Junk DNA or Junk Science?

Junk DNA or Junk Science?

Something that pops up occasionally as an argument against creation is what is known as the ‘”junk DNA” idea. Essentially the idea is that the vast majority, over 98% of the human genome, is not used to code for proteins and thus is useless or junk.   Even as recently as 2015, The New York Times ran an article asking if the vast majority of our genome was junk.  This article will address the idea that huge sections of our DNA is junk, as well as discuss why scientists have believed this and how it fits into the origins debate.

The junk DNA debate is far from settled among evolutionists. As late as July 2017, a researcher from the University of Houston proposed that up to ninety percent of the human genome was useless. In order to understand why this claim is made, we need to look at the parts of the non-coding DNA which are referred to as junk.  There are four  different types of “junk DNA”, which supposedly has no function and is an evolutionary leftover. Those four types are noncoding RNA,  introns, pseudogenes and repeat sequences. We will examine each in turn to determine if they really are junk.

The first type of “junk” DNA are noncoding RNA strands. Essentially these are RNA strands which are never meant to be translated into a protein chain.  This includes ribosomal RNA (r-RNA) among other types of RNA.  Evolutionists claim that an all knowing God would not have put junk in the genetic code. They are correct in that assumption, but incorrect in stating that there is junk in the genetic code.  These noncoding RNA strands have a function. They are used to regulate parts of the genetic code, as well as transcription and translation. They help prevent coding RNA from breaking down in the cytoplasm and prevent messenger RNA (m-RNA) from being translated into protein chains.

The second type of “junk” DNA are introns. Essentially, introns are the sections between the exons. Exons are the sections which contain information required for protein synthesis. However, just because introns do not code for proteins does not make them useless. Instead, they are involved in the splicing process. When the cell needs to code for a protein, it will splice out the exons needed and ignore the introns. The introns help pick which exons to splice out, and help control the splicing process in all its aspects.  Despite not coding for anything, the introns assist the rest of the genome code for proteins.

Pseudogenes are the third type of non-coding DNA which has been touted by evolutionists as evidence to support their theory. Essentially, pseudogenes are supposed to be evolutionary leftovers, combining bits of viral DNA with fragments of mutation ridden human genes.  These areas are believed to be useless vestiges. However, pseudogenes have a very definite function. When these genes are damaged or disturbed in lab animals, it often kills them. They are also are transcribed during DNA transcription so clearly they have some relevance to the genome.

The final piece of “junk” DNA are the repeat sequences.  These are sometimes also called transposable elements, which are known to scientists as transposons.  These are believed to be leftover viral DNA and meaningless fragments. However, if they move, they cause genetic diseases.  Further they help regulate the genome and serve various purposes depending on the cell type they are found in.  These are not useless vestiges, they serve a definite purpose.

Since these parts of the genome have all been shown to have functions, why do some scientists still insist that they are useless vestiges?  The answer to this lies in their world view.  The majority of scientists view the human genome as a product of a mindless random chance driven process and thus expect to find the disorder that such a process would create. Junk DNA would fit into this worldview quite well. However, with the discovery of functions for each of these supposedly useless parts of the genome, the evolutionary worldview takes a hit.  Despite this, many evolutionists will cling to the idea of junk DNA, simply because it fits their worldview, not because it has any basis in fact. They do this because the alternative to their worldview is a god of some form or other and they do not want to allow the possibility of someone more powerful than themselves.

Junk DNA is essentially junk science that is slowly being whittled away. A random mindless process would never have created something as complex and well organized as the human genome. The more researchers dig into the genome, the more complex it becomes. The human genome demands a Designer, and not just any designer but the God of the Bible.  Junk DNA was an idea put forward as an attempt to discredit the Designer and put the credit for His work onto a mindless process. However, even many evolutionists are now realizing junk DNA never did exist, except in the minds of those who theorized it.

 

Harry

 

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