Language of God by Francis Collins

A Response by Ted Loy

(An Update)

 

 

In my response to Francis Collins' Language of God (2006), (please see posted on my website) I made the observation that his rather demeaning remarks about AREs (ancient repetitive elements) in the human genome were at the very least premature. He derisively spoke of these AREs as "junk genes," "flotsam and jetsam" etc. - totally useless. Any scientist who delves deeply into Creation must do so with a sense of awe - something Dr. Collins failed to do in the case of the human genome which he mapped out with other scientists. Even though he calls the human genome the "language of God," ARE's (according to him) were no language at all - a large part of the genome he characterized as useless. He showed a kind of arrogance and lack of humility when he completely dismissed AREs as "junk." It is always dangerous to make such claims when there are huge gaps in knowledge. Collins assumed he knew what he did not know at all! Now Collins has backtracked in his book, The Language of Life (2010) in which he admits there are useful functions for AREs.

 

The reason for this is recent discoveries of valuable functions of AREs by a consortium called ENCORE, (The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements). As quoted in Nature, Vol. 489, Issue 7414, Joseph Ecker stated in an article entitled "Serving Up A Genetic Feast," : "One of the most remarkable findings described in our consortium's 'entree' paper (p. 57) is that 80% of the genome contains elements linked to biochemical functions, dispatching the widely-held view that the human genome is mostly 'junk DNA.'" Simply explained, AREs are genetic switches which regulate other genes - a most valuable function indeed!

 

Dr. Collins' old view of "junk genes" has been clearly disproved by other biochemical scientists. Interestingly enough, Dr. Collins used his now disproved theory about AREs to bolster his concept that all development of life is merely a matter of random natural development - the old Darwinian theory of natural selection and genetic mutation. He needs to take a second look at his evolutionary assumptions. If the human genome contains far more complicated information than he understood previously, how can he possibly accept it happened by chance? This is unscientific - to say the least.