Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

‘Junk DNA’

A new, useful, description for (former) junk DNA… ?

“the large proportion of our genome that does not instruct our cells to form proteins” The phrase is a bit longish, of course, but concision is usually a product of usage. It’s better than “non-coding DNA” because it’s more specific and limited as a privative. That is, there is a specific thing that that vast mass of DNA does not do. The longish phrase does not come with the implication that it doesn’t do anything. Read More ›

At Scientific American: Salamander “junk DNA” challenges long-held view of evolution

Douglas Fox at SciAm: The salamanders would be on death’s door if they were human. “Everything about having a large genome is costly,” Wake told me in 2020. Yet salamanders have survived for 200 million years. “So there must be some benefit,” he said. The hunt for those benefits has led to some heretical surprises, potentially turning our understanding of evolution on its head. Read More ›

CalTech researchers map spatial organization of the (“junk”) DNA and RNA in the cell nucleus

At ENST: Now, the windows are opening on [nucleus] organization so all-encompassing for all those non-coding RNA transcripts, it is truly mind-boggling what goes on in the nucleus of a cell. Read More ›

AI helps us see previously unknown cell components

The friend who forwarded this story notes, “Even though we didn’t know maybe half of what’s in our cells, we somehow knew that most of the genome is junk?” Darwinism did that, of course. It was the Darwinians who needed the idea that most of the genome is junk. Read More ›

Evangelical scientists getting it wrong…

Casey Luskin: Craig continues to rely upon BioLogos arguments that pseudogenes are “broken” and non-functional junk DNA that we share with apes, thereby demonstrating our common ancestry. Those arguments are increasingly contradicted by evidence presented in highly authoritative scientific papers which find that pseudogenes are commonly functional, and they ought not be assumed to be genetic “junk.” Read More ›

Is it the “junk DNA” that makes us human?

Researchers: "This suggests that the basis for the human brain's evolution are genetic mechanisms that are probably a lot more complex than previously thought, as it was supposed that the answer was in those two per cent of the genetic DNA. Our results indicate that what has been significant for the brain's development is instead perhaps hidden in the overlooked 98 per cent, which appears to be important. This is a surprising finding." Read More ›

And now … Transposable elements (junk DNA) shape the evolution of mammalian development

No wonder people are backing away from the Darwinian staple of junk DNA. We wonder, when will the pop science articles start to appear, claiming that junk DNA was never really an argument used by Darwinian evolutionists in support of their cause and that, in any event, they were right to use such an argument. Read More ›

“Junk DNA” is expressed differently in chimps and humans — and makes a difference in brain types

At GenEng and BioTech mag: "In a new study, stem cell scientists at the Lund University, Sweden, explore the role of non-coding regions of the genome—previously deemed to be functionless “junk” DNA—and find humans and chimpanzees use a part of their non-coding DNA in different ways. This they claim affects how and when the human brain develops." Read More ›

A 2010 Oxford U Press book on “unintelligent design” seems so dated now

Now that the very concept of “junk DNA” is being officially retired, this all seems pretty stale. Note: Well yes, there is still Nathan Lents and Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes: Still wrong about sinuses but still writing about them. Read More ›

Jonathan Wells reflects on the importance of “junk DNA” to Francis Collins’ Language of God

Wells: It’s not a moral failure to be mistaken about evidence that supposedly supports Darwinian evolution. But the title of Collins’s Language of God was deceptive from the start. And Collins has looked the other way as it has continued to deceive. I consider this one more moral failure of Francis Collins. Read More ›

Casey Luskin reflects on the “official” demise of the term “junk DNA”

Luskin: “these authors remember a day when ‘the common doctrine was that the nonprotein coding part of eukaryotic genome’ consisted of ‘“useless sequences, often organized in repetitive elements.’” Good. Keep the history alive. It won’t be very long before Darwinians start claiming that they never thought it was junk. Then they will start insinuating that WE said it was junk. No, that doesn’t make any sense but if the history is forgotten, it doesn’t need to either. Read More ›

Term “junk DNA” critiqued at journal. But now remember the history!

“The days of ‘junk DNA’ are over…”? So the house is clearly supporting this move away from the Darwinian position. Oh yes, let’s not forget that “junk DNA” was very much a Darwinian position. Most or all of the Darwinian Bigs signed onto junk DNA as part of their thesis about the unguided nature of life. The big question will doubtless be put off for now: Why does it only count if Darwinian predictions are right but never if they are wrong? Read More ›