RSR: Enyart Exhumes Eugenie Scott's Junk DNA

Bob Debates Eugenie Scott, Ph.D. of NCSE* Bob Debates Ph.D. Evolutionist Eugenie Scott: One of the world's leading anti-creationists vs. Bob Enyart. The debate is decided in the first round, by TKO. That’s after Bob asked the well-known scientist for any evidence that any high level function had ever evolved, like eye sight, or hearing, or flight, or mobility in general? Through the hour-long debate, this evolutionist refused to offer any such evidence.

* 2012 Update: A landmark study published in the journal Nature reveals that 440 researchers working in 32 laboratories around the world have so far been able to identify function for 80 percent of the human genome! And a project leader is predicting that eventually, we will learn that about "100%" of the genome is functional. (ENCODE Consortium, Dunham, et al., Nature, 2012, pp. 57-74, and see RSF's fun program on this report!) So what previously was used, everywhere, as evidence against creation and for evolution, can no longer be honestly used in that way. After all, if it ever were a valid offering of evidence, now, it is evidence against Darwinism and for creation. Wish as they might, evolutionists can't have it both ways. After all, when the scientist finally reaches the summit, he finds the theologian already there.

* JUNK DNA: Eugenie Flubs Genetics Prediction, Creationist Hits the Bull's-eye. The negative evidence that Eugenie did offer was Junk DNA. This scientist, from her Darwinist worldview, therefore didn't offer scientific evidence but made this philosophical argument about what a Creator would or would not do; namely, that He wouldn't fill our genome with so much non-protein-coding DNA. While some simple worms have 20,000 genes, it is typically a small portion of DNA that actually codes for proteins. A human has only 20,500 genes, which fills only 2% of our genome. Yet the widespread evolutionary claim for decades (including through the last two decades, and for many, still held today) was that the rest of the genome was left-over evolutionary garbage.Junk DNA featured in Bob's 1998 Debate with Eugenie Scott, Ph.D. Debating this physical anthropologist, Bob Enyart was just a Christian fundamentalist talk show host who spoke from his biblical worldview. Bob argued that our knowledge of genetics was in its infancy, and that it was too early to make the determination that all those non-coding segments of DNA had no function. After this 1998 debate, the next decade of explosive genetic discoveries overwhelmingly validated this creationist perspective, so much so that aside from coding for 20,500 proteins, it is estimated that the remainder of the genome has approximately four million other functional regulatory segments of DNA. So much for junk. Fulfilled predictions, as the world saw with Einstein's 1919 eclipse prediction, go toward scientific credibility. However, Dr. Scott strongly rejected this creationist prediction making an extraordinary claim, which Bob immediately offered her to retract, that scientists currently knew everything they would ever need to know about genetics to conclusively state that all those regions were useless junk. Bob would love a rematch. But Eugenie Scott, (Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology, leading anti- creationist, and director of the National Center for Science Education), who had just debated evolution on a nation- wide PBS television program, ended this one-hour program with Bob stating, "Well, I don’t debate."

* The Diet Pop Junk DNA Syndrome: The many Darwinists who strongly pushed (and many still do) the Junk DNA claim predicted that nearly 100% of the entire human genome, the portion that was non-coding, was mostly just left-over junk DNA. It's like a diet cola having NO sugar, NO calories, NO cholesterol, NO fiber, NO protein, NO carbs, NO sodium, NO fat. One wonders what in the world gives it its taste. So from the 1970s it's not surprising, assuming as they did that nearly 95% or so of the DNA was junk anyway, that evolutionists could make such sloppy claims about DNA reinforcing the Darwinian tree. However, now, with the List of Genomes that Just Don't Fit, evolutionary geneticists have falsified the claim that DNA confirms Darwinian predictions. And all that progress aside, the canard that there's nearly a 99% similarity between humans and chimps should have been falsified merely by a careful look at differences in brain and overall anatomy.

* Tossing the Wright Brothers Materials and Tools: Consider the significance of the four million regulatory regions of the human genome as compared to the relatively tiny portion that codes for proteins. The creationist Wright Brothers' design, that is, their regulatory input, so-to-speak, dwarfed the importance of the particular kinds of materials and tools that built their airplane. Other tools and materials could suffice. But all the tools and materials in the world assembled for workers who had no design to begin with would not produce an airplane. Thus the regulatory portion of the genome, including that in epigenetics, very possibly may be the more significant part. And similarly, the design concept of a nucleus itself is far more important than what specific chemistry will implement it.

* Can Evolution Proceed One Small Step at a Time? If it is true that there are no "small steps," logically or physically, between monochromatic and dichromatic vision, then at least for this wildly complex vision-system upgrade, Richard Dawkins' Mt. Improbable must be scaled in one huge step. And scaling such a complexity cliff in one step, he himself admits, would require a "miracle." There are no Darwin-friendly small steps between eukaryote (nucleus) and prokaryote (no nucleus), nor between invertebrate and vertebrate, nor between monochromatic and dichromatic vision. Whether you are an extinct fossil or a living species, you either have a backbone or you don't; you either have a nucleus or you don't; you might have monochromatic or dichromatic vision, or not, but you don't have something in between.

Today's Resource: Have you browsed through our Science Department in the KGOV Store? Check out especially Walt Brown’s In the Beginning and Bob’s interviews with this great scientist in Walt Brown WeekYou’ll also love Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez’ Privileged Planet (clip), and Illustra Media’s Unlocking the Mystery of Life (clip)! You can consider our BEL Science Pack; Bob Enyart’s Age of the Earth Debate; Bob's debate about Junk DNA (as above on DVD) with Eugenie Scott; and the superb kids' radio programming, Jonathan Park: The Adventure Begins!


Post-show Notes: Richard Dawkins popularized the concept of Junk DNA in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, tricking even Carl Sagan into saying in 1992 that, "some, maybe even most, of the genetic instructions must be redundancies, stutters, and untranscribable nonsense. Again we glimpse deep imperfections at the heart of life..." (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, p. 128). Dawkins added in 1998 and again in 2004, "there's lots more DNA that doesn't even deserve the name pseudogene... It consists of multiple copies of junk, 'tandem repeats', and other nonsense which may be useful for fensic detectives but which doesn't seem to be used in the body itself. Once again, creationists might spend some earnest time speculating on why the Creator should bother to litter genomes with untranslated pseudogenes and junk tandem repeat DNA." And PZ Myers wrote as late as 2010 that, "the genome is mostly dead, transcriptionally. The junk is still junk". Yet from Scientific American, "The term 'junk DNA' repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding genetic material for many years." Then, iIlustrating our creationist criticism nicely, the Wikipedia article on transposons states, ironically that transposition elements, "are often considered 'junk DNA'. In Oxytricha... they play a critical role..." Finally, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss (emphasis on the theoretical), friend of Dr. Scott, threw Eugenie under the bus in our RSR interview (kgov.com/Krauss), blaming her for being irresponsible to claim that scientists knew all they needed to know in order to determine that this DNA had no function. However, the entire evolutionary camp inherently made the same argument in their ubiquitous claim that all that non-functioning "junk DNA" was evidence against creation and for evolution.