Thursday, August 09, 2012

Still Digging: Part I

Believe it or not, the IDiots are still trying to weasel out of the mistakes they've made in attacking junk DNA.

Here's the problem. Jonathan Wells wrote an entire book on The Myth of Junk DNA. Wells says that back in the early 1970s a substantial number of scientists—he calls them Darwinists—said that all noncoding DNA was junk.
Yet by 1970 biologists already knew that much of our DNA does not encode proteins. Although some suggested that non-protein-coding DNA might help toregulate theproduction of proteins from DNA templates, the dominant view was that non-protein-coding regions had no function (page 19-20).
Wells then goes on to demonstrate that lots of noncoding DNA has a function; therefore Darwinists were wrong (and stupid).

Recently Wells has gone even further by saying that the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology stipulated that the only functional DNA was the part that made proteins. Therefore noncoding DNA was junk. You can see him make this claim in the video below from October 2010 and you can read my analysis at: Watch Jonathan Wells Screw Up =.

Here's the money quote from one of his slides at about 4 minutes into the talk.
... biologists discovered that most human DNA does not code for proteins. Based on the Central Dogma that "DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us," this non-protein-coding DNA was dubbed "junk."


Is this important? No, not as far as scientists are concerned because we know that Wells is misrepresenting the history of the field. However, it's important for creationists because it portrays scientists (Darwinists) as very stupid people who didn't know about regulatory sequences, origins of replication, RNA genes, telomeres, centromeres, and terminators back in 1970. Wells portrays them as adherents of a false Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.

If this were true then all Wells has to do is show some functions for noncoding DNA to prove that the Darwinsts were wrong. He gloatingly does this.

Many of us have pointed out the stupidity of this creationist view of history but most IDiots refuse to admit that Wells was wrong. I don't know why since it wouldn't change any of their other arguments to admit that junk DNA is controversial and to admit that there were never any scientists—and certainly no Darwinists—claiming that all noncoding DNA was junk.

Jonathan McLatchie seemed to understand this so I was happy when he admitted that. "... no credible scientist claims that all non-coding DNA is "junk" [see: Intelligent Design Creationists Attempt to (re)Define Junk DNA].

Alas, it's too difficult for Jonathan McLatchie to confess that his fellow IDiot Jonathan Wells made a mistake. He keeps digging at: "Junk DNA," "Non-Coding DNA," and Larry Moran's Hyper-Pedantry.
On this, Moran and I are agreed -- scientists like Richard Dawkins, John Avise, Ken Miller and Jerry Coyne certainly don't think that all non-protein-coding DNA is without function (although they do claim that most of it is). I think Moran is being a touch overly pedantic here, however. Promoters, enhancers, operators and transcription factors are all non-protein-coding DNA: Is Larry Moran seriously suggesting that Jonathan Wells doesn't think that those biologists have heard of those?
No, that's not exactly what I'm suggesting. Those scientists came later. Wells is slandering other scientists from the early 1970s. He clearly states that those scientists thought noncoding DNA was junk so he must think that in 1970 they were completely unaware of regulatory DNA (and other functional noncoding DNA).

Jonathan McLathie, watch the video. Do you agree with the Jonathan Wells version of the history? A simple "yes" or "no" will establish your credibility.

Now it's time to turn off your irony meter because Jonathan McLatchie says,
It seems that we have yet another case where the words of ID proponents have been twisted and misrepresented. But, sadly, this is something that we have come to expect.
Did your Mark IV irony meter just blow up? Don't say I didn't warn you.


45 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thank-you for posting the link.

      I have argued in the past that the majority of scientists in the 1970s did NOT support the idea that most of our genome is junk. It's worth pointing out that even today there are many molecular biologists who think that we have very little junk DNA in our genome.

      This is a different objection to the IDiots' claim than the one I'm discussing here. Not only is it false to claim that most scientists equated noncoding DNA with junk DNA, but, as it turns out, it's even false to claim that most scientists were fans of junk DNA.

      It almost seems as though the IDiots go out of their way to get as many things wrong as possible.

      Delete
    2. Before and after Ohno's papers, there was a widespread assumption that non-coding DNA must be doing *something* or it would have been deleted. I have not been able to find any notable examples of people claiming that it does not have a function between 1970-1980. In fact, this adaptationist assumption was sufficiently pervasive that Nature published two "selfish DNA" papers in 1980 whose aim was explicitly to get people to stop making this assumption because there are other possible reasons why DNA might be maintained (intragenomic selection being one). These authors did not reject the notion that some non-coding DNA is functional, and stated clearly that co-option for functions in regulation would be an obvious expectation. Doolittle wrote a paper about a year later and lamented the strong objection that the idea received initially. Meanwhile, discussions of possible functions continued throughout the 1980s, including in science news reports in Science and Nature. But by the mid-1990s, you already had some journalists and researchers (e.g., Mattick) already using the "long dismissed as functionless junk, some of it is now turning out to have functions..." trope. So, at most, there is a period of maybe 5-10 years where there could have been dismissal, but I have yet to see any examples of it in the literature (and I really looked hard -- I was trying to find the source for the claim that it was dismissed, without success). Also, most authors cite Ohno 1972 and the selfish DNA papers for this claim, even though no such arguments were presented in those publications.

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    3. I vividly remember thinking in the early 1970s that most of the DNA in the human genome was junk and I was not alone. We bought the genetic load argument because it fit nicely with the new ideas about neutral mutations and random genetic drift and it fit nicely with the Cot analyses showing that a large percentage of the genome consisted of highly repetitive and middle repetitive sequences.

      Junk DNA was also a nice way to explain the C-value paradox. It wasn't a paradox.

      It's true that there were many colleagues who didn't like the idea of junk DNA and we used to argue about it frequently over a beer or two at various meetings. I'm surprised that you couldn't find any defenders of junk DNA in the literature.

      I'll have a look next week.

      The important point is that it's certainly not true, as the creationists claim, that the majority of scientists (Darwinists) believed in junk DNA in the early 1970s. Thank-you for emphasizing that point.

      And thank-you for pointing out that the selfish DNA papers in 1980 were actually attempts to explain why some of the DNA was functional and not that it was junk. The DNA is functional because it consists of active transposons that are "selfish."

      Delete
  2. Dear Prof Moran.

    I am one of those IDiots you you speak of and eventhough I always enjoy your blogs on this one you are dead wrong. time to man up!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Andre,

      We have been waiting for an ID proponent to say something, anything honest.

      I am one of those IDiots

      Bingo!

      on this one you are dead wrong

      The evidence you have presented in defense of your counterfactual thesis is simply overwhelming. Larry has been crushed by your superior intellect. The diligence you have shown in amassing this vast dossier of irrefutable proof has earned our respect.

      I could barely wade through the vast forest of quotes and citations you have presented in which molecular biologists actually say non-coding DNA = junk DNA.

      We concede defeat. All the world's molecular biologists really did think non-coding DNA = non-functional DNA.

      In addition, they also believed that bleeding will cure the gout, and leeches will cure smallpox. They thought the brain was merely a refrigerator inside your head. How dumb do you want us to be?

      You have much to teach our ignorant selves. Please go on. Tell us about... homeopathy and faith-healing, which you probably majored in at Crackertown Bible College.

      Delete
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    3. Dear Diogenes.

      I enjoyed your response and it gave me a good chuckle! Such wit is always enjoyable. Is it not amazing that a bunch of chemicals had the ability to put those thoughts into a message I could understand and enjoy!What a lucky shot that it turned out this way.

      I would like to however just correct you on a small oversight if I may. You have confused me with a creationist and I have to admit I was rather shocked that an intelligent being such as yourself could make that silly little error. I hope you'll get over it in the meantime, because you know mistakes could be the end of you or as the literature these days say the beginning I forget which it is.

      Here is the literature if I may although, I did not know that this BlogSpot is a peer-reviewed publication site, I always thought it’s a place where people can speak freely because is that not what secular people like yourself is fighting for? Anyway back to the “science”

      http://www.grisda.org/origins/21091u.htm
      http://www.psrast.org/junkdna.htm
      Then there is this recent peer reviewed publication.
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22009-mouse-junk-dna-vital-for-gene-regulation.html
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7409/full/nature11243.html

      So Diogenes keep up with your good humor it's always a worth a chi=uckle or seven! Wait sorry make that three seven might make you confused again about me being a creationist!

      Regards

      Andre

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    4. @ Andre Gross,

      Exactly the comment to another that I posted here. Thank-you for proving that the information from the DI is less reliable than a wiki page!

      ---

      Even wikipedia gets it right, but DI cannot.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noncoding_DNA

      "In genetics, noncoding DNA describes components of an organism's DNA sequences that do not encode for protein sequences."

      And

      "Much of this DNA has no known biological function and is sometimes referred to as "junk DNA". However, many types of noncoding DNA sequences do have known biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation of protein-coding sequences."

      and

      [Noncoding functional RNA's] "are functional RNA molecules that are not translated into protein. Examples of noncoding RNA include ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA, Piwi-interacting RNA and microRNA."

      NO ONE considers tRNA, rRNA, promoters, etc junk DNA. Therefore no one says ALL non-coding DNA is junk.

      ---

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    5. Richard Dawkins 1976 The selfish Gene

      “The amount of DNA in organisms,” Dawkins wrote in 1976, “is more than is strictly necessary for building them: A large fraction of the DNA is never translated into protein. From the point of view of the individual organism this seems paradoxical. If the ‘purpose’ of DNA is to supervise the building of bodies, it is surprising to find a large quantity of DNA which does no such thing. Biologists are racking their brains trying to think what useful task this apparently surplus DNA is doing. But from the point of view of the selfish genes themselves, there is no paradox. The true ‘purpose’ of DNA is to survive, no more and no less. The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA. “

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    6. Jerry Coyne: In Why Evolution is true

      “the evolutionary prediction that we’ll find pseudogenes has been fulfilled – amply. Virtually ever species harbors dead genes, many of them still active in its relatives. This implies that some of those genes were also active in a common ancestor, and were killed off in some descendants but not in others. Out of about thirty thousand genes, for example, we humans carry more than two thousand pseudogenes. Our genome, – and that of other species – are truly well populated graveyards of dead genes.”

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    7. Michael Schermer

      “We have to wonder why the Intelligent Designer added to our genome junk DNA, repeated copies of useless DNA, orphan genes, tandem repeats, and pseudogenes, none of which are involved directly in the making of a human being. In fact, of the entire human genome, it appears that only a tiny percentage is actively involved in useful protein production, It looks as though Rather than being intelligently designed, the human genome looks more and more like a mosaic of mutations, fragment copies, borrowed sequences, and discarded strings of DNA that were jerry-built over millions of years of evolution.”

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    8. Let me get this straight.... you are referencing Wikipedia as a truthful source and as some objective standard to any other literature? Have you ever looked at how many times content is changed and altered in a Wikipedia article? You believe it to be true?
      Are you implying that Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne and Michael Schermer are nobodies and that we can discard their just so science from now on?
      Regards

      Delete
    9. Andre Gross says ....

      I am one of those IDiots you you speak of ...

      Then he says ...

      You have confused me with a creationist and I have to admit I was rather shocked that an intelligent being such as yourself could make that silly little error.

      If you are an IDiot, then you believe in a creator. That makes you a creationist.

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    10. Dawkins' quotation from 1976 ...

      The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.

      Dawkins was not a big fan of junk DNA. Here he is describing transposons. Active transposons have a function. They are not junk.

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    11. Michael Shermer quotation ...

      In fact, of the entire human genome, it appears that only a tiny percentage is actively involved in useful protein production, ...

      The implication here is that Shermer equates junk DNA and noncoding DNA. That may well be true. Shermer is a philosopher and philosophers often get their scientific facts wrong.

      Delete
    12. I forgot to mention that the Shermer quote is from 2006. All these quotations have been lifted from The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells.

      Delete
    13. Andre Gross said;
      Let me get this straight.... you are referencing Wikipedia as a truthful source and as some objective standard to any other literature? Have you ever looked at how many times content is changed and altered in a Wikipedia article? You believe it to be true?

      No it's not the most accurate source of information. Everyone here knows that it makes a lot of mistakes. Hence, in my post, I included the sentence; Thank-you for proving that the information from the DI is less reliable than a wiki page!

      Yet in this case, it is more accurate that the stuff coming from you guys. Thanks for taking the bait!

      So answer my question - who ever said tRNAs rRNA, promoters, centromeres, etc were junk DNA? These are examples of non-coding DNA. We've know they were functional since the dawn of molecualar biology.

      A failure to answer will be taken as an admission that you are lying.

      Delete
  3. @Andre Gross, please keep digging. The closest you come to a single quote that even approaches equating non-protein coding DNA with "junk" is a section where Dawkins mentions non-coding DNA in a small piece that also talks about junk. But even there, it is not explicitly stated that non-coding DNA is automatically assumed to be junk.

    Jerry Coyne is talking about pseudogenes, not non-coding DNA in general. He never even mentions non-coding DNA. We HAVE plenty of nonfunctional pseudogenes. This very moment your defective vitamin-C gene is doing NOTHING AT ALL. Deal with it.

    Michael shermer doesn't directly equate non-coding with junk either. The closest he comes is the statement "actively involved in useful protein production" which could mean anything from regulation to actual protein coding. Sorry, you lose again.

    The utterings of Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne does not constitute a consensus view. And your silly quotes don't even support your dishonest portrayal. Do you people ever get tired of lying?

    In short: Are you truly this much of an IDiot?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Let us call a spade a spade,
    For the last 40 years "Junk-DNA" was the mainstay argument for the truth of evolutionary theory. As we've come to understand our selves better from a biological point of view, we know it is not “Junk DNA”. Yes more biologists are agreeing with the fact that it has function this is not a Darwinian prediction but a design one if you study the literature. So what does this tell us about evolutionary theory? It tells it is un-falsifiable and therefor in itself false because it has failed on its own predictions about Junk DNA.
    A second point I would like to mention here is I'm not affiliated to DI. Being a proponent of design does not make me a member of any of those institutes. I am only one because that is where the evidence is leading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let us call a spade a spade,

      OK - your case is pure bullshit. Junk DNA as a category has nothing to say on the validity or otherwise of evolutionary theory. Bacteria have little - evolution stands. Every base in humans turns out to be functional too - evolution stands. Who, prior to 1970 or after it, has argued that nonfunctional DNA props up evolutionary theory? It certainly doesn't help design any - but unlike design theory, evolutionary theory does not survive solely by picking holes in alternatives. ID seems desperate to argue everything - even the crap of ages - as crypto-functional. So do some research and support it.

      Closer to the truth is that neutral sequence - which includes all 'true' nonfunctional junk, plus functional sequences that do not affect fitness - contains signals of common descent that cannot readily be explained away by any 'common design' hogwash, and this molecular evidence is regarded as excellent confirmation of the Common Descent part of evolution - as if it was really in need of that additional confirmation! The argument doesn't hinge on it being junk - nor, really, on it being neutral. But there are statistical techniques for distinguishing neutral sites, and the frequently averred 'common design' explanation for sequence relationships is scuppered by this evidence, as well as calling into question 'perfectionist' arguments on the design. And I think that is why pervasive function is such a sacred ID cow.

      Delete
    2. Dear Allan Miller

      And as always the evolutionists assume that people where born design proponents and secondly they assume that we don't read the literature on both sides before we actually make a conclusion on the evidence. I'll gladly refresh your memory on the non-sensical statement you've made above;
      Stretches of non-coding DNA were originally labelled "Junk DNA" on the assumption that non-coding sequences did nothing at all. Our knowledge of how DNA works has vastly improved, though, and this is no longer the accepted position among biologists. In Human Origins 101, Holly M. Dunsworth writes:
      “The function of over 95% of our DNA is still a mystery. That is, we have spelled out the code, but have discovered that most of it does not code for proteins. Genes can be separated by a vast desert of noncoding DNA, which is sometimes called “junk” DNA. But is it useless? Probably not, because included among noncoding sequences are the crucial promoter regions which control when genes are turned on or off.”

      The human genome has more noncoding DNA than any other animal known to date and it is not clear why. At least half of the noncoding sequence is made up of recognizable repeated sequences, some of which were inserted by viruses in the past. These repeats may provide some genomic wiggle room. That is, long stretches of noncoding DNA provide a playground for evolution. It may be a huge selective advantage to have all that raw material available to mutate and either modify existing traits and behaviours or express new ones all together. Humans are characterized by the ability to be flexible and to adapt quickly, so our junk DNA is potentially a priceless contribution to our humanness.

      Is this not the original view held by the scientific establishment for quite some time until it was proven otherwise? Are we lying?
      Let me help you published in 2007; that is only 5 years ago btw….
      “The ENCODE consortium's major findings include the discovery that the majority of DNA in the human genome is transcribed into functional molecules, called RNA, and that these transcripts extensively overlap one another. This broad pattern of transcription challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically active.”

      http://www.genome.gov/25521554

      Time to get your facts straight the “once “junk DNA” fairly tale of evolutionists is in tatters and what remains? I’ll tell you; a code optimized for function.

      Regards

      Delete
    3. I'll gladly refresh your memory on the non-sensical statement you've made above;
      Stretches of non-coding DNA were originally labelled "Junk DNA" on the assumption that non-coding sequences did nothing at all.


      Bollocks. Ohno coined the term in his 1972 paper on the basis of mutational load. http://www.junkdna.com/ohno.html He put 'junk' in ironic quotes. His argument was that a genome rich in sequential information would be decayed by mutational load. He suggested, as have many since, various putative functions for this cryptic fraction.

      The current synthesis derives from an amalgamation of ideas like Ohno's, and the 'selfish DNA' proposals of Orgel and Crick, Doolittle and Sapienza, and others. Both ideas were resisted when initially proposed. Now, it's mainstream, following a lot of detailed investigation and technological advance.

      I don't think you are lying, but I do think you are seeing what you want to see. You really think that scientists - the ones from whom you get every single scrap of your information on genome structure and function - don't know what the hell they are talking about when it comes to interpretation of their hard-won data?

      If you think we carry - say - a million defunct Alu repeats in order to give us 'wiggle room', I'd say you are probably talking crap. The role of Alu in human evolution is not disputed. But saying that its 'function' was to have that role, or that the occasional fragments of Alu that turn up in 'real' genes is proof, betrays a lack of understanding of the relationship between different levels of selection, and the mechanistic basis underpinning sequence persistence.

      But I'm not sure you really care. Your signoff paragraph is particulaly hubristic. A fairy tale in tatters? Based on a few misinterpretations of the literature going the rounds in ID circles? You are kidding. But to match hubris with hubris: fight the good fight, I'm sure you'll win in the end. Only another couple of billion base pairs to go.

      Delete
    4. Dear Allan

      There is no Bollocks, I've given you two examples outside of the usual crowd on what the view use to be, since then the story from evolutions point of view has changed faster than you saying natural selection and random mutation to make it seem like you've known all along. You can fool a lot of the people most of the time but you can not fool all the people all of the time. That is enough from me on this, I'm not the one that coined it Junk-DNA naturalists did and now they have more than egg on their faces. time to man up and own up that they got this one dead wrong!

      Regards

      Delete
    5. Andre Gross says ...

      Let us call a spade a spade,
      For the last 40 years "Junk-DNA" was the mainstay argument for the truth of evolutionary theory.


      That statement is incorrect.

      Normally I'd attribute such a statement to ignorance or stupidity, or both. But in the case Andre Gross does not get the benefit of the doubt. He has been following the debate on the blogs and he claims to have read the relevant literature.

      The only possible conclusion is that he is a lair.

      Delete
    6. Andre Gross says ...

      The human genome has more noncoding DNA than any other animal known to date and it is not clear why.

      Here's some data from Ryan Gregory's website on The Animal Genome Size database.

      All haploid genome sizes are measured in picograms (pg).

      Protopterus aethiopicus (lungfish) 133pg
      Necturus lewisi (salamander) 123pg
      Ampelisca macrocephala (Amphipod) 65pg
      Otomesostoma auditivum (Flatworm) 21pg
      Oxynotus centrina (shark) 17pg
      Podisma pedestris (grasshopper) 17pg
      Ceratophrys ornata (frog) 13pg
      Crassinarke dormitor (skate/ray) 12pg
      Tympanoctomys barrerae (rat) 8.4pg
      Diplommatina kiiensis (Snail) 7.0pg
      Spirosperma ferox (Tubificid worm) 7.6pg
      Boophilus microplus (tick) 7.5pg
      Macropus rufogrigeus (wallaby) 5.6pg
      Testudo graeca (Greek tortoise) 5.4pg
      Aramigus tessellatus (Weevil) 5.0pg
      Salmo salar Atlantic salmon) 4.9pg
      Myxine garmani (Hagfish) 4.6pg
      Thyonella gemmata (Sea cucumber) 4.4pg
      Crocodylus niloticus (Nile crocodile) 4.0pg
      Bos taurus (cow) 3.7pg
      Homo sapiens (humans) 3.5pg

      Andre Gross also said ...

      Time to get your facts straight the “once “junk DNA” fairly tale of evolutionists is in tatters and what remains? I’ll tell you; a code optimized for function.

      Getting facts straight is a really good idea, don't you think?

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    8. Dear Prof

      I did not say that the human genome has noncoding... it's an extract from Human Origins 101. I only used the extract to point out that there were many scientific journals and peer-reviewed publications calling it junk.

      Secondly what about Orgel and Crick calling it junk in the 80's did they really mean functional? Perhaps a typo that was never picked up until the story about "junk DNA" gained traction and the ENCODE project proved it wrong? How is it that so many distinguished Biologists over the years missed this seemingly non-important mistake that has misled the public and the layman for the last couple of decades? People were told that Junk DNA represented proof for evolution in all the popular scientific magazines. If this was in fact incorrect back then why did you never say anything? Where were all the other naturalists that disagreed with the pop culture notion of "Junk DNA"

      I agree with you it’s time for the facts to be set straight.

      Regards

      Delete
    9. People were told that Junk DNA represented proof for evolution in all the popular scientific magazines. If this was in fact incorrect back then why did you never say anything?

      I think we'd need to see the actual references. And I think it would help if you are quoting things to wrap them in italic tags. You closed off the quote marks, so it looked exactly like it was you saying the human genome has more noncoding etc etc.

      Delete
    10. @Andre:

      OK, here's a quote, courtesy of Senor Google:

      http://www.news-medical.net/health/Junk-DNA-What-is-Junk-DNA.aspx

      In genetics, "junk DNA" or noncoding DNA describes components of an organism's DNA sequences that do not encode for protein sequences.

      This isn't a site dedicated to pulling the wool over the public's eyes on evolutionary theory, but a general 'medical news' site. Either way, the statement is simply incorrect. If you refer to Ohno's paper (and I hope you actually read that primary source, not someone's many-times-mutated derivative), you will see that he is quite clearly not saying that. His definition - quite a good one - is that junk is that which cannot suffer a deleterious mutation (ie, any substitution, deletion, or insertion of something that is not in itself fitness-affecting, has no effect on fitness). He includes control sequences (non-protein-coding), specifically because they can suffer deleterious mutations.

      Now, you may subscribe to the view that 'junk' is useful for its occasional benefits. But that is akin to saying that the contents of my trash cannot be trash because someone might use it for something - a sculpture, landscaping perhaps ... whatever - if a sequence can be corrupted or removed with no effect, then it is doing nothing.

      You really think there has been some kind of orchestrated campaign to deceive on this? And tacit approval by some conspiracy of silence? Ha ha! I've never known a scientist pass up an opportunity to correct someone on a point of fact or interpretation!

      Delete
    11. He includes control sequences (non-protein-coding), specifically because they can suffer deleterious mutations.

      *excludes*

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    12. Dear Allan

      Let me start right here with Prof Moran’s very own JUNK DNA page
      http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/02/theme-genomes-junk-dna.html

      “Total Essential/Functional (so far) = 8.7%
      Total Junk (so far) = 65%
      Unknown (probably mostly junk) = 26.3%”

      Let us see now; the argument has been that for a long time now many biologists have said that most of the DNA is actually not Junk and Idiots have been lying about it by saying that biologist or almost all of them claim that it is junk . I pulled these stats from the Prof’s own site now I have to ask?

      1.) 87.3% is not mostly junk or is it?
      2.) How do we know that these figures are correct?
      3.) Do we take the prof’s word that these are correct and who agrees or disagrees?
      4.) Am I the only one here that sees how misleading this is to the layman and public?
      5.) Who is a liar now this IDiot or the prof?

      Delete
    13. Andre Gross says,

      People were told that Junk DNA represented proof for evolution in all the popular scientific magazines.

      I think you are confused.

      There are many articles where the presence of homologous pseudogenes in different species provides evidence of common descent and evolution.

      That's not the same thing as saying that junk DNA is evidence of evolution.

      Wells made the same mistake and I set him straight in Junk & Jonathan: Part 13—Chapter 10

      Delete
    14. Dear Prof Moran

      Certainly not confused.

      Regards

      Delete
    15. Andre Gross asks,

      Who is a liar now this IDiot or the prof?

      You, of course.

      There's still an ongoing scientific controversy about the amount of junk in our genome. I'm presenting the best case for one side of the argument and I'm certain that I'm right.

      The claim we're disputing is whether the IDiots were correct when they claimed that almost all biologists believed in junk. Over the years I've posted many examples of scientists who oppose the concept of junk DNA because it doesn't fit into their concept of evolution. Wells even quotes some of them in his book.

      Here are a couple of examples: Pervasive Transcription and Junk DNA in New Scientist.

      Now, I realize that the concept of fairly presenting two sides of a controversy might be foreign to you, but it does happen. I'm sorry that it confuses you.

      Delete
    16. Dear Prof Moran

      I am very excited about the fact that you are showing the controversy but don't you think the time has come to discard the title "junk DNA" and if it can not be discarded can anybody actually phrase it in such a manner that the use is consistent in all literature?

      Regards

      Delete
    17. Dear Prof Moran

      You said,

      "The claim we're disputing is whether the IDiots were correct when they claimed that almost all biologists believed in junk."

      How many did not say so versus how many did? What is the total count of Biologists? There must be some sort of data available on this. If we know almost everything from the past we should certainly be able to know somethings in the present.

      Regards

      Andre

      Delete
    18. Let us see now; the argument has been that for a long time now many biologists have said that most of the DNA is actually not Junk and Idiots have been lying about it by saying that biologist or almost all of them claim that it is junk . I pulled these stats from the Prof’s own site now I have to ask?

      1.) 87.3% is not mostly junk or is it?
      2.) How do we know that these figures are correct?
      3.) Do we take the prof’s word that these are correct and who agrees or disagrees?
      4.) Am I the only one here that sees how misleading this is to the layman and public?
      5.) Who is a liar now this IDiot or the prof?


      You are starting to confuse the hell out of me.

      Just to be clear, I use 'junk' to mean sequence that can be mutated ad lib (including deletion) without consequences for fitness. I don't doubt that many people have said that 'junk = noncoding'. Those people are wrong - but certainly add to the healthy air of confusion you seem keen to exploit. I don't know how many such people are 'biologists'. Even then - you cover this stuff in your degree, but you could well come away thinking that junk was noncoding. Depends if you were paying attention that day. There are many biological specialisms, and expert in one does not = expert in all.

      Wells says "the dominant view was that non-protein-coding regions had no function". If the dominant view was as stated, universities were doing a really poor job of educating biologists in gene expression and control and RNA synthesis.

      Prof Moran is hardly a liar in stating consistently that he thinks
      a) few if any people in the field ever meant 'noncoding DNA' when they said 'junk'
      b) the junk fraction is substantial.
      c) people in the field have been resistant to b)

      Even if 'most' biologists resist b, observing that does not make a liar out of one who doesn't.

      Hard, of course, to be more definitive about where on the 0-100% continuum people would actually pin their flags (only a bozo would go for 0 or 100). I think it fair to say that, as of now, well over 90% of biologists in the field would agree that at least 50% of the genome is non-functional. The greater you make the latter figure, the lesser will become the former.

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    19. Andre Gross asks how many biologists believed in junk DNA in the early 1970s.

      How many did not say so versus how many did? What is the total count of Biologists?

      Why don't you ask Jonathan Wells, Jonathan McLatchie, David Klinghoffer, or Casey Luskin? I'm sure they must have the answer because they've been making the claim that it's a majority for some years and their attempt to show that scientists were stupid depends on the truth of the claim.

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    20. @Andre Gross,

      Do me a favor and admit that you were wrong when you said ...

      The human genome has more noncoding DNA than any other animal known to date ...

      Be brave. I know you can do it.

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    21. It doesn't matter what fraction of molecular biologists believed junk DNA existed, or what fraction of molecular biologists thought most of the genome is junk.

      What matters is that ID creationists said, and continue to say, that molecular biologists equated non-coding DNA = junk DNA, but no molecular biologist ever said non-coding DNA = junk DNA, so ID proponents like Jonathan Wells, Casey Luskin and Jonathan M were lying. We caught them dead to rights.

      The quotes presented by Andre Gross only underline the dishonesty of the ID creationists. No ID creationist has presented even one example of a molecular biologist saying that he/she believes non-coding DNA = junk DNA.

      I have already debunked most of these quotes during a brief period when comments were opened at ENV. Casey Luskin copied the same quotes from Jonathan Wells' book, plus about a dozen others, and in not one of them, in not one does any molecular biologist state that non-coding DNA = junk DNA. I debunked all their "evidence", and they closed comments at ENV because the evidence of their dishonesty was irrefutable.

      Nevertheless, the ID creationists are determined to repeat the same lies over and over, and we are forced to debunk the same fake "evidence" over and over.

      The Jerry Coyne quote refers exclusively to pseudogenes, which make up a small minority of non-coding DNA, just 1 or 2% of it. Because pseudogenes are a small minority of non-coding DNA, his statement cannot honestly be taken to mean that non-coding DNA = junk DNA.

      Nevertheless, ID creationists lied and said the quote showed that Jerry Coyne equated non-coding DNA = junk DNA.

      In the Michael Shermer quote, he does not say non-coding DNA = junk DNA, and he is a historian, not a molecular biologist. His first sentence mentions junk DNA and his second sentence mentions non-coding DNA, but he does not say they are the same.

      Shermer's first sentence: "We have to wonder why the Intelligent Designer added to our genome junk DNA, repeated copies of useless DNA, orphan genes, tandem repeats, and pseudogenes, none of which are involved directly in the making of a human being."

      If by making a human being, Shermer means coding for protein, then Shermer is saying that junk DNA is a subset of non-coding DNA. This is the converse of saying that non-coding DNA is a subset of junk DNA, which is what ID creationists say he said. What Shermer actually said is the converse of what ID creationists say he said.

      In the Dawkins quote from 1976, he is talking about retrotransposons. Retrotransposon DNA is a subset of non-coding DNA, so he cannot and does not say non-coding DNA = junk DNA. Rather he is explaining the historical origin of transposon DNA, which makes up a majority of the genome, from what he calls "parasitic genes." Dawkins' statement, "The simplest way to explain the surplus DNA is to suppose that it is a parasite, or... a harmless but useless passenger", describes the historical origin of transposon DNA, and does not say non-coding DNA = non-functional DNA. "Surplus DNA" here refers to a large subset of non-coding DNA, but he obviously does not say that non-coding DNA = "surplus DNA."

      Nevertheless, ID creationists lied and said that Dawkins equated non-coding DNA = junk DNA.

      So there was no valid evidence presented here, or at ENV, of any molecular biologist or geneticist saying that non-coding DNA is equal to, or a subset of, junk DNA.

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    22. Gross: I've given you two examples outside of the usual crowd on what the view use to be

      He has not, of course. Gross confusingly copied-n-pasted from other creationist websites, which in turn cited a book "Human Origins 101" written by Holly Dunsworth.

      Dunsworth does not say non-coding DNA = junk DNA, in fact she says non-coding DNA may be functional, and she's not a molecular biologist nor geneticist; she is a post-doc in anthropology at Penn State U.

      Dunsworth ignorantly says that humans have more non-coding DNA than any other species, which shows that she is ignorant of basic, basic genetics. Her statements are so obviously inaccurate, she cannot represent what molecular biologists or geneticists think, when she's that ignorant of basic, basic genetics.

      At most, the Dunsworth quote from "Human Origins 101" shows that some anthropologists are grossly ignorant of basic, basic genetics. That point I will concede.

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    23. Wait, wait, wait. I'm confused. ID proponets believe in evolution as well, don't they? You, for example, do not believe that humans and trilobites swam the lakes togehter, right? I'm not trying to be snarky. I cannot find a single source of what 'ID theory' actually proports or predicts. I thought that ID agrees with all the basic tenets of evolutionary theory like gradual change of organisms over time, natural selection, speciation, common ancestory of all life forms on earth, etc. I thought the only difference between the explanations is that ID invoked an incorporeal, conscious designer..a.k.a a God. Please give me a rundown on what ID theory is. Is the thing or spirit still doing the designing...like causing mutations? Do you think the first dna molecule was designed and then left to be shaped by natural non-conscious laws? In other words, what is being designed?

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  5. I'm flabbergasted. Why would a man who's just been demonstrated to be flat out wrong return and start to straight up fucking lie? This Andre guy has just zero fucking clue and is just making shit up as he goes along.

    WHY DO IDIOTS CONSTANTLY BEHAVE LIKE THIS?

    Seriously Andre. Doesn't it even bother you that you're forced to straight up rewrite the narrative here? You were shown to be wrong and the only thing you can offer in return amounts to insisting you're right, tailed by some out of nowhere and hilarious swipe at "naturalists".

    PS: Transcriped =/= important biological function. (Yes, IDiots like J. Wells and D. Klinghoffer like to wibble around on the usual creationists lack of understanding of this). The fact that a region is transcribed doesn't mean it has a function.

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  6. I remember that several decades ago the phrase "I know I am special because God don't [sic] make no [sic] junk" was widely circulated by religious types. Dawkins would probably call it a a "meme." I suspect that the opposition between "God" and "junk" is emotionally powerful, and therefore believers are desperate to show that humans "ain't got no junk" in them. Bad enough to be descended from apes, but from junk....

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