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Designer didn’t design junk

Researchers have identified patterns, or ‘motifs’, in both the so-called ‘junk’ areas of the genome and those which coded for proteins.


First published: 3 October 2006 (GMT+10)
Re-featured on homepage: 26 August 2020 (GMT+10)

The term ‘junk DNA’ refers to those portions of the genome that have long been said to have no purpose. But a team of IBM researchers led by Dr Isidore Rigoutsos report that these ‘non-coding parts’ of the human genome actually contain patterns or ‘motifs’ which suggest an important functional role. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they wrote: ‘These unexpected findings suggest potential unique functional connections between the coding and noncoding parts of the human genome.’1

In other words, as Rigoutsos told BBC News, ‘junk DNA may not be junk’ given he and his team found ‘a connection between a vast area of the genome we didn’t think was functional with the part of the genome we knew was functional’.2 Thus Rigoutsos was echoing even stronger comments by Prof. John Mattick of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia:

‘the failure to recognise the implications of the non-coding DNA will go down as the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology’.3

In the light of these findings, geneticists are acknowledging that the genome is far more complex than they had imagined. And why would anybody think there could be lots of ‘non-functional’ DNA in the first place? It derives from an evolutionary view of origins—see DNA: marvellous messages or mostly mess? and No joy for junkies.

In contrast, knowing that we’ve been designed would logically lead one to expect that all parts of the body have been made for a purpose. (Note though, considering we live in a fallen world (Genesis 3:14–19, Romans 8:19–23), it is possible that small parts of the DNA could be defective due to mutations. See Genetics—no friend of evolution and Mutations Questions and Answers.)

References and notes

  1. Rigoutsos, I., Huynh, T., Miranda, K., Tsirigos, A., McHardy, A., Platt, D., Short blocks from the noncoding parts of the human genome have instances within nearly all known genes and relate to biological processes, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA103(17):6605–6610, 25 April 2006. Return to text.
  2. Rincon, P., Salvage prospect for ‘junk’ DNA, BBC News, 9 June 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4940654.stm. Return to text.
  3. From a transcript of the ABC TV science program Catalyst, episode titled ‘Genius of Junk (DNA)’, broadcast 10 July 2003, 19 July 2006, www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s898887.htm. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Roland F.
In late summer of 1999, I had been going through a great deal of turmoil in my mind for quite some time about the conflicts that I knew existed between the claims of evolutionists and the statements in Scripture. As I left choir practice at my church on a Wednesday night, I was about halfway to my car when I suddenly received an “understanding”. This is the only way that I can think of to describe it. I did not hear audible words; I’m not even certain of the exact wording. But, nevertheless, the “understanding” was unmistakeable. It was something like a message, to me, in my mind. And that message was “You cannot put these two things together; you cannot reconcile these two things, because one is an absolute lie, and the other is absolute truth”. That was it. I continued walking to my car, and sat there for a while, trying to comprehend what had just happened. It was, to say the least, a life-changing moment. There was no problem knowing which was the lie and which was the truth.
In the following days, my eyes were completely opened to all of the deceptions of evolution, and the details that people usually, often intentionally, overlook and ignore. It was an amazing blessing to know that evolution is nothing more than a lie, and literally has nothing whatsoever to do with real science. Science fiction, yes; pseudo-science, yes; fantasy, yes; but actual science? No. But, the second part of the message was and is the greatest blessing of all; that is, the Word of God is absolute truth. You can bet your life on it.
Grahame G.
People often claim that Churchill or Twain said "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on". This lacks evidence but is a good quote.

Jonathan Swift said, "Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect".

There is some truth in these quotes, but scripture is more accurate.

Proverbs 18:17  The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Unfortunately, the lie persists in those who have no interest in examination of truth and incautiously accept the lie because it feeds their confirmation bias.

In this sinful world, no matter how many evolutionary shibboleths are destroyed by science, they will always have others. After all, they are children of the father of lies.

But the battle is worth fighting. Thank you for never giving up and for sharing the truth.
Alf F.
Everything that exists originally came from God, had a purpose, and was good. John 1:3, Gen 1:31. So we will always expect to find this underlying fact in every part of creation. Creation has purpose, which gives us purpose, too. We messed it all up with sin. And it's good to know that the the Almighty God, who holds us in His hands, is also "good". That's why He made a wonderful plan to rescue us from sin, and at the same time to demonstrate His goodness. Hallelujah. Praise His name.
Jeffrey C.
I had an atheist acquaintance back in 2005 taking great comfort and joy in "junk DNA" ... such a comforting thought for non-believers, much like every announcement of anything on earth that supposedly happened before the scriptural beginning.

Same person (a subscriber to Science, the journal of The American Association for the Advancement of Science) believes chemicals "evolved" to life, as if blind forces of natural selection were somehow going somewhere in a chemical soup. Ignorance underlies much of what the world believes, the "knowledge" it promotes.

Whatever worthlessness is repeated by fallible humans, even billions of times, over and over again, makes no difference whatsoever in the reality of what actually is "so".

Reality remains.
Errol B.
Surely Richard Dawkins isn't still using the 'Junk DNA' argument against Creationists. I don't think anyone should feel that lonely.

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