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Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings

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Readers may remember the recent ENCODE findings, which showed that junk DNA is much less common in the genome than Darwin’s defenders (who use it as an important argument for their theory) like. Readers may also remember the attack on ENCODE by Darwin’s defenders. Now here is a response:

On the concept of biological function, junk DNA and the gospels of ENCODE and Graur et al.

Claudiu I. Bandea

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Submitted to BioRxiv on November 18, 2013

Abstract: In a recent article entitled “On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE”, Graur et al. dismantle ENCODE’s evidence and conclusion that 80% of the human genome is functional. However, the article by Graur et al. contains assumptions and statements that are questionable. Primarily, the authors limit their evaluation of DNA’s biological functions to informational roles, sidestepping putative non-informational functions. Here, I bring forward an old hypothesis on the evolution of genome size and on the role of so called ‘junk DNA’ (jDNA), which might explain C-value enigma. According to this hypothesis, the jDNA functions as a defense mechanism against insertion mutagenesis by endogenous and exogenous inserting elements such as retroviruses, thereby protecting informational DNA sequences from inactivation or alteration of their expression. Notably, this model couples the mechanisms and the selective forces responsible for the origin of jDNA with its putative protective biological function, which represents a classic example of ‘fighting fire with fire.’ One of the key tenets of this theory is that in humans and many other species, jDNAs serves as a protective mechanism against insertional oncogenic transformation. As an adaptive defense mechanism, the amount of protective DNA varies from one species to another based on the rate of its origin, insertional mutagenesis activity, and evolutionary constraints on genome size.

Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista

6 Replies to “Another response to Darwin’s followers’ attack on the “not-much-junk-DNA” ENCODE findings

  1. 1
    wd400 says:

    Readers may remember the recent ENCODE findings, which showed that junk DNA is much less common in the genome than Darwin’s defenders (who use it as an important argument for their theory) like.

    The ENCODE papers don’t show this. Junk DNA is, and really always ha, been an anti-Darwinian idea. I don’t know why these myths are so hard to overcome.

  2. 2
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    I don’t wish to be argumentative, but I’m not sure that the old junk DNA has always been a problem for Darwinism. This little piece from Scientific American apparently argues that junk DNA is quite a tale of the totally expected if evolution is true.

    http://tinyurl.com/9demy6o

    I personally have heard many many persons, setting about a polite bit of ID bashing, use the junk DNA gambit in evolution’s favour. Wasn’t the higgledy-piggledy garbage accumulation used at the Kitzmiller v Dover case?

  3. 3
    lifepsy says:

    wd400,

    Junk DNA is, and really always ha, been an anti-Darwinian idea. I don’t know why these myths are so hard to overcome.

    It probably has something to do with leading neo-darwinists promoting the idea for decades.

  4. 4
    Paul Giem says:

    wd400,

    The ENCODE papers don’t show this. Junk DNA is, and really always ha, been an anti-Darwinian idea. I don’t know why these myths are so hard to overcome.

    Yes, I remember that famous anti-Darwinist Susonu Ohno who wrote about “junk DNA”. It is amazing how the myth of Darwinists creating the term sticks around. 😉

    It turns out that the term wasn’t invented by Ohno, but only popularized (see here). Note the list of anti-Darwinists, including Frances Crick. More evidence that the term “junk DNA” is an anti-Darwinian term. 😉

  5. 5
    wd400 says:

    that post was written back when I entertained the hope that people might see the term Darwinism means something other than a convenient -ism against which to base an identity.

    In science, Darwinism refers to theories that emphasize the fire of natural selection, Ohno argued most of the genome was not subject to selection and contemporary Darwinists pushed back st joss idea.

    I still think it’s silly to call ohno a Darwinist, but have given up on anyone here stopping.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, Says the man who believes his brain, which is more complex than all the computers in the world put together, is merely a ‘selected’ (or not) series of accidents.

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