How often have we heard the refrain, "It's more complex than we thought." We have heard it in evolutionary biology, sotto voce of course. The narrative of evolutionists is that primitive life forms are simple; if they are simple, it is an evidence of their age and early positioning on the evolutionary tree. Man is the most complex creature: therefore, a late development on the evolutionary tree--at least, that's what the "just-so" story of evolutionism would have us believe.
A problem in the narrative arises when it becomes evident that some of the allegedly oldest and most primitive creatures on the planet are also incredibly complex. Take, for example, the "most primitive" deep sea dwellers. Their large compound eyes are far, far more complexly constructed than initially assumed.
Another evolutionist narrative is that due to evolutionary forces human beings have a lot of "junk" in their systems. This is "stuff" which once was useful, but as evolution took place, became redundant or superseded and so was made inert. The appendix and tonsils are organs which evolutionists in days gone by have interpreted in that way.
So with research into human genetics.
The initial evolutionist view was that there was tons of junk in the human genetic structure. It was unused and redundant. So far the just-so story. New research, however, is debunking that refrain. This from Stuff:
A colossal international effort has yielded the first comprehensive look at how our DNA works, an encyclopedia of information that will rewrite the textbooks and offer new insights into the biology of disease.
The findings, reported overnight by more than 500 scientists, reveal extraordinarily complex networks that tell our genes what to do and when, with millions of on-off switches.
"It's this incredible choreography going on, of a modest number of genes and an immense number of ... switches that are choreographing how those genes are used," said Dr Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, which organised the project. The work also shows that at least 80 per cent of the human genetic code, or genome, is active. That's surprisingly high and a sharp contrast to the idea that the vast majority of our DNA is junk.. . .
This research development parallels developments in sub-atomic nuclear physics where the deeper into the atom research and mathematical theory has penetrated, the more complex things have become. The so-called basic, evolutionary building blocks have turned out to be fearsomely complex--far more so than supra-atomic reality. It's not supposed to be that way. But ain't randomness a wonderful thing. Except that irreducible complexity does not fit the narrative of developing from the simple to the more complex.
Apparently the workings of our DNA resemble a near impenetrable jungle.
It's "our first global view of how the genome functions," sort of a Google Maps that allows both bird's-eye and close-up views of what's going on, said Elise Feingold of the genome institute. While scientists already knew the detailed chemical makeup of the genome, "we didn't really know how to read it," she said in an interview. "It didn't come with an instruction manual to figure out how the DNA actually works."Apparently we are really, really complex machines. Machines mind you, but at least now we are getting some appreciation of the almost limitless complexity involved. So much for crude evolutionism.
One key participant, Ewan Birney of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Hinxton, England, compared the new work to a first translation of a very long book."The big surprise is just how much activity there is," he said. "It's a jungle." . . .
So what is it doing? In recent years, scientists have uncovered uses for some of that DNA, so it was clearly not all junk, but overall it has remained a mystery. Scientists found that at least three-quarters of the genome is involved in making RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA. Within genes, making RNA is a first step toward creating a protein, but that's not how it's used across most of the genome. Instead, it appears to help regulate gene activity.
Scientists also mapped more than 4 million sites where proteins bind to DNA to regulate genetic function, sort of like a switch. "We are finding way more switches than we were expecting," Birney said. . . .(W)ith the finding of widespread activity across a person's DNA, scientists will be debating how much of it is really crucial to life. Still, "it's worth reminding ourselves that we are very, very complex machines," Birney said. "It shouldn't be so surprising that the instruction manual is really pretty fearsomely complicated."But weren't we told that DNA research would unlock all the dark mazes and enable us to discover the secrets of life itself? Not so fast. Irreducible, fearsome complexity sounds like something else entirely.