Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is ID Science?

Part of a comment of Steve Petermann of Telic Thoughts addressing the question of whether ID is science appears below.

"I'm for open inquiry in all forms of human exploration. It seems that the only purpose this label has taken on is to close down or denigrate novel ideas or approaches. Since I don't think the sky is falling because of ID, it should take its place along other controversial ideas where they will succeed or fail based on their merits over time."

Very well said. When the question is posed it is generally an attempt to denigrate ID. Often those posing the question have the view that simply classifying something as science confers a plausibility to an idea. In what parallels a marketing principle, respect for science is associated with what is considered scientific. In reality though, scientific plausibility is linked to the application of scientific methodology and is dependent on a yield of supporting data.

Petermann's point as to how ID will ultimately be judged is on target. Results will determine its fate. In the meanwhile attempting to shut down ID runs counter to human nature which seeks to explore even those ideas that are uncomfortable for some.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Maintaining Genetic Stability

'A protein complex that untangles DNA' is a brief article providing a good glimpse into the multiple mechanisms involved in maintaining genetic stability. The article notes a paper, which appeared in Molecular Cell, authored by researchers wanting to get a better understanding of what goes wrong when cancer occurs. Their approach was to investigate chromosomal aberations and DNA repair.

There are three protein complexes essential to chromosome repair and distribution during the cell division process. Quoting from the article researcher Camilla Sjogren stated, when referring to these protein complexes, "One of them, cohesin, keeps the DNA copies together such that they do not separate too early; while the other, condensin, makes the chromosomes more compact, making the separation easier."

The third protein complex was the object of the research group's study. It is known as the Smc5/6 complex. Researchers found that this complex is involved in two different functions. One is the repair of DNA and the other is disentangling of chromosomes prior to cell division. The tangling is a consequence of copying DNA and the untangling essential to ensure that each daughter cell gets its needed chromosomes.

There is an intent to further study the molecular details and as Camilla Sjogren stated: "This will bring us one step closer to the general goal – a summary of the many mechanisms that collaborate to maintain our genetic stability."


Monday, February 26, 2007

Around the Blogosphere 2/26/07

O'Leary on popular science misconceptions

Some threatiness in evidence in the reactions to Mike Gene's book 'The Design Matrix'

'A Genomic Balancing Act' by me

Sober's views on ID and reactions to it

At Uncommon Descent: A post on DNA supercoils

A post on ribosomes from the Design Watch Blog

Practical Benefits Accruing from the study of biological design- The Design Watch Blog

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Animal Antics

Here are two videos I enjoyed. The first shows an amazing confrontation involving a rabbit and a snake in which the rabbit gets the upper hand.

This next video shows the interaction of a kitten with a laptop screen.


Friday, February 23, 2007

HMGA1 and p53 Mediated Apoptosis

A Medical New Today article 'HMGA1 Stops P53 In Its Tracks In Cancer Cells' discusses the roles played by proteins known as HMGA1 and HIPK2 in p53 mediated apoptosis. The article begins by noting that the overexpression of HMGA1 has been associated with human cancer. The causal link was identified as decreased capacity to initiate apoptosis- a process that brings about the death of cells.

To understand how apoptosis is influenced by the overexpression of HMGA1 one needs to appreciate the role played by the protein HIPK2 in initiating apoptosis. HMGA1 interferes with HIPK2 and this brings about the inhibition of apoptosis when it would normally be triggered. Cancer can be the end result.

Apoptosis is another sageguard against rogue DNA function caused by damage to DNA. It brings about the death of cells so that an organism can continue to live.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

DNA Repair Genes

The blogpost 'A Genomic Balancing Act' at Telic Thoughts has evoked 111 comments up to this point. The website 'Why We Age' contains some good information that most readers should be able to benefit from. The following quote from the site is a sample:

"DNA repair is an integrated process whereby damage to the DNA of the cells genome is identified and then corrected. This DNA damage can occur as a result of a large number of normal metabolic activities. For example free radicals such as Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 produced during cellular respiration can damage DNA quite severely. Also a variety of environmental factors, such as UV radiation and carcinogenic chemicals can and do result in damage to DNA."

Also available at the site is information about specific genes identified in humans which are involved in the repair of DNA. The genes are grouped according to their general function and their specific function can be specified too. Information about specific gene names and chromosome location also appear.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Single Strand Breaks in DNA and SCAN1

I mentioned that there are diseases connected with genomic repair that have names attached to them in a comment I made at Telic Thoughts. An example is a condition known as spinocerebellar ataxia with axonal neuropathy-1 or SCAN1 for short. SCAN1 is a disease affecting the brain and spinal cord. As this report indicates the cause of the disease are mutations in the protein TDP1 (tyrosyl phosphodiesterase 1). TDP1 was known to have a function related to the repair of double strand DNA breaks during cell replication when another function involving single strand break repairs was found. It is this latter function that is believed to be impaired by SCAN1.

Information found in this linked paper in 'Nature' shows that "in human cells TDP1 is required for repair of chromosomal single-strand breaks arising independently of DNA replication from abortive top1 activity or oxidative stress." TDP1 is found to be active in single strand break repair multi-protein complexes.


Monday, February 19, 2007

The Evolution of Destruction

Varied and many are the factors that occasion damage to our genomes. Included are oxygen radicals that are highly reactive. They are a by-product of essential biochemical pathways that include cellular respiration. This raises a question. Were the enzymes required to repair genomic damage already present at the time cellular respiration functions evolved? If so why is that presumed and if not then how would genomes have been protected from oxygen radicals?

Evolution of necessary biochemical pathways would have produced agents damaging to the integrity of an organism's genome. This involves a case where apparently reproductive fitness would be lessened by the introduction of an essential function. Accounting for the evolutionary sequential order of different cellular functions is a fascinating enterprise that demands no shortage of resourcefullness and imagination.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

The "It's About Religion" Canard

In a BreakPoint Commentary titled 'A Passion for Truth' Chuck Colson wrote:

"A couple of years ago on this program, I had this to say of the book Doubts about Darwin by my friend Thomas Woodward: “The motivation for [the] . . . founders of the [intelligent] design movement to instigate this ‘reformation within science’ is a passion for intellectual truth-telling.”

Woodward displays this passion for truth-telling yet again in his marvelous new book, Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design. What Woodward wrote about just a few years ago is even truer today. Amid a firestorm of criticism and abuse from committed Darwinists, the intelligent design movement continues to press forward, gaining scientific credibility and even grudging respect from some evolutionists. But as Woodward shows, there’s still a long way to go.

Because the more respect intelligent design gains, the more alarmed the Darwinists become. Their thinking goes something like this: It’s one thing for those religious people to talk about a creator God—that’s religion; but now they are talking about science—so, they figure, “Let’s label it religion.” Woodward writes, “These sentiments were echoed in public declarations, verbally and in print, by Darwinian defenders, warning . . . that Intelligent Design is religion, not science . . . This statement,” Woodward continues, “emerged as the number-one talking point for Intelligent Design opponents [over the last few years].”

Use labeling rather than reason. Assert the plausibility of abiogenesis, in spite of the paltry evidence for it. Then ignore physical phenomenon like sequential properties of functional DNA that make it more amenable to purposeful, intelligent causal explanations. And what's religious about this?

"The idea makes for a great sound bite, as the popular press is well aware. But it has no ground to stand on, and that’s becoming increasingly obvious if you spend any amount of time researching the issue. Intelligent design theorists come from all backgrounds and creeds; some of them aren’t “religious” at all. What they have in common is what Woodward calls a “scientific paradigm” that allows for design in any natural mechanism that can’t be explained simply by chance or purely natural causes. His meticulously researched book clearly explains the scientific reasoning behind this paradigm.

Ironically, it’s the anti-intelligent design forces that are fully committed to a religious dogma—a dogma whose foundation is starting to show dangerous cracks. Their religion is materialism, and some of them even admit it, like Harvard geneticist Richard Lowentin. Woodward quotes him as saying: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.”

Well said. The standard bearers for the status quo are not without extra-scientific values that determine how they view nature. We all bring metaphysical views to the table. It's time ID opponents acknowledge this.


Friday, February 16, 2007

The Flat Earth Tactic

A new blog link has been posted to this site. It is David Anderson's 'The British Centre for Science Education: Revealed.' This particular blog will focus on one of David's blogs entitled 'The BCSE And The Recycling Of Anti-Christian Mythology.' It deals with a common tactic that has been employed against both advocates of intelligent design and Christians who deviate from orthodox norms. It seeks to link the belief in a flat earth to those in the forementioned groups. The following italicized quote is taken from David's linked blog:

The fact that the earth is not flat has been known for over 2,500 years. In fact, in 276BC, one astronomer (Eritosthenes) made a calculation of the size of the earth, to within an impressive degree of accuracy (either within ½% or 17% of the modern value, depending on the question of how his units translate to modern ones).

And contrary to modern mythology, nobody tried to dissuade Christopher Columbus from travelling round the world because of the danger of falling off the end. Columbus' critics and Columbus both acknowledged that the earth is spherical - but protested that the world was too big for him to reach his intended destination by sailing west. As one author writes, " The common impression that Columbus proved that the world is round is completely destroyed when one realizes that he probably never sailed farther west than Cuba, falling far short of circumnavigating the earth." (

That the earth is not a flat piece of land is also implied in the Bible. Indeed the book which may be the very oldest book in the Bible states that the earth is suspended in space:

[God] stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

Job 26:7 -

So if the belief is not documented in the Bible why even allege it? Of course the motive is to discredit people whose views do not accord with their own. When you see the flat earth ploy you find evidence that those bandying about the phrase would rather mud wrestle than engage in sincere dialog, avoid thinking in favor of flame throwing or maybe just indulge their juvenile impulses.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Around the Blogosphere 2/14/07

Manipulating the public?

A blog by Mike Gene

A blog by macht

New TTer Bilbo's initial blog.

A commentary at Sequenced by Design on one of our blogs.

Denyse O'Leary's blog covering a UK story.

From The Point: Why Genetics Can't Explain Consciousness

From: The Design Watch Blog

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Off-topic: Talent on Display

My daughter showed me this. It's worth a look.


Monday, February 12, 2007

A Fundamentally Flawed Analysis: Part 2

This is the second of a series of blogs on a book review by James Robert Brown entitled 'Fundamentally Mistaken.' The review is of a book authored by Michael Shermer titled 'Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.' This appeared in the linked review:

Behe's most famous example, the flagellum of a bacterium (the little tail that propels the cell), could not have come about by any Darwinian process, he claims, because every part is needed in its current form; alter any bit and the whole collapses like a house of cards.

There are problems galore with this and other such arguments for the existence of an intelligent designer. First, even if no Darwinian process that can explain the flagellum is known at present, it does not follow that no such process exists.

But that is exactly what needs to be scientifically determined rather than assumed. Since no empirically verified pathways exist the causal issue is an open question. In response to Behe proposals have been made. One scenario invokes the type 3 secretory system as having been an ancestral precursor system to the flagellum motor. Don't assume anything either way. Rather leave the matter open to interpretations drawn from further testing. Test results can confirm or negate competing hypotheses so it is premature to claim that there are problems galore with Behe's irreducible complexity concept. IC is not negated through conceptual pathways either. Arguments are not the means by which this issue should be settled. More from Brown's review:

This "god of the gaps" reasoning is a sham.

Brown jumps from an empirically unsettled matter to a knee jerk cliche without a pause. The God of the gaps phrase is an example of ParaSpinning Behe. The one flinging the phrase is asserting that a) a gap in knowledge exists, that when filled, will show how unknown pathways explain x; in this case the flagellum and b) that skeptics are needlessly invoking God as the cause because of a lack of understanding.

To the extent that we are unable to depict a pathway with reasonable specificity a gap exists. Existing evidence explains how we fix causality. Brown and Shermer believe that selected genetic changes alone explain the evolution of the flagellum. Incidental to this is a concurrent, but rarely enunciated belief, that the selection process itself reveals nothing suggesting purposeful or intelligent influence on the course of events. Unfortunately for them the details of the process are obscured and may never be clearly delineated so as to verify the claim. Also problematic is the insistence on the need for geologic time frames which effectively rules out many empirical approaches. What remains is the identification of homologous genes and their proteins and a presumption that the selection paradigm is sufficient to take it from there.

The sufficiency of a selection based explanation is called into question by irreducible complexity. It is not an all out assault on selection but rather insists that molecular homology arguments lack the required rigor. Historically, countering design hinged on the integrity of selection based arguments. Paley's argument was rational and only countered by showing theoretical pathways driven by selection. IDists remind us that purpose and intelligence remain rational alternative explanations when selection falls short or, as Gene and Krauze at Telic Thoughts have suggested, when the selection concept itself reveals a telic quality.


Sunday, February 11, 2007


I came across a blog of interest. Here is a sample blog. The following paragraph and more can be accessed at the link.

"Viruses like the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus can exploit our mRNA export pathway by having their transcripts bind directly to export factors such as Tap. The RNA elements that bind Tap are called constitutive export elements (CTEs). In a hunt for CTEs in transcripts endogenous to the mammalian genome, the authors came up with a CTE in Tap's own transcript. Turns out that this CTE is only present in an alternatively spliced (and shorter) form of Tap. This small Tap has a RNA binding domain but lacks a domain that interacts with the nuclear pore complex thus disabling the protein's nuclear export capability."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Fundamentally Flawed Analysis

This is the first of a series of blogs on a book review by James Robert Brown entitled 'Fundamentally Mistaken.' The review is of a book authored by Michael Shermer titled 'Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.' The review illustrates flaws in the reasoning of intelligent design opponents. IDists can get a good sampling of objections in this short piece. This particular blog is focused on one paragraph. The italicized paragraph follows:

I'm skeptical that Americans really are scared of science. Often what is called an "antiscience" stance is really a fear of technology and its effects, from genetically modified foods to global warming. Fears of moral nihilism, however, are quite real. Darwinism, many people believe, will undermine religion, thus undermining morality. The first inference is reasonable, but the second is not. There's no need to worry about the loss of morality. (For a detailed discussion of why that is, talk to your friendly neighborhood philosopher or read the first chapter of Peter Singer's Practical Ethics.)

I agree that fear of science can be confused with fear of new technology. Brown also correctly identifies the undermining of religion with the belief that this also undermines morality. Brown forfeits his credibility at the outset of his article though, before those who take religion seriously, with a flippant response. The Sermon on the Mount was given 2000 years ago and still stands out as a solid moral foundation for millions who view the moral ramblings of your friendly yokel as a stupid point of comparison. Peter Singer is not much of an improvement. Few stand the test of time. How many will recall Singer's name a hundred years from now? Brown's response indicates that he may not take morality all that seriously. That in itself would hinder any attempts to bridge the divide separating opposing sides.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Horse Genome Sequenced

'Horse Genome Assembled: Thoroughbred Mare's DNA Code Now Freely Available'- the title of the article lets you know the genome of another organism has been sequenced. The first paragraph from the linked site:

The first draft of the horse genome sequence has been deposited in public databases and is freely available for use by biomedical and veterinary researchers around the globe, leaders of the international Horse Genome Sequencing Project announced today.

You can get the rest of the story here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Evolutionary Mechanisms: Part One

Does Evolution Even Have a Mechanism? by William Dembski contains polemics in support of ID. I'll focus on a portion for purposes of commentary. Dembski in italics.

Suppose, therefore, for the sake of argument that intelligence--one irreducible to material mechanisms--actually did play a decisive role in the emergence of life's complexity and diversity. How could we know it? To answer this question, let's run a thought experiment. Imagine that Alice is sending Bob encrypted messages over a communication channel and that Eve is eavesdropping. For simplicity let's assume all the signals are bit strings. How could Eve know that Alice is not merely sending Bob random coin flips but meaningful messages?

To answer this question, Eve will require two things: First, the bit strings sent across the communication channel need to be reasonably long--in other words, they need to be complex. If not, chance can readily account for them. Just as there's no way to reconstruct a piece of music given just one note, so there is no way to preclude chance for a bit string that consists of only a few bits. For instance, there are only eight strings consisting of three bits, and chance readily accounts for any of them.

The number of units in an analogous genome is sufficiently large to rule out chance explanations. But does necessity or selection explain the origins of an initial genome?

There's a second requirement for Eve to know that Alice is not sending Bob random gibberish: Eve needs to observe a suitable pattern in the signal Alice sends Bob. Even if the signal is complex, it may exhibit no pattern characteristic of intelligence. Flip a coin enough times, and you'll observe a complex sequence of coin tosses. But that sequence will exhibit no pattern characteristic of intelligence. For cryptanalysts like Eve, observing a pattern suitable for identifying intelligence amounts to finding a cryptographic key that deciphers the message. Patterns suitable for identifying intelligence I call specifications.

The specifications being analogous to genetic encoding conventions. Encoding conventions are not dictated by underlying forces of nature. If 'a' must follow 'c' a pattern is in evidence but not a code.

In sum, Eve requires both complexity and specification to infer intelligence in the signals Alice is sending to Bob. This combination of complexity and specification, or specified complexity as I call it, is the basis for design inferences across numerous special sciences, including archaeology, cryptography, forensics, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

A genome is characterized by complex specificity. Is CSI generated in the absence of intelligence? What are properties of a minimal genome and how do we determine a minimally functional genome? That is the subject of a future blog entry.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


In an interview of Nancy Pearcey by Charles Strohmer which can be accessed here, Nancy Pearcey commented on meta-theory. It was her contention that both ID and Darwinism were meta-theories. A meta-theory can have an empirical aspect to it but it is more.

Meta-theories encompass data from various fields that are not necessarily closely related to each other. It creates a unifying paradigm that explains disparate data.

Standard evolutionary theory has been known to do just that and ID has the same characteristic. The disparate data can be scientific in nature but the impact of the paradigms extends beyond the scientific world and influences philosophy, religion and the values we hold to.

It is not surprising then that disputes between the opposing camps are often hostile. Even when the scientific means to an end are agreed to by both sides, the tension persists. This is evidenced when IDers, who accept evolution, nevertheless impute intelligence or purpose to an evolutionary chain of events. That inference is generally hotly contested even when a physical causal mechanism is agreed to by both camps. Witness the reactions to Behe who accepts common descent. The common descent belief did not satisfy his critics who recognize that Behe's ID stance conflicts with philosophical and religious aspects of their meta-theory. Nancy Pearcey has a knack for identifying underlying or secondary objections and bringing them to the forefront.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Meyer vs. Ward: Part II

More on the debate between Meyer and Ward.

WARD: We’ll forever take it away from you; you’re not allowed to have this stuff. So my point to Steve is what is the predictive power that ID can do; what will predict and what will produce – because what evolutionary theory has done is ended up an enormous number of predictions that have had huge power and have actually had material production. What can ID do along those lines?

MEYER: That’s a great question. Let me give you a couple of examples. Few of you may have grabbed our handout on the way in. You may know there’s an on-going debate about the origins of molecular machines in the cell, the bacterial flagella motor—this little rotary engine that Michael Behe has made famous in his book, Darwin’s Black Box. He’s been critiqued by Ken Miller, a biologist at Brown University; Behe’s at Lehigh. Looks for all the world like a scientific debate. Miller has noted that there’s a little syringe-like pump that has many of the same protein parts that make up a bacterial flagellar motor. Miller argues that that syringe is an ancestral form of the flagellar motor. Behe argues that it’s a degenerative product of the genetic information that made the motor as a whole. Now that’s a chicken or egg question—which came first? And that’s a very testable question: which of those two systems is older? Which is younger? And papers are beginning to come in on this—one by Milton Sayer recently—actually favoring Behe’s position, although somewhat tentatively. My colleague Scott Minnich at the University of Idaho, a microbiologist, is doing a number of experiments to test this very thing. We think there’s very strong evidence that the flagellum motor is ancestral—the motor as a whole and the genes that made it are ancestral and that the Type 3 secretory system, as it’s called, is a by-product of that and derivative of that. For one thing the genes for building the Type 3 secretory system occur on little plasmids that are derivative from other genomes. There are several cases of this but it’s all the same conclusion. So very simple—there’s an argument; there’s a critical test: which is younger; which is older? There are numbers of ways to test that—biogenetic studies and so forth. Michael Behe’s ID theory is very testable.

How about that. If the Type 3 secretory system is not ancestral to the flagellum motor then the many arguments against irreducible complexity that hinge on that assumption are invalid. Is this not a clear prediction?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Around the Blogosphere 2/4/07

A blog entry from the Design Watch Blog which links to the following website:

Citing Gottfried Leibniz's famous question- "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

The Meyer Ward Debate

MG's creative blog entry which evoked some good comments among which were these two by Salvador Cordova:

And there was this one from johnnyb:

This, by Krauze, zeros in on the amoeba and front loading

Some Italian support for ID covered at Uncommon Descent

Denyse O'Leary, at Post-Darwinist, covers a lot of territory with this one.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Proteins

Mike Gene authored this which I would recommend. His italicized comments follow.

Previously, we noted that eukaryotic proteins are typically larger than prokaryotic proteins and now we can see why: eukaryotes are just better at making multi-domain proteins. Thus, it is not surprising that they could synthesize the artificial two-domain GFP protein when bacteria could not. But there is more.

There is a particular type of multi-domain protein known as the multi-domain repeat. In this case, a single type of domain is repeated multiple times within the same amino acid chain. For example, imagine a protein that had three or more GFP-like folds all linked together. Not only are eukaryotes better at making this type of protein, but it is also more commonly found in multicellular organisms, where approximately one out of every ten multicellular proteins is a multi-domain repeat. In fact, with this criterion alone, unicellular yeast are more like bacteria than humans.

Viewing a matter from a different perspective can yield some uncommon insight.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meyer vs. Ward

Talk of the Times: Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, shows the debate which recently took place between Stephen Meyer and Peter Ward. Part of it appears in italics followed by my comments.

MEYER: The key test is this: show me a process that generates information, and large amounts of specified information, without the guidance of an intelligent agent. These ribozyme-engineering work that I know you’re so interested in, as am I, is guided by intelligence. Such benefits, improvements in the efficiency of replication, for example, that are achieved—and so far they’re fairly minimal—are achieved because of an intelligent agent is guiding that. That’s a – I say these experiments are actually simulating the power of intelligence, and everything we know is that only intelligence produces information. So test our theories against our knowledge of the cause and effect structure of the world.

WARD: All right—one follow-up piece. Do you believe that intelligent design has faced as rigorous a scientific test as Darwinian evolution? I mean are they equal in terms of being put to the test?

MEYER: I think, first of all, there are many things that Darwinian evolution can explain, okay? But there are some very key things that Darwinian evolution, and in particular chemical evolutionary theory of the origin of first life, cannot and has not explained. And I used to ask my students: if you want to give your computer a new functionality, what do you have to give it? And the answer is you have to give it new lines of code. The same thing is true in life, and so the fact that these evolutionary theories have not been able to explain the origin of the first information is not a minor anomaly. This is a fundamental theoretical problem, a fundamental lacuna. Any theory that can’t account for the origin of information when we now understand that information runs the show in biology is a theory that has a serious theoretical gap.

Well said Meyer. It is one thing to tweak a system already in place. It is quite another to generate one from scratch. Scientific anomalies often indicate that something is not quite right with our perception of a process. This offers opportunities to look at an old problem from a different perspective. Meyer goes right to the heart of the problem in focusing on the origin of information. It is fundamental to biology. To put a twist on a familiar phrase nothing makes sense in biology without a plausible account of how information originated and subsequently increased. Creating a new theoretical framework and subjecting it to testing could resolve this glaring anomaly.

Conformation Selection Value

One brief paragraph from Compact and ordered collapse of randomly generated RNA sequences, is a subtle reminder as to how important it is to secure randomly generated nucleotide sequences, that enhance replication, from the ravages of functionally disabling forces such as chemicals, radiation and copying errors. Unlike sequences that "were unbiased by either genealogical or functional constraints, natural selection seems necessary to achieve uniquely folding sequences." Those uniquely folding sequences better be ones connected with genomic repair functions. If they are not, their uniqueness soon could be lost. For that is the fate of nucleic acids unprotected from damaging and ubiquitous environmental factors. From the linked site:

As the raw material for evolution, arbitrary RNA sequences represent the baseline for RNA structure formation and a standard to which evolved structures can be compared. Here, we set out to probe, using physical and chemical methods, the structural properties of RNAs having randomly generated oligonucleotide sequences that were of sufficient length and information content to encode complex, functional folds, yet were unbiased by either genealogical or functional constraints. Typically, these unevolved, nonfunctional RNAs had sequence-specific secondary structure configurations and compact magnesium-dependent conformational states comparable to those of evolved RNA isolates. But unlike evolved sequences, arbitrary sequences were prone to having multiple competing conformations. Thus, for RNAs the size of small ribozymes, natural selection seems necessary to achieve uniquely folding sequences, but not to account for the well-ordered secondary structures and overall compactness observed in nature.