Doesn’t Junk DNA and Mutations in the Genetic Code Disprove Intelligent Design?
Dr. Stephen Meyer: Well, yeah, that’s a common argument we hear. If the information, if the genome is intelligently designed why is there so much junk DNA, DNA that doesn’t code for proteins that apparently has no function? And, in fact, this is a strange objection because we now know that junk DNA isn’t junk at all. In fact, what we know about the non-coding regions of the genome is that overall, they function much like an operating system in a computer that is directing the timing and expression and regulation and use of the other information, the data files that code for proteins. And, I’ve actually brought with me a short list of some of the functions of DNA that have been discovered. And I thought it might be interesting for your audiences to read them. So called junk DNA, not junk, it’s functional. Here’s a short list of functions: it regulates DNA replication; it regulates the process of transcription; it marks sites for programmed rearrangements of genetic material; it influences the proper folding and maintenance of chromosomes; and it controls the interactions of chromosomes within what’s called, “the nuclear membrane” and “the nuclear matrix”. So, that’s just 5, but I’ve got 5 more for you – top 10, it’s like David Letterman, okay, top 10 functions of junk DNA. Also controls RNA processing, editing, and splicing junk DNA, which is not junk, again, modulates the translation process, that’s what we were seeing in that beautiful animation earlier in the program; it regulates embryological development; it repairs DNA and it also aids in the immune defense of the cells. So this is just a short list of 10 of the functions that have been discovered for the so-called junk DNA. It’s not junk and the whole argument against Intelligent Design based upon the alleged non-functionality of the junk DNA is just wrong factually.