At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne Is Strangely Silent on the ENCODE Results
I noted earlier, referring to Richard Dawkins, the general rule that being a Darwinist means never having to say "I was wrong." Here's another case in point.
On the topic of ENCODE's evisceration of the idea of pervasive junk DNA, the normally boisterous Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True has been strangely quiet. In fact Coyne hasn't mentioned the news at all -- by far the biggest news (of any relevance to evolution) out of the world of science in years. He has instead followed the solid principle that when you feel the need to fill an awkward silence on your Darwinian-atheist blog, rather than addressing a ticklish scientific challenge to your views, just go ahead and make fun of Islam.
There's an easy target. What would we do without it?
Perhaps I missed something at WEIT, but there seems to be not a single mention of ENCODE since the story hit; see here for the search results.
Maybe this is because in his 2009 book Why Evolution Is True, Dr. Coyne gives it as a prediction of neo-Darwinism that the genome should be replete with inactive, functionless "dead genes." This is Coyne's approximate equivalent of what's called elsewhere "junk DNA." He's got a whole section on it, starting at page 71.
Our genome -- and that of other species -- are truly well-populated graveyards of dead genes.He triumphs about how only evolution can explain this state of affairs, whereas appeals to design are stymied by it. Surely this calls for a clarification from Professor Coyne, in light of the news about ENCODE. Yet as I said, Coyne is silent as, well, a graveyard. Hm, wonder why?