Transposons are wide-spread mobile genetic elements that make up a huge part of the genomes of species. They are so named because of their ability to jump from one place in the genome to another. Often, they are given whimsical names, such as gypsy, Mariner, Tourist, or Pack-MULEs, which reflect their mobility. Barbara McClintock discovered the existence of these elements after witnessing the phenotypical change they brought about after jumping around in the maize genome.
Due to evolutionary bias, transposons have generally been regarded as parasitic “junk DNA”, using the host’s genetic machinery to propagate. However, the actual functionality, diversity, and high abundance of transposons justify a revision of this viewpoint. Such rapid transposon accumulation puts the mechanisms for rapid speciation (given a recent creation and subsequent Flood-induced genetic bottleneck) into a new perspective, and may lead to a further development of a scientific basis for baraminological research.
This paper deals with the distribution and dispersal of transposons in the light of evolutionary models as well as a creationist reinterpretion. Some calculations of transposition rates are given which support recent creation and rapid intrabaraminic variation. The importance of transposons is discussed in regard to mapping baramin life-histories….
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