I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14
Just as more capable and powerful telescopes are showing us more of the universe and exposing billions upon billions of new things in the heavens above us, new research at the very small end of the spectrum is showing us more of what life is all about, in particular, human life.
Just yesterday as I was perusing the web I ran across some very spectacular, fascinating and truly exciting research having to do with human genomes (i.e. our DNA).
I begin with some links describing this research:
- From Discovery Institute: Junk No More: ENCODE Project Nature Paper Finds “Biochemical Functions for 80% of the Genome”
- From NBC News: New DNA project shows us living beyond our genes
- From the New York Times: Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role
- From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institute of Health (NIH) : ENCODE data describes function of human genome
I chose these reports because they represent a spectrum of thought regarding the nature and origins of life: Discovery Institute takes the view that an intelligent designer is most often the best explanation for the complexity and function of systems such as the human genome. NBC News and the New York Times are main stream news organization that will typically fall on the side of evolution in explaining such systems, and are often harsh critics if Intelligent Design. NIH is the organization that funded and managed the research projects involved, and is included as the truth source.
A couple of snippets from the New York Times:
“The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as ‘junk’ but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches. … Human DNA is ‘a lot more active than we expected, and there are a lot more things happening than we expected,’ said Ewan Birney of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory-European Bioinformatics Institute, a lead researcher on the project.” (Gina Kolata, “Bits of Mystery DNA, Far From ‘Junk,’ Play Crucial Role,” New York Times (September 5, 2012))
“There also is a sort of DNA wiring system that is almost inconceivably intricate.
“It is like opening a wiring closet and seeing a hairball of wires,” said Mark Gerstein, an Encode researcher from Yale. “We tried to unravel this hairball and make it interpretable.”
There is another sort of hairball as well: the complex three-dimensional structure of DNA. Human DNA is such a long strand — about 10 feet of DNA stuffed into a microscopic nucleus of a cell — that it fits only because it is tightly wound and coiled around itself. When they looked at the three-dimensional structure — the hairball — Encode researchers discovered that small segments of dark-matter DNA are often quite close to genes they control. In the past, when they analyzed only the uncoiled length of DNA, those controlling regions appeared to be far from the genes they affect.”
And, A couple of snippets from the Discovery Institute:
“Far from consisting mainly of junk that provides evidence against intelligent design, our genome is increasingly revealing itself to be a multidimensional, integrated system in which non-protein-coding DNA performs a wide variety of functions. If anything, it provides evidence for intelligent design. Even apart from possible implications for intelligent design, however, the demise of the myth of junk DNA promises to stimulate more research into the mysteries of the genome. These are exciting times for scientists willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads.”
(Jonathan Wells, The Myth of Junk DNA, pp. 9-10 (Discovery Institute Press, 2011).)
I see this study and its stunning report as meshing very nicely into what I have previously called Massively Complex Syncronisity.
It would seem to me that it has become immensely more difficult to explain life and biology with evolutionary “just so” stories. Is it not time to give credence to those who attribute such magnificent designs to an intelligent designer?
Is it not time to seriously consider that the world view beginning with the words “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is indeed the correct one?
Don Johnson – September 2012