ID has problems with keeping its dogma straight
But in fact, DNA isn’t exactly like a blueprint. Only a fraction of its sections are directly involved in creating proteins and building life. Most of it seems to be excess DNA, where mutations can occur harmlessly. Edge of Evolution, p. 66
The above is a rather unexceptional statement by Behe, a reasonable inference from past data, if possibly it is being superseded by later research results.
But one of the more persistent, if typically bizarre (particularly in light of how IDists typically deny that “design” has any expectations, other than irreducible complexity and the like), claims of IDists is that ID predicts that most “junk DNA” has uses. Somehow, one of their “leading lights” failed to recognize this “prediction,” quite possibly because it cannot be derived from the vague claims of “ID theory.”
Of course evolution doesn’t really make predictions either way about “junk DNA,” other than that nothing in evolution precludes junk DNA from existing in genomes (very little apparent junk DNA exists in most prokaryotic organisms, while tandem repeats, duplications, and transposons almost certainly produce some true junk DNA in eukaryotes). This hasn’t prevented IDists from claiming that “neo-Darwinism” insists that much of our genomes has to be junk. Here’s a recent example from the ignorant Casey Luskin:
Study Challenges Two Icons of Evolution: Functional Junk DNA Shows “Surprising” Genetic Differences Between Humans and Apes
These sources promoting the classic “junk DNA” icon of neo-Darwinism need updating, as a Yale University news release from earlier this month recalls the fact that “[i]n the last several years, scientists have discovered that non-coding regions of the genome, far from being junk, contain thousands of regulatory elements that act as genetic ‘switches’ to turn genes on or off.” In this case, the junk triggered genes that control human thumb and foot development.
Most studies that have claimed that humans and apes have nearly identical genomes have primarily looked at the gene-coding portions of the genome, not the non-coding DNA (formerly claimed to be “junk”). Perhaps as biologists study the non-coding regions of our genome, they will find evidence that challenges two icons of evolution: Not only does “junk” DNA have function, but humans aren’t as genetically similar to apes as was once thought. [bolding added] Casey Luskin lying for the DI
I guess if you have nothing honest to say, just pick your favorite lie and call it an “icon of evolution,” never bothering to consider why it is that Behe repeats “the classic “junk DNA” icon of neo-Darwinism,” being oblivious both to its “neo-Darwinian” status and to any “prediction” of ID that “most junk DNA” will be found to have a purpose.
The only apparent reason for the constant drumbeat about how “junk DNA” really does have function, and that ID is supposed to predict that it does while “neo-Darwinism” is supposed to predict otherwise, is that IDists are desperate to come up with any kind of evidence for their claims. That they have none is adequately shown by the fact that one of ID’s “leading theorists,” Behe, fails to recognize either assertion in his most recent book, in spite of his own eagerness to fault “neo-Darwinism” at every turn.
You’d think that people who just make up things as they go along would have the sense to get together to get their stories straight. ID fails even to design its own propaganda intelligently.
This is part of a series of posts that I am combining into one long post, which may be found at Darwin’s Black Box.