Sunday, October 02, 2011

Does Junk DNA prove Evolution? No, that's Junk Science

DNA is a well-designed blueprint. However, on occasion, random changes—“mutations”— are introduced, and if mutations happen to land in a part of the DNA that codes for protein (i.e., in a “gene”), the consequences can be striking—for example, sickle cell anemia. Because they are rare, random, and seldom reversible, mutations serve as a useful marker of ancestry.

Evolutionists have capitalized on this fact and have used it to claim that shared mutations between humans and chimps prove common ancestry between these two creatures. They claim that humans and chimpanzees share an unusually high number of shared mutations in the same DNA locations and that the only explanation for this similarity is plagiarism of these genomes from a common ancestor.

Is this assumption true?

Marko notes: Here's what is really going on. Evolutionists are not just counting the number of "mutations" of the sickle-cell anemia variety! They are including in that total any DNA locations that they regard as "mistakes". Almost all these "mistakes" are what is called "junk" DNA, or areas of DNA that are regarded as non-functional.

So, the shared “mistakes” between the two genomes are most often found in the region of the genome previously labeled “junk.” But evidence has been accumulating that “junk” DNA is, in fact, functional!1 These data clearly indicate that the assumption behind the evolution claim is false—we do not speak the language of the genome well enough to reliably separate shared “mistakes” from common design features. Hence, the claim that shared “mistakes” prove common ancestry is invalid.

Marko's conclusion: Does Junk DNA prove Evolution? No, that's Junk Science!

(Excerpted from Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Human-Chimp Genetic Similarity: Do Shared 'Mistakes' Prove Common Ancestry? Acts & Facts, September 2011, Institute for Creation Research)

References (selected)

1.Wells, J. 2011. The Myth of Junk DNA. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute Press.

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