Coral gene complexity reported in New Scientist, 3 Dec 2005 and ScienceNOW 6 December 2005. Ulrich Technau, a molecular biologist at University of Bergen, Norway and colleagues have begun surveying the active genes in a coral named Acropora millepora and a sea anemone named Nematostella vectensis, and were surprised to find these creatures had extended gene families that were believed to only occur in vertebrates. Furthermore, their results indicate that these organisms have over 20,000 genes – more than flies or nematode worms, and not far behind vertebrates. The results were surprising because they don’t fit the standard evolutionary sequence of simple animals evolving into complex animals with corals and anemones at the bottom, nematode worms and flies above them and vertebrates at the top. The study has led some scientists to suggest that half a billion years ago there must have been a common ancestor with complex genome that gave rise to ecdysozoans (flies and worms) cnidarians (corals and anemones) and vertebrates, and some time later the ecdysozoans (flies, etc.) lost a lot genes in their evolution. Peter Holland, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Oxford University commented: “We’ve been thinking so much about the origin of new genes that we haven’t put enough emphasis on gene loss. This work highlights gene loss as something important”

Editorial comment: Finding groups of genes in that exist in corals and vertebrates, but not in worms, is only a problem for a theory that tries to link them all into one continuous evolving genetic line, but belief in common ancestors in the absence of fossil or living evidence is pure faith. The findings described above are no problem for Biblical creation, which states that the different kinds of animals were separately created. Therefore, they would contain whatever genes the Creator knew they would need. Explaining the findings by gene loss from a common ancestor is also no help to the theory of evolution. Gene loss is the opposite of evolution, but if any gene loss has occurred, it also fits with Biblical Creation. Gene loss is a degenerative process and the Bible tells us the world started out perfect but has gone downhill due to man’s sin and God’s judgement. (Ref. invertebrates, phylogeny, genetics)