The Myth of Junk DNA

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-31
  • Publisher: Discovery Inst
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According to the modern version of Darwin's theory, DNA contains a program for embryo development that is passed down from generation to generation; the program is implemented by proteins encoded by the DNA, and accidental DNA mutations introduce changes in those proteins that natural selection then shapes into new species, organs and body plans. When scientists discovered forty years ago that about 98% of our DNA does not encode proteins, the non-protein-coding portion was labeled "junk" and attributed to molecular accidents that have accumulated in the course of evolution.Recent books by Richard Dawkins, Francis Collins and others have used this "junk DNA" as evidence for Darwinian evolution and evidence against intelligent design (since an intelligent designer would presumably not have filled our genome with so much garbage). But recent genome evidence shows that much of our non-protein-coding DNA performs essential biological functions. The Myth of Junk DNA is written for a general audience by biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution. Citing some of the abundant evidence from recent genome projects, the book shows that "junk DNA" is not science, but myth.

Author Biography

Jonathan Wells is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute in Seattle. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale University. He is the author of Icons of Evolution (2000) and The-Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design (2006), and he is co-author with William Dembski of The Design of Life (2008).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 9
The Controversy Over Darwinian Evolutionp. 11
Junk DNA: the Last Icon of Evolution?p. 17
Most DNA Is Transcribed into RNAp. 29
Introns and the Splicing Codep. 39
Pseudogenes-Not So Pseudo After Allp. 47
Jumping Genes and Repetitive DNAp. 57
Functions Independent of Exact Sequencep. 71
Some Recent Defenders of Junk DNAp. 81
Summary of the Case for Functionality in Junk DNAp. 89
From Junk DNA to a New Understanding of the Genomep. 97
Appendix: The Vitamin C Pseudogenep. 109
Notesp. 115
Glossaryp. 161
Indexp. 171
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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