Exactly what we've been pointing out for years.

Welcome aboard the evolutionary train! GGG is going to be angry with you for pointing out that you are an evolutionist!

43 posted on 11/10/2009 9:03:10 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: Liberty1970; GodGunsGuts

I haven’t read beyond this post. However, I am certain some mouth-breathing half-wit has already howled that creationists by default must believe in a 6000 year old Earth.


44 posted on 11/10/2009 9:27:19 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

You lose.


45 posted on 11/10/2009 9:30:53 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: ColdWater

Guess again...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2383168/posts?page=10#10


46 posted on 11/10/2009 9:32:51 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

Actually, if you take a gander at the link in #41, you will see that God’s creation is designed in such a way as to ensure that even the most ardent God-hating Evos have no choice but to confirm His handiwork.


47 posted on 11/10/2009 9:37:36 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: allmendream

I think what is going on is they are talking about the evolution of the penguin BEFORE the DNA samples were ‘alive’. If you push back their ages then you compress the evolution that got them to that state.


48 posted on 11/10/2009 9:39:48 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: hitchit; Grizzled Bear

See #44 and 46. GB just called you a mouth-breathing half-wit.


49 posted on 11/10/2009 9:42:57 PM PST by ColdWater ("The theory of evolution really has no bearing on what I'm trying to accomplish with FR anyway. ")
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To: ColdWater; hitchit; GodGunsGuts
See #44 and 46. GB just called you a mouth-breathing half-wit.

Actually, after reading up to post 8, I commented -

Grizzled Bear to Liberty1970; GodGunsGuts

I haven’t read beyond this post. However, I am certain some mouth-breathing half-wit has already howled that creationists by default must believe in a 6000 year old Earth.

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Note: I made my comment at post 8 before reading any further.

Then you posted -

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:30:53 PM · 45 of 49

ColdWater to Grizzled Bear

You lose.

Then I pointed you to post 10 where hitchit made the obligatory 6000 year old Earth post.

Now ColdWater, are you finished behaving like a little girl who is compelled to tattle to Mommy? I hope some day reach puberty and are able to move beyond such behavior.

50 posted on 11/10/2009 9:58:53 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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