Scientists have discovered function in a gene previously thought to be nonfunctional. The gene called dihydrofolate reductase-like 1 (DHFRL1) has been known since the 1980’s and was classified as a pseudogene – a type of Junk DNA. The discovery has delivered another blow to the Theory of Evolution.
The term Junk DNA refers to parts of the genome which appear to have no function and it has often been cited as proof for the Theory of Evolution. Supporters of evolution see Junk DNA as an artifact of the evolutionary process. After all, why would an all-powerful creator design and create life with nonfunctional parts? On the other hand, as species evolve, one would expect to find functional parts become unnecessary and leave behind non-functioning remnants.
But a recent Reasons to Believe article shows researchers have discovered that DHFRL1 is a vital part of helping mitochondrion make copies of it’s DNA during rapid cell division. It clearly lands a blow to the evolutionary argument for Junk DNA and raises the obvious question – How many more “Junk DNA” have undiscovered function?