Will Darwinists Make the Same Mistake with RNA that They Made in Ignoring So-Called “Junk” DNA?

Posted by Chris Parker
Sep 25 2007

Famous Atheist Dawkins Snidely Chides Creationists About Imperfect “Junk DNA”.“

…And there’s lots more DNA that doesn’t even deserve the name pseudogene. It, too, is derived by duplication, but not duplication of functional genes. It consists of multiple copies of junk, “tandem repeats”, and other nonsense which may be useful for forensic detectives but which doesn’t seem to be used in the body itself.

Once again, creationists might spend some earnest time speculating on why the Creator should bother to litter genomes with untranslated pseudogenes and junk tandem repeat DNA. …

Can we measure the information capacity of that portion of the genome which is actually used? We can at least estimate it. In the case of the human genome it is about 2% – considerably less than the proportion of my hard disc that I have ever used since I bought it.” – Richard Dawkins, “The Information Challenge.” the skeptic. 18,4. Autumn 1998

Materialists have long pointed to “non-coding” DNA, also known as “Junk DNA” as a proof that there is no Creator, no Designer. They have pointed to the aproximately 2% of coding DNA as the “secret of life” and the place where evolution happens. 98% of DNA is junk, they said, evolutionary dead ends and jumbled useless code which proved either that there was no designer, or that He wasn’t very good. 

Another oft proffered “proof” of evolutionary theory is the supposed 97% match between human DNA and that of chimpanzees. That is, it was estimated that the 2% of human DNA called coding DNA is a 97% match to the 2% coding chimp DNA—, however, the other 98% of our DNA, hitherto called junk is very dissimilar.

What would happen if materialists discovered that it was the 98% of DNA previously called junk that might actually be the most important? What if they were completely wrong about everything DNA related?

Following is a Blog comment from Discovery Institute on a recent article in the Boston Globe describing the turmoil caused by recent DNA discoveries. Also, a brief excerpt from the article is offered….s8int.com

 

 

The Discovery Institute/

“Yesterday the Boston Globe published an amazing and insightful article about DNA and what scientists are learning about the inner-workings of the cell. As it turns out, the more we learn, the more we realize how much more there is to learn.

“The picture that’s emerging” of how living cells actually operate and evolve “is so immensely more complicated than anyone imagined, it’s almost depressing,” Rigoutsos said.

One interesting thing that leapt out at me when reading this was the fact that, while many scientists now realize that it was a mistake to jump to the conclusion that there were massive amounts of “junk” in DNA (because they were trying to fit the research into a Darwinian model), they are on the verge of committing the same exact mistake all over again, this time with RNA.

No one knows what all that extra RNA is doing. It might be regulating genes in absolutely essential ways. Or it may be doing nothing of much importance: genetic busywork serving no real purpose.

Many researchers believe the truth falls somewhere in between.

“Half of it may be doing something very useful,” said Lander, who is also a professor of biology at MIT. “The other part may turn out to be, well, just junk – doing neither great good nor great harm.”

Knowing that senior fellow Jonathan Wells is working on a forthcoming book about genetics titled The End of the Genetic Paradigm, I e-mailed him and asked what he thought of the article. Here’s his response in full.

According to an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe, biologists have discovered that the small percentage of our DNA that codes for proteins is not as important as they once thought. Many cellular processes are due to non-coding stretches of DNA – or of RNA, or of something else entirely. The discoveries have precipitated what Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, calls a “scientific revolution.”

The news seems revolutionary because Collins and so many others have bought into neo-Darwinism, which assumes that embryo development is controlled by a “genetic program” in DNA. It is this assumption that justifies the neo-Darwinian belief that DNA mutations provide the raw materials for evolution. And it was this assumption that prompted Francis Crick, when he and James Watson deciphered the structure of DNA in 1953, to announce that they had “discovered the secret of life.”

Even in 1953, some biologists were skeptical that “DNA is the secret of life,” but their skepticism was largely buried by the neo-Darwinian steamroller that has been flattening biology ever since. Now it turns out that the skeptics were right. The more we learn from genome sequencing, the more obvious it becomes that there are more things in living cells than are dreamt of in neo-Darwinian philosophy.

ARTICLE: DNA Unraveled

A ‘scientific revolution’ is taking place, as researchers explore the genomic jungle

By Colin Nickerson, Boston Globe Staff | September 24, 2007

The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome – the full sequence of 3 billion DNA “letters” folded within every cell – they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.

“Science is just starting to probe the wilderness between genes,” said John M. Greally, molecular biologist at New York’s Albert Einstein School of Medicine. “Already we’re surprised and confounded by a lot of what we’re seeing.”

A slew of recent but unrelated studies of everything from human disease to the workings of yeast suggest that mysterious swaths of molecules – long dismissed as “junk DNA” – may be more important to health and evolution than genes themselves.

Meanwhile, a tricky substance called RNA – for decades viewed as the lowly “messenger boy ” for genes and proteins – turns out to be a big league player in cell function. It may even represent the cell’s command and control system, according to its more vigorous proponents.

In any event, lots of basic biological beliefs are going out the window these days as new discoveries come so rapid-fire that the effect is almost more disorienting than illuminating.

The discoveries have one common theme: Cellular processes long assumed to be “genetic” appear quite often to be the result of highly complex interactions occurring in regions of DNA void of genes. This is roughly akin to Wall Street waking to the realization that money doesn’t make the world go ‘round, after all.

Click Here to Read the Rest of Article at the Boston Globe (may require free registration

 

 

 

 

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