Creationists are always telling us that what they call “information” cannot arise from evolutionary processes, but can only be provided by supernatural means. For a few examples, see The Cambrian Explosion of Information, and also Ken Ham: Natural Selection Is Not Evolution.
Our favorite rebuttal is How One Gene Becomes Two Different Genes, which describes the development of “antifreeze proteins” in Antarctic eelpout. Now we have another example. The PhysOrg website reports: Gene copies were crucial to evolution of our eyesight. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
A new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology sheds light on the evolutionary origin of vertebrate vision and the specialisations in zebrafish to adapt to rapidly changing light conditions.
This is the paper they’re talking about: Evolution and expression of the phosphodiesterase 6 genes unveils vertebrate novelty to control photosensitivity. You can read it online without a subscription, but we’ll stay with PhysOrg. They say:
Light perception is crucial for the survival of all major animal groups, including our own – the vertebrates. Evolution has favoured selection of the camera eye that arose in the vertebrate ancestor more than 500 million years ago. Light perception takes place in the cone and rod cells of the retina through a set of proteins.
We know that. For the new findings, let’s read on:
Twenty years ago, the first studies of the light receptor proteins in birds indicated that colour vision, mediated by cones, arose before the dim light greyscale vision provided by rods. This hypothesis was recently confirmed by the team led by Abalo and Larhammar in a detailed study on the visual opsin gene family, analysing a broad range of vertebrate species [link to a 2013 paper]. In the current study, the same group presents a detailed analysis on the evolution of the PDE6 proteins, the main effectors of light sensitivity in cones and rods.
What did they find? We continue:
They show that the genes encoding PDE6 arose from ancestral genes that duplicated in the early vertebrate genome doublings, and further expanded in teleosts due to the extra genome duplication that took place in this lineage.
One last excerpt:
Altogether, the study reinforces the evolutionary importance of the two rounds of whole genome duplication that occurred in the vertebrate ancestor and sheds light on the different behaviour of gene duplicates that arose in these events.
Now what? Will creationists stop claiming that what they call “new information” cannot possibly appear without supernatural intervention, or will they finally give up that silly claim? We know the answer, don’t we?
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