“Furthermore, the present lack of significant amounts of nucleomorph secondary DNA confirms that selection can readily eliminate functionless nuclear DNA, refuting ‘selfish’ and ‘junk’ theories of secondary DNA” (see Beaton, M.J. and T. Cavalier-Smith. 1999. Eukaryotic non-coding DNA is functional: evidence from the differential scaling of cryptomonal genomes.” (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 266:2053-2059.)
There is growing evidence that non-coding DNA plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression during development (19). These studies demonstrate that non-coding DNA regulates development of photoreceptor cells (20), the reproductive tract (21), and the central nervous system (22). Therefore, non-coding DNA regulates the vital roles of development and embriogenesis.
Some of the non-coding DNA provides proper framing for translation of proteins. The DNA is, of course, a triplet code, with each triplet coding for the placement of one amino acid. In order to be read properly, the reading frame must be properly established. If the reading frame were shifted by one or two positions in either direction, the resulting protein would be completely different and would be “junk” protein. Therefore, the translation framing code is responsible for correct triplet counting by the ribosome during protein synthesis (23).
A recent study has shown that genes (as many as five at a time) are found within the introns of other genes (24). This kind of arrangement results in the simultaneous expression of all of these genes during transcription of the gene in question. Such regulatory control is rather remarkable, suggesting intelligent designed as opposed to random chance. Some of the non-coding DNA is loop code for single-stranded RNA- protein interactions. The codes are degenerate and corresponding messages are not only interspersed but actually overlap, so that some nucleotides belong to several messages simultaneously. Tandemly repeated sequences frequently considered as functionless “junk” are found to be grouped into certain classes of repeat unit lengths, indicating functional involvement of these sequences. It is likely these tandem repeats play the role of weak enhancer-silencers that modulate, in a copy number-dependent way, the expression of proximal genes.
In a remarkable pilot study published by the ENCODE Project Consortium, hundreds of scientists analyzed the functionality of 1 percent (30 Mb) of the human genome (72). Much to scientists’ surprise, the study found that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional RNA. Even more surprising was the finding that these transcripts extensively overlap one another (including regions on the opposite “anti-sense” strand of DNA), suggesting that there exists some complicated interactions among neighboring regions of DNA. According to a news release from the Consortium, “This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active.” (73).
The roles of non-coding DNA are so numerous and pervasive that evolutionary studies are now looking at these sequences for patterns of “concerted evolution (74).” In summary, the non-coding DNA, contrary to statements by evolutionists, is not useless, but is, in fact, required for genomic functionality, therefore actually providing evidence of intelligent design.
Junk DNA: Why non-coding DNA Isn’t Really Junk, by Rich Deem
Scientists worth their salt are continually reminded of the infinity of their unconscious ignorance.
Just as the appendix was once considered a vestigial organ by scientists – and later discovered to play a role in immune function – so the vital roles of “junk” DNA are now being unearthed.