Gene Duplication: Does It Produce Gene Families?

In CRSQ (Creation Research Society Quarterly Winter 2009) contained a highly impressive science paper from Yingguang Liu who attends  Maranatha Baptist Bible College which I’m personally fimilar with as I been there a few times.

The science paper argues on various points that gene duplication, a process which creates extra copies of genes within the genome leads to a downward process instead of an upward process which many evolutionary biologists believe it does.

Does historical science based on evolution show all gene families produced by ancient events of duplication? Yingguang Liu writes…“Duplication of large chromosomal segments or entire chromosomes causes severe imbalance between the genes, resulting in malformation or diseases, Down’s sndrome” he notes as the best example.

What about smaller duplications?  After all, this is one of the main reasons evolutionists believe Darwinism works…Yingguang Liu writes,..“Even small duplications within the protein coding regions may cause problems such as frame-shift mutations.”

Also “gene dosage effects” do not increase new genetic information which is a key component for evolution. One has parental traits encoded by pre-existing information from the parents.

The cell has a defense mechanism to counter duplicated genes, known as; homology dependent gene silencing. Liu makes an outstanding point about irreducible complex systems not being created by gene duplication. He then quotes Michael Behe’s book, Back Box which says, “a single system composed of several well-matched parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of those parts causes the system to effectively stop functioning.” Michael Behe is not a creationist, but an intelligent design proponent, whose point about irreducible complexity is correct.

Also, networks which are irreducibly complex are not the products of gene duplication either. “Advanced organism have a significant fraction of their genomes as regulatory sequences which have no homologues in simplier organisms (Liu and Doran 2006).”

Gene duplication is not the major means of producing new information, in fact duplication of genes is supressed by other cell functions. Mutations which I didn’t mention is also contained in this science paper lead to degeneration. Liu ends it with…“studies of copy-number polymorphisms within species will certainly shed more light on this topic.” I agree.

I would like to add, developing more methods on detecting design. I also would like to see Yingguang Liu focus on another aspect in science like specified complexity. Just like a painter’s painting, he might not be around or visible, but the pattern is there for observation and testing. I recommend reading Liu’s science paper in it’s entirety on gene duplication as I didn’t mention everything he wrote plus he backs up what he says through illustrations as well.


9 thoughts on “Gene Duplication: Does It Produce Gene Families?

  1. Your CRSQ journal is NOT a science journal, so the paper you described is not a science paper, but a religious paper. Which is fine, of course, but you should be honest and open about this.

    Please bear in mind the CRS Statement of Belief that is practised by the publishers. This is similar to the Journal of Creation, also not a science journal. Such a statement immediately invalidates the scientific method, and renders these publications unscientific.
    I do not propose to ban such publications, not at all, but they are purely religious (or political), not scientific, and this should be clear to all !

  2. Eelco,

    Let me point out another article in CRSQ which disproves your bias. It has to do with the human eye. Now the eye has been presumed by some in your neck of the woods as one of the best examples of a bad design. But in creationism the human eye is considered a good design. So the article outlines all the details of the human eye, and why it’s a good design rather than a bad one. That’s science regardless on whether or not scientists agree with the conclusions. Discussing functions of the human eye which is observable and testable but coming up with different conclusions is still science. As you know, scientists don’t always agree even in evolution. So in other words, you don’t believe totally in the scientific method because of who is conducting the writing.

  3. But there you go again ! Just quoting another article from a creationist journal, instead of using your own words.

    And of course I employ the scientific method myself. My point is that your journal CSRQ does *not* follow that method, and is therefore not scientific. That is pretty clear for all to see …

  4. Your point is invalid, you failed to give the reason when studying the human eye for example would not be a scientific method because it’s in a creationist journal. The human eye is observable and testable, so what is the problem? Advocating the human eye is well designed verses not designed very well isn’t a religion, even though the conclusions are different. Saying you believe in a well designed human eye, doesn’t necessarily mean in itself your believing in religious doctrine especially with the growing belief that evolution is an “engineer” or another words “self-organization.” Many failed predictions in evolution has brought some scientists to creationism without agreeing with design first.

    The assumption of yours seems to be anything that agrees with the Bible is religion and what doesn’t agree is ‘science.’ On a side note which is more towards your field, You can’t prove where the big bang originally came from, but you still believe in it. Frankly believing in something that came out of nothing is a religion. And lastly, I didn’t feel the need to put much of my own commentary into this particular article. Although, I might interview him directly in the future.

  5. No, I do not ‘believe’ in the ‘big bang’ (which is a bad name anyway), because as a scientist I do not ‘believe’ things.
    I adopt the best possible theory given the evidence, and then keep looking for an even better theory (and more evidence). You believe the bible to be true in any case, whatever the evidence, which is quite a different approach (i.e. not science) !

    And of course the ‘big bang’ theory is *not* saying that something is coming out of nothing. That is ignorance on your part, I’m afraid, and a common misconception.

  6. Are you a believer in multi-universes then? What is the best possible theory to you to explain the birth of the Universe? The big bang suggests a finite Universe. Ironically but not surprising, this hypothesis came from a scientist who was also a Roman Catholic Priest.

    You seem more agnostic with your view on science, then atheist. “You believe the bible to be true in any case” well firstly we certainly come to different conclusions but there is a little more to the Bible than meets the eye. For example, texts like the Uncial manuscripts, Cursive manuscripts, Lectionary manuscripts, Papyrus Fragment Manuscripts, translators, technique, history, and theology are things considered to make sure it’s really the word of God.

  7. As I said, I am not a ‘believer’ at all, but a scientist. I do not ‘believe’ in theories. The multiverse idea is a nice one, but not at the level of a theory yet (I’d say). And again, I never ‘believe’ in theories or ideas, I test them.

    The ‘big bang’ theory does not at all suggest a finite universe! Remember that the term ‘big bang’ is coined by Hoyle, who did not like this theory one bit, and has nothing to do with an explosion. All it says it that the universe expands (and pretty rapidly at the beginning).

  8. “the ‘big bang’ theory does not at all suggest a finite universe! Remember that the term ‘big bang’ is coined by Hoyle” Yes, he coined the phrase, but your wrong about the theory, as one proponent of evolution states…

    “One of the most persistently asked questions has been: How was the universe created? Many once believed that the universe had no beginning or end and was truly infinite. Through the inception of the Big Bang theory, however,no longer could the universe be considered infinite. The universe was forced to take on the properties of a finite phenomenon, possessing a history and a beginning.”

  9. Here we go again: why should I be wrong because somebody (and you do not reveal who !) says something different ?
    Speak your own mind for once! Stop just quoting random people! And of course evolution is not the same as cosmology: we’ve been there before as well.

    Read some more, that would help. Here is one website that might help you:

    So the universe is still infinite in the ‘big bang’ theory. OK ?

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