Two recent news articles are discussing the death of the junk-DNA icon of Neo-Darwinism. Wired Magazine has an article pejoratively titled “One Scientist’s Junk Is a Creationist’s Treasure” that emphasizes the positive point that intelligent design has made successful predictions on the question of “junk-DNA.” The article reports: [A] surprising group is embracing the results: intelligent-design advocates. Since the early ’70s, many scientists have believed that a large amount of many organisms’ DNA is useless junk. But recently, genome researchers are finding that these “noncoding” genome regions are responsible for important biological functions. The Wired Magazine article then quotes Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer explaining that this is a prediction of intelligent design that was largely unexpected under neo-Darwinian thought: “It Read More ›
Transposons are a type of DNA which many Darwinists have written off as mere genetic junk. The pro-Darwin TalkOrigins archive tells us that transposons “can be thought of as intragenomic parasites.” But don’t feel bad for the poor transposons — it looks like they might be looking at a new career as “the DNA formerly known as junk”: biologists from Stanford and UC Santa Cruz are reporting that “‘Junk’ DNA Now Looks Like Powerful Regulator.” That type of “junk” is the transposon. As the press release about the study explains, “Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections.” The scientists report that in the past, they “had identified a handful of transposons Read More ›
It’s been just over a year since the Kitzmiller ruling, and over a series of 3 posts, I’d like to briefly highlight some scientific discoveries reported since that time: Random mutation and blind selection may have trouble on the horizon. This will become especially clear in the second post of this series which will discuss the difficulty Neo-Darwinism is having constructing robust phylogenetic trees.
Since my post on “junk-DNA” last week, I would like to report a couple interesting discoveries on the topic. Wonderful List of References for Functionality of “Junk-DNA”I discovered a website at http://www.junkdna.com/new_citations.html which has compiled dozens of citations to articles discussing functionality for non-coding junk-DNA. The site also provides two quotations readers should consider: “…a certain amount of hubris was required for anyone to call any part of the genome ‘junk’.” — Francis Collins (2006) “You only believe theories when they make predictions confirmed by scientific evidence.” Star Trek Promotes the “Introns are Evolutionary Junk” MythLast last night I was amused by watching an episode of Star Trek: the Next Generation. The episode, called “Genesis,” featured the Enterprise crew “devolving” Read More ›
Over the years, many (though not all) Darwinists have stated that non-coding DNA is not worth exploring because it is thought to be mere evolutionary junk. In 2003, Scientific American explained that “the introns within genes and the long stretches of intergenic DNA between genes, Mattick says, ‘were immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk.’” John S. Mattick, director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia was then quoted saying this might have been “one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.” (Wayt T. Gibbs, “The Unseen Genome: Gems Among the Junk,” Scientific American (Nov. 2003), emphasis added) Of course known functionality for non-coding DNA now goes far beyond intronic DNA. Read More ›