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Saturday, January 06, 2024

Why do Intelligent Design Creationists lie about junk DNA?

A recent post on Evolution News (sic) promotes a a new podcast: Casey Luskin on Junk DNA’s “Kuhnian Paradigm Shift”. You can listen to the podcast here but most Sandwalk readers won't bother because they've heard it all before. [see Paradigm shifting.]

Luskin repeats the now familiar refrain of claiming that scientists used to think that all non-coding DNA was junk. Then he goes on to list recent discoveries showing that some of this non-coding DNA is functional. The truth is that no knowledgeable scientist ever claimed that all non-coding DNA was junk. The original idea of junk DNA was based on evidence that only 10% of the genome is functional and these scientists knew that coding regions occupied only a few percent. Thus, right from the beginning, the experts on genome evolution knew about all sorts of functional non-coding DNA such as regulatory sequences, non-coding genes, and other things.

This has been explained over and over again to Casey Luskin and other Intelligent Design Creationists over the past 25 years. That means they must be lying when they repeat this false claim.

There are many real scientists who also propagate the myth that all non-coding DNA was originally thought to be junk. I attribute most of those false claims in the scientific literature to ignorance rather than deliberate misrepresentation (lies) because when I contact those scientists they seem to be genuinely unaware of the history of junk DNA and are just repeating a common misconception without actually checking the scientific literature from 50 years ago [Junk DNA vs noncoding DNA].

Note: The podcast mentions the book The Myth of Junk DNA by written by Jonathan Wells and published by The Discovery Institute Press in 2011. I have thoroughly reviewed this book and debunked most of Wells' claims [The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells]. I know that Wells has read my review since he has issued the following statement on an ID website [see Jonathan Wells Sends His Regrets].

... I have read Mr. Moran’s review, which is so driven by confused thinking and malicious misrepresentations of my work—not to mention personal insults—that addressing it would be like trying to reason with a lynch mob.

This is proof that leading Intelligent Design Creationists are well aware of the fact that no knowledgeable scientist ever said that all non-coding DNA was junk so if they repeat that unsubstantiated claim they must be lying.


Tony Canning said...

The Myth of Junk DNA... link is incorrect, it links to the paradigm shift essay

Woody Benson said...

Try this link:

Larry Moran said...

@Tony, @Woody

Thanks Fixed it.