Casey: 50% Junk DNA Is Proof of Design


We deploy that delightful illustration whenever Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, writes about junk DNA. The last time we posted about this was Casey and Junk DNA, Yet Again.

For background (which our regular readers can skip), you need to know that since the earliest days of this humble blog, the Discovery Institute has been claiming that there’s no such thing as junk DNA. They insist that the genome is perfectly designed, without flaws, and every little scrap of it is designed to be functional. After all, their transcendental designer — blessed be he! — wouldn’t do it any other way.

Whenever the Discoveroids make that claim, we point out that there are other organisms — regarded as less complicated that we are — that have genomes far larger than ours. Consider the Polychaos dubium. The genome of that amoeba has 200 times more base pairs than ours. And then there’s the humble onion. Although not as spectacular as the amoeba, the onion’s genome is five times larger than ours. What does that say about the work of the designer? What wonders lurk within the onion’s DNA that the designer deliberately left out of ours?

The Discoveroids went bonkers over the ENCODE project. Casey posted Our Top 10 Evolution-Related Stories: #1, ENCODE Project Buries “Junk DNA”. We wrote about it here: The Discoveroids’ Top Story for 2012. Since then there have been studies that continue to confirm the fact that most of our genome is junk (see Hey Casey! Our Genome Is 93% Junk), but the Discoveroids can’t abandon their fantasy that the genome is perfect, from beginning to end.

Aside from the sloppiness of the genome, the Discoveroids have other problems. The “design” of humans, for example, is far from a skilled design — see Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer. It doesn’t happen very often, but they sometimes have to admit that the designer’s work isn’t perfect — see Discovery Institute: The Designer Can Be Sloppy. Considering the designer’s chaotic work product, it’s amazing that the Discoveroids can recognize something as being his heavenly handiwork, yet they insist that they have that ability.

Casey Luskin — our favorite creationist — is determined to stay with his claim that our DNA is perfect, or perfect enough that it must be the result of design. His latest post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is ENCODE, Evolution, and the Percentage of the Genome That’s Functional. Casey says, with bold font added by us:

ENCODE researchers got together in Potomac, MD, from June 29-July 1 for the ENCODE 2015: Research Applications and Users Meeting. … Apparently some of those researchers are backing away from ENCODE’s initial claims that 80 percent of the human genome is functional, and now claim that it’s more like 50 percent functional.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Is Casey upsset? Amazingly, no. He claims that they’re backing down “to avoid incurring further wrath from evolution-defenders,” and he asks:

Here’s what I wonder: Do any of them [evolution-defenders] appreciate that even the 50 percent of our genome that they already believe is functional refutes unguided evolution …? So whether it’s 50 percent functionality or 80 percent functionality, that’s bad for unguided evolutionary models!

Huh? To begin with, far more than 50% of the genome appears to be junk. But even if it were only 50% (Casey desperately hopes it doesn’t get any worse), how does a genome that is half junk cause problems for evolution — or provide support for intelligent design? This is from the end:

My guess is that it will take specific studies of specific elements before some ENCODE proponents have the guts to stand up to critics and once again affirm a figure beyond 50 percent. That will require a lot of research and a lot of time. But as I said, even the 50 percent they do admit as being functional is itself FAR beyond what evolutionary biology predicted. For proponents of unguided evolutionary models, it seems, the game is already up.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Evolution made no prediction about junk in DNA. But when all that junk showed up, evolution could accommodate it. An organism merely has to be adequate for survival, not perfect. But it’s different for a divinely designed organism — that must be perfect.

Sorry, Casey. Even if the genome were “only’ 50% junk, your designer has a lot of explaining to do. And so do you.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

10 responses to “Casey: 50% Junk DNA Is Proof of Design

  1. Maybe the problem is that the IDiots have genomes that are 99.99% junk. Doesn’t leave much for rational thought.

  2. My guess is that it will take specific studies of specific elements before some ENCODE proponents have the guts to stand up to critics and once again affirm a figure But as I said, even the 50 percent they do admit as being functional is itself FAR beyond what evolutionary biology predicted. For proponents of unguided evolutionary models, it seems, the game is already up.
    Actually, most biologists originally assumed that essentially all of the genome was functional. Then they began finding more and more of it which didn’t seem to have any function. That was the real problem for evolution, since nonfunctional genetic material should be weeded out by natural selection. Fortunately, it now appears that a great deal of so-called “junk” plays a role in regulating the protein-producing (“non-junk”) genes–so they’re not junk after all and would not be eliminated by selection.

    Unsurprisingly, Mr. Luskin had hold of the problem the wrong way around from the start. Don’t trust him with sharp objects or firearms.

  3. Casey Luskin just keeps eating that s#!t sandwhich and telling everybody just how much better it is than the s#!t sandwhich he used to eat, cuz it’s got less fecal matter and might have some mayo in there, too.

    Casey, it doesn’t matter how much of it your sandwhich contains, or any of the other ingredients. It’s a s#!t sandwhich.

  4. This is an opportunity gift-wrapped for the Discovery Institute, really. With my limited -very limited- knowledge of how research is done and how labs operate, I can still imagine a project in which the Discovery Institute begins examining a gene (or better yet, a group of genes) considered to be junk, and then systematically shows how each of them is not junk.

    I’ll leave the details to the DI’s science team/green screen scheduler. I’m a big picture guy.

  5. Caaaaaassseeeeyyyy. My oil and gas geologist friends and their families want to invite you to a beach party in Galveston next month.
    We’ll have a beach house on the first row and plan on having a Cajun buffet followed by a bonfire on the beach.
    This will be your opportunity to convince me and my fellow geoscientists
    of your incredible discoveries regarding the way things really are.
    Personally, my next isopach is going to be labelled ‘Discoverable Interval Reservoir” One miracle after another.

  6. Dave Luckett

    An organism doesn’t even have to be fully adequate at something – only able to derive some benefit from it, and to use whatever resource it is exploiting as well as the immediate competition. As soon as competition arises that uses the resource better, the rules change, of course. Natural selection plus Malthus’s principle cuts in. But until then, “close enough for government work” rules.

  7. From what I’ve read, it appears that the ENCODE project identified any part of the genome that had a chemical reaction as functional. It didn’t really matter what the reaction was or what it led to. It appears that they are now beginning to be a little more discriminatory in what they consider functional. I imagine the percentage will continue to become smaller and smaller with time.

    Casey is busy moving the goalposts again. He must have a sore back by now.

    Someone should ask him what percent he thinks is consistent with “unguided evolution.” Clearly 50% is too high for evolution, per Casey, but what if ENCODE came out to say that upon further review the percent is actually 20%, or 10%? Is there ANY percentage that Casey would accept as consistent with evolution? Of course not. No matter where the percentage winds up, it will be evidence for ID – although Casey et. al. are unlikely to ever provide any sort of mathematical or other proof to support their case. They will, just like here, simply claim it is too high.

    Do I remember right – that Jonathan Wells and others used to claim that the entire genome would eventually be proven to be functional? It was something to the effect that new functions are being found all the time, and eventually … Now that ENCODE is going the other direction, Casey is claiming that well, 50% is okay…it still disproves evolution. I wonder if Wells has weighed in yet. He’s pretty much staked his reputation on junk DNA being a “myth.”

  8. Great Scot!

    0% junk, 50% junk, 100% junk – its all evidence of intelligent design don’t you know! With no theory, no testing, no proof and no relation to reality you can claim anything! Just read Casey’s article!

  9. “his claim that our DNA is ….. perfect enough that it must be the result of design. ”
    Beware, my dear SC – you might have read so much creacrap that you might begin to take over their stupid usage of language. Anything less than perfect is not perfect enough by definition, especially if we’re talking Grand Old Designers.

  10. Good caption for the photo —

    “And you ask, ‘Why are there still monkeys?’ “