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Saturday, June 13, 2020

What's in Your Genome? Chapter 3: Repetitive DNA and Mobile Genetic Elements

By the end of chapter 3, readers will be familiar with two main lines of evidence for junk DNA: the C-Value Paradox, and the fact that most of our genome is full of bits and pieces of dead transposons and viruses. They will also understand that this is perfectly consistent with modern evolutionary theory.

Chapter 3: Repetitive DNA and Mobile Genetic Elements
  • Centromeres
  • Telomeres
  • Mobile genetic elements
  • Hidden viruses in your genome
  • What the heck is a transposon?
  • How much of our genome is composed of transposon-related sequences?
  • BOX 3-1: What does the humped bladderwort tell us about junk DNA?
  • Selfish genes and selfish DNA
  • Mitochondria are invading your genome!
  • Selection hypotheses
  • Exaptation and the post hoc fallacy
  • Box 3-2: Natural genetic engineering?
  • If it walks like a duck ...


  1. Great to see that you are getting the book finished. It is badly needed. I wondered whether you would be able to write enough -- I guess I need not have worried!

  2. Been waiting for your book - trust it will come out soon.

  3. Certainly looking forward to this. Can't contain my curiosity, what are you referring to with the post hoc fallacy in relation to exaptation?

    1. "The Post Hoc Fallacy is an example of faulty logic. It assumes that because something happened (A) after something else (B) then B must be the cause of A. The term “post hoc” is a shortened version of post hoc ergo proper hoc, which means “after this, because of this.”

      In the context of this chapter, the fallacy manifests itself in the following way. Because some mobile genetic elements have been co-opted to produce functional DNA, then mobile genetic elements in the genome must be there in order to facilitate the evolution of new functional elements. It’s an argument against junk DNA. It supposes that species have selected for a genome full of bits and pieces of mobile genetic elements so they can evolve in the future."

  4. I'm intrigued by your last bullet point but saddened to realize that it probably involves no actual ducks.

    1. You may have to buy my book to see if any actual ducks are mentioned. :-)

  5. Mr Moran good summary as always, I would like if you have time to ask a favor

    I know this topic is a little old

    I could make a post on the subject of the onion test and why what Jonathan Mclatchie claims is wrong point by point

    If you have time I would appreciate it if you could talk about it

    1. Hardly point by point, he doesnt even seem to understand the entire point of the test in the first place, which is to explain the difference in size between two similar *Onions* not between Onions and humans.