There were some interesting exchanges during the debate. I want to talk about one of them.
Krauss tried to hammer Meyer on the "ID is not science" issue using quotes from a judge based on things said by lawyers in the Dover trial.1 Krauss tried to dismiss ID by saying that it never makes predictions but Meyer countered effectively by pointing out that ID predicts that most of our genome is functional and claiming that the prediction was confirmed by the ENCODE study.
The ID position is that Darwinists predicted that our genome would be full of junk while Intelligent Design Creationists predicted that most of our genome would be functional. ID was correct and Darwinism was wrong, according to this story.
Both Lawrence Krauss and Denis Lamoureux accepted the "fact" that ENCODE was right and most of the DNA in our genome has a function. Krauss was also hampered by his misunderstanding of evolution. It's obvious that he accepts the Richard Dawkins view of evolution so he tried to accommodate the ENCODE results by saying it's what you would expect of natural selection. This is the Richard Dawkins position.
Krauss tried to downplay the issue by saying that ID had not predicted what those functional parts of the genome would be doing but this was a weak rebuttal.
The facts are these ....
- "Darwinists"—those who claim that natural selection is the only game in town—were opposed to the idea that most of our genome is junk. They still are.
- Today, the majority of experts believe that most of our genome is junk in spite of the ENCODE publicity campaign from 2012.
- The ENCODE Consortium has backed off it's original claim and now agrees that they misused the word "function." Some of them blame the media for distorting their position.
- The ID "prediction" has been falsified.
I talked to Denis Lamoureux after the debate to let him know that he was wrong about ENCODE and he was very gracious. I promised to send him more information. A genome full of junk DNA poses no threat to his version of Theistic Evolution.
Lawrence Krauss is an expert on cosmology but he's very weak on biology. I know it's common for physicists to think they are experts in everything but that's just not true. It was demonstrated in last night's debate.
1. This is a bad strategy. It's better to accept that ID proponents are doing science but just doing it very badly. Meyer ignored the issue of whether ID counted as science. He just presented the scientific case for ID and forced Krauss to respond to his "evidence."