is it possible for the average joe to use commecially available DNA testing to prove human evolution and how much $$$?

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Discussion by: Dr. monster

Hi

 

Reading the greatest show on earth makes DNA proof of human evolution look easy.  Just send off three samples for testing: 1 human, 1 chimp, 1 very distant relative e.g. fish.  if the ammout of mutation differences between human and fish is the same as between chimp and fish this proves we share a recent ancestor.

 

Does anyone know how commecial DNA testing works and if it could be done like this for a few hundred dollars?

7 COMMENTS

  1. You don’t even need to sequence anything on your own. DNA sequences are uploaded to BLAST where you can search for target sequences by nucleotides or proteins, or browse through sequences by species. If you’re processing DNA in your basement and have a sequence handy, you can paste it in there to see what kind of match it generates. =)

    You can put your sequences into Geneious (there’s a free trial version that’s pretty functional) and compare them and generate phylogenetic trees.

  2. I think Kim gave an even better alternative to what you were planning, but if you still want an answer to your question:

    -submit your DNA (for 200 bucks, sigh) and be part of the Geno 2.0 project of NatGeo .

    -there are some companies in Europe that offer DNA screenings of your pet. It’s not as distant as a fish, but dogs, cats and horses will do. US and Australia probably have similar services available. Where are you from?

    -And then there’s always Google. The services you are looking for are definitively out there. You’ll need to do some research yourself though for the best prices and the tests that provide comparable information.

  3. Creationists will dismiss this by saying “but God made it that way”.

    Creationists who use the ID smoke screen are being unwitting hilarious. They assert “if it looks designed, then it probably is”, without understanding that this gives equal plausibility to the statement “if it looks like they have common descent, then they probably do”.

    DNA analysis should be something that creationists attempt to discredit, after all if everything was designed by God he was being amazing lazy and actively deceitful to make it look like all living things have a common ancestry. If he was going to design everything individually why not give each species a different DNA code?

    Proving evolution to a creationist is of course impossible as long as they dismiss the evidence. It doesn’t matter how good the evidence is, if it contradicts their beliefs it must be wrong

    • In reply to #4 by N_Ellis:

      If he was going to design everything individually why not give each species a different DNA code?

      As a programmer I reuse a lot of code. Of course my code wouldn’t stand up to the rigorous statistical analysis to which DNA is subjected. It would show a linear progression as my coding habits have changed over time, not a branching tree.

      • In reply to #5 by Eylrid:

        In reply to #4 by N_Ellis:

        If he was going to design everything individually why not give each species a different DNA code?

        As a programmer I reuse a lot of code. Of course my code wouldn’t stand up to the rigorous statistical analysis to which DNA is subjected. It would show a linear progression…

        and my programs aren’t 99% junk!

  4. Yes, and it is free. However, you won’t like it. First get infected with HIV. This part can be quite fun. If you live in BC, the government will do a DNA profile of your private stock of DNA viruses. They will give you a drug cocktail. Eventually the cocktail will stop working. They will redo your DNA profile to find out what drugs your personal viruses have evolved immunity to. It is not that you picked up new viruses, but that they changed. Happily, these mutated viruses are not very infectious. They will give you a new cocktail. Over the decades your viruses will run through the entire pharmacopea, and they take you off drugs. This is where I am now. You have to await a new drug. I am awaiting approval for unreleased drug to complete my cocktail. RNA-based HIV does not have the same correcting mechanisms when it reproduces as DNA based life. It thus mutates at an astounding rate.

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