The original question was:
A point evolutionists have is that organisms including bacteria and humans have ‘fossil DNA’ which shows common ancestry, and thus proof of evolution (Sean B.Carroll, 2006, Making of the Fittest). What counter arguments do you have for such claims?

Answer by John Mackay and Diane Eager

To answer this question we must distinguish observation from interpretation. The observation is that all living things, including humans, have DNA, and some of the DNA in different creatures is similar. Evolutionists have interpreted this finding as indicating living things that are more recently evolved, such as humans, have inherited that DNA from creatures that evolved in the distant past, e.g. bacteria. However, this is an interpretation based on an already held belief in evolution. It is not proof of evolution, because no-one observed the inheritance of the DNA from one kind of creature to another kind.

Evolutionists particularly like to apply this interpretation when the DNA in the more recently evolved creature appears to be non-functional. The idea of something defunct from the distant past is the reason for using the term “fossil DNA”. The fact that we don’t know what a piece of DNA does in an organism does not mean it has no function. It just means we don’t know what it does, i.e. it is evidence of our ignorance, not our origin. The scientific approach to such a finding is to do some more research and find out what it does. Writing it off as a “fossil” inherited from another creature in the distant past is an interpretation based on an already held belief in evolution.

DNA with no known function is sometimes called “junk” or mutated, and this is used to launch the claim that if life was created, why would any sensible creator put such stuff in DNA? When you take the next step and call it “fossil DNA” remember this is also not an observation, but an interpretation which already assumes evolution – the very thing the similar bits of DNA are supposed to prove.

Is it possible that some DNA in the human genome, or any creature’s genome, has no function now, but may have in the past. Even if that could be proven, it is not evidence of evolution. BUT it is evidence of degeneration. The Bible tells us that the world was created very good, but has gone downhill since it was created, and there is no doubt the human genome has suffered as part of this overall degeneration. This is change, but it is not evolution. It does not change one kind of creature into any other kind of creature.

So to summarise the above, what is called “fossil DNA” may be DNA whose function we have yet to work out, or it may be DNA that has been damaged during the general degeneration of the world. Neither of these prove evolution. It is interesting that as scientists have learned more about the human genome the term “junk DNA” has gone out of fashion, because some the “junk” has been found to have a function. If geneticists truly believed in “fossil DNA” and “junk DNA” they would not have bothered to find out what it did. Fortunately, human curiosity prevailed, and we have learned more about how genomes work, but the discoveries owe nothing to the theory of evolution.

If you know of any examples used in fossil DNA arguments by evolutionists that are not interpretations, but really are actual observations, send them in.

To see how attitudes about “Junk DNA” have changed browse through science reports on this topic in the Evidence News Fact File.

To understand how the same facts can be interpreted in different ways see the Biblical World View Seminar DVD, available from the Creation Research webshop

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About The Contributor

Diane Eager