Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

.. and so can't be a pseudogene. He's wrong about that too.

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

Moderators: Calilasseia, DarthHelmet86, Onyx8

Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#1  Postby Rumraket » Jul 31, 2019 5:20 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, this is probably one of the most thorough refutations of an creationist article I've seen in the last 10 years. Tomkins on the Human Vitellogenin Pseudogene: Who Needs Signal When You Have Noise?

Quick introduction to the story: Humans have a formerly functional region of the genome that once upon a time, long before we were human, or even apes, from some time close to the common ancestor of all mammals, used to code for a functional protein gene called Vitellogenin, which is an egg-yolk protein. This gene is broken in humans(and all other mammals) and doesn't work, it's a degrading remnant.

Creationist Jeffrey Tomkins of the Institute for creation research claims to have found overwhelming evidence that this is false, and has written an article that gives the superficial appearance of providing lots of evidence that the gene is functional in humans, so it can't be a pseudogene. One problem is pseudogenes can be functional, but that's the least of Tomkins problems.

An evolutionary biologists (calling him/herself Evograd on the blog) decided to read and double-check every claim Jeffrey Tomkins made in his article, and write a blog post about his findings: Tomkins on the Human Vitellogenin Pseudogene: Who Needs Signal When You Have Noise?

A long but great article if you have the patience. The best part of it is this figure though, because of how simple it is and how overwhelmingly wrong it shows Tomkins is about one of many of his claims:
Image
Figure 4 | The gene synteny surrounding the VTG locus in human and chicken. Each coloured arrow represents a gene (not to scale). Homologous genes are represented by the same colours. Direction of the arrow represents the orientation of the gene. The human VTG pseudogene is represented by the orange “X”. The red brace spans the sequence that Tomkins analysed for synteny.


If you're not familiar with the concepts (like synteny) or don't understand what the figure really shows, just read Evograd's blog post, it's all explained there very well.
Half-Life 3 - I want to believe
User avatar
Rumraket
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 13214
Age: 40

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 31, 2019 5:56 pm

Bookmarking for weekend consumption! Thanks :)
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 27424
Age: 44
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#3  Postby Svartalf » Jul 31, 2019 8:43 pm

I'll try and read it, but guess I'll have to rely on cliff notes and learned commentary to even grasp the least of this subject
PC stands for Patronizing Cocksucker Randy Ping

Embrace the Dark Side, it needs a hug
User avatar
Svartalf
 
Posts: 2435
Age: 51
Male

Country: France
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#4  Postby Calilasseia » Jul 31, 2019 10:26 pm

I just waded through that in full. That was about as comprehensive a demolition as it's possible to deliver, once you learn some basic pertinent facts.
Signature temporarily on hold until I can find a reliable image host ...
User avatar
Calilasseia
RS Donator
 
Posts: 22061
Age: 58
Male

Country: England
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#5  Postby Blackadder » Aug 01, 2019 7:44 am

Will certainly have a read of that later.

I do enjoy these futile creationist attempts to find tiny chinks in the vast edifice that is evidence for common descent and evolution through natural selection. It’s like someone searching for a single loose rivet in the Eiffel Tower so they can declare that the tower would have to collapse because of this single defect and therefore can only be upright because God is holding it from the top.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
User avatar
Blackadder
RS Donator
 
Posts: 3761
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#6  Postby Rumraket » Aug 01, 2019 9:24 am

Seriously. The job Jeffrey Tomkins has done to "prove" that the VTG-pseudogene is not a pseudogene is so incompetent and misleading, I can't help but suspect he's actually an atheist who as infiltrated the ICR just to make them appear incompetent and wrong.
Half-Life 3 - I want to believe
User avatar
Rumraket
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 13214
Age: 40

Print view this post

Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#7  Postby Rumraket » Aug 01, 2019 9:39 am

It's almost impossible to give Tomkins the benefit of the doubt with little gems such as these:
What he doesn’t display is another track that is part of the same track set called “MeDIP CpG Score”. Tomkins would have had to manually turn this track off to make his figure 3, so he’s perfectly aware of what I’m about to say.


I feel like I’m becoming a broken record at this point, but the worst of it is that Tomkins knows the signal he’s showing in his figure isn’t significant. I know he knows, because in order to produce his figure 3C (my Figure 17), he had to deliberately turn off or move out of sight a set of tracks that are associated with the FAIRE and DNaseI profiling tracks by default.


Liar for Jesus confirmed. The alternative is that Tomkins creationism has made him literally insane. He would have to be outright halluscinating, having visions that alter his visual representation of reality to not have seen the things on his screen that show the opposite of what he's claiming. But he can't have not seen them even due to confirmation bias making them not be apparent to him, because then he wouldn't have moved them away manually so as to make his figures.

That would be pretty compelling evidence that he knew what he was doing.
Half-Life 3 - I want to believe
User avatar
Rumraket
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 13214
Age: 40

Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Creationist claims human VTG-pseudogene is functional

#8  Postby Nesslig 20 » Aug 15, 2019 12:11 pm

Rumraket wrote:Quick introduction to the story: Humans have a formerly functional region of the genome that once upon a time, long before we were human, or even apes, from some time close to the common ancestor of all mammals, used to code for a functional protein gene called Vitellogenin, which is an egg-yolk protein. This gene is broken in humans (and all other mammals) and doesn't work, it's a degrading remnant.


Specifically Eutherian mammals (i.e. the placental and marsupial mammals), but not the monotremes which still produce egg-yolk. But besides that, it's entirely correct and the post is a banger of a refutation.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
- Charles Darwin
User avatar
Nesslig 20
 
Posts: 4
Male

Print view this post


Return to Creationism

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest