are non-functional until proven
otherwise. 6 Such arguments repeatedly
crumble as more scientific evidence
comes to light. 19
Previous conclusions about pseudogenes were based on knowledge of
straightforward protein-coding genes.
That knowledge was incomplete, as it
is now recognized that stop codons
do not universally stop the translation process and some promoters
are not readily discernible by sequence
alone. Many scientists underestimated the complexity necessary for
the right protein to be expressed
in the right place at the right time.
It is understandable why the initial
misconception existed, but now
it should be recognized that the
term ‘pseudogene’ is commonly a
misnomer. This should engender
humility in us all; no matter how much
we learn about God’s creation, there is
always more to know. It should also
encourage us to trust the One who
was wise enough to place all the
necessary components in place so the
right things show up in the right place
and at the right time.
1. Xu, J. and Zhang, J., Are human translated
pseudogenes functional? Molecular Biology
and Evolution 33( 3):755–760, 2016.
2. Max, E.E., Plagiarized errors and molecular
genetics, Creation Evolution J. 6( 3): 34–46,
errors-molecular-genetics, accessed 7 January
2017. The same article with further dialog
is archived at www.talkorigins/faqs/molgen,
which was last updated in 2003.
3. Woodmorappe, J., Potentially decisive evidence
against pseudogene ‘shared mistakes’, J.
Creation 18( 3): 63–69, 2004.
4. Truman, R. and Terborg, P., Why the shared
mutations in the Hominidae exon X GULO
pseudogene are not evidence for common
descent, J. Creation 21( 3): 118–127, 2007.
5. Tomkins, J.P., The human GULO pseudogene—
evidence for evolutionary discontinuity and
genetic entropy, Answers Research J. 7: 91–101,
6. Venema, D., Is there ‘junk’ in your genome? part
4, from biologos.org/blogs/dennis–venema–
part– 4, accessed 21 April 2017.
7. Woodmorappe, J., Are pseudogenes ‘shared
mistakes’ between primate genomes?
J. Creation 14( 3): 55–71, 2000.
8. Balakirev, E.S. and Ayala, F.J., Pseudogenes:
Are they ‘junk’ or functional DNA? Annual
Review of Genetics 37:123–151, 2003.
9. Woodmorappe, J., Pseudogene function:
regulation of gene expression, J. Creation 17( 1):
10. Groen, J.N., Capraro, D., and Morris, K.V.,
The emerging role of pseudogene expressed
noncoding RNAs in cellular functions, The
International J. Biochemistry & Cell Biology 54:
11. Johnsson, P., Morris, K.V., and Grandér, D.,
Pseudogenes: a novel source of trans-acting
antisense RNAs, Methods in Molecular Biology
12. Lai, P.C., Bahl, G., Gremigni, M., Matarazzo,
V., Clot–Faybesse, O., Ronin, C., and Crasto,
C.J., An olfactory receptor pseudogene whose
function emerged in humans: A case study in
the evolution of structure–function in GPCRs,
J. Structural and Functional Genomics 9:
13. Ji, Z., Song, R., Regev, A., and Struhl, K.,
Many lncRNAs, 5’ UTRs, and pseudogenes
are translated and some are likely to express
functional proteins, eLife 4:e08890, 2015.
14. Prieto–Godino, L.L., Rytz, R., Bargeton,
B., Abuin, L., Arguello, J.R., Peraro, M.D.,
and Benton, R., Olfactory receptor pseudo–
pseudogenes, Nature 539(7627): 93–97, 2016.
15. Dabrowski, M., Bukowy–Bieryllo, ;., and
Zeitkiewicz, E., Translational readthrough
potential of natural termination codons in
eucaryotes—The impact of RNA sequence,
RNA Biology 12( 9):950–958, 2015.
16. Woodmorappe, J., Unconventional gene
expression and its relationship to pseudogenes,
Proceedings of the Fifth International
Conference on Creationism, Creation Science
Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 505–514, 2003.
17. Terborg, P., Evidence for the design of life:
part 1—genetic redundancy, J. Creation 22( 2):
79–84, 2008; Terborg, P. Evidence for the design
of life: part 2—baranomes, J. Creation 22( 3): 68–
76, 2008; Terborg, P., The design of life: part
3—an introduction to variation-inducing
genetic elements, J. Creation 23( 1): 99–106,
2009; Terborg, P., The design of life: part 3—
variation-inducing genetic elements and their
function, J. Creation 23( 1): 107–114, 2009.
18. Lightner, J.K., Adaptive genetic changes by
design: a look at the DNA editing by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID), Creation
Research Society Quarterly 52( 4):265–274, 2016.
19. See references 4–6 for problems with the human
GULO pseudogene argument. The alleged
‘vitellogenin pseudogene’ was addressed in
Tomkins, J.P., Challenging the BioLogos claim
that a vitellogenin (egg-laying) pseudogene exists in
the human genome, Answers Research J. 8:403–411,
2015. The human beta-globin pseudogene was
discussed in Tomkins, J.P., The human beta-globin
pseudogene is non-variable and functional, Answers
Research J. 6:293–301, 2013.
Michael J. Oard
Evolutionary scientists have worked out a scheme for the
origin and evolution of mammoths
from elephants. 1 Mammoths supposedly arrived in Eurasia from
Africa about 3 Ma ago and evolved
from Mammuthus meridionalis to
M. trogontherii to M. primigenius (the
woolly mammoth). M. trogontherii
then migrated across the Bering Land
Bridge into North America about 1. 5
Ma ago and became the Columbian
mammoth, M. columbi. The woolly
mammoth is assumed to have evolved
in Siberia during the late Pleistocene
around 250,000 years ago and spread
to the rest of Eurasia and North
America. We disagree with the dates,
but the general idea of mammoths
spreading into North America during
the Ice Age is accepted by creation
scientists. This taxonomy is based
mainly on teeth. However, the classification or taxonomy of mammoths
is still not worked out. 2
The taxonomy of North American
mammoths is especially a problem
for evolutionists, who view ‘species’
as distinct, interbreeding units. The
taxonomic splitters have dominated the
conversation. The earliest mammoths
are of course said to be ‘primitive’,
similar to M. meridionalis in Europe.
Lister and Sher reject the idea that M.
meridionalis (figure 1) was ever in
North America, as some evolutionists
have suggested based on flawed data:
“Past identifications were often based
on worn molars and failed to take into
account the mode of eruption and wear
among elephants.” 3