RSR: Now Sponges are 70% Human :)

* Real Science Radio Focuses its Beetle Eye on Sponges: Co-hosts Fred Williams with Creation Research Society, and Bob Enyart, on this episode of Real Science Radio draw from the January 2011 issue of Creation magazine to discuss:

* If Chimps are 95% Human, Sponges are 70%: The sequencing of the Great Barrier Reef sponge genome shows, according to the co-author's interview with AFP in Scientists find sea sponges share human genes, "that sea sponges share almost 70 percent of human genes!" The study, reported in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, Sponge genome goes deep, goes beyond it's factual findings of human-to-sponge overlap to speculate on a period of evolution after sponges that, "Nearly one-third of the genetic alterations that distinguish humans from their last common ancestor with single-celled organisms took place during this period."

* 20,500 Human Genes; 18,000 Sponge Genes: While humans have about 20,500 genes and simple worms have 20,000, it turns out that sponges, according to Nature, have "more than 18,000 individual genes." Thus "the sponge genome represents a diverse toolkit." Exactly says RSR! As Nature reports, "according to Douglas Erwin, a palaeobiologist at the Smithsonian, such complexity indicates that sponges must have descended from a more advanced ancestor than previously suspected. 'This flies in the face of what we think of early metazoan evolution,' says Erwin."

So, What's This Doing In There? Nature also says about sponge DNA: "The genome also includes analogues of genes that, in organisms with a neuromuscular system, code for muscle tissue and neurons." Those Darwinists who hold to the circular logic of methodological naturalism do not have the intellectual liberty to consider that perhaps the Intelligent Designer devised a genetic toolbox from which He could pull out of the same basic blueprint tools for making sponges, kangaroos, and people.

And from Science Daily: About "the sponge, which was not recognized as an animal until the 19th century," Science Daily reports that, "the team looked in the sponge genome for more than 100 genes that have been implicated in human cancers and found about 90 percent of them." And from a researcher with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., "Though we think of a sponge as a simple creature whose skeleton we take to the bathtub, it has a lot of the major biochemical and developmental pathways we associate with complex functions in humans and other more complex animals," she said.

* Assuming Other Genes GAINED Rather Than LOST: Why? With sponges possessing much of the genetic material needed to build the far more complex human body, Darwinists should equally consider that perhaps the remaining necessary genes were not added over time, but lost. In 600 million years surely the sponge could lose such genetic material out of disuse. As observed in Science Daily, "But there are certain missing components [as compared to the human genome]. Future studies will reveal how sponges operate as bona fide animals without those components, and how the addition [?] of those components led to the evolution of more complex animals." If sponges, which have no muscles or nervous system, have much of the genetic material to build a neuromuscular system, then in the Darwinian timeframe they as easily could have lost the rest of the genes needed to build a human body. Why do evolutionists arbitrarily prefer the idea of such genes being added rather than lost? The answer to that question exposes the elephant in the room (and in the genome).

* Genes Evolved Hundreds of Millions of Years Before Explosion of Life: Evolutionists describe the "Cambrian Explosion" as the relatively rapid appearance of most of the 35 major animal groupings (called phylum). University of California, Berkley's Bob Sander's describes the sponge study as indicating that, "Essentially all the genomic innovations that we deem necessary for intricate modern animal life have their origins much further back in time that anyone anticipated, predating the Cambrian explosion by tens if not hundreds of millions of years." According to Sanders, that's what has been learned from the sponge genome and from co-author Bernie Degnan, professor of biology at the University of Queensland, Australia who collected the Great Barrier Reef sponge that was sequenced. This is more evidence, as frequently explained on RSR, of:

- Evolution Happens So Slowly that We Can't See It
- Evolution Happens So Rapidly that Millions of Mutations Propagate in a Few Millions Years
- Fossils of Modern Organisms are Found "Earlier" and "Earlier" in the Geologic Column
- The "Oldest" Organisms are Increasingly Found to have Genetic Sophistication
- To Evolve Flight, You'd Get Bad Legs
- Long Before You'd Get Good Wings

* Remarkable? Yes, But For What Reason? Study coauthor Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik, the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience at UC Santa Barbara said, "Remarkably, the sponge genome now reveals that, along the way toward the emergence of animals, genes for an entire network of many specialized cells evolved and laid the basis for the core gene logic of organisms that no longer functioned as single cells." And then there's this: these simplest of creatures have manufacturing capabilities that far exceed our own, as Degnan says, "Sponges produce an amazing array of chemicals of direct interest to the pharmaceutical industry. They also biofabricate silica fibers directly from sea water in an environmentally benign manner, which is of great interest in communications [i.e., fiber optics]. With the genome in hand, we can decipher the methods used by these simple animals to produce materials that far exceed our current engineering and chemistry capabilities."

Kangaroo Flashback: From our RSR Darwin's Other Shoe program: The director of Australia's Kangaroo Genomics Centre, Jenny Graves, that "There [are] great chunks of the human genome… sitting right there in the kangaroo genome." And the 20,000 genes in the kangaroo (roughly the same number as in humans) are "largely the same" as in people, and Graves adds, "a lot of them are in the same order!" CMI's Creation editors add that, "unlike chimps, kangaroos are not supposed to be our 'close relatives.'" And "Organisms as diverse as leeches and lawyers are 'built' using the same developmental genes." So Darwinists were wrong to use that kind of genetic similarity as evidence of a developmental pathway from apes to humans.

SHOW UPDATE Of Mice and Men: Whereas evolutionists used a very superficial claim of chimpanzee and human genetic similarity as evidence of a close relationship, mice and men are pretty close also. From the Human Genome Project, How closely related are mice and humans?, "Mice and humans (indeed, most or all mammals including dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and apes) have roughly the same number of nucleotides in their genomes -- about 3 billion base pairs. This comparable DNA content implies that all mammals [RSR: like roundworms :)] contain more or less the same number of genes, and indeed our work and the work of many others have provided evidence to confirm that notion. I know of only a few cases in which no mouse counterpart can be found for a particular human gene, and for the most part we see essentially a one-to-one correspondence between genes in the two species."

* Related RSR Reports: See our reports on the fascinating DNA sequencing results from roundworms and the chimpanzee's Y chromosome!

* Science Bias:
- 48 chromosomes and Hand Washing & Semmelweis are examples of extreme stubbornness and bias in science. And a post-show example is the Galileo affair in which his trouble arose from opposing the mainstream, secular, Aristotelian geocentrism.
- Stickleback fish rapidly adapted to survive in colder water but now they die more quickly, showing the survival "cost" of adaptation. And the rapidity contradicts the slow trial-and-error mutation and selection method, as with Darwin's finches. This reminds us of paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium that claims that the lack of fossil evidence for evolution indicates that it happened so quickly, in geologic terms of course, that the strata record was unable to capture it. The Jonathan Park radio drama for kids illustrates this claim by saying: "We know that elephants run through our house very quickly because we never see them."
- A Darwinist professor asks, if we can't get moas right, that is, if we so misunderstand these extinct bird species from only 650 years ago, how can we get hominids right?
- Beetle larvae have eight regular eyes and four eyes with simultaneous bifocal vision to see close-up prey.
- Infants can't digest 20% of mom's milk, which sugary portion was designed by God as bait for germs.

Today’s Resource: Give a science Christmas Gift and get free shipping! Have you browsed through our Science Department in the KGOV Store? Check out especially Walt Brown’s In the Beginning and Bob’s interviews with this great scientist in Walt Brown WeekJonathan Park Vol 2You’ll also love Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez’ Privileged Planet (clip), and Illustra Media’s Unlocking the Mystery of Life (clip)! You can consider our BEL Science Pack; Bob Enyart’s Age of the Earth Debate; Bob's debate about Junk DNA with famous evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott; and the superb kids' radio programming, Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins! And Bob strongly recommends that you subscribe to CMI’s tremendous Creation magazine and Ken Ham's Answers magazine!  (And you can order Darwin's Dilemma DVD by calling BEL at 1-800-8Enyart.)