August 29, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Slimy Evolution

The media repeat stupid stories about mucus evolution,
but to discerning readers, it’s snot funny.

 

 

The evolution of mucus: How did we get all this slime? (University of Buffalo, 26 Aug 2022). Evolutionists at UB call mucus a “marvel of biology,” and from a physiological viewpoint, they’re right: mucus serves numerous functions. Without the train of mucus conveyed to the outdoors by irreducibly-complex cilia in our airways, we would be at much greater risk of infectious diseases. Made up of molecules called mucins, mucus serves many purposes. Hagfish eject slime to deter predators. Slugs and snails crawl on a trail of mucus. And the runny noses in reptiles and mammals, including drool dripping from a dog’s tongue, show mucus doing its job. We humans have mucins around our teeth to keep our mouth biota in check, mucus in the nasal passages to trap dust, and saliva containing mucins that aid in the first steps of digestion of our food. But what’s evolution got to do with it?

Chuck in the Box makes another unsolicited appearance.

Through a comparison of mucin genes in 49 mammal species, scientists identified 15 instances in which new mucins appear to have evolved through an additive process that transformed a non-mucin protein into a mucin.

The scientists propose that each of these “mucinization” events began with a protein that wasn’t a mucin. At some point, evolution tacked a new section onto this non-mucin base: one consisting of a short chain of building blocks called amino acids that are decorated with sugar molecules. Over time, this new region got duplicated, with multiple copies added on to elongate the protein even further, making it a mucin.

Darwinists seem incapable of consistency about their theory. Uniform human experience shows that if something works, it’s not happening by accident. In Darwinism, mindless accident is the only source of new function they can call on. That’s too hard, so they make “evolution” into a Magician that tacks on things to make them work. “Aminocamino!” the magician calls, waving his magic wand. Amino acids appear on cue, decorated with sugar molecules. Amazingly, they just happen to work really well.

To accept this evolutionary scenario, they have to allege that mucus “evolved” over and over again. They call this convergent evolution—a product of Darwin Flubber that makes their ideas bounce. Evolution the clever Magician showed off his new trick 15 times.

“I don’t think it was previously known that protein function can evolve this way, from a protein gaining repeated sequences. A protein that isn’t a mucin becomes a mucin just by gaining repeats. This is an important way that evolution makes slime. It’s an evolutionary trick, and we now document this happening over and over again,” says [Omer] Gokcumen, PhD, associate professor of biological sciences in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Cartoons by Brett Miller. Used by permission.

Another trick of Evolution the Magician is attributing special effects to mystical forces. With a wave of the magic wand, cells feel a strange adaptive pressure to get busy and evolve. (Note: Unlike pressure known to physicists, this kind of pressure is not measurable by any lab instrument. It has no units.)

“I think this could have even broader implications, both in understanding adaptive evolution and in possibly explaining certain disease-causing variants,” Pajic adds. “If these mucins keep evolving from non-mucins over and over again in different species at different times, it suggests that there is some sort of adaptive pressure that makes it beneficial.

Mucus has evolved at least 15 times in mammals (New Scientist, 26 Aug 2022). Corryn Wetzel conjures up another favorite evolutionary trick: co-option. This is where Darwin changes a scarf into a white dove. “Mucus-producing mucin proteins have repeatedly and independently emerged in mammals, possibly through co-option of existing proteins into slime factories,” she says. That’s an odd turn of words. Most factories people know about were intelligently designed to perform a function.

“We had these two different mucins with two different evolutionary origins. We’re like, that’s really cool, and we want to know if this is actually happening elsewhere – or is this just like one of those weird, finicky, evolutionary once-in-a-lifetime stories?” says Gokcumen.

It’s really weird how this works. Most evolutionists use similarities as evidence of Darwin’s descent with modification. In classic Darwinism, they are similar because of common ancestry. These scientists found similarities in unrelated species.

Through a genetic analysis of 49 different mammals, from pangolins to rhinoceros, the team was able to pinpoint 15 distinct mucins that weren’t present in other species, which Gokcumen calls “orphan mucins”. Finding one new mucin would have been surprising, he says, but finding over a dozen was a shock.

“[These mucins] don’t even exist in other species. They’re just specific to cows, just specific to ferrets, just specific to humans,” says Gokcumen. “The reason why [mucins] are weird is they are not coming from a single genetic ancestor, but they seem to be evolving independently in different lineages in different ways,” he says.

Ferrets, Wetzel notes, have five unique mucins. These very facts that creationists could use to point to intelligent design are being twisted into support for Darwinism. How? By personifying Charlie as a master magician.

Mucus is vital to our health. Did it evolve?

Slime is all around and inside you – new research on its origins offers insight into genetic evolution  (Omer Gokcumen at The Conversation, 26 Aug 2022). Here is the ringmaster himself announcing the magic act. To keep evolution as the explanation for snot, he had to twist the theory into elaborate contortions.

Despite the remarkable properties mucins have and their essential role in biology, how they evolved has eluded scientists.

To begin to figure out the evolutionary origins of mucins, my colleagues and I began by looking for common genetic ancestors for mucins across 49 mammal species. After all, evolution often tinkers but rarely invents. The easiest way for a new gene to evolve is by copying and pasting an existing one and making small changes to the new copy to fit the environmental circumstances. The chances of one species independently inventing a complex mucin from scratch are astronomically small. Our research team was sure that copying and pasting existing mucin genes that then adapt to a particular species’ needs was the main driver of mucin evolution.

Oh, but Evolution the Magician is far too clever to invent something by just plagiarizing existing information.

But our initial assumptions proved incomplete. Copying and pasting mucin genes in a genome should lead to daughter genes that have similarities to each other. Even though some mucins did fit our criteria, a previous study reviewed all known genes coding for mucins in people and found a number of “orphan” mucins that do not belong to any gene family. They exist alone in the vast landscape of the human genome.

Omer wanted to know how the magic trick was done. His team added more assumptions. They proposed that Evolution added amino acids that attracted sugar molecules. Aminocamino! shouts the Magician, and mucins emerge. This trick is so special, Omer gave it a new name: Mucinization. It’s such a neat trick that Evolution the Magician may have used it all over our own bodies. Remember all those repetitive sequences in the human genome that the Darwinists called junk? Well, now. Those could be the signatures of Evolution inventing new features. Sure, the chances are astronomically small. But with Darwin Flubber, the improbable becomes probable, the probable possible, and possible virtually certain.

Gumby Darwin can bend to any shape. Get your action figure today!

A mechanism of gene evolution generating mucin function (Pajic, Gokcumen et al., Science Advances, 26 Aug 2022). This is the paper that made it past the reviewers. But since all reviewers these days are Darwinists, they let evolutionary papers slide right through to keep the face of Emperor Charlie ever-present in the public consciousness.

Anything new in the paper? With 85 mentions of evolution, what do you expect? Let’s have Omer tell us more about those “orphan mucins” that are not related by common ancestry. Watch the team leap over tall falsifications with a single bound. [Cue Twilight Zone theme.]

The evolution of genes within the SCPP locus has been discussed [by whom? by evolutionists] within the context of calcium-binding proteins important for bone and tooth mineralization as well as major protein components in milk and saliva. Furthermore, this locus was highlighted as a major example for “twilight zone of sequence conservation” where lineage-specific adaptive evolution leads to nonconserved sequence variation while retaining important functions. Most relevant to this study, this locus harbors multiple lineage-specific orphan mucins. As mentioned before, orphan mucins are those that do not belong to known mucin gene families that are identical by descent, while lineage-specific mucins are those that have evolved only in a given branch of the mammalian phylogeny. One mechanism for a lineage-specific mucin to evolve is through whole-gene duplication of another mucin. In this case, we expect the ancestral and duplicated mucin genes to share sequence similarity and form a gene family. Given that orphan mucins do not show such sequence similarity to other mucins, we hypothesize that lineage-specific orphan mucins evolve through a mechanism other than whole-gene duplication.

Wow; how did the mucins do it? Answer: Mucinization. What is mucinization? Answer: Evolution. Now you understand. Now you have insight. Evolution is far more clever than even Darwin thought. Similarities do not have to emerge by common ancestry after all. If different mucins are unrelated but perform similar functions, they evolved! Who needs natural selection of chance mutations? Neo-Darwinian theory can now be ditched in favor of mystical “adaptive forces” that come to the aid of any creature that needs something. Since all animals need mucus, Evolution the Magician brought it, custom made. Like a master chef, Evolution cooked up the right molecules by adding some repeats, adding sugar, and Voila! Orphan mucins made to order for pangolins, ferrets and humans.

In sum, our study establishes mechanisms how common functional and structural properties of a gene cluster can promote recurrent birth of mucin function among otherwise evolutionarily unrelated genes. Our results provide mechanistic insights into de novo formation of mucins and how it generates diversity in the mucinome. We also open up several avenues for future work to delineate the function, mechanism of formation, and adaptive impact of mucin proteins and, at a broader level, the evolution of novel gene function.

To twist our earlier proverb, Darwinists believe that “If something works, it’s happening by purposeful accidents” that betray the prior hand-waving of Evolution the Magician.

As usual, futureware will be required to establish mechanistically how the tricks are done. Watch for more “exciting future studies” on this, and keep those funds coming!

What slimy con artists these evolutionists are.

Did you notice how all the news media were ready with their Puppet Show to sing out the praises of the Darwinians at U Buffalo? Their paper and press release amounted to a buffalo stampede over logical thinking, but the media snorted with delight. Omer and Petar tossed wads of Darwin Brand Boogers to the press, and reporters gulped them down like candy. They were all ready with colorful bottles of Darwin Flubber to pass out to the public as free souvenirs, with no warning label that the contents are indistinguishable from bull snot. They had their fawning press releases done ahead of time, because the science media is a racket (see 11 Jan 2016). Darwin Party Light & Magic, Inc. runs the biology department and controls the messaging. “You need mucus, don’t you? Look at all its beneficial functions. Aren’t you glad Darwin was such a fine magician to conjure it up? Where would you be today without him?”

“But sir,” says the little boy. “My mucus doesn’t look like bull snot. It’s an orphan.” “Ah, my cute little precocious child,” quips the announcer on the rail car with a smile. “Evolution is not just a Master Magician. He is a Good Magician. He gives to each creature the kind of snot it needs. The similarities in the way they function is proof of that.” The little boy looks at his bottle of Darwin Flubber as handlers usher him away.

The U Buffalo team totally ignored the mechanism of horizontal gene transfer, which might account for similarities in mucins. I think that was a serious oversight. HGT represents the sharing of existing information, not the emergence of new information. See Nature 21 July 2022 for one of many recent articles about growing awareness of “genes purloined from across the tree of life.”

Instead of being snookered by Darwin Party boogers, think about mucins from a design perspective. Consider intelligently designed engines by analogy. Engines with moving parts need lubricants. Lubricants can be similar or different to various degrees, depending on the functional needs of the engine. The same oil can be used in multiple engines, but there are specialized engines that need “orphan” lubricants. Reasons might include thermal properties, viscosity, or durability. If you gave the specs to various engine lubricants to the professors at U Buffalo, they could probably arrange them into a phylogenetic tree, with lines indicating common descent, ancestry and “independent evolution.” But that would be wrong.

Creationists make two reasonable assumptions about mucins. One is that each organism was given the mucins it needed from the beginning. This is deduced from the proverb, “If something works, it’s not happening by accident.” The second assumption draws from ICR’s work on Continuous Environmental Tracking (CET). Organisms were designed for robustness in changing environments. They were engineered with non-random yet automated mechanisms that can take signals from the environment and respond by coding changes to adjust traits for survival. The environment is not given mystical powers to cause adaptation; those abilities are designed into the animal. The similarities and differences observed in mucins today are products of those engineered mechanisms at work since creation and the Flood. They did not evolve.

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