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 discoveredAccording 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....
|Title||:||The Myth of Junk DNA|
|Number of Pages||:||150 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Myth of Junk DNA Reviews
I really enjoyed this book, and was pleased at how much I learned about current research in this area. What is meant by “junk” DNA refers to the part of the human genome that doesn’t code directly for a protein. Proteins are the machines that do all the work in the cell. With only 1.5% of the human genome coding for protein, that leaves a lot of junk around, apparently serving no purpose, looking like old viruses, and has been a source of proof for Neo-Darwinists and ridicule for Intelligent Design.The book’s premise is simple and straight forward: it spends a chapter referring to statements made by prominent Neo-Darwinists using “junk” DNA to support evolution (going so far as to make theological comments on a God or Creator that would make such junk, even). The book then advances in a tour de force of example after example from mainstream journals showing the functionality of “junk” DNA. It has been shown that the other non-coding “junk” DNA is both conserved between species and widely transcripted. According to evolutionary theory alone, these two facts alone show probable function. Pseudogenes, Introns, repetitious DNA, elements that appear derived from virus (ERV), those parts that were thought to be functionless is being found to have important roles within the cell.I think the information in the book is presented well and is at an understandable level, but I do have a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, so some of it may come off as too technical. The Neo-Darwinist argument goes something like this: “if most of human DNA is junk, then Darwinism is true and ID false; most of human DNA is junk; therefore Darwinism is true and ID false.” In my opinion, this book thoroughly discredits the myth that “junk” DNA is “flotsam and jetsam”. Drawing an inference to Intelligent Design is advanced in the last chapter, and the answer is left up to the reader. My own opinion is that, as the human genome explored and more data is generated, the evolutionary argument will transition to a “Darwin of the gaps” position.
This book is Extremely interesting and well-written. About 30% (45 ps)of the book is citations only! Really well evident.
Refutes the idea of "junk DNA", pretty technical.
This book gives an insight into current scientific findings about genetics, DNA and some cell biology. If you have taken high-school biology and preferably genetics, you will be able to follow this book. The main point of the book is this: some scientists argue that much of the genome is non-functional, i.e. junk . Wells summarized the argument in logical form as follows- If most human DNA is junk, then Darwinism is true and ID is false- Most human DNA is junk- Therefore Darwinism is true and ID is false. Wells then proceeds to address the antecedent (most human DNA is junk) and touches on several topics including the transcription of anti-sense DNA strands, pseudogenes, jumping genes, alternative splicing. If the antecedent is false, then the conclusion is also false. "Richard von Sterberg.... analyzed the genome-as-computer metaphor in light of recent evidence and concluded that we need a new model of the genome that goes far beyond the limitations of the Central Dogma and neo-Darwinian theory. Sterberg gives several reasons for this. First, the information carried by nucleotide sequences - both protein-coding and non-protein-coding - is bidirectional, multilayered, and interleaved, rather than simply linear. Second, repetitive elements format and punctuate the genome at different scales, producing a multidimensional filing system. Third, cells can write codes onto non-protein-coding DNA as they do in the case of centromeres - so the phenotype is not reducible to the genotype. " These new discoveries are amazing - not what you lean in class!
A rather technical discussion of the issues. But instructive as to how science works in controversial issues.
This was chock full of technical details that were way over my head, but the basic point is simple enough: since the discovery of DNA in the 1950s, mainstream science has consistently maintained that the vast majority of genomes are filled with non-functional "junk" left over from natural selection. Many evolutionary polemicists and atheist philosophers, unfortunately for them, have also based many of their arguments in support of evolution and against Intelligent Design on this myth. And myth it's turning out to be: scientific articles discovering complex function in supposed "junk" DNA are being published by the hundreds, and the scientific consensus is rapidly being overturned as the evidence mounts. Fascinating stuff. We truly live in exciting times.
Whilst interesting to see a different perspective to Darwinism proposed, the author gets wrapped up in his negativity towards Darwin and followers (if they can be called that) of Darwinism, and ultimately the book suffers because of it, however it was well researched and whilst a little out of date now, as junk DNA isn't really a controversial issue any longer, is worth knowing about for students below A-level grade
Because it is the weekend and I want to be in a good mood, I'm only going to say positive things. This book is short -takes only a few hours to read. Looking up the claims allowed me to learn more about DNA. I doubt I'll ever read anything more Mr. Wells has to say on any topic.