Misrepresenting ID Arguments and Rewriting the History of Junk-DNA - Evolution News & Views

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Misrepresenting ID Arguments and Rewriting the History of Junk-DNA

Orac over at Scienceblogs is starting to develop a reputation as someone more interested in calling his opponents names than in accurately representing their positions. His latest misrepresentation involves ENV contributor Casey Luskin and his post on junk-DNA, which Orac called "breathtakingly idiotic" (perhaps like Judge Jones calling ID "breathtakingly inane," as anything which poses a challenge to the status quo must be to a Darwinist?). Orac explained to his readers that Luskin's argument was that "'junk DNA' somehow disproves evolution."

This is a blatant mischaracterization of Luskin's argument. According to Luskin,

Orac totally misrepresents my argument. I'm sure that evolutionary biology can accommodate the finding that "junk"-DNA has function, and such function does not "disprove" evolution (given Darwinist behavior, I wonder if it is even possible to disprove Darwinian evolution). The point of my post is that Darwinism's false presumption that non-coding DNA was "junk" had stopped science from investigating function for non-coding DNA and therefore hindered research.

Not content merely to attribute arguments to people who never made them, Orac goes on to attack Luskin for referencing a Scientific American article because, as he notes, it's a popular science magazine. Aside from the fact that this is a rhetorically weak argument on its face (Orac ridiculously implies that Scientific American is necessarily wrong simply because it's a lay magazine), Orac's bigger problem is that Luskin's argument regarding junk-DNA addressed a statement by John S. Mattick, director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. It's not the authority of Scientific American he should challenge, but that of Dr. Mattick.

Throughout his angry blog post, Orac is doing everything he can to erase the simple historical fact that the false "junk"-DNA mindset originated from Neo-Darwinism. (Here are several examples of Darwinists promoting the "junk"-DNA view.) In response to the historical record, Orac brings up scientists who have sought function for "junk"-DNA. To quote Luskin, of course "some rogue Darwinian biologists have bucked the consensus and promoted the view that non-coding DNA isn't mostly junk. . . . We wouldn't even be having this conversation about the death of "junk"-DNA were it not for the fact that Neo-Darwinism gave it life in the first place." Unfortunately for Orac, neither the existence of a few biologists who challenge the consensus nor any of Orac's name-calling and pejorative metaphors can change the fact that the false "junk"-DNA paradigm was created by Neo-Darwinism.