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Intelligent Design: Research team finds important role for junk DNA

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posted on May, 24 2009 @ 11:16 AM
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From News At Princeton:

www.princeton.edu...

Scientists have called it "junk DNA." They have long been perplexed by these extensive strands of genetic material that dominate the genome but seem to lack specific functions. Why would nature force the genome to carry so much excess baggage?

Now researchers from Princeton University and Indiana University who have been studying the genome of a pond organism have found that junk DNA may not be so junky after all. They have discovered that DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as the "dispensable genome" are actually performing functions that are central for the organism. They have concluded that the genes spur an almost acrobatic rearrangement of the entire genome that is necessary for the organism to grow.

The term "junk DNA" was originally coined to refer to a region of DNA that contained no genetic information. Scientists are beginning to find, however, that much of this so-called junk plays important roles in the regulation of gene activity. No one yet knows how extensive that role may be.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Another take on the article:

www.uncommondescent.com...

Darwinian “Scientists have called it “junk DNA.” They have long been perplexed by these extensive strands of genetic material that dominate the genome but seem to lack specific functions. Why would nature (or an Intelligent Designer) force the genome to carry so much excess baggage?”

As predicted by Intelligent Design theorists “researchers from Princeton and Indiana University have found that junk DNA may not be so junky after all. They have discovered that DNA sequences from regions of what had been viewed as the “dispensable genome” are actually performing functions that are central for the organism. They have concluded that Darwinian theory was incorrect the genes spur an almost acrobatic rearrangement of the entire genome that is necessary for the organism to grow.”

The term “junk DNA” was originally coined (by Darwinian biologists) to refer to a region of DNA that (they wrongly concluded because of their philosophical commitment) contained no genetic information. Scientists are beginning to find, (as predicted by Intelligent Design theorists), that much of this so-called junk plays important roles in the regulation of gene activity.”

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I've always thought the term "Junk DNA" was more indicative of arrogance and refusal to admit ignorance, rather than an accurate description of the role of the DNA itself. Turns out it's important, after all.




posted on May, 24 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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The Princeton article has nothing to do with "Intelligent Design"....doesn't even mention the phrase once.

I think that the problem that "Evolutionists" and "Intelligent Designers", so to speak, have with one another's approaches is that IDers have the tendancy to want to focus on things as dogma.

Always returning to the "we don't know this" or "Darwin didn't know that" so it must be wrong... Scientific theory is about the advancement of knowledge....otherwise there would be no point to furthering it.

I think this is the big difference between those who propose the "Theory of Evolution" and those that propose the "theory" of "Intelligent Design." Evolution seeks answers and poses more questions, the furthering of knowedge. "Intelligent Design", I feel, attempts to hinder the furthering of knowledge.

We know Darwin "wasn't quite right", he was studying this stuff a hundred and freaking fifty years ago...and we've learned a lot more since then. Its not "Darwinian" anymore...its called Evolutionary Science.

[edit on 24/5/09 by madhatr137]



posted on May, 24 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 
The reputation of 'junk DNA' is at odds with recent findings IIRC. I'm going from memory so allow for some mistakes
Junk DNA is a feature in the genome of just about all organisms. The interesting thing is that it forms a greater part of the genome in more complex organisms. Our friend the nematode has less by way of 'junk DNA' than primates, for example.

Organisms that are not at the driving edge of natural selection undergo fewer evolutionary changes and have less junk DNA. Other forms of life that are forced to react to their environment and go through continued evolutionary changes have a higher proportion of junk DNA. I think the junk was attributed to integrity of the organism. As they become more complex, more junk DNA is present. It isn't useless, it helps to maintain the validity/integrity of the genome through successive generations.

If I'm utterly wrong, I'll delete this post and leave an apology......



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 06:06 AM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 

Ian, Darwin didn't know about any kind of DNA. He didn't even know about genes. He was totally ignorant of any mechanism of selection, which makes his achievement all the greater.

What is 'junk DNA'? It is those portions of the DNA molecule that don't code for proteins - in other words, that are not involved in making flesh and blood and bone. That does not mean they have no function. It could well be that their function is regulatory on the parts of the DNA molecule that do, as is suggested by the article. They would thus have been subject to natural selection in just the same way as other genes are.

The existence of junk (or not so junky) DNA raises absolutely no problems for natural selection, neither does it imply a Designer.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
The existence of junk (or not so junky) DNA raises absolutely no problems for natural selection, neither does it imply a Designer.


it is so unbelievably difficult to imagine a spontaneous creation when you believe that DNA has a simple cause and effect mechanism that if what is required is instead a cause, instructional, regulation and effect mechanism you are really pushing the bounds of credibility to suggest random assembly.

you have just gone from expecting people to believe the random assembly of a grandfather clock to expecting people to believe the random creation of a laptop complete with programming, at least.

i would say that at that stage, a designer may well be exactly what is implied, if in fact even the most basic life forms are found to require junk DNA for instruction and regulation.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 08:25 AM
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Some years ago I was inclined towards some kind of Intelligent Designer. Not through any books and before YT took off. It was largely inspired by Attenborough's Private Life of Plants. This example is all I can find, but it demonstrates how the ID concept was called to mind...



I was tricked by my sense of wonder and lack of answers to create an explanation of 'best fit.' "All hail...the Intelligent Designer!" I now believe ID is an unnecessary human construct to explain our world. Where the hell did the ID come from? Eventually we always reduce the problem to it's simplest form. ID and God aren't necessary for evolution/ natural selection to occur. Evolution isn't precluded by ID either. Our friendly ID would be an outcome of evolution also.

Regarding puzzles of 'spontaneous creation,' there isn't a single explanation for the Universe being here that we can easily understand...

1/It either came from nothing or it didn't.

2/The ID either came from nothing or it didn't.

3/God either came from nothing or it didn't.

I'm with number 1. It doesn't require the addition of the other two. Where it all started we'll possibly never know. Until we do, evolution works fine for me. Possibly the most significant moment in the Universe's history (as it relates to us) was when everything was inanimate...and something moved.

Edit to add a prefix that could mean the difference between life and no life...(in)animate


[edit on 26-5-2009 by Kandinsky]



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