As some of you may know, just before the 2008 presidential elections, I completed writing a short novel titled The Prodigal Scientist. One of the fictional elements of the storyline included the discovery of a DNA "coding algorithm" by a molecular biologist motivated by his presupposition of Biblical intelligent design. Like many great scientists of the past and present, this biologist sought to discover purposeful design in what others called meaningless “junk”.
You see for decades, evolutionary presuppositions have motivated a theory of Junk DNA—the supposed left-overs from millions of years of random mutation. And since the Human Genome project found only a small percentage of DNA coded for proteins, this was taken as proof that the majority of DNA should be consigned to “junk” status. The politicization of science naturally followed.
Well last week the results of a nine-year research program, called ENCODE, were published to reveal that yet another evolutionary prediction was dead wrong. The vast majority of DNA (over 80%) has now been shown to serve various functions essential to life. Mind you, this team was led by thorough-going evolutionists, but the scope of these results, not to mention the metaphor that life is fully ENCODED, should not be lost on those who have always doubted the anti-scientific predictions of naturalism (Read: Nature is all there is, or ever will be.)
For those interested in the details, the published results of the ENCODE research project and some popular summary articles (with videos) are linked below:
So just before another presidential election, please allow me to offer my novel to those interested in a representative true story about how scientists, when guided by current views on origins, impact our hope of facing the problem of pain.