Hox (Homeobox) Genes Evolution’s Saviour?
© 2000 Don Batten, Ph.D.. All Rights Reserved.
ome evolutionists hailed homeobox or hox genes as the saviour of
evolution soon after they were discovered. They seemed to fit into the
Gouldian mode of evolution (punctuated equilibrium) because a small mutation
in a hox gene could have profound effects on an organism. However, further
research has not born out the evolutionists’ hopes. Dr Christian
Schwabe, the non-creationist sceptic of Darwinian evolution from the Medical
University of South Carolina (Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology),
‘Control genes like homeotic genes may be the target of
mutations that would conceivably change phenotypes, but one must remember
that, the more central one makes changes in a complex system, the more
severe the peripheral consequences become.
Homeotic changes induced
in Drosophila genes have led only to monstrosities, and most
experimenters do not expect to see a bee arise from their Drosophila
constructs.’ (Mini Review: Schwabe, C., 1994. Theoretical limitations
of molecular phylogenetics and the evolution of relaxins. Comp. Biochem.
Research in the six years since Schwabe wrote this has only born out his
statement. Changes to homeotic genes cause monstrosities (two heads, a leg
where an eye should be, etc.); they do not change an amphibian into a
reptile, for example. And the mutations do not add any information, they
just cause existing information to be mis-directed to produce a fruit-fly
leg on the fruit-fly head instead of on the correct body segment, for
Evolutionists, of course, use the ubiquity of hox genes in their argument
for common ancestry (‘Look, all these creatures share these genes, so
all creatures must have had a common ancestor’). However, commonality
of such features is to be expected with their origin from the same
(supremely) intelligent Creator. All such homology arguments are only
arguments for evolution when one excludes, a priori, origins by
design. Indeed many of the patterns we see do not fit common ancestry. For
example, the discontinuity of distribution of hemoglobin-like proteins,
which are found in a few bacteria, molluscs, insects, and vertebrates. One
could also note features such as vivipary, thermoregulation (some fish and
mammals), eye designs, etc. For more detail, see Walter Remine, The
Biotic Message, (cf. my review of this book)
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