Evolution is Getting Demolishedreported on actual experiments suggesting that, err, “a large proportion of the mammalian genome is functional.”
The Mattick results show that in addition to the 5-8% of the genome with conserved DNA sequence, a much higher percentage, possibly up to 30%, has conserved RNA structure. You see while protein structure is difficult to predict from the amino acid sequence, RNA structure can be predicted relatively accurately from the nucleotide sequence. So the new research from Mattick’s lab computed the predicted RNA structures from dozens of mammalian genomes and searched for conserved structures across the different species.
A conserved structure across multiple species, according to evolution, probably has been conserved by purefying selection. In other words, it contributes to the organism’s fitness, and so has function and is not junk.
The bottom line is while ENCODE found that more than three-quarters of our genome is transcribed, which is circumstantial evidence for function, Mattick’s lab is now providing even stronger evidence for function for about a third of that three-quarters of our genome.
And that additional evidence was obtained only using a particular method. There are many, many more potential lines of inquiry that could show more genome function. In other words, that 30% figure is only going to grow.
In fact it already is larger when you consider other work, such as the recent findings that the so-called Alu elements “have been shown to control mRNA processing at several levels, to have complex regulatory functions such as transcriptional repression and modulating alternative splicing and to cause a host of human genetic diseases.”
Perhaps our prediction, that Graur’s claim (that if ENCODE is true then evolution must be false) will be conveniently ignored and forgotten, will come true sooner rather than later. For none of this will change evolutionary thought. No matter how ridiculous the data shows evolution to be, the truth status of evolution never was and never will be vulnerable to scientific evidence.
Religion drives science, and it matters.