ENCODE's 'junk DNA' findings renew debate about creation, evolution

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  • GALT P BARBER Santa Cruz, CA
    March 28, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    ENCODE's 80% functional turns out to mean just active. 60% (most of it) is just introns full of junk dna, and that's no new discovery. Good job on digging deeper into the real story.
    Too bad about ENCODE's terrible choice of the word "function" for something that is trivial and already well understood. The ENCODE data itself is still useful.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 25, 2012 7:06 p.m.


    We DON'T know that evolution was used to create the physical bodies for plants and animals.

    IT is only a theory, and more technically correct, a hypothesis, of man. And very unscientific (a theory built on imaginary relationships, assumptions and suppositions, and infinite possibilities) one at that. It has become a dogmatic belief among believers where no alternatives or contradictory theories are allowed hearing.

    (read my first comment)

    There is no doctrinal basis for it. And all truth must be in harmony.

    Even humans can create a human being within 9 months with or without modern technology.

    And we are supposed to believe it took God billions of years, mostly on the need to believe in evolution?

    The most perfect being used the most imperfect and laborious method he could have use?

    Does he not have technology or abilities far surpassing ours?

    Explain how he can move mountains, heal any infirmity , control the weather, control all nature, raise the dead, fill baskets with bread and fish, with just a word,

    But he needs billions years to "create" (Organize) earth.

    I think not.

    Explain "Why that way?" without "because that's how he must have done it".

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 24, 2012 11:44 p.m.

    @the truth

    "God is not necessary" is not a postulate of evolution. Atheists may say that, but evolution doesn't. God uses natural laws to accomplish his purposes. God is needed to allow growth of his spirit children, and a mortal world and physical bodies are necessary for that growth. Evolution concerns this physical world. Evolution does not concern our spirits.

    Evolution is not a random thing. I have a page in my blog on science and Mormonism about evolution not being random, and you are invited to that blog to continue this discussion.

    You're right that we physically have no divine nature. Our divine nature comes from our spirits being children of God. Evolution doesn't destroy our divine nature, because evolution does not concern our spirits. You pointed out that God could create our physical bodies in the same way he created our spirit bodies. That is your assumption. We don't know how our spirits were created, so there is no rational basis for your assumption. We do know that evolution was used to create physical bodies for plants and animals, and it is reasonable to think he would use evolution for our physical bodies.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 24, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    Man created god in his image to satisfy his own ego, not the other way around.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 7:44 p.m.


    It quite easy to understand.

    A basic postulate of evolution is God is not necessary, you could have any advanced species (more advanced than us) of no divine nature.

    Our bodies therefore are just a random thing. No God needed to create them, and evolution says nothing about a spirit or need for one (In the gospel we are taught a spirit and body are necessary and all things have a spirit), so we physically have no divine nature.

    However, God created our spirits, presumably without evolution, and spirit is made of fine matter (why could he not create our bodies similarly?) So how does our body and spirit looks alike?

    Either you believe there is a God and he purposely created man (and their spirits),

    or that man has no spirit, our looks are completely random, and God is really not needed except only in vain attempt to reconcile belief in God and evolution.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 23, 2012 10:06 a.m.


    Yes, there is "debate and disagreement within the scientific community". Scientists don't have a perfect knowledge of things, and they learn via observations and experimentation. Scientists form hypotheses and perform tests and observations to try and prove their hypotheses wrong. They change their hypotheses to fit their observations. Over time, they gain a better but not complete understanding how things are.

    Concerning Joseph, Brigham, and people on the moon. I think the attitude of LDS authorities to focus on their mission of bringing souls to Jesus Christ and to leave science to the scientists is wise. In my blog on science and Mormonism, I discuss my belief that LDS leaders aren't infallible. They are, I believe, inspired of God, but they don't have a perfect knowledge of all things. They are human and make mistakes. In speaking of people on the moon, they were departing from their spiritual mission and were delving into science, an area in which God had not inspired them, and they were speaking for themselves and not for God. Some say prophets wouldn't make that kind of mistake. I would agree if they were infallible, but they aren't.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 22, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    @the truth

    "Such a belief removes the divine nature of God and man."

    I don't understand why evolution removes the divine nature of God and man. Perhaps you can explain this?

    My thoughts are as follows. Man has a divine nature because his spirit is a child of God, not because he has a physical body. We're heavenly beings having earthly experiences. Evolution has nothing to do with the divine nature of man. God has a divine nature because he uses natural laws to accomplish his goals. He performs miracles by using natural laws that we don't understand. He organized matter in creating the physical earth. He didn't create matter. Science gives us the "how" of things. Evolution is part of science and tells us "how" God organized matter in creating the physical earth and our physical bodies. Evolution does not tell us the "why" of the creation of the earth; the scriptures do that.

    Evolution does not imply atheism. I believe in God, and I also believe in evolution because it is the best that science has to offer at the present time. My blog on science and Mormonism explains this in detail.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 22, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    What's silly is reading these supposed informed scientific comments. There is absolutely debate and disagreement within the scientific community. Get out and read a little. Astronomers and physicists can't agree on the ridiculously flawed Big Bang Theory. Discovery of black holes shook their confidence.

    Now go read early Joseph and Brigham and tell me where those 8 foot Quakers walking on the moon are! One day all earthlings will believe exactly what God claimed in His Word: Ex nihilo. "Science" is only as good as its current pontificators. Darwinism is still a laughable, well-disputed "theory", by Darwin himself.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 6:26 p.m.


    "Creationists try science by assuming their hypothesis is true and look for anything to bolster their belief while discarding the rest."

    Actually evolutionists do the exact same.

    They believe in imaginary trees of life, they believe in imaginary relationships,
    they find a bone and they create an imaginary place for it in their imaginary tree. OR the believe imaginary mutations in DNA that more probably never happened.

    And they discard anything that doesn't fit. For example creatures that existed for MILLIONS of years with out any obvious change. IR creating new imaginary branches to make things "work", Discard DNA knowledge that shows perhaps all genes have purpose. They discard the fact that mutations are dead ends or the fact there are no mutations to outside a species, just adaptation within a species capabilities.

    Evolution is built on imaginings and assumptions.

    I don't believe in a God who "evolved" man. Such a belief removes the divine nature of God and man.

    Man is a purposeful creation and God's work and Glory, evolution undermines a God who can raise the dead and heal with a word.

    It is simply ridiculous to give any credence to monkey tales.

  • You SLC, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    How is it possible for Todd Wood to be an associate professor of science and a young-earth creationist? Why would any student enroll in one of his science classes? I feel sorry for anyone that does. It would be like an ill person going to a doctor who believes in using magic spells to heal his patients instead of real medicine.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    In my blog on science and Mormonism, I give a lot of details explaining why I believe that God used evolution as one of his tools of creation. Changes in DNA is the key to evolution. Creationism is an interesting philosophy, but it is not science!

  • SL Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 20, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    It's sad that creationism is championed as "Team God" and evolution is "Team Atheism" in these silly debates. Many of us believe in evolution and God. In fact, to me the plan of salvation simply doesn't make sense without evolution. It isn't just a tool for creation; it is a fundamental reality of the physical universe.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    There is no evidence for creationism or it's 'attempt to be 'scientific' name, intelligent design. I was surprised that there would be an actual scientific article in this paper but then read it and found the real reason, creationism vs evolution. You can look for scientific evidence of creationism, young earth or whatever but you will not find it. It is simply not science.

    Creationists try science by assuming their hypothesis is true and look for anything to bolster their belief while discarding the rest. Scientists test a hypothesis and then use the results to refine and test some more or discard. If creationist would approach their belief as a hypothesis and then test it as a scientist would I would have some respect for them. Now they only have fairy tales.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    Oct. 20, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    For most living things with hair, its insulating function is essential to ensuring they don't waste too much energy on heating the body. The function of cell membranes in controlling the flow of raw materials into the cell and waste products out, as well as the ampunt of water, is fundamental to life, and precedes any brain function. So the story is confusing about what geneticists and biologists mean by "function". There are myriad functions that happen at the cellular level, at the level of organs and systems, and at the level of organisms, which are mostly consciously controlled in humans. The assertion that a stretch of DNA is not actively being copied and translated into cell mechanisms has been the basis of the "junk" label. But scientists are still not sure what turns on or off the "expression" of particular genes at a particular time. And there is the field of epigenetics which concerns gene "expression" which has found that the environment can alter gene expression in a way that can be inherited.

  • SWP Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    ENCODE not a victory for anyone? ENCODE is a huge victory for science and medicine. ENCODE wasn't actually setting out to prove or disprove evolution, and the goal of evolutionary scientists (of which I am one) is certainly not to disprove the existence of a God. Actually, the two can coexist quite nicely, and they do. We know God follows natural laws and evolution was simply His chosen method of creation. So Creationists and evolutionary biologist are both studying different sides of the same process. I think it was Otterson, the LDS Church spokesperson, who said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "...if there appears to be a conflict it's because we don't have enough information..."

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 20, 2012 7:14 a.m.

    There is no "debate" about the veracity of organic evolution among scientists, only quibbling about the details. An articles that references someone from the "Center for Origins Research at Bryan College" is not serous journalism.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 20, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    I am still confused by any argument that relates the percentage of functional DNA has to intelligent design. How in the world are the two mutually exclusive of each other? Neither do I see how elements of evolution are contradictory to creationism. We now at some level, evolution, mutation or adaption exist. We also know there are huge gaps in evolution at the macro level.

    If there is a God, which I believe there is, and this God created or "organized" this world we live on, it is fully conceivable it was done through scientific methods, not just some mystic flash.

    But that is just my opinion.... I may be wrong (though I will never openly admit it)

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    But these evolutionists assume they know everything, everything about DNA--they don't. What we understand about DNA today may be laughable twenty years from now. Evolution is so hollow anyway, no one with any intelligence and real sense of inquiry could ever buy into this flimsy theory. Almost any observation in real life denies that evolution could possibly explain life, millions of life forms, reproduction, and why there is life at all.

    A video called Priviled Planet will rekindle your already underlying conviction that only an intelligent being could have created all this life.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 5:57 a.m.

    My take on this monkey/ape/man concept is that monkey and man is not decedent of apes. We can also use the same format and claim monkey/apes came from man. Losing a DNA to create a monkey is much easier a concept to believe than thinking DNA gnome was created to improve apes to a man. You can remove our DNA and make a monkey so I say man (Lucy) was here first.

    I don't believe in evolution, but environmental adaptations has merit and many spadices can mate and reproduce. Call it the monkey law of learned response adaptations of species by segregation.

    Monsanto is actively the only DNA manipulation business in the world and they should become a real investigation control group to asses what they have created in the manipulation of genes and DNA in USA and compare our DNA modifiations to the rest of the world changes. But new science doesn't want a tangible challenge that is not natural. Monsanto proves it doesn't take a god to be a creationist or accidental, just science.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 12:58 a.m.

    I told you 'the flintstones' and especially 'one million years bc' were documentaries. We need stuff like this to prove that stupidity is valid science these days.