The fruit fly has been a leading model organism for genetics research the past hundred years. A new biotechnology-based study of this key organism has yielded more evidence for special creation.
Geneticists have developed a novel approach called “systems genetics” to unravel the structure of organized, interwoven communication networks that turn on and off large groups of genes at certain times for specific reasons. When researchers used this technique to screen the fruit fly genome for gene activity, they found remarkably well organized, highly efficient, three-dimensionally positioned genetic modules (groups of genes) that correspond to observed traits.1
The journal Nature Reviews Genetics reported that the scientists who conducted the study found that fruit fly DNA is organized into “241 modules, with each module consisting of a separate cluster of highly interconnected genes.”2 These modules fit exactly within a promising model of genetic organization called “facilitated variation,”3 and they clearly show that genes are well-organized in expressed clusters. In fact, specific DNA sections seem to be laid out so that they can be mixed and matched between each generation. This constitutes a mechanism for rapid changes to occur within the created fruit fly kind. The researchers had not expected to find “a much greater degree of genetic variation than had been uncovered by previous studies.”2
This is because prior studies assumed that all forms of variation arose by slow and gradual evolution through favorable mutations. Mutational changes do occur, but they do not account for the kinds of variation that are apparently produced by mixing and matching these gene modules between generations. “Notably, most of the candidate transcripts identified were unexpected based on previous mutational analyses of the traits.”2 Thus, most of the genetic organization and activity they observed was not predicted to be there by the evolution-through-mutation story!
However, if fruit flies were designed by a super-intellect, as the Bible attests, then of course one would expect their genes to exhibit super-organization and efficiency. Just like humans, fruit flies are “wonderfully made.”4
- Ayroles, J. F. et al. 2009. Systems genetics of complex traits in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature Genetics. 41 (3): 299-307.
- Swami, M. 2009. System genetics: Networking complex traits. Nature Reviews Genetics. 10 (4): 219.
- Gerhart, J. and M. Kirschner. 2007. The theory of facilitated variation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (Suppl 1): 8582-8589.
- Psalm 139:14.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on April 17, 2009.