If you’ve been following the arguments of creationists over the years, you’re familiar with their claim that our DNA is so complicated couldn’t possibly be the result of evolution. It was purposely designed by the creator (a/k/a the intelligent designer) and it contains no junk or debris from millions of years of mutations.
It follows that if we are the ultimate creation of Yahweh (a/k/a the intelligent designer), and if our DNA is divinely constructed, then it’s absurd that anything else could have a genome even remotely as large as ours.
That’s why, from time to time, we like to post about organisms whose genomes have been decoded to reveal that they are far larger than ours. For example, see Consider the Divine Amoeba — the genome of the amoeba has at least 100 times more base pairs than ours.
And in We Welcome Our Moss Overlords, we learned that the moss Physcomitrella patens has about 10,000 genes more than the human genome. Also, back in 2010 we reported that A Japanese Plant Has the World’s Biggest Genome. As we said at the time, the intelligent designer has a lot of explaining to do.
Today we have another giant genome for creationists to worry about. At PhysOrg we found this headline: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs. The human mitochondrial genome (mitogenome), for example, comprises 16,569 base pairs.
Wowie — that’s almost five times bigger than ours! What wonders did the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — place in that anemone’s genome?
The research is published in Scientific Reports, and you can read it online here: Linear Mitochondrial Genome in Anthozoa (Cnidaria): A Case Study in Ceriantharia.
But let’s not get carried away by the PhysOrg headline. Bear in mind that this is about Mitochondrial DNA, not Nuclear DNA, which is far more complex and which has not yet been sequenced for this anemone. PhysOrg reminds us that the human nuclear genome comprises some 3 billion base pairs, and we don’t yet know what this anemone has. But it could be a whopper!
So where are we? Well, we won’t be blogging about the reaction of any creationists. They never mention the fact that there are other organisms with DNA that is far more complicated than ours. They probably hope that if they remain silent, the news won’t reach their drooling supporters and the funds will continue to flow.
Your Curmudgeon’s position is that if the anemone is indeed superior to us, so be it. We shall endeavor to serve our anemone overlords with appropriate humility.
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