Sunday, October 28, 2012

Evolutionese and lncRNA

The ENCODE research that I have written about in the last two posts said that 80% of the DNA in our cells is functional.  By that they meant that it is copied and so has biochemical activity.  However, some evolutionists still resisted accepting the functionality of all that DNA by denying that this copying was really purposeful. Previously, only about 1-2% was understood to be the active part of genes, and the rest of DNA believed to be just a broken-down relic of millions of years of evolution.

Now, research by a commercial lab has been published which has discovered that some of this extra DNA which was formerly called "Junk" is necessary for regulating RNA translation into protein.  DNA is copied into RNA, and more and more types of RNA are being found.  Not only does RNA get directly translated into proteins which are the work-molecules of the body, other types of RNA can either stimulate or stop the protein production.  Among them are long, non-coding RNA (lncRNA) which does not code for proteins directly (as does messenger RNA) but is part of a regulatory system.  It is further described at Discovery Institute Evolution News and Views here if you are interested.  Here is also a link to the story in Science Daily which is worthwhile.

It is quite ironic that a group of evolutionists are fighting this new knowledge, since the scientists in the ENCODE report do not give up on materialistic, naturalistic evolution themselves.  There is an abstract of the report by MIT scientists Ward and Kellis about the findings and how they relate to evolution here.  The first sentence reads:
Although only 5% of the human genome is conserved across mammals, a substantially larger portion is biochemically active, raising the question of whether the additional elements evolve neutrally or confer a lineage-specific fitness advantage.
This is Evolutionese for insisting that the possibility of materialistic, naturalistic evolution by chance mutation and natural selection still exists.  I speak Evolutionese about as well as I speak Spanish.  I've studied both quite a bit and can pick up pieces of meaning.  I can read the languages, but they don't always make sense to me.  In Spanish, though, the translation problems are my fault.  In Evolutionese, there always seems to be an attempt at obfuscation.  [The Freedictionary definition of obfuscate, just so I don't commit the same mistake, is 1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.] 

To digress a bit, just once I'd like to see a paper come out and talk about the findings and their evolutionary implications in English.  Though most sciences have their own jargon, many people are concerned about the teaching of evolution in the classroom.  Especially now that materialistic evolution has been proven wrong, scientists' statements on this topic should be made plain.

I got the Ward and Kellis article and read it.  I would have really liked to understand their work, but I didn't.  Many people yell when they speak to foreigners, assuming they will then understand them.  I'll try it.  "ARE YOU SAYING ONLY 5% OF THE HUMAN GENOME IS THE SAME AS OTHER ANIMALS BUT AT LEAST 80% IS ACTIVE AND THE ENCODE SCIENTISTS ARE SAYING IT MIGHT TURN OUT TO BE 100%?  I HAVEN'T HEARD MUCH ABOUT THAT IN THE PRESS. SO WHERE DID ALL THE UNRELATED, FUNCTIONAL DNA COME FROM?"


Well, I know that the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution never had a chance in the first place before we even found out that DNA is all functional.  The probabilities of getting functional proteins by chance have been known since the 1990's at least to have been astronomically small even if organisms had billions of years to give it a try.  Not all proteins are closely related, and only 1 in less than an estimated trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion is functional (1 in 10^63 by the research of Reidhaar-Olsen and Sauer back then on average-length proteins.)  The chance mutations coming from the reproduction of organisms from one generation to the next were supposed to take place in the part of the gene not used by the organism, only to take over when forming something functional, but the numbers did not add up. It is estimated the Earth could have supported less than 10^50 organisms in the supposed billions of years it has been habitable.  So all those organisms couldn't have produced enough changes to get one functional protein operating in time to be selected for better fitness than the ones already working.  But with all of DNA having a function, very little sifting power is left.  Gauger and Axe have done some great research in showing the problems of molecular evolution.

And now Ward and Kellis wonder about a lineage-specific fitness advantage?  "AY?  SAY WHAT?" I ask.  "ARE YOU PROPOSING THESE GENES ARE WHAT MAKE HUMANS WHO THEY ARE?"

I'll finally go back to the point of why evolutionists are fighting about the functionality of DNA:  they KNOW what a fully functional DNA molecule means.  All we heard from the press after the first comparative genome projects was how DNA genes in humans matched 98% of monkeys. At the time, they thought the rest of the DNA was worthless.  Everyone in that camp was crowing that evolution was now a fact.  But the 98% similarity was just the protein-coding part, only about 1-2% of the whole length of the DNA in each cell. They know that if DNA proves fully functional, it doesn't matter what scientists say with their Evolutionese.  It won't matter how they mix words together.  We will all be able to really understand what that means: materialistic, naturalistic evolution is impossible.  And fully functional DNA is already proving, from the ENCODE project and the work on long, non-coding RNA's, to be true.

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