Ha! You don't know why we call them IDiots!
Here's the latest contribution from
Jonathan M. does a fine job of putting University of Toronto's Larry Moran in his place on the "junk DNA" theme. I thought, though, that I would try to lift the dispute with Moran -- a biologist whose main contribution to the evolution debate has been introducing his trademark insult term "IDiot"® -- up from the specific to the more general.You gotta give him credit for putting a different spin on the issue while still digging furiously. Now he says that all those prominent biologists equated junk DNA and noncoding DNA just like Jonathan Wells said ... but it runs out they were being deliberately deceptive. They actually new that some noncoding DNA had a function but they (Dawkins, Miller, Avise, and Coyne) wanted to persuade the public that all noncoding DNA is junk.
The reason we call the "Myth of Junk DNA" a myth is this. When writing for the public, guys like Dawkins, Miller, Avise and Coyne imply or flatly state such an equation. But if you questioned them, they'd obviously know better than to stick by that. I say obviously because it's obvious to us but it wouldn't be to the general audience these men seek to persuade.
Hence the correct term, used in the title of Jonathan Wells's book: myth. It serves a propagandizing, mythologizing purpose to put it about that our genome is, but for the small portion that codes for proteins, nothing but a mass of functionless vestigial garbage. If true, that would seem to be a signature trace of an unguided evolutionary process.
That's what scientists do, right? Lie to the public about their area of expertise. Aren't we lucky to have leading intellectuals like David Klinghoffer around to set things right?
For the record, I was a graduate student in 1970 working on, among other things, origins of replication (functional noncoding DNA). I followed closely the discussion about junk DNA and was at many of the meetings. Jonathan McLatchie wasn't born yet and