“Junk” RNA Found to Encode Peptides That Regulate Fruit Fly Development

Advocates of intelligent design have long been skeptical of the claim that the majority of our genome is nonfunctional gibberish, a mere relic of our evolutionary past. Many of the key arguments for common ancestry are based around the supposition that certain loci of our genome are functionless. But the gaps in our knowledge of the genome (in which such supposition resides) are continually shrinking. A recent paper published in Science by Kondo et al. reported on the discovery that some of the supposed “non-coding” regions of the RNA transcript actually actively encode for short peptides that regulate genes involved in Drosophila development. According to the Abstract, A substantial proportion of eukaryotic transcripts are considered to be noncoding RNAs because Read More ›

Nick Lane Takes on the Origin of Life and DNA

Recently, Nick Lane, a biochemist and Provost’s Venture Research Fellow in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London, published a new book, Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. Nick Lane lays out ten biological phenomena for which he seeks to propose plausible evolutionary explanations. Among the phenomena discussed by Lane are the origin of life, DNA, photosynthesis, the complex cell, sex, movement, sight, hot blood, consciousness, and death. But does Darwinism have the goods? Or does Nick Lane offer us only a series of wishful speculations? New Scientist offered the following praise for Lane’s work: What makes this such a great read is that Lane, a biochemist by training, does not simply rehash the Read More ›

The ‘Junk DNA’ Paradigm Continues To Collapse As New Functions Are Discovered For Retrotransposons

The literature continues to flood in demonstrating that so-called ‘junk’ regions of the genome are not junk after all, but serve significant and important functions. One such recent paper reports evidence that retrotransposons may play significant roles in the cell. According to the abstract, Retrotransposons including endogenous retroviruses and their solitary long terminal repeats (LTRs) compose >40% of the human genome. Many of them are located in intergenic regions far from genes. Whether these intergenic retrotransposons serve beneficial host functions is not known. Here we show that an LTR retrotransposon of ERV-9 human endogenous retrovirus located 40–70 kb upstream of the human fetal γ- and adult β-globin genes serves a long-range, host function. The ERV-9 LTR contains multiple CCAAT and Read More ›

Peer-Reviewed Paper Investigating Origin of Information Endorses Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design

A peer-reviewed paper, “Information and Entropy — Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?,” by University of Leeds professor Andy McIntosh in the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics expressly endorses intelligent design (ID) via an exploration of a key question in ID thinking: The ultimate question in origins must be: Can information increase in a purely materialistic or naturalistic way? It is not satisfactory to simply assume that information has to have arisen in this way. The alternative of original design must be allowed and all options examined carefully. A professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory, McIntosh is well acquainted with the workings of machinery. His argument is essentially twofold: (1) First, he defines the term “machine” Read More ›

Are Islands “Magical” Laboratories for Evolution?

Evolutionists sometimes tell us that islands are amazing laboratories where evolution is free to do anything. In his National Academy of Sciences booklet Evolution in Hawaii, Steve Olson repeats the tired old line that “evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence” (p. vii) and says “Islands are especially good places to see evolution in action.” (p. vii) He goes even further, suggesting that islands like Hawaii are “the best places in the world to study evolution.” (p. 1) But is it true that islands necessarily provide laboratories where diversity evolves en masse? An article on ScienceDaily about a new study in Global Ecology and Biogeography on island biogeography examines the question. The author states, “research that shows there’s nothing extraordinary about Read More ›