When Is Junk Not Junk?

This is a question that can be asked about everything from garage sale items to what clutters my closet . . . but most recently, it’s been asked about human DNA.

Don’t hurry off, I’m not going to go to explore the human genome, much as people like my husband would welcome such research. As I’ve mentioned before, my mind just isn’t that scientific. However, last week my husband read an article in the newspaper about how researchers have discovered that much of our “junk” DNA isn’t really junk. In fact, the more they’re learning about this stuff, the more they’re discovering how vital it is.

The reason this stood out for us in particular is the familiar language used in the article: words like “proteins” and “switches” and “mutations.” Those are the kinds of words we’ve been hearing for years from those pursuing a treatment for our Fragile X son—about how there are millions of codes written on this junk that actually control how cells, organs and other tissue in our bodies behave.

This “junk” may explain lots of things—how we look, how tall we are, and how the body reacts to disease. Let’s say identical twins are born but only one of them gets cancer. Why only one? It’s because of this junk DNA, and how small changes in the environment might affect these switches they’re uncovering that permeate this non-gene matter.

In my son’s case, his brain doesn’t produce a single protein that’s required for learning. It’s because a switch in his DNA is turned off. Doesn’t it sound simple to just go in an turn it on? If only it were so easy! But at least researchers know what they have to do, and that seems to be an important part of the puzzle. Enough to boost our hope for a cure in our son’s lifetime.

The other topic this article raised is obvious: God is revealing Himself yet again to be our Creator. Up until lately, evolutionists believed all that junk DNA was the natural result of genetic leftovers. Um, maybe not. Maybe it’s a far more complex part of us that only the most wondrous God could have designed.

Unfortunately this article once again reinforces a claim my husband makes regarding much of what I consider junk in his workshop downstairs and our garage and the attic above it. He says all that scrap and leftover material will fulfill some essential function in a yet to be fabricated system. How does he know this? He doesn’t, but having just used some old pieces of wood inherited when my father passed 5 years ago to reinforce my son’s train, he makes a good case for keeping quality items.

So consider keeping some of the quality items around you and see what blessings they bring to your life, just like all that “junk” DNA.

PS It was my husband who added that last part about keeping the clutter in his garage and workshop . . .


  1. Brenda Hurley says

    Monday, Sept 10th,
    “Morning, Maureen.”
    Thanks so much for sharing this excellent, and, interesting article. I had never looked at “junk” DNA that way before. Hope all is well. Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda Hurley

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Brenda! I think the more science learns about how complex everything is – from our bodies to the way the earth is held in balance – the harder it’s getting to ignore God’s fingerprint!

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