Because he's had all that training in how to think correctly, he gets the difference between junk DNA and functional DNA. Read his post at: ENCODE says what? (C'est what?).
Think about your answer to the Random Genome Project thought experiment.
So a-ha, there’s the real question. The experiment that I’d like to see is the Random Genome Project. Synthesize a hundred million base chromosome of entirely random DNA, and do an ENCODE project on that DNA. Place your bets: will it be transcribed? bound by DNA-binding proteins? chromatin marked?
Of course it will.
The Random Genome Project is the null hypothesis, an essential piece of understanding that would be lovely to have before we all fight about the interpretation of ENCODE data on genomes. For random DNA (not transposon-derived DNA, not coding, not regulatory), what’s our null expectation for all these “functional” ENCODE features, by chance alone, in random DNA?
(Hat tip to The Finch and Pea blog, a great blog that I hadn’t seen before the last few days, where you’ll find essentially the same idea.)