Friday, September 26, 2008
Garbage In ...
The Discovery Institute's Gofer General, Tour Guide and Custodian of Science Ignorance, Casey Luskin, has delivered himself of another dose of stupidity and/or dishonesty.
He claims that a Yale University news release from earlier this month threatens one of the "icons" of evolution: the notion that "junk DNA" demonstrates, as Michael Shermer put it, that:
Rather than being intelligently designed, the human genome looks more and more like a mosaic of mutations, fragment copies, borrowed sequences, and discarded strings of DNA that were jerry-built over millions of years of evolution.
As usual, Casey Luskin illustrates the wisdom of Alexander Pope who said 300 years ago, "A little learning is a dangerous thing..."
Nobody who is up on this subject claims that all "non-coding" DNA is junk. We are well aware of the fact that genes have regulatory regions controlling their expression. We've known that for almost 50 years. Regulatory sequences are not junk DNA as I explain in [Junk in Your Genome: Protein-Encoding Genes]. A generous estimate is that 0.6% of our genome could be regulatory sequences controlling transcription.
Casey Luskin doesn't understand any of this. He thinks that the discovery of a tiny regulatory sequence is an Earth-shattering event. It may be to him, but then any little increase in his learning is a big improvement no matter how much he screws it up.
It's just not something that can be said in polite company.
P.S. Abby at ERV also fisks Casey in her inimitable fashion. OMG!
PVM at Panda's Thumb has also deconstructed Casey's nonsense.