November 10, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Urchin Genome Hyped by Media as Human Cousin

The publication of a new genome for a plant or animal is becoming routine.  For some reason, the news media instantly jumped on claims that the genome of the sea urchin, published in Science, means that evolution is all but figured out, and that we should each feel a special place in our hearts for these our brethren.  Examples of press releases emphasizing our kinship to these spiny ocean-bottom creatures:

  • Baylor College of Medicine:  On EurekAlert, “Decoded sea urchin genome shows surprising relationship to man: Discoveries include novel immune system, unexpected sensory proteins and broad similarity to human genes.”
  • Carnegie Mellon:  EurekAlert says the genome will prove useful for research into “evolutionary relationships with humans and other vertebrates.”
  • Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory:  EurekAlert’s copy of the press release says, “Scientists makes good use of its surprising similarity to humans.”  It also stresses, “sea urchins are remarkably similar to humans in many ways, sharing most of the same gene families, and yet differ in a few critical areas besides the obvious physical ones.”
  • University of South Florida:  the EurekAlert announcement didn’t say as much about urchins and human relationships, but titled the release, “Insight into evolution of adaptive immunity boosted by sea urchin genome sequencing” and talked about the evolutionary split that led to us.
  • Brown University:  The press release from Brown University began, “Scientists have long known that humans and sea urchins are closely related.  In fact, these animals are the only invertebrates on the human branch of the evolutionary tree of life.  Now that the sea urchin genome is sequenced and assembled, that genetic connection is even clearer.”
  • Live Science:  “Surprise!  Your Cousin’s a Sea Urchin” chimed Jeanna Bryner at Live Science.  Her Darwin commercial was aired verbatim on other news sources, like MSNBC and Fox News.
  • National Geographic:  By now the refrain has become a sing-along: “Sea Urchin Genome Reveals Striking Similarities to Humans,” writes Stefan Lovgren and National Geographic News.

Mischievous little English boys in Dickens novels have been called urchins, but perhaps never before have so many associations been made in one day between the little purple ocean porcupines and human beings.

Have you seen many things in your life more absurd than the Darwin Party mass hypnosis attacks every time somebody hints that Emperor Charlie might have a new fig leaf for his costume?  They can’t validate common ancestry based on such things.  Didn’t we just learn that genes may be minor players in the genetic machinery that make humans and animals different? (11/09/2006).  Have they never considered there are other explanations, for similarities, like modular design?  Don’t they realize that finding an advanced immune system in a lowly sea creature represents a huge evolutionary conundrum?  What on earth are they thinking?  They’re not; for all intents and purposes, they’re divining (09/29/2006).  They are searching for the spirit of Charlie in molecules of DNA.  Supposedly this is an improvement on livers and entrails.

To claim an ancestral relationship in this genome, the Darwinists have to purposely ignore a horde of contrary evidence reported frequently in these pages (follow the Genetics and Evolution chain links for plenty of examples, e.g. 09/16/2006, 06/08/2006, 11/20/2005, 11/06/2005, and 08/20/2003).
    There are many problems in the sea urchin genome they are not telling you about.  For instance, scientists were startled to find some genes with drastic differences from vertebrates, and others almost perfectly conserved.  And regarding that amazing immune system, they found more immunity genes in the urchin than in the human by an order of magnitude.  Neither of these observations comport with the image of gradual evolution by natural selection.  Then there is the problem that such advanced genes are found in one of most primitive of the deuterostomes.  This pushes the problem of the origin of complexity further back into some mythical ancestor.

For now, just focus on the media’s strange behavior.  Reporters go bonkers in their euphoria at the Charlie Parades, because they have sold their souls to the dogma that Charlie must be worshiped no matter what the evidence, and defended against the new God in town at all costs.  This makes them chant all the louder, “Great is Darwina of the Evolutionists!’  It looks so silly.  It is so unbecoming reporters who are supposed to challenge claims and present all sides of a story.  Look at them.  Look how they brag on being related to tiny spiny denizens of tide pools lacking eyes, ears, and thinking brains.  They might as well be urchins.  They have a special place in their hearts for bottom dwellers.  We should shame the dickens out of such mischief.

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