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Re: Jumpin' Genes! Only the Literate Need Apply

Note to self: every time John begins a post with "Sir", he's about to lose it.

John, your contradiction within a sentence is what confused me. But as long as we're on the same page now, I'm happy.

To recap: There are a variety of mechanisms by which DNA mutates. These mutations result in random insertions of genetic material, deletions, transpositions and point mutations. Do we all agree on this? Great.

As for your question about the Australopithecus brain vs. the human brain, why don't you find me a primary literature reference on the subject? Just one. Just give me the journal, year and page number. That's it.

Since you find the subject of jumping genes to be absolutely hilarious, here are a couple of references on the subject:
"Evolution of genes and genomes on the Drosophila phylogeny", Nature, 2007, 203.
"Transposable elements and the dynamic somatic genome", Genome Biology, 2007, S5.
Actually, if you want to absolutely die laughing, you can just start sifting through the 21,000 hits that come up when you search for "jumping gene" in PubMed. Seriously, my stomach hurts.

So, that leaves us with, "Where does all that sophisticated code come from?" {no need to yell}
Answer: We both agree (I hope) that DNA is the code that makes us what we are. Furthermore, we both agree that there are a host of mechanisms by which this code can be changed (insertions, deletions, point mutations, transpositions, etc.). The final piece to the puzzle is that, after mutation, an organism will either be better-suited to its environment, or worse-suited. The better-suited live, the others die. This is natural selection.

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