Junk DNA: Proof of the Evolutionists’ Intellectual Arrogance

By L. Alfred James

Junk DNA Proof of the Evolutionists’ Intellectual ArroganceThere is an old Alfred Hitchcock show in which a woman recruits a man to avenge her against some man who has supposedly harmed her. With much persuasion she finally convinces him to help, and they drive around the neighborhood looking for this awful person who must be destroyed. “There he is! That’s him!” she shouts, pointing at some guy nearby. Because of her certainty, her recruited helper goes straight to work and immediately kills this man. The body is then disposed of and they get back into the car with a sense of satisfaction, having balanced the scales of justice. As they drive away, however, something very disturbing happens. With the exact same tone as before, indeed, with the exact same certainty as before, the woman points to yet another man on the side of the street and says, “There he is! That’s him!” And then the scene fades to black.

What does it mean? The woman was apparently paranoid and mentally unbalanced. Most of all, the person who was just killed was not deserving of it. While this man thought he was doing a good deed, he unwittingly just murdered an innocent person.

My point in bringing this up? This story illustrates perfectly well the certainty that evolutionists use when making declarations about their theory. Their confidence is often colossal, their pronouncements pontifical, their arrogance awesome. But, alas, sometimes their confidence betrays them, and the emperor’s new clothes are shown to be a gigantic fraud. I would like to make you aware of a recent example of this.

In the latter part of the 20th century scientists became aware of huge segments of DNA in the human genome (remember, “genome” is just a term that refers to the total amount of DNA in the human body) for which they could not identify any particular function. If anyone asked, “What does this section of DNA do?” scientists would just shrug their shoulders and say, “Dunno.” To be sure, there were lots of segments of DNA that were identified as assembly instructions for various proteins in our bodies (by the way, these sections are called “genes”). But there were many more segments that were not so identified, and their purpose remained unclear. In fact, genes make up less than 5% of the genome. More than 95% of the human genome had no purpose that scientists (in the 20th century) could identify.

Like the woman in the Hitchcock story, evolutionists very confidently asserted, “There it is! That is proof of evolution! All this extra DNA is just junk!” They took the fact that we did not know the purpose of this mysterious DNA to indicate that it had no purpose. “It’s just leftover junk from evolution,” they said. After all, if evolution is true, there should be lots and lots of “junk” DNA in our bodies. That is, if we are the product of accidental processes, then surely there must be plenty of leftovers from all kinds of genetic accidents in our genome. Coining a new term, they officially dubbed this stuff “junk DNA.” And over the years they were very confident about their diagnosis. Leslie Orgel and Francis Crick publicly wrote, “Much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk.” Kenneth Miller likewise opined, “The human genome is littered with…’junk’ DNA.” And John Avise said, “Noncoding repetitive sequences—’junk DNA’—comprise the vast bulk…of the human genome.”1

Such certain assertions like this can be found over and over again in the scientific literature from the past 50 years. This idea of “junk” DNA was accepted as sacred dogma and repeated endlessly. It was obviously true to anyone with half a brain.

But there is a surprising twist in the story: These declarations have all been proven spectacularly false. The ENCODE project, headed up by Francis Collins, has found functions for almost all of this “junk.” We now know that these sections of DNA play essential roles in human health. They regulate fetal development, control gene expression (deciding which genes will produce proteins and which ones will not), modify gene transcription, and perform a host of other tasks. Indeed, this DNA has proven to be absolutely necessary. For instance, removing certain segments of this DNA in animals has proven fatal. The work continues, but as of 2018 at least 80% of the genome now has specific functions that are essential for human health. Indeed, the evidence is so strong that it is now almost trendy to debunk the idea of “Junk DNA.”

My main goal in sharing this with you is not to focus so much on the DNA, but on the evolutionists themselves. What I want you to see is how quick they are to make hugely confident proclamations about the absolute certainty of evolution, even when it is completely unjustified. They have a terrible track record of having to eat their words. In the coming weeks this will become apparent. For now, don’t be freaked out when you hear a scientist spout off some technical jargon and then brashly announce that evolution is clearly true. This behavior is not a product of doing good science. It is more akin to the woman in the Hitchcock story.

1. These quotes all come from Jonathan Wells’ book, The Myth of Junk DNA. Throughout the book he gives many more quotes from many more evolutionists, all to the same effect.

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