Continuation of the opening post.
Junk DNA is also called "non coding DNA"
The function of over 95 percent of our DNA is still a mystery. That is, we have spelled out the code, but have discovered that most of it does not code for proteins. Genes can be separated by a vast desert of noncoding DNA, which is sometimes called “junk” DNA. But is it useless? Probably not, because included among noncoding sequences are the crucial promoter regions which control when genes are turned on or off.
The human genome has more noncoding DNA than any other animal known to date and it is not clear why. At least half of the noncoding sequence is made up of recognizable repeated sequences, some of which were inserted by viruses in the past. These repeats may provide some genomic wiggle room. That is, long stretches of noncoding DNA provide a playground for evolution. It may be a huge selective advantage to have all that raw material available to mutate and eithermodify existing traits and behaviors or express new ones all together. Humans are characterized by the ability to be flexible and to adapt quickly, so our junk DNA is potentially a priceless contribution to our humanness.
Now this is something to think about. Raw material for future evolution ? Quick adaptation ?
I agree that must be a priceless advantage. What strikes me most is that humans have the most junk DNA then any other known animal. This could be the reason why we, with our puny physical strength, speed and tenderness, have been able to survive and work ourselves to the top of the food chain.
Another article where junk DNA is given credit for who we are.
'Junk' DNA gets credit for making us who we are
A video about what junk DNA actually is.
The video is attacking creationism which you have to forget for as long as this thread last. Please ?
Amazing revelations about DNA
As scientists began to decode the human DNA molecule, they found something quite unexpected—an exquisite 'language' composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. "One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century," says Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Wash., "was that DNA actually stores information—the detailed instructions for assembling proteins—in the form of a four-character digital code" (quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 2004, p. 224).
It is hard to fathom, but the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannica—an incredible 384 volumes" worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves!
Yet in their actual size—which is only two millionths of a millimeter thick—a teaspoon of DNA, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, could contain all the information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived on the earth, and "there would still be enough room left for all the information in every book ever written" (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1996, p. 334).
Who or what could miniaturize such information and place this enormous number of 'letters' in their proper sequence as a genetic instruction manual? Could evolution have gradually come up with a system like this?
Another link where you will read about the DNA language. It says it is a code, not binary but still digital.
Of course I will also provide you with the opposite view.
DNA is not a language.
However, DNA is not a language, in any sense, because it does not represent concepts or meanings, a language entails that abstracts represent concretes, such as a number 5 written on a piece of paper, which has “meaning” to an entity which can understand what “5” means. Nothing analogous is found in DNA, since it is only a substitution cipher, which represents the order of amino acids in a protein, or RNA nucleotides in an RNA molecule. There is no abstract representation or assigned meaning going on with a direct physical substitution cipher, like DNA. When a stop codon orders a ribosome to stop transcribing, the ribosome does not “understand” that it has to stop transcribing, because it is just a ribosome. Nor does the nascent polypeptide “understand” that it is being hydrolyzed. Nor do tRNA “understand” that they must bind to their respective codons on mRNA. There is no transmission of conscious understanding, no abstract communication that entails one entity interprets symbols because it has the same understanding as the entity which communicated them. In this regard, DNA is not a language by definition. All that is happening is that the stop codon does not contain the binding site for any tRNA, but it does contain the binding site for the release factors which terminates translation because it causes the nascent polypeptide to hydrolyze an ester bond as they catalyze this hydrolysis reaction and release from the subunits of the ribosome.
I personally don't see why the above explanation proves that there is no language. Halve of it I don't understand. The other halve... I don't think they should wave awy the possibility so fast.
There are clearly signs that our world includes a part where we know little or anything about.
Maybe some day we will. For now, I'd like to believe in all the fairy tales which are or can not be proven. Imagination is one of the most important things in life, it lets us think of new ways, new techniques, and "explore strange new worlds and lets us go where no man has gone before".
The E.T. explanation ?
"Our hypothesis is that a higher extraterrestrial life form was engaged in creating new life and planting it on various planets. Earth is just one of them. Perhaps, after programming, our creators grow us the same way we grow bacteria in Petri dishes. We canâ€™t know their motives - whether it was a scientific experiment, or a way of preparing new planets for colonization, or is it long time ongoing business of seedling life in the universe. If we think about it in our human terms, the extraterrestrial programmers were most probably working on one big code consisting of several projects, and the projects should have produced various life forms for various planets. They have been also trying various solutions. They wrote the big code, executed it, did not like some function, changed them or added new one, executed again, made more improvements, tried again and again. Of course, soon or later it was behind schedule. Few deadlines have already passed. Then the management began pressing for an immediate release. The programmers were ordered to cut all their idealistic plans for the future and concentrate now on one (Earth) project to meet the pressing deadline. Very likely in a rush, the programmers cut down drastically the big code and delivered basic program intended for Earth. However, at that time they were (perhaps) not quite certain which functions of the big code may be needed later and which not, so they kept them all there. Instead of cleaning the basic program by deleting all the lines of the big code, they converted them into comments, and in the rush they missed few /* symbols in the comments here or there; thus presenting mankind with illogical growth of mass of cells we know as cancer."
Soon or later, we have to come to grips with the unbelievable notion that every life on Earth carries genetic code for his extraterrestrial cousin and that evolution is not what we think it is. This discovery may well shake the very roots of humanity - our beliefs in our concept of God and in our own power over our destiny. With the right paradigm, we may discover one day that all forms of life and the whole Universe is just one huge intellectual exercise in thoughts expressed mathematically, by Design, by Creator
Personally I like the whole alien ancestor theory. But hey, who am I ?
Extraterrestrial Contact: Why might ETs be interested in humanity? Part 1
An old Thread on Junk DNA.
Language found in junk DNA.
An old thread with an alien edge ?
Scientists find Extraterrestrial genes in Human DNA
And another thread.
The secrets of DNA finally unlocked!
There is also work that suggests psychokinesis and other paranormal abilities can be traced back to our junk DNA. I think I've presented a lot of info you can think about for a while, so maybe next time.
I hope you all enjoyed it, and I like to hear what you think and what you can add to the list or correct of course.
So, what's it going to be for you ?
Alien origin ?
Evolutionary edge for adaptation ?
[edit on 6/30/2010 by Sinter Klaas]