Skip to comments.Evolutionists Call New Plant Epigenetic Study 'Heresy' (article)
Posted on 10/04/2013 2:50:49 PM PDT by fishtank
Evolutionists Call New Plant Epigenetic Study 'Heresy'
by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. *
New research has uncovered a hidden layer of trait-determining epigenetic information that resides outside the DNA sequence in plants. This new discovery challenges the evolutionary paradigms of the scientific community and their long-standing views on how organisms adapt to changing environments at the molecular biological level of the cell. In fact, some are even calling this recent research "evolution heresy."1
For over the past 50 years, Darwinian evolutionists have attributed changes in an organism's traits to the specific DNA sequences that code for them. They never anticipated a hidden layer of epigenetic information overlaying the DNA code to be directly involved in how a plant interfaces with its environment.
Both plants and animals have genetic machinery that modifies the information and function of their genomes without actually changing their genetic code. This modification process is known as "epigenetics." One of the best studied of these epigenetic processes involves the chemical tagging of DNA nucleotides across the genome using methyl groups. These "methyl tags" are attached to cytosine nucleotides in specific patterns around genes and other expressed sequences by a specialized group of proteins called methyltransferases.
This methyl-tagging system (methylation) plays a key role in determining how and when genes are turned off and on along chromosomes. The specific placement and maintenance of these methyl tags is both dynamic and precise. When a cell divides and its DNA is replicated, the duplication of its methyl-tag patterns is also copied, and this complex systems engineering is only now beginning to be understood.
A recent study of the Arabidopsis plant adds to the emerging importance of epigenetics in adaptation.1 In this project, researchers tested 80 different Arabidopsis strains that were nearly identical genetically, except for some that lacked a gene controlling proper DNA methylation patterns. Thus, the test focused on a large population of genetically similar plants that had both normal and aberrant levels of methylation in their genomes. The researchers tested the plants over several generations for flowering time and root growth.
The goal of the study was to determine if variability in these traits was passed along from generation to generation by genetic or epigenetic differences. They found that the DNA sequence in the regions of the Arabidopsis genome that control both flowering time and root length was identical for all 80 plants and did not contribute the observed variability. What they discovered was that the inherited variability for these traits was associated with methylation changes!
This whole scenario presents a variety of substantial problems for evolution. First, the methylation of DNA is not a random feature in the genomethese tags are placed at specific DNA addresses all over the genome. The process also involves an orchestrated system of molecular machines that attach the methyl tags in response to environmental conditions.
Second, complex cellular machinery and systems must interpret the DNA tagsnot only according to the environment, but also based on the type of plant cell in which the tags are locatedroot, leaf, stem, etc.
Third, for the complete system to be passed along during cell growth and even to the next generation of plants (in seeds), there exists yet another separate and necessary system that copies the methyl tags with the DNA when it is replicated.
Darwinian evolution alleges that random changes in the DNA associated with various traits generate new and useful variants that are then selected by the environment. Instead, researchers are now discovering that organisms robustly adapt to their habitats while clearly remaining within their biblical kind.
Pennisi, E. 2013. Evolution heresy? Epigenetics underlies heritable plant traits. Science. 341 (6150): 1055.
* Dr. Tomkins is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.
Article posted on October 3, 2013.
Image from ICR article.
Caption: Methyltransferase complexed with DNA, molecular model. The strand of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, green and yellow) is enclosed by DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT-1, purple and pink). This enzyme acts to add methyl groups to the DNA, a process called DNA methylation, which can silence and regulate genes without changing the genetic sequence. DNA methylation is also being studied in relation to cancer.
Darwin didn’t know DNA.
It has long been known that something controlled the expression of genes, because gill like structures are normal in a fetus, but not normal in an adult.
This may be one of the means by which genetic expression is controlled.
>> Instead, researchers are now discovering that organisms robustly adapt to their habitats while clearly remaining within their biblical kind.<<
Since there is no scientific concept of “biblical kind” this statement is meaningless, as is the rest of the article.
>> Instead, researchers are now discovering that organisms robustly adapt to their habitats while clearly remaining within their biblical kind.
>Since there is no scientific concept of biblical kind this statement is meaningless, as is the rest of the article.
Biblical kind is “species.” Just because a different taxonomy is used doesn’t mean it isn’t scientific. While you are at it Google real ad hoc, i.e., non scientific sub-theories associated with Darwinian evolution:
1. panspermia (life came from outer space)
2. punctuated equilibrium (short duration speedups in macroevolution)
3. horizontal gene transfer (species shared genes horizontally early in the development of life, in violation of the rules of macroevolution).
How is this article meaningless?? I am just curious. :)
Actually, the great bulk of information in an organism is epigentic. When a cell divides, all non-nuclear organelles and other structures are duplicated BEFORE the final division, and half of those organelles and structures are passed to the new cell.
In the case of humans, the female egg contains a complete copy of such organelles and structures, and these form the basis for replication for all future human cells. Offspring are FAR more a product of their mother than their father, whose sperm merely contributes half the DNA.
Why are these being posted in News/Activism?
Darwinian evolution said nothing about dna mutation. It was a completely different paradigm.
Think about the damage ‘genetic engineering’ is doing. It’s like using 12th century battle axe when what is needed is a laser scalpel.