by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D.

Both the evolutionist and creationist communities are abuzz with the latest results from 30 simultaneously published high-profile research papers, proclaiming that the human genome is irreducibly complex and intelligently designed.1 From an evolutionary perspective, this is yet another massive blow to the myth of “Junk DNA.” This evolutionary idea was exposed as a fraud from a scientific perspective in Jonathan Well’s recent book The Myth of Junk DNA.2

A large-scale international research effort, ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements), began in 2003 as an expansion of the Human Genome project. The goal of ENCODE was to map and characterize the functionality of the entire human genome.

Before ENCODE, biologists understood that only a small fraction of the genome’s DNA actually codes for protein. They reasoned that the vast majority was therefore useless. But in the first round of ENCODE research results published in 2007, the authors in the lead paper reported that their “studies provide convincing evidence that the genome is pervasively transcribed, such that the majority of its bases can be found in primary transcripts, including non-protein-coding transcripts.”3 With all that DNA being transcribed (activated and copied into RNA), the cell must use it for something. In other words—it’s not junk after all.

The second phase of ENCODE has been no less spectacular in its discoveries. In the lead research paper, published in the journal Nature, the authors wrote, “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”1 In response to this discovery, Tom Gingeras, one of the senior scientists on the ENCODE project said, “Almost every nucleotide is associated with a function of some sort or another, and we now know where they are, what binds to them, what their associations are, and more.”4….

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