09  Junk DNA

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Only a small part of DNA in humans, around five percent, is coded for proteins. Some years ago no function could be assigned to the remaining ninety-five percent, so it was over-hastily designated “junk DNA” (junk = rubbish). This junk DNA had been regarded as a confirmation of the theory of evolution; indeed, such evolutionary rubbish would be, as a by-product of a randomly driven evolution, expected. It has now been shown, however, that large parts of this junk DNA fulfil very well defined functions.

In recent years it has been debated whether junk DNA really is redundant. In the meantime, the findings are increasing, that non-coding sequences of DNA play an important role in the regulation of gene activity and cell division.

Clues have also been found pointing to the fact that non-coding DNA could play a role in the antiviral immunological strategy in the organism and, despite its simple structure, forms part of the immune system (1). In addition, it has been discovered that several sections of junk DNA already have, during early embryonic development, a large influence over the interaction of genes (2).

This is no isolated example. Several structures in living organisms were initially declared to be “pointless” or “rudimentary,” but as a result of increasing research, their true ingenuity was discovered. Today, the generally predominant opinion among evolutionary researchers is that natural selection would long since have eradicated this apparently redundant DNA, if it had not fulfilled some task (3).

Today’s known role of junk DNA rebuts the often-stated argument that life on Earth could not have originated from an intelligent creator.

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(1) John Woodmorappe, The potential immunological function of pseudo genes and other “junk” DNA, Technical Journal 17/3, 2003, pages 102–108.
(2) Gill Bejerano, "Junk"DNA Now Looks Like Powerful Regulator, ScienceDaily, 24. April 2007.
(3) Markus Rammerstorfer, Nur eine Illusion? Tectum-Verlag, 2006, page 82.

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