The insolent, arrogant Michael Balter wrote:It is rarsome useful generality about all humans was being produced.e that one sees as many factual and conceptual errors in one place as Robert has provided us in his post, but let me focus on just one: In terms of DNA polynucleotide sequence, individual humans vary by less than one base-pair per thousand.Michael implies this is a negligible proportion. But 10^-3, in a total of 10^9, is not obviously neglible, is it?Neither Venter nor anyone else involved in the human genome project pretended that the sequence they produced was the only sequence that existed, ie that it was anything more than a reference sequence. But producing such a reference sequence was a huge accomplishment, and it is now possible to sequence part or all of the genome of any particular individual because of the new methodologies that were developed and continue to be improved upon.The fact remains unchallenged - J. Celera Venter & key other operatives used the term "the human genome" in a knowingly deceitful way, implying that some useful generality about all humans was being produced.And the sequence provided a huge amount of new information as anyone who has paid any attention will know, ranging from a reliable estimate of the number of genesAnd why should we believe that figure is now stable, settled? It went down by a factor of several during "the human genome project"., a new ability to identify previously unknown genes, the ability to compare our genome with that of chimps and other animals, and of course the HapMap project would not have been possible without it.
Oh, one more thing: horizontal gene transfer was probably important in bacterial evolution, but I wouldn't count on it having much to do with human evolution--unless Robert wants to provide us with a scenario of how Neanderthal genes made their way into the human genome other than by interbreeding.Not much support for that first fine insolent outburst, eh? No denial, indeed, that HGT may have occurred between Neanderthal & human - which is all I suggested. I made no implication of HGT having 'much to do with human evolution', nor of any frequency, even vaguely. I merely suggested the possibility. Without contradicting that, Balter issues insults. Goebbels wouldn't have hired you, Michael - you're too crude, too obviously stupid.RM