I felt sick to my stomach.... They were talking about genes involved in brain development having come directly from bacteria — Jonathan Eisen, the University of California, Davis
When the sequence of the Human genome was first published in 2001, one surprise was evidence that 100–200 genes in humans had come directly from bacteria. Darwinists reacted strongly."How could this possibly happen?" wondered James Brown, leader of GlaxoSmithKline's study of the phenomenon. Michael Stanhope, a member of his team, commented, "The original claim does nothing but fuel paranoid thoughts about gene transfer."
"Sure enough... flabbergasted evolutionary biologists rapidly shot the claim down, showing that the genes in question were more likely to have been present in the common ancestor of humans and bacteria but then lost in other lineages," John Whitfield reports in Nature. Or, for another possibility, "Every pattern consistent with [bacteria-to-vertebrate transfer] could alternately be explained by transfer from a viral colonist...," two prominent virologists observed.
The evolution of the animals has plagued us for years. We're hitting a wall.
Antonis Rokas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A scholarly study from Emory University added, "Because selection is weak relative to drift in small populations, fixation of a laterally transferred gene in a characteristically small vertebrate population would require an exceptionally large fitness benefit." This is actually a crucial insight, we believe. Newly delivered genetic programs, if they are appropriate and timely, should provide a dramatic benefit.
OK, perhaps some or all of the subject genes were not transferred directly from bacteria to humans. Perhaps there were various transfer pathways. Or perhaps some actually were inherited vertically. But in any of the scenarios prefered by darwinists, how would brain development genes evolve before there was any conceivable need for them?
John Whitfield, "Linnaeus at 300: We are family" [text], 10.1038/446247a, p 247-249 v 446, Nature, 15 Mar 2007.
Diane P. Genereux and John M. Logsdon Jr, "Much ado about bacteria-to-vertebrate lateral gene transfer" [PDF], 10.1016/S0168-9525(03)00055-6, p 191-195 v 19, Trends in Genetics, Apr 2003.
Victor DeFilippis and Luis P. Villarreal, "Lateral gene transfer or viral colonization?" [text], 10.1126/science.293.5532.1048a, p 1048 v 293, Science, 10 Aug 2001.
Setting the Record Straight, by Edward R. Winstead, Genome News Network, 25 Jun 2001.
12 Feb 2001: Our What'sNEW article about the human genome sequencing project.
Viruses and Other Gene Transfer Mechanisms is the main related CA webpage [Next-What'sNEW about HGT-Prev].