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Dan Graur, Darwin’s Reactionary

David Klinghoffer

Dan Graur

Speaking of evolutionary diehards and the desperate defense of the “Junk DNA” myth, Jonathan Wells in Zombie Science quotes the best of all. It’s evolutionary biologist Dan Graur of the University of Houston.

To call him Darwin’s reactionary is an irony, I realize, since this guy is a flaming left-winger, as a glance at his Twitter feed will confirm (the profile photo shows an upside-down American flag). But read what he says about Junk DNA, quoted by Jonathan Wells in his new book:

In 2013, biologist Dan Graur criticized the “evolution-free gospel of ENCODE” and accused its researchers of “playing fast and loose with the term ‘function,’ by divorcing genomic analysis from its evolutionary context.”81 In a lecture at the University of Houston, Graur argued that “if the human genome is indeed devoid of junk DNA as implied by the ENCODE project, then a long, undirected evolutionary process cannot explain the human genome.” In other words: “If ENCODE is right, then evolution is wrong.” But for Graur, evolution can’t be wrong. His solution to the problem? “Kill ENCODE.”82

That puts it pretty plainly. What comes first is the evolutionary gospel. Everything else must be understood in its light. Evolution must be right, as Jonathan Wells summarizes, “no matter what”:

Lots of evolutionists think that way but only the rare Darwinian atheist materialist is willing to state the matter as nakedly as this. No wonder Dr. Graur is among a list of individuals thanked by Dr. Wells in his Acknowledgments for “making embarrassingly candid or unwittingly humorous statements.” You are welcome.

Photo: University of Houston, by Another Believer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Dan GraurENCODEevolutionJunk DNAUniversity of HoustonZombie Science