Clarification to those easily offended - the title of this post refers to the Swedish word ‘genomfart’, meaning “place of passage” or “the way forward”. More relevant to our blog, it is the last chapter of Michael Lynch’s 2007 book - “The Origins of Genome Architecture”. I enjoy Lynch’s papers on genome architecture, but must admit that his catchy chapter title compelled me to request his book from the library. So, if you are click-baited into this blog post, I am in a similar boat.
“The Origins of Genome Architecture” is an excellent book and is a must-read (along with “Molecular and Genome Evolution” by Dan Graur) for everyone working on the genomes. In it, Lynch explained the evolution of genomes and genes based on the long-established theory of population biology. For a quick introduction to his work, please watch - “Darwin in the 21st Century: Nature, Humanity, and God”.
Lynch often talks in his papers, talks and book about the common mistake of equating evolution with natural selection and natural selection only. Natural selection is only one of the four components of evolution, and the others being mutation, recombination and genetic drift. Understanding those other three components requires some mathematical sophistication. Therefore, the promoter of evolution in popular literature and a large fraction of biologists always talk about adaptation and no other mechanism. Lynch finds them no more scientifically rigorous than the “intelligent design” promoters.