Giardia Spoils Evolutionists’ Soup

first_imgIn current evolutionary thinking, Giardia (the backpacker’s bane, a water-borne intestinal parasite that causes cramps and diarrhea) is an oldie.  Once long ago, early cells supposedly engulfed bacteria that became specialized into modern mitochondria.  “Until a few months ago, Giardia was thought to represent a throwback to the time before this union,” reports Nature,1 because the organism apparently did not contain mitochondria.  Recently, however, scientists had found the genes that code for mitochondrial proteins.  “But the real bombshell came last November,” Jonathan Knight reports, when a team found the proteins clustered in little sacs they dubbed mitosomes, or mitochondria-like bodies (see 11/12/2003 headline).  Some scientists want more evidence before giving up their evolutionary trees.This attitude frustrates people such as William Martin, who studies molecular evolution at Heinrich Heine University in D�sseldorf, Germany.  He is convinced that the best and simplest explanation for the data is that Giardia once had mitochondria.  Some people, he argues, refuse to accept this because they have spent too many years working on the opposite assumption.  “They don’t want it to have mitochondria because it spoils their soup,” he says.  “This thinking is deeply ingrained.”    The thinking has its roots in the concept of the Archezoa, Martin argues, the group that was conceived to bring together a range of single-celled eukaryotes thought to lack mitochondria.  Giardia was the granddaddy, having branched off on its own before any other eukaryote, according to evolutionary trees built using sequences of RNA from ribosomes, the organelles in which proteins are made….But one by one, the Archezoa all proved to have either a set of mitochondrial genes in their nuclei, or relics of mitochondria such as mitosomes or hydrogenosomes.Nature has a “gut feeling” that “Giardia’s status as the earliest branching eukaryote has also been questioned” by these discoveries.  Maybe some day, someone will discover “a new member of the Archezoa, sans mitochondria or mitosomes, lurking in the oxygen-starved muck at the bottom of a lake.”  But even then, “Some recent evolutionary trees that take into account the variable rates at which different DNA bases mutate paint a much muddier picture of the early branches.”1Jonathan Knight, “Giardia: Not so special, after all?” Nature 429, 236 – 237 (20 May 2004); doi:10.1038/429236a.Need we remind anyone that a mitochondrion is among the most complex organelles in a cell, home of the elaborate molecular machine named ATP synthase? (See 02/13/2004 and 09/18/2003 headlines).  So here again is a familiar pattern: the earliest, most “primitive” organisms are already busily using advanced technology.  Darwinists can point to no precursors.  The ones they surmised were precursors turned out not to be; they are either just as complex, or parasites that degenerated from earlier complex organisms.  Another familiar pattern: evolutionists don’t want to admit it.  “This thinking is deeply ingrained.”    A group of evolutionary biologists was standing by the rail on a Darwin Party cruise aboard the HMS Beagle 3.  They were all moaning from having eaten spoiled soup, made with bad leaves from the wrong tree.  Captain FitzBehe walked up to a green-faced patron who just fed the fish.  “What’s the matter, Chuck?” he asked with a slap on the shoulder.  “Weak stomach?”  “No, captain,” the evolutionist struggled to reply.  “I’m throwing it farther than anybody else.”(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

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