Friday, October 2, 2009

Junk DNA Beneficial in Cells

"Discovery May Prove Invaluable In Quest For Gene Therapies" reads a recent headline. And what was that discovery? The research uncovered details of how an incredible protein machine can remove sections of DNA from one spot and insert it somewhere else. The research also points to the importance of the so-called "junk" DNA. As one science writer explained:

Junk DNA, which accounts for almost half of the human genome, was originally believed to have no purpose. However, it is now emerging that movement of junk DNA, in a cut-and-paste mechanism, can lead to beneficial changes in cells.

The term "junk" DNA, of course, derives from the evolutionary view that life is a fluke. The most complex structures known, which no one could have imagined, just arose on their own. And when evolutionists can't imagine how something works, then they label it "junk."

They might be right sometimes, but so far quite a bit of "junk" has been found to be functional. Even some of the "junk" DNA is turning out to be important.


  1. Really, Mr Hunter, I feel embarrassed for you.

  2. But if some junk DNA serves a purpose, then mabye all junk DNA serves some purpose. We just don't know what it is yet.

    And anyway, the proof from junk DNA is a theological proof, not a scientific one. "Why would a creator create DNA that serve no purpose?" is a theological question.

  3. Letterman jokes about it, scientists spend 331 days a year surfing porn. All because there is no God in these peoples life. Evolution is a big part of this.

  4. Another example of how evolutionary bias has hindered scientific progress. Excellent post, Mr. Hunter.

  5. Since the people who posted after me seem to have ignored the articles I linked to and blindly swallowed Mr Hunter's anti-evolution diatribe, I think it's worth posting some of the first article.

    "Regarding so-called "junk DNA," the claims of the DI and RTB are quite similar, and I will consider them together here.

    My assertion in these next 3 posts on "junk DNA" is this in a nutshell: the writing of the DI and RTB on the subject of "junk DNA" is a melange of half-truths, non sequiturs, quote-mined proof texts and outright fabrications that adds up to one of the clearest examples of folk science that I can imagine. My conclusion is that one would be very unwise to consult these sources for knowledge about developmental or evolutionary genetics, and that the architects of this deception are engaged in scholarly misconduct if not outright dishonesty.

    When these apologists write about "junk DNA," they commit sins of commission and omission. I've identified 3 significant themes in this edifice of folk science, and the 3 posts will deal with each in turn.

    1. Creationists insist that "junk DNA" is functional and therefore that evolutionary claims regarding its origin are mistaken.
    2. Creationists systematically ignore fact and theory regarding the nature of vast numbers of non-coding genetic elements, which make up the bulk of the genetic material that is referred to as "junk DNA." Specifically, these apologists ignore (and sometimes deny) the fact that millions of chunks of DNA in the human genome alone are known to be mobile genetic elements.
    3. Creationists distort the nature of ongoing research and debate concerning the evolutionary roles and fates of various "junk DNA" elements.

    I'll deal with these 3 themes in 3 upcoming posts, but here are some teasers.

    Creationists of various stripes commonly claim that because evolutionary biologists automatically assumed that non-coding DNA lacked function, little or no research on the subject occurred for decades. That claim is doubly false: biologists have always adopted various stances on the functional roles of non-coding DNA, and consequently research into its function has proceeded apace.

    Enormous numbers of DNA elements that make up the bulk of the human genome -- and most of its non-coding "junk" segments -- have been identified and are being actively investigated by molecular biologists. These elements are anything but mysterious: they are so-called mobile genetic elements of various kinds, with well-known properties. Their properties, and their use in scores of analyses of evolutionary relationships, are systematically omitted from creationist writings on the subject.

    The proteins that enable animals to smell are called olfactory receptors (ORs). The human genome contains about 800 OR genes, but more than half of them have been inactivated by mutation, yielding what are called pseudogenes. These "fossil genes" are found in precisely the same locations within the genome as are the fully-functional versions in other mammals (i.e., mice). Analysis of these genes and their properties has led to the construction of a highly coherent explanatory framework that accounts for the existence of these pseudogenes and the evolution of smell in vertebrates. Looking for a creationist approach to these data? The word 'olfactory' appears nowhere on RTB's website; at the DI, you'll find it in lots of articles...about stem cells."

  6. "Perhaps the most poignant example of how the neo-Darwinian paradigm opposed research into the function of "junk"-DNA was reported in 2003, when an article in Scientific American explained that “the introns within genes and the long stretches of intergenic DNA between genes ... ‘were immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk.’”[3] But once it was discovered that introns play vital cellular roles regulating gene production within the cell, John S. Mattick, director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia was thus quoted saying the failure to recognize function for introns might have been “one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.”

    [3] Wayt T. Gibbs, “The Unseen Genome: Gems Among the Junk,” Scientific American (Nov. 2003)."

    DO we really need any more evidence for WHY the 'theory' of evolution needs to be discarded??
    This ridiculous worldview/religion has hurt scientific progress, not aided it. So much for Dobzhansky's absurd quote.