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Vestigial Code

September 12, 2009

I have just been reading an interesting article on vestigial organs – structures within the body that now have a different or indeed no remaining function.  Examples might include the appendix in humans – which is the remains of an organ that would have, in the distant past, been used to digest cellulose foods such as grass or the little nub-like wings of the kiwi.  The theory of evolution predicts that one will find vestigial DNA – and so we have;

Now that genome sequencing is routine, evolutionists can do large-scale searches for dead genes. And, as predicted, they’re all over the place — in nearly every species that has been examined. … A new paper in PLoS Genetics continues the search for predicted dead genes — this time for genes that once made tooth enamel — and finds a lot of these wrecks. … There are two kinds of mammals that lack tooth enamel: those that are completely toothless (e.g., armadillos, pangolins, aardvarks, baleen whales), and those that have teeth that lack enamel (e.g., dwarf sperm whales, two-toed sloth). From other evidence, including fossils and comparative morphology, scientists have confidently predicted that every one of these species descended from ancestors that had enameled teeth.

Now having worked in development for a while and you see an idea that might be similar; vestigial code.  When you need to temporarily turn off a section of code, it is often commented out, so the code is there but no longer functions.  So here is a prediction for the idea of ‘code as DNA‘ – that vestigial code must exist and be transmitted from project to project in it’s inactive form, until eventually it is removed….

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