The Beta-Globin Pseudogene

The Great 2013 Catch-upIn Beta-Globin Pseudogene Is Functional After All (12 April 2013) Jeff Tomkins says… well, it’s in the title, really. This is the older article that Monday’s post alluded to, and it’s really quite similar. Again, we have a pseudogene. Again, it’s been shown that its sequence is being actively preserved by natural selection, as if it were actually useful. Again, it has been found that the pseudogene infact codes for functional RNAs. The biggest difference is that this pseudogene (“HBBP1”) is not a “processed pseudogene” like ψPPM1K was, but that’s not significant here.

So, another pseudogene is functional. What of it? Tomkins says:

Instead of being a useless mutated remnant according to failed evolutionary predictions, the HBBP1 beta-globin pseudogene appears to be genetically active and plays a key functional role as a cleverly engineered feature programmed by God the Creator.

It’s true that, if the gene was nonfunctional, it should get mutated and not be preserved by selection. But, conversely, if it’s functional it should be preserved – this was what was found. That’s perfectly in accordance with “evolutionary predictions.” Now, if it could be found that a genomic region highly susceptible to mutation was actually functional we might have a problem. Unfortunately for Tomkins these two properties seem to go hand-in-hand – worse, there portion of the genome that is susceptible to mutation is very large.

The fact that Tomkins interpretation of any and every functional element as “a cleverly engineered feature programmed by God the Creator” is a logical leap too far should go without saying at this point, so with that we’ll conclude this post.

2 thoughts on “The Beta-Globin Pseudogene

  1. Yes, not only is a “Goddidit” (or any other cognitively intelligent “designer”) interpretation of any and all biological function a logical leap too far, it does not really EXPLAIN anything (not even if it happens to be true) and it HALTS (rather than advances or informs) the scientific enterprise.


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