Geneticists are in the process of engineering molecules which is great science, but when scientists alter molecules which is not found in nature, are they performing evolution which is a mindless unguided process or intelligent design? Is there any evidence for evolution in the experiment?
The abstract in the paper goes like this…
“Genetics provides a mechanism for molecular memory and thus the basis for Darwinian evolution. It involves the storage and propagation of molecular information and the refinement of that information through experience and differential survival. Heretofore, the only molecules known to be capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution were RNA and DNA, the genetic molecules of biology. But on page 341 of this issue, Pinheiro et al. (1) expand the palette considerably.”
“They report six alternative genetic polymers that can be used to store and propagate information; one of these was made to undergo Darwinian evolution in response to imposed selection constraints. The work heralds the era of synthetic genetics, with implications for exobiology, biotechnology, and understanding of life itself. “
Here the paper uses circular reasoning, “Genetics provides a mechanism for molecular memory and thus the basis for Darwinian evolution.” There was no observation of nature selecting the defined structures nor the targets, nor the aptamers! It was an international team of scientists who did the selecting! Not only that but their altered molecules “remains relatively inefficient.” unnatural or designed by scientists are poor polymerase substrates at full substitution.
Molecular memory is not a demonstration of evolution rather it’s an assumption of the data. Scientists invented their own selection strategy which they call “compartmentalized self-tagging.”
The conclusion of the paper says…
“Our work establishes strategies for the replication and evolution of synthetic genetic polymers not found in nature, providing a route to novel sequence space. The capacity of synthetic polymers for both heredity and evolution also shows that DNA and RNA are not functionally unique as genetic materials.”
“The methodologies developed herein are readily applied to other nucleic acid architectures and have the potential to enable the replication of genetic polymers of increasingly divergent chemistry, structural motifs, and physicochemical properties, as shown here by the acid resistance of HNA aptamers (fig. S17). Thus, aspects of the correlations between chemical structure, evolvability, and phenotypic diversity may become amenable to systematic study. Such “synthetic genetics” — that is, the exploration of the informational, structural, and catalytic potential of synthetic genetic polymers — should advance our understanding of the parameters of chemical information encoding and provide a source of ligands, catalysts, and nanostructures with tailor-made chemistries for applications in biotechnology and medicine.”
Other media makes wild claims that this experiment produces a more understanding about the origin of life which is nothing more than presupposes the existence of DNA. Because without DNA along with its specified information, and proteins to build DNA, nothing happens! Unless scientists are observing this in nature without their tinkering around, this is not evolution rather they are tinkering with something that was intelligently designed by God. Even if evolution was true, just because it was done in a lab, doesn’t mean nature does it and altering molecules in a lab is not a demonstration on how evolution works rather just like evolution itself, it’s a man-made up story about the experiment.