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New-found gene separates man from apes

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New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby really? » 16 Nov 2012, 23:57

The University of Edinburgh team says it's the first time that a new gene - carried only by humans and not by apes - has been shown to have a specific function within the human body.
More: http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences ... -from-apes
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 Nov 2012, 10:38

From the article...
"Most differences between species occur as a result of changes to existing genes, or the duplication and deletion of genes. But this one, it seems, emerged fully functional out of non-coding genetic material, previously termed 'junk DNA', in a surprisingly short time."

Lamarkian evolution? Reprogramming from Panspermia? Chemically induced mutation from hallucinogenic apples?
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby SydneyPSIder » 17 Nov 2012, 14:41

But, according to scientists, this gene emerged fully functional out of non-coding genetic material, previously termed "junk DNA", in a brief interval of evolutionary time.

They said that, until now, it has been difficult to see this process in action.


I'm surprised that more of a 'computing' model of DNA and this supposed 'junk DNA' hasn't been looked at by biologists -- the simple notion from computing of 'enabling' and 'disabling' functions, for instance -- there might be some literature or scientific speculation on this -- I can't be the first non-biologist to have thought of it! e.g. the appearance and disappearance of various characteristics across species from a sort of DNA 'grab bag' of features.
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby Arouet » 17 Nov 2012, 17:56

Too lazy to look up links right now but there has been a lot of work recently on the "junk dna" that doesn't look quite as junky as previously thought.
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 Nov 2012, 22:49

Several crashes ago,I tried to reccommend "Factoring Humanity", an sf novel by Robert Sawyer about the discovery that the Junk contains instructions for triggering mutations. Within the book, a cloned Neandethal and one of the first telepaths provide the comparisons that help the discovery come about. The villain is Ivan the Terrible, who founded a hugely successful medical insurance co that stays in the black by killing clients who are high risk. In that context, it has a lengthy examination of the ethics of judging people in anyway based on their genetics. Excellent read.
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby SydneyPSIder » 27 Mar 2014, 15:07

Here's a copy that isn't blocked by a paywall:

http://stirling-westrup-tt.blogspot.com ... early.html

I don't buy those theories too much, with the exception of the advantage of the systemising gene -- which can be connected to autism. (I believe autism is caused more by encephalitis and other things that can go wrong at a young age, i.e. it is a developmental disorder, but there is a latent genetic predisposition.)

An alternative theory is not that people used to be more tolerant (I don't believe they were in all likelihood), and that certain types of mental illness were advantageous, but that man's growing brain and abilities lead groups to be able to acquire much greater surpluses and survive even with mental illness in their midst. i.e. mental illness has poorer survival prospects, but the increased teamwork of communities, the ability to control nature and the environment to a greater and greater extent, fend off predators, etc etc meant that the usual Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' arguments were less important, and that weaker genes could survive. Further, as man's consciousness and intelligence is far more evolved than most or all other animals, then how does that new form of consciousness manifest itself? The heightened levels of cognition, self-awareness, inventiveness, problem-solving etc may also have produced much more elaborated instances of mental illness than you would see in animals. And almost as a number of silicon chips off a silicon wafer have defects under testing, the new capabilities may have evolved so quickly that there is also a high defect rate.

But I believe, just looking at ppl today, that they have always been grossly intolerant of difference, including towards other races. I believe the Neanderthals were wiped out by warfare from Homo sapiens also, not that they were 'out-competed'. I think Homo sapiens' inbuilt xenophobia and aggressiveness and warlike nature means they would attack and kill any other hominid tribe they encountered, unless that tribe were stronger and more able to defend itself. We also see this pattern with the emergence of kingdoms and empires, from the very earliest period of recorded history.
Last edited by SydneyPSIder on 27 Mar 2014, 15:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby Scepcop » 27 Mar 2014, 15:12

So how do evolutionists like Richard Dawkins explain this gene in mankind that is not in primates?
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby SydneyPSIder » 27 Mar 2014, 15:30

Scepcop wrote:So how do evolutionists like Richard Dawkins explain this gene in mankind that is not in primates?

I don't know if he does? It's my belief based on my own studies in psychobiology, anthropology, animal behaviour, natural history and so on that the creation of easier living conditions and an easy surplus makes it easier for the mentally ill to survive and even reproduce, i.e. the environmental pressure is off. In evolutionary biological terms, this actually reduces the likelihood of evolving further net of some other challenge. Further, man's large brain makes even a fairly incapacitated loopy person more able to fend for themselves than most other species even when high-performing for that species. Just about any human is much much smarter than any dog or cat or wolf or large cat or antelope, etc etc, regardless of various types of mental illness, so they can basically survive even if poorly performing by human standards. Further, I believe man survived better by being a social animal travelling in a pack, like many other higher primate species -- this also automatically confers protection on the mentally ill travelling in the pack. Teamwork and verbal communication the likes of which the world had never seen before made it much easier to get food, protect the group, etc.

There are plenty of genes in man that are not present in other primates. Why else do we have much larger brains, no hair, flat faces, adept in water, highly sexual, etc etc. Then there is the expression of personality and the self, involving frontal lobe elaboration. All different genes.
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Re: New-found gene separates man from apes

Postby Emily » 20 Jul 2014, 12:23

Frankly, I can't trust anything in this article. All too often, media completely misinterprets the results and/or purpose of scientific studies. This site didn't even have the basic courtesy to post the doi or other identifying information for the research.
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