A good article by Casey Luskin over at Evolution News and Views:

When large-scale function was detected for non-coding DNA (once called “junk” DNA) Darwinists, knowing that their viewpoint had long boasted that junk-DNA was evidence for common ancestry and that they were losing that argument, responded in one of two ways: Some sought to rewrite history by claiming that evolutionary biology predicted all along that we’d find function for junk-DNA. Others, however, pushed the “junk” back to RNA. They effectively argued, “Sure, we know that most of the genome is being transcribed into RNA, but that doesn’t mean that the RNAs have function. Much of the transcriptome might in fact be junk.” Evolutionist biochemist Larry Moran, for example, argued that either “[t]he so-called transcripts are just noise from accidental transcription” or “[t]he regions of junk DNA could be transcribed regularly but the transcripts are rapidly degraded. They do not have a biological function. They are junk RNA.” Intelligent design (ID) proponents were quick to predict the demise of that argument, and if a recent paper in Nature is any indication, “junk RNA” may have the same fate as “junk DNA.”…

The article makes an extremely important point: “Strictly speaking, the absence of evolutionary conservation cannot prove the absence of function.” This is important because in his book, The Language of God, theistic evolutionist Francis Collins argues that a greater level of differences among species’ non-coding DNA than among their protein-coding DNA serves as evidence that the non-coding DNA is “junk.” The alternative, of course, is that the large differences within non-coding DNA serve important functions that may actually help determine the differences between species themselves. In other words, the genetic holy grail — the differences in DNA that determine differences between species — was staring Collins in the face and he dismissed it as genetic junk. This shows how the “junk” DNA paradigm is deeply embedded within Darwinian thinking, and can serve to stifle scientific advance…

More… (source)

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