The remarkable ENCODE data published last week in Nature and several other biology journals is a final nail in the coffin of "junk DNA", a scientific myth that has been used by Darwinists to buttress their assertions that evolution is wholly the result of random genetic variation and natural selection.
Intelligent design scientists have predicted for decades that the genome is an elegantly organized system replete with purpose and that "junk DNA" is really functional DNA whose function remains to be understood.
It is important to understand that the ENCODE research published in Nature is not merely a vindication of the intelligent design prediction that most of the genome has function. Is is also a clear vindication of the insistence by intelligent design scientists that the design hypothesis is heuristic. The inference to design is essential to good science, because biological systems are intricately designed arrays of elements arranged for a purpose. If scientists begin with the inference to purposelessness, they will be misled. The denial of design in biology is bad science, with serious consequences.
The Nature authors point out the serious consequences of junk science:
“The human genome encodes the blueprint of life, but the function of the vast majority of its nearly three billion bases is unknown. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has systematically mapped regions of transcription, transcription factor association, chromatin structure and histone modification. These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions. Many discovered candidate regulatory elements are physically associated with one another and with expressed genes, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation. The newly identified elements also show a statistical correspondence to sequence variants linked to human disease, and can thereby guide interpretation of this variation. Overall, the project provides new insights into the organization and regulation of our genes and genome, and is an expansive resource of functional annotations for biomedical research.” [emphasis added]
Two of the points that the Nature authors make are critical to understanding the catastrophe of "junk DNA":
Many discovered candidate regulatory elements are physically associated with one another and with expressed genes, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation.What the scientists are saying diplomatically is that the inference that these regulatory elements were "junk" has held back our insights into gene regulation. It is likely that if we had not assumed for 40 years that the genome was mostly junk we might now have a much better understanding of gene regulation.
Even more damning, they continue:
The newly identified elements also show a statistical correspondence to sequence variants linked to human disease...The assumption that most of the genome is Darwinian"junk" has seriously impaired medical research.
For decades Darwinists insisted that "junk DNA" was the expected consequence of 'random mutation and natural selection'. "Junk DNA" was presented as strong consensus evidence for Darwin's theory, and strong evidence against Intelligent Design.
How many scientists who were raised and suffocated under Darwinian bias failed to pursue focused research on "non-coding" DNA because of the assurance from the Darwinists that this DNA was junk, detritus accumulated over eons of evolution, and not an integral part of a meticulously designed system of cell regulation? How many scientists who did have the insight and courage to ask questions based on the inference to function and even purpose in the genome had their grants denied or their careers stymied? How many of those suppressed scientists were studying cancer, diabetes, and other diseases that will now be studied with the correct inference that the vast majority of the genome has elaborate function?
A major prediction of intelligent design science has been vindicated in what is likely the most important breakthrough in molecular genetics in 40 years, and the Darwinian prediction that most of the genome is junk is... junked.
Even now, in the wake of this massive evidence for the functionality of most of the DNA in the genome, Darwinist thugs like Larry Moran publish veiled threats against the careers of the scientists who published this groundbreaking data.
Moran wrote on his blog, on September 6, 2012, the day the data was published in Nature:
... I reserve my harshest criticism for the scientists, especially Ewan Birney who is the lead analysis coordinator for the project and who has taken on the role as spokesperson for the consortium. Unless other members of the consortium speak out, I'll assume they agree with Ewan Birney. They bear the same responsibility for what has happened.Moran not-so-subtly threatens not only the lead author of the paper but all of the scientists in the consortium. They will "bear the same responsibility for what has happened".
What chance do you think these scientists' grant applications will stand if Moran is on the grant review panel? What chance do their tenure applications stand if Moran is on their tenure committee? Moran is a very influential senior scientist who is already on record advocating failing Christian undergraduates if they don't personally accept the Darwinist view of evolution, even if they pass all exams and classwork:
Of course, we all recognize the problem here. How do you distinguish between a good Christian who is lying for Jesus and one who has actually come to understand science? It seems really unfair to flunk the honest students who admit that they still reject science and pass the dishonest ones who hide their true beliefs...As we've seen time and time again on the blogs (and elsewhere), the Christian fundamentalists have erected very strong barriers against learning. It really doesn't matter how much they are exposed to rational thinking and basic scientific evidence. They still refuse to listen...This is one of the reasons why I would flunk them if they took biology and still rejected the core scientific principles. It's not good enough to just be able to mouth the "acceptable" version of the truth that the Professor wants. You actually have to open your mind to the possibility that science is correct and get an education. That's what university is all about. [emphasis mine]Moran supported the denial of tenure to the superbly qualified astronomer Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, simply because Gonzalez supported intelligent design:
I see nothing wrong here. I looks to me like this is grounds for tenure denial.Moran has threatened other scientists and students who disagree with his Darwinist/atheist views as well.
In 2008, I noted:
Consider Dr. Moran's chilling comment about Kirk Durston, a Ph.D. candidate in biophysics at the University of Guelph. Mr. Durston has pointed out that intelligent design theory may be applied to an understanding of the enormous complexities of protein folding, which remains one of the deepest problems in molecular biology. Mr. Durston offered to visit and present his evidence at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Moran replied:
I admire Kirk for his willingness to subject his scientific evidence for intelligent design to a group of experts on protein folding. It's very courageous of him since he's putting his scientific reputation on the line.
... Dr. Moran has even less tolerance for undergraduate students who express support for intelligent design. How would Dr. Moran deal with undergraduate students at the University of California at San Diego who do not believe in Darwinism?
Flunk the IDiots...40% of the freshman class [at UCSD] reject Darwinism... the university has become alarmed at the stupidity of its freshman class and has offered remedial instruction for those who believe in Intelligent Design Creationism...UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place...[T]he University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education.Do you think Moran and his fellow Darwinist thugs would bat an eye at expelling these scientists "who bear the... responsibility for what has happened."?
But even threats from Darwinist thugs won't stop this science now. Even Moran's commentors on his blog have had enough of the thuggishness:
Crap... [You come] across as emotional, irrational and driven by adherence to dogma. You know you are right, so no need to read the 30 papers (yawn) or explore the interesting question of what does it mean for something to be "functional". You don't even quote the bit where he justifies why he settled on using the 80% figure as a summary. Just attack, attack, attack, like any good Creationist would. (Not suggesting that you are a Creationist, just that you are behaving like one.)
How any scientist can be faced with the publication of such an amazing resource as ENCODE, with all its data, all the questions it raises, all the interesting things to discuss (and not always agree about) and just focus on one or two sentences in the press releases that they don't like, boggles my mind. I know you are obsessed with neutrality and fighting Creationists but that is not all that science is about.
I am reminded why I stopped reading this blog for a while and think it is time for another break. If you give people a bit more benefit of the doubt and remember that they are (in the case of Ewan Birney anyway) highly intelligent, who knows, you might actually learn something - but that does not seem to be the goal of this blog. It is so much easier to criticise science than do it. And so much easier to twist someone's words into something you know how to attack than actually try to understand their data and what they might really be saying.
I would just ask you to consider all the damage that you are doing by your determination to drag the reputation of scientists - and science - through the mud but I know it is probably futile for frequenting this blog has made one thing very clear: Larry Moran is never wrong, has never made an error of judgement and already knows all the answers
One of Darwinists' fundamental arguments against intelligent design for the past 40 years is in flames, and it is clear that the Darwinian inference to randomness has seriously impeded both basic science and medical research. Even bluster and threats won't work any more.
Junk DNA is a Darwinian myth, and Darwinism is junk science.