Friday, May 29, 2009

Junk DNA to the Rescue

Imagine if, back in 1859, Charles Darwin explained that evolution proceeds in fits and starts. Species rapidly appear as if planted there, and then go unchanged for eons. There would have been, as we say today, no bounce. In fact Darwin would have been laughed off the stage, and he knew it. Darwin had to present a narrative of gradualism. Funny thing is, the fits-and-starts narrative is today precisely what evolutionists tell us. The difference is that today evolution is a fact. You'd have to be a real crackpot to doubt it.

So evolution is a fact, but nonetheless it seems strange that this absent minded process would leave a trail of contradictory evidence. For instance, we know that evolution has not squared very well with the fits-and-starts pattern of the fossil record. Why should biology's evidence make evolution appear to be a ludicrous idea? Is evolution trying to deceive us? Or perhaps it is merely testing our faith. Well now we know. Enter junk DNA.

A few years back evolutionists began to think that retroviruses could play important roles in evolution. This idea has now taken hold in a much bigger way, with the discovery of Genomic Drive. Amazing new research found that transposable elements, comprising about half of our genome and once thought to be so much junk, are the drivers behind evolution itself.

Of course species suddenly appear and then don't change for eons. It is because those transposable elements occasionally awaken to action. The once junk DNA has gone from the dog house to the starting lineup. It turns out that transposable elements supply the genomic drive behind biology's wonders. Mutations are out, jumping genes are in.

In fact, this junk DNA is now thought to have a critical role in ensuring the survival of biological lineages. And how do they work their magic? The answer is easy. Transposable elements, they say, "do their survival work by reformatting and rearranging DNA genomes to sometimes create significant adaptive mutations that undergo natural selection." It is amazing that evolution so cleverly created its own Genomic Drive. Now, evolution is even more of a fact.