Post by MarkA Post by Bob Wardlaw Post by MarkA Post by Bob Wardlaw
Homeobox genes are short (about 180 base pairs) extremely ancient,
highly conserved and are shared across the animal kingdom. More than
100 homeobox genes are known. These genes also called Master Control
genes, control the formation of eyes, hearts, limbs etc across the
For example the eye across the animal phylum was believed to have
evolved at least 40 times, however, a single Master Control Gene
called Pax 6 has been responsible for the development of eyes in fruit
flies (Drosophilia) further research found that the same gene or a
homeologue was found to control the development of eyes in vertebrates
including zebra fish, squid, mice and all animals tested including
humans. The discoverer of these genes, Professor Walter Gehring was
met with considerable resistance by his peers. So, In an experiment he
took the Pax 6 gene from a mouse and placed it in various parts ofthe
fruit fly, Drosopholia, what appeared was eyes, not mouse eyes, but
the multi-fascited eyes of the fruit fly. So, a mouse Pax 6 Gene
controlled the formation of fly eyes in a fly.
It has been shown that another Master Control Gene called Tinman,
(after Tinman movie charcter in the Wizare of OZ.) is responsible for
the formation of all types of hearts from the fruit fly nK2 homeobox
to humans. In humans this gene for unknown reasons is said to be a
homologue labled NkX2-5 homeobox gene. Yet these genes had to be
present and highly functional during the Cambrian expansion.
What is not very well understood is exactly how these homeobox genes
work. But they are said to be played by upstream genes which select
the sections of the homeobox genes which in turn switch on genes that
cascade downstream which express the type of eye, heart, as well as
other body organ and parts. More than 100 of these master control
genes are known
As a long term religious non-believer it it became difficult to turn a
blind eye on the possible engineering concept show by this obvious
long term Hox genes which are virtually unchanged from the Cambrian
and no doubt before the so called Cambrian explosion. This, to me. is
clearly a case of appearance of highly functional and set genes long
before they were needed for the Cambrian radiation. And they remain
highly conserved (another term for fixed) to the present day and in
common across the animal kingdom.
That's a basic feature of evolution: if something works, it is retained,
and built upon.
As you must have noted I posed this matter as a question. It's been
pointed out before that evidence is sometimes subjective.
People can observe the same yet arrive at different conclusions. You may
see this as supporting evolution whereas another could see this as
evidence of design by a supernatural designer. I see both sides,
however, I tend to be agnostic regarding the meaning. Your are right
evolution does use and improve on whatever works.
Those who point to a supernatural designer consistently ignore the
elephant in the room: what are the properties of the designer? How did
For two reasons, it doesn't matter how this supernatural deity arose:
As in the case of evolution, how life arose is not pertinent to the
validity of evolution. Abiogenesis and evolution are two different
We might have created life in a test tube, but how life actually
started, it's unfortunate, but doubtful we will ever really
As in the case of the universe, scientist, before the discovery of the
Big Bang, thought the universe was always the same, eternal with no
beginning and no end. Even Albert Einstein and Fred Hoyle believed this.
Dr. Hoyle attempted to give the eternal universe a scientific basis by
advancing his "steady state theory". The "how" did the universe arise
was not pertinent. It didn't matter to the observations scientist were
making before the Big Bang discovery.
It's the same with the design in the universe. Where there might be
design, how the designer arose is not pertinent to design. To argue it's
somehow different is hypocrisy.
Keep in mind that the hallmark of science is explaining the
Post by MarkA
workings of the natural world WITHOUT invoking magical forces or beings.
I agree with this comment. Scientist prefer to think of nature as
within the confines of a scientific inquiry. This way everything
every force and every action is under sciences and the "authority" of
science. Whatever is deemed outside the realm of scientific inquiry
and understanding is deemed non-scientific, superstition or magic.
So, your expression here, while true, is just a modern philosophical
stance _advanced_ by philosophers of science and accepted by certain
scientist and individuals who think of themselves as "thinkers and
Post by MarkA
That is why invoking a supernatural designer is no different from any
other religion, and is clearly NOT science.
I totally agree with you it's not science. And neither is it necessary
to invoke a supernatural designer. There is no way, at present time
to know who, what or how design occurred. Perhaps it was evolution
by mutations and natural select over vast periods of time. But some
people disagree with this. And they are within their rights and they
have the right to defend their views when challenged or denounced, but
do not have the right to try forcing their views on others.
Many early scientist were religious people whose religion did not
alter, effect or influence their scientific experiments or research.
I would point to Priest such as Gregor Mendel. He followed the
scientific method in his experiments with peas: he is considered to be
the father of genetics.
Another was Carl Linnaeus, a christian who believed that since God
created the world, it was possible to understand God's wisdom by
studying His creation. This is the man who gave us the current method of
classification of organisms.
Isaac Newton a Catholic who determined the force of gravity and gave us
Another Priest was Georges Lemaitre an astronomer who first saw in
Einstein's theory of relativity and found his math showed universes
expansion and predicted a beginning which he called the Primal atom. He
gave us the (Big Bang theory, but Fred Hoyle sarcastically called it
the Big Bang.
There were numerous Christians who are known as the fathers or mothers
of many of the scientific disciplines we know today. While they used
the scientific method they did not reject their religion. Neither did
they turn to their religion when engaging in scientific activities.
It might be intereisting to note that the modern scientific method in
Europe was further developed by a Roger Bacon, a Franciscan frar who
turned to ancient Greek, ohilospher and Muslem scientist to further
develop the scientific method.
Another founder of the modern scientific method was Francis Bacon a
devout Anglican and the father of induction.
So based on the significance contributions to science, it's obvious that
religion is not a hinderance to science.