Monday, 17 September 2012

Darwinists Still Struggling to Accept the Demise of Junk DNA

Dr. Jonathan Wells predicted the downfall of “junk DNA” in his book published last year.

Joel Kontinen

The response of some Darwinians to the recent demise of ”junk DNA” is interesting. Larry Moran, for instance, does not want to let the facts spoil a theory that he believes is good. Commenting on an article in the Washington Post, he writes:

This is wrong. Most of our genome is still junk in spite of what the ENCODE Consortium says… Here's the important question. Who is going to take responsibility for this PR fiasco?”

It’s a rather peculiar statement from a scientist.

However, we should probably not be surprised, as many well-known evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins (1976), Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel (1980), Michael Shermer (2006), Jerry Coyne (2009) and PZ Myers (2011) have also promoted the concept of junk DNA as evolutionary leftovers.

Crick and Orgel regarded “junk DNA” as “the ultimate parasite”. Dawkins described it as “a parasite, or at best a harmless but useless passenger, hitching a ride in the survival machines created by the other DNA.” Coyne called it vestigial.

While a few orthodox Darwinians might have disagreed with the strict parasite view, the early breakthroughs were made by scientists who to at least to some extent were dissenters. For instance, in 2005 James Shapiro and Richard von Sternberg published a paper entitled Why repetitive DNA is essential to genome function.

Interestingly, some Darwinists are still trying to re-write their past views on junk DNA. But Google has made their task somewhat harder.


Moran, Laurence A. 2012. Washington Post: "‘Junk DNA’ concept debunked by new analysis of human genome". Sandwalk (September 9).

Shapiro, James A. 2012. Bob Dylan, ENCODE and Evolutionary Theory: The Times They Are A-Changin' Huffington Post (12 September).