Friday, September 29, 2006

Genetic Invariance: A Prerequisite to Life

In a response to the post entitled 'DNA Damage and a Kinase Signaling Pathway' Mike commented:

It seems strange that all these mechanism are devoted to restricting the number and diversity of DNA damage, yet 'random' mutation plus natural selection work best I think when theres a wide range of mutations to select for -antibiotic resistance a case in point.

Mechanisms that detect and repair faulty DNA occasioned by environmental causes or copying errors provide data supporting a change related paradigm but it is not evidence favoring the need for selected mutations but rather data favoring the need for genomic invariance. Bacterial adaptation includes non-mutational strategies. Adaptation in turn means that 99+% of genetic sequences remain unchanged. While these are not novel observations they present research opportunities for IDers.

Based on the universal presence of repair mechanisms, their essential functions and the existence of genetic impairment factors in all eras of natural history, one can reasonably hypothesize that living organisms could neither exist nor evolve without such mechanisms. This has implications for origin of life and evolutionary theories that are favorable to an intelligent inference.

It also seems as if there really isn't anything random about mutations -as these as Mike Gene says can be seen as a form of homeostasis -where in some instances of stress the organism can purposely increase the number of mutations, in a bit for survival. Interesting stuff,

Indeed. Gene does a good job of pointing out that biological data is amenable to telic interpretations.



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