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The following passage was added to this article by an anonymous contributor with IP #220.127.116.11. I am relocating it here because the passage offers no evidence or citations to support its claims. An allegation that "cutting edge science" has "proven" something would need to be supported by citations from peer-reviewed scientific literature showing that the alleged science is not only "cutting edge" but is widely accepted as "proof" by the scientific community. --Sheldon Rampton 21:29, 19 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Cutting edge science has actually proven that intelligent design is real. It involves "junk DNA". More than ninety percent of human DNA is junk DNA: repetitive, nonsense sequences that don't code for protein synthesis (that's why they're assumed to be junk - the key job of DNA is to produce specific proteins). Many believe that the junk is presumably just deactivated leftovers from earlier stages in our evolution. The truth is junk DNA reveals not just our genetic past, but also our genetic future. That is, the junk DNA contains a blueprint not just of what we currently are and how we got there, but also of what we will eventually become - genetic destiny writ large.
Although junk DNA does indeed contains discarded instructions from earlier stages in our evolutionary history, the "junk" also plays an important role in ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny (the phenomenon by which human embryos briefly grow gills, a tail, and other reminders of our evolutionary past).
There exist a second layer of information on top of the traditional C,G,A,T base-pair DNA coding: the additional layer of information is related to the presence or absence of a methyl group, CH[sub-3], attached to the base cytosine (the "C" in C,G,A,T).
Although a well-known phenomenon, "cytosine methylation" is traditionally ignored in mapping DNA. But the methylation state is preserved in DNA reproduction, meaning it is faithfully copied from generation to generation - and therefore could code significant additional information into the DNA. The sequence of attached methyl groups inside the long strings of supposedly junk DNA form meaningful patterns. The binary pattern of presence or absence of methyl groups forms a complex algorithm for invoking what geneticists call "frameshift mutations".
Frameshifts occur when a nucleotide (e.g. one containing the base T) is unexpectedly added to or deleted from a DNA string. When that happens, the rest of the string is shifted along, causing the nucleotide triplets (which are the "words" of the genetic language) to be shuffled. So, if you take out the first "T" from a DNA string reading C-T-A-G-T-C-G, then instead of having the first two nucleotide triplets being C-T-A and G-T-C, they become C-A-G and T-C-G - a completely different genetic message. Although such frameshift mutations were previously thought to be random (and almost always detrimental), they can be invoked by natural processes, when RNA transcribes the "junk" DNA [RNA transcription is a key part of the procedure used to replicate DNA].
The kind of frameshift mutations that are caused by RNA transcription of "junk" DNA can only happen in females (they are negated by the presence of a Y chromosome), and only early on, when the female's lifetime supply of egg cells is being produced.
The DNA in mitochondria (which is not part of chromosomes, and is inherited solely from the mother) provides a checksum for random frameshift mutations. Mitochondria are small organelles within cells that contain their own DNA - DNA that is unrelated to normal heredity. A checksum is a simple mathematical procedure for verifying the integrity of a lengthy string of data - such as the genetic information coded in chromosomes.
If a frameshift occurs by accident (due to a random addition or loss of a base pair), the checksum sees to it that the DNA in the female's egg cells is corrected, so that the error in coding won't be passed on to the next generation. Only if the frameshift is invoked during RNA transcription of "junk" DNA does it get passed on to the egg cells.
Cells have a built-in mechanism to correct for random frameshifts, but still allow certain special frameshifts to be passed on. Those mutations had been waiting to be activated, the characteristics they coded for had been pre-programmed into the DNA.
The cytosine methylation encodes a kind of counter that increments very slowly - on the order of tens of thousands of years. The frameshift mutations and the evolutionary changes they cause were timed to occur throughout the ages.
Standard evolution is periodically assailed because of the lack of fossil evidence for missing links - intermediate stages halfway between one species and the next. To explain this away, paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould pushed a model of "punctuated equilibrium," in which environmental upheavals destabilize populations, and allow the offspring of only a handful of individuals with a mutant characteristic to rapidly become the new dominant form. But the theory of punctuated equilibrium has a big hole in it: it requires all members of the new species to be descended from a very few members of the previous species - meaning the entire new species arises from a very tiny gene pool. But tiny gene pools are recipes for disaster, as the inbreeding of royal families proves. However, with timed frameshifts occurring almost simultaneously in millions of members of a species, new species can arise safely without the dangerous narrowing of the gene pool.
The timed-frameshift proves the "multi-regional" model of human evolution, which contends that Homo sapiens emerged simultaneously in Africa and Asia, and Europe.
The frameshift coding doesn't just preserve a record of all that we have been. It also contains a blueprint for all that we are yet to become - all of humanity's future.
Frameshifting can occur accidentally through random mutations, but the checksum within the mitochondrial DNA ensures that when a premature frameshift occurs the mutation is eliminated in the next generation. This means that although there are no dynasties of evolutionary superior humans, occasionally, for a single generation, some will appear, giving us a sneak peek at the next pre-programmed evolutionary step for humanity.
- Sorry for butting in; I don't really know what SourceWatch or CMD are, but I noticed this in a Google search and thought I might as well point out that something almost identical was posted to EvoWiki to the Frameshift mutation page tonight and that it appears to derive it's contents almost entirely from an online review of a fictional book named Frameshift. Search that page for the phrases "ontogeny", "second layer of information" or "dynasties" to see the similarities.18.104.22.168 04:44, 1 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I have relocated the following additions to this article, pending the addition of citations and revision to reframe so that the entry is not primarily unreferenced personal opinion. SourceWatch has a policy of strict referencing. Thank you! lisa AT prwatch.org
Intelligent design ignores the question of the origins of this designer. If a designer is to be answered scientifically and not with appeals to religion then where or how this designer came about needs to be answered. After all, any designer would have to be more complex then what he supposedly designed.
Intelligent Design proponents attacks evolution and states that it is not true. This ignores the fact though that evolution has been observed a number of times. Bacteria are constantly evolving or changing and that is why antibiotics commonly become less effective and even obsolete with time because the bacteria that resist these drugs are more likely to survive and pass on their DNA to new generations of bacteria. Even among species much larger then bacteria, evolution has been directly observed such as among plants or a new species of mouse found on a Pacific island whose common ancestor was a different species of mouse introduced only about two centuries ago. There were no mice on this island previously. This is after only a couple of hundred years (really a blink of the eye in terms of the age of the earth), obviously millions or tens of millions of years bring much more dramatic change.
ID's focus though on evolution ignores the fact that its' criticism really deal more with abiogensis or the origins of life. IDers are in effect attacking a subject (evolution) that has nothing to do with their actual criticisms, the supposed need for a designer. They either don't realize this or realize this and don't care because ID is a political agenda and attacking evolution is simpler to attack because it is more identifiable by the public then abiogensis.