Re: genetic diversity (was Newsweek)

Henry T Robertson (
14 Feb 1995 01:10:21 GMT

In article <dexter.792718536@aries>, Frosch <> wrote:

> 'non-genetic DNA' is a nonsense phrase. and yes, in the context
>you speak of, all DNA is genetic. for this to hold, it does not need
>to be true that all DNA consists of genes. if you wish to speak of
>'non-gene DNA', by all means go ahead, that is a different topic.

That is a somewhat ungrammatical phrase but OK.

> should i be surprised you didn't answer my question? would you
>like to further elaborate on what you mean with the assertion that
>differences between humans and chimpanzees are 'not genetic'?

To use your jargon, I made the assertion that there are there are
differences in non-gene DNA between chimps and humans.
If our beloved authority on biology here disagrees, feel free to elaborate.

>>Anyway, to repeat my question, how did different species come to have
>>differing numbers of base pairs and chromosomes?
> logical inference suggests duplication, breakage and fusion. feel
>free to add to the list if you can.

I assume those events occur as random mutations in certain individuals?
If so, are those mutant individuals still capable of reproducing with
normal individuals of their species?

>>Obviously, random breeding
>>between humans do not occasionally produce a chimp, or vice versa.
>>Gene mixing does not increase or decrease the number of base pairs.
> obviously, speciation has occurred. how do you arrive at your
>'obvious' conclusion that it cannot?

Why do you think I concluded that speciation has not occurred?

>>Fascination?? I only take it up as one reason why some species cannot
>>reproduce with one another. My question is how did those differing numbers
>>of chromosomes come about? There is a fellow by the name of
>>Dr. Periannan Senapath, author of _Independent Evolution of Organisms_,
>>web page, who claims that random breeding cannot
>>cause the evolution of entirely different organisms. Is he considered a
>>kook by the biological community?
> i have no idea, nor do i care.

Doesn't sound like a very professional attitude to me. After all, you
do care enough about this issue to respond.