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Richard Gallagher Frames Intelligent Design Proponents While Rewriting the History of Junk-DNA (Part 1)

JunkDNA.jpgI recently predicted recently that Darwinists would try to erase the historical fact that Darwinism led to the long-standing presumption that non-coding DNA was largely genetic junk. In the latest issue of The Scientist, editor Richard Gallagher does no less, citing sources that wrongly imply that Neo-Darwinism did not hinder research into function for junk-DNA, and even stating that “[t]he latest iniquity to befall junk DNA is the attempted hijack by proponents of Intelligent Design.” Gallagher’s usage of a terrorism metaphor fits well with Gallagher’s own admission that his article’s purpose is more rhetorical than factual:

While I did start this editorial off with a working title of “The Life and Death of Junk DNA,” a few hours of browsing convinced me that we’ve benefited from a classic “framing” of science. Framing is a recent proposal from Mat Nisbet and Chris Mooney 3 : When scientists engage the public they deliberately select, or frame, the information for the desired audience.

(Richard Gallagher, “Junk Worth Keeping,” The Scientist, Vol. 21(7):15 (July, 2007).)

Gallagher then claims that “[s]ome [ID proponents] would have us believe that their movement has provided the tools to find function in junk DNA.” Of course, Gallagher claims that ID proponents are manipulating the information, but in fact, it is the Panda’s Thumb blog, Gallagher’s source for rewriting history, that is a master at deliberately selecting, or framing, the information for the desired audience.

Citing to the Panda’s Thumb post as “[a] withering critique” of ID that is “educational,” Gallagher’s source is wrong from its first two sentence. It states: “Salvador Cordova, makes the common and fallacious argument that ID somehow predicted function in ‘junk DNA’. In fact, there is no logical foundation for this claim as ID lacks predictive power beyond ‘Darwinism does not explain X’.”

That’s what Darwinists would like ID to say because it fits with their invented story that ID is an untestable, unfalsfiable concept, nothing more than a negative argument against evolution. This statement directly mirrors the false information about ID promoted by the Darwinists at the Dover trial. As I will discuss in upcoming posts, it is simply an historical fact that ID-proponents have long-predicted, in the words Richard Gallagher chose not to use, the “Death of Junk DNA.” It’s also an historical fact that neo-Darwinism inappropriately forestalled the “Death of Junk DNA.” It will also be shown why, logically speaking, ID predicts increased discovery of function for “junk”-DNA.


Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



Junk DNA