Junk generated RNA “astonishes” scientists, according to a report in New Scientist, 21 February 2004, p.10.

When the information encoded on DNA needs to be used to make proteins, the information is copied onto a similar molecule called RNA. However, not all DNA codes for proteins and it has been assumed that the “non-coding” DNA, often called “junk DNA” is not transcribed onto RNA because it has no function.

A team of scientists who have been studying the fine detail of human chromosomes numbers 21 and 22 looked for places where transcription factors (proteins that copy DNA code to RNA) attach to the DNA. As summarised by New Scientist the results were: “Only 22 per cent of these binding sites were located in the classic ‘5-prime’ position, where the process of turning the DNA from each gene into RNA usually begins. Another 36 percent of the binding sites were found at unexpected points within a gene. Most astonishingly of all, 24 per cent were found in DNA thought not to be connected with genes. The remainder were found in ‘pseudogenes’ that is genes that no longer function (Cell, vol.116, p 499).”

Tom Gingeras of Affymetrix (a private company involved in the study) commented “It turns out that we have mischaracterised the architecture of the genome.” All this unexpected RNA may help explain why the number of coding genes found by the human genome project seems so small, somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000, compared with the overall size of the genome. Gingeras suggests the RNA from the non-gene DNA provides the fine tuning that separates one species from another.

Editorial Comment: This study illustrates a monumental failure of evolutionary theory as a useful paradigm for science. The idea that the vast amounts of non-protein-coding DNA in the human genome is useless junk came from the assumption that our genome is the end result of millions of years of natural processes bashing DNA around, when even the most hardened evolutionists admit that random, natural processes make a mess of whatever they touch.

Creation Research made this point in July 2000 that non-protein-coding DNA is there for a purpose and should be investigated to see what it does. Following the publicity about the Human Genome Project many people wrote in with questions about genes and DNA. A common question was “Is ‘Junk DNA’ a leftover from evolution?” reply was “Junk DNA is defined as DNA without genetic meaning. We have not identified a function for most of the DNA in the human genome but this does not mean it is junk.

The problem for junk DNA proponents is the same as it was for vestigial organs (i.e. appendix). The fact that we don’t know the function of something in the body, be it an organ or a piece of DNA, is an indication of our ignorance, not our origin. If we don’t know the function of something the true scientific approach is to do more research and find out what it does.

Vestigial organs and junk DNA are examples of evolution being an anti-scientific idea. Fortunately human curiosity prevailed in the case of vestigial organs and we have since discovered the functions of organs such as the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, the appendix and thymus, all of which were once considered vestigial leftovers from evolution but turn out to be essential to life.”

This new evidence of meaningful “junk DNA” is good evidence for creation, but no help to evolution.

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