New book: Junk DNA junked … in favour of what?
|March 20, 2011||Posted by O'Leary under 'Junk DNA', Books of interest|
Jonathan Wells’ book, The Myth of Junk DNA (Discovery, 2011), is now being advertised at Amazon:
According to the modern version of Darwin’s theory, DNA contains a program for embryo development that is passed down from generation to generation; the program is implemented by proteins encoded by the DNA, and accidental DNA mutations introduce changes in those proteins that natural selection then shapes into new species, organs and body plans. When scientists discovered forty years ago that about 98% of our DNA does not encode proteins, the non-protein-coding portion was labeled “junk” and attributed to molecular accidents that have accumulated in the course of evolution.
Recent books by Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins and others have used this “junk DNA” as evidence for Darwinian evolution and evidence against intelligent design (since an intelligent designer would presumably not have filled our genome with so much garbage). But recent genome evidence shows that much of our non-protein-coding DNA performs essential biological functions.
The Myth of Junk DNA is written for a general audience by biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution. Citing some of the abundant evidence from recent genome projects, the book shows that “junk DNA” is not science, but myth.
Junk DNA was one of those ideas that just had to be true. Genome mapper and NIH head Francis Collins saw it as a slam dunk for his beloved Darwinism in his first book, The Language of God, (“Darwin’s theory predicts … That is exactly what is observed”) but seems to have changed his tune in his second, The Language of Life.
I’ll be interviewing Wells on the book next week, but in the meantime, two questions occur to me: To what extent did Darwinism cause the myth to be retained longer than it otherwise would be? Given that Darwinists must now be in search of another guiding myth, any idea out there which one it will be?
Now, one prediction:
Darwinists who used to point to all the alleged junk in DNA, as Collins did, will resort – seeing anything they don’t like – to saying God wouldn’t have done it that way” implying that, unlike the rest of us, they are on familiar terms with God, and cold take over the desk themselves on his lunch break, with no interruption in service.
I thought Disney covered that one off in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.