Creationist almost discovers promoters/enhancers

Creationists: Experts in being arrogant idiots.

These sources promoting the classic “junk DNA” icon of neo-Darwinism need updating, as a Yale University news release from earlier this month recalls the fact that “[i]n the last several years, scientists have discovered that non-coding regions of the genome, far from being junk, contain thousands of regulatory elements that act as genetic ‘switches’ to turn genes on or off.” In this case, the junk triggered genes that control human thumb and foot development.


Non-coding DNA can promote and enhance gene transcription??

Are you all shitting me??

EVILUTION IS DOOOOOOOMED!! Death via press release!! GHA!! Sure promoters and enhancers are Genetics 101 (the textbook I just pulled off the shelf has an entire chapter dedicated to these ‘recently discovered non-coding not-junk’ with references back to the mid-1980s– Chapter 21)… but still! New discovery = junk DNA is functional = JESUS!

Or not.

Heres a quick non-IDiotic summary of the paper Casey says demolishes Darwinism and common descent:
Human-Specific Gain of Function in a Developmental Enhancer

Human and chimpanzee DNA has a lot in common. We compared all the protein coding regions, and something like 30% of our proteins are 100% identical to the chimpanzee homologue. Ones that are ‘different’ are different by as little as one amino acid.

Um… so why are humans and chimpanzees so different? Well, Ive touched on that a lot on old/new ERV, and even in my BloggingHeads talk with PZ– Our differences arent in the proteins (that would be too easy). Our differences are in the expression levels of proteins.

That is not my idea. That is not a new idea. That idea has/is being tested through the use of microarrays, defining the epigenome, and………. analyzing changes within promoter/enhancer regions.

Promoters and enhancers are just stretches of NON-CODING OMG JUNK DNA that recruit the appropriate proteins to transcribe a gene. Make changes in a promoter/enhancer, change transcription levels.

So Prabhakar et al took a close look at an enhancer in humans that seems to be evolving (changing) really fast, compared to other bits of DNA: HACNS1.

Although this 546-base pair (bp) element is highly constrained in all sequenced terrestrial vertebrate genomes, it has accumulated 16 human-specific sequence changes in the ~6 million years since the human-chimpanzee split

Our results evoke the hypothesis that human-specific adaptive evolution in HACNS1 has contributed to uniquely human aspects of digit and limb patterning. The dexterity of the human hand is due to morphological differences compared with other primates that include rotation of the thumb toward the palm and an increase in the length of the thumb relative to the other digits (1). Human-specific changes in hindlimb morphology, such as the characteristic inflexibility and shortened digits of the human foot, facilitated habitual bipedalism. The gain of function in HACNS1 may have influenced the evolution of these or other human limb features by altering the expression of nearby genes during limb development.

Um… so 16 mutations in an enhancer helped make humans human. The 16 mutations didnt kill a function, they caused a gain in function.

But according to Casey Luskin, world renowned geneticist, these findings mean Jesus will be coming back any day now, and he didnt evolve from no monkey.


  1. #1 Draconiz
    September 25, 2008

    Nice take down Abby

  2. #2 ennui
    September 25, 2008

    Finally, a clear-cut explanation of pygmies + dwarves.

    Wait, what?

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 25, 2008

    I knew after reading the first quoted paragraph and not even looking at the link that had to be attack mouse Luskin.

    His stink arrives far before you know it’s him.

  4. #4 IR
    September 25, 2008

    Great post Abby.

    Which, unfortunately, means it will be completely disregarded/misunderstood by creationists.

  5. #5 afarensis, FCD
    September 25, 2008

    He quotes an exercise physiology textbook as an authority on genetics? Srsly?

  6. #6 Mike
    September 25, 2008

    When your audience is IDiots, it matters not a whit what you say. Casey’s drivel causes rapture among the feeble minded. Logic and understanding would get in the way.

  7. #7 Jared
    September 25, 2008

    Promoters were known about at least before the 1975ish, I know I read a paper from about that time on the lactose operon. I’d really like to know if Mr. Casey even knows that the identification of what controls expression of various proteins takes one more gap away from the design camp…

  8. #8 Paul Lundgren
    September 25, 2008

    @IR #4:

    We don’t care about them. We’re interested in educating people with open minds. Well, minds.

  9. #9 James F
    September 25, 2008

    Oh NOEZ! You mean the work I’ve been doing on mammalian gene enhancer/promoter regions all these years supports ID???

    And wait a minute…isn’t there some kind of genetic…CODE?

  10. #10 Blake Stacey
    September 25, 2008

    Jacob and Monod discovered the lac operon in 1961, and were given the Nobel Prize in 1965, I do believe.

  11. #11 Chris Noble
    September 25, 2008

    Jacob and Monod discovered the lac operon in 1961, and were given the Nobel Prize in 1965, I do believe.

    Thank the Designer that we have ID scientists like Franšois Jacob working on the problem.

  12. #12 Blake Stacey
    September 26, 2008

    The sentiment is attributed to Jacques Monod that a scientist who believes in God suffers from schizophrenia.

  13. #13 Chris Noble
    September 26, 2008

    The sentiment is attributed to Jacques Monod that a scientist who believes in God suffers from schizophrenia.

    But they obviously used design principles in their research!

  14. #14 The Backpacker
    September 26, 2008

    Now I know who to blam for not being able to eat cheese. I am going to kick those guys until their grandkids are brused. Or wait do I blame the desinger, and another thing who desings a machine with a giant pool of a substance that could destroy the machine right in the middle of the dumb thing. And when are you going to do something about this gravity it is really pissing me off, and ….. oooo somthing shiny

  15. #15 Shirakawasuna
    September 27, 2008

    lol, Casey Luskin. Need I say more?

  16. #16 J-Dog
    September 30, 2008

    Well, OF COURSE Luskin didn’t evolve from no monkey!

    By following your link, it is clear that he evolved from an eyebrow-enhancing experiment gone horribly wrong…

  17. #17 karl
    September 30, 2008

    I like T. Ryan Gregory’s “Onion Test”. If you think you have come up with a sure fire explanation for junk DNA then you need to explain why an onion needs a bigger genome than humans.

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