Did You Hear The News? ‘Discovery Of Intron Functionality Interrupts Evolutionary Paradigm.’ You Gotta Read This!

For folks who aren’t biochemists, the headline above likely makes no sense, but Reasons To Believe’s Fazale Rana, who is a biochemist, is also a solid write who knows how to make complexity understandable.

That’s fortunate for the rest of us because there is huge news on the biochemistry front that sounds like a potential paradigm shifter for our understanding of DNA.

It all has to do with interruptions. You know, that irritating legislative director in Rayburn or the haughty communications director over on the Senate side who won’t let you finish a sentence without interrupting you. And that has immense implications for the evolution vs. creation debate.

Want to hear more?

To start with, as Rana explains, “psychologists have learned that not all interruptions are the same. Some people interrupt because they want the ‘floor.’ These people are called intrusive interrupters. Cooperative interrupters help move the conversation along by agreeing with the speaker and finishing the speaker’s thoughts.”

There are interrupters in DNA, too. Rana continues:

“In fact, biochemists have discovered that the information harbored in genes, which contains the instructions to build proteins—the workhorse molecules of the cell—experience interruptions in their coding sequences.

“These intrusive interruptions would disrupt the flow of information in the cell during the process of protein synthesis if the interrupting sequences weren’t removed by the cell’s machinery.

“Molecular biologists have long viewed these genetic ‘interruptions’ (called introns) as serving no useful purpose for the cell, with introns comprising a portion of the junk DNA found in the genomes of eukaryotic organisms.

“But it turns out that introns—like cooperative interruptions during a conversation—serve a useful purpose, according to the recent work of two independent teams of molecular biologists.”

What the two teams discovered – one team is from Sherbrooke University in Canada and the other is from MIT in Boston – is that the molecular biologists appear to be wrong.

“Scientists who view biology through the lens of the evolutionary paradigm are quick to conclude that the genomes of organisms reflect the outworking of evolutionary history,”

Introns are not merely useless interrupters, they serve a life-saving function in DNA coding. And the difference takes us to the evolution vs creation debate.

“Scientists who view biology through the lens of the evolutionary paradigm are quick to conclude that the genomes of organisms reflect the outworking of evolutionary history,” Rana writes. “Their perspective causes them to see the features of genomes, such as introns, as little more than the remnants of an unguided evolutionary process.”

But if introns have functionality, much like other categories of “junk DNA,” that may well mean “scientists really don’t understand the biology of genomes? Or maybe we have the wrong paradigm,” Rana observes.

“And the architecture and operations of genomes appear to be far more elegant and sophisticated than anyone ever imagined—at least within the confines of the evolutionary paradigm.”

“It seems to me that science is in the midst of a revolution in our understanding of genome structure and function. Instead of being a wasteland of evolutionary debris, most of the genome appears to be functional.

“And the architecture and operations of genomes appear to be far more elegant and sophisticated than anyone ever imagined—at least within the confines of the evolutionary paradigm.”

But within the framework of creation by an intelligent designer, functional introns make sense. And the idea of “junk DNA” just might get it exactly wrong.

Regardless where you are on the evolution vs creation debate, if you work on Capitol Hill and have to make decisions about, for example, federal funding of DNA research, you should spend some time with Rana’s whole article, which you can find here.

You may come away thinking federally funded scientific research needs to be more open-minded and inclusive of alternative approaches and explanations to the most important issues.

Photo above is courtesy of Alessio Ferretti of Unsplash.

And don’t miss this: Guy Is Swallowed By Whale And Survives. You Doubted The Bible And Jonah?

Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland.

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