Hey PZ, when do I get access to the time machine! I’m so jealous.
Apparently sites like Talk Origins and Panda’s thumb have been subverting the study of transposons because of their Darwinist bigotry. And they’ve been doing it since 1956!
According to the press release, however, it has taken scientists decades to investigate and validate this function–a lot longer than it should have: “Bejerano and his colleagues aren’t the first to suggest that transposons play a role in regulating nearby genes. In fact, Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock, PhD, who first discovered transposons, proposed in 1956 that they could help determine the timing for when nearby genes turn on and off.”
Apparently this idea was stalled out due to the evolutionary assumption, Ã¡ la Talk Origins, that they are nothing more than useless “intragenomic parasites.” Yet it was as far back as 1990 that pro-ID scientist and Discovery Institute fellow Forrest Mims had warned in a letter to Science against assuming that “junk” DNA was “useless” (scroll to the bottom of the page to see the letter). Science wouldn’t publish his letter, but it now appears that another prediction of intelligent design has been validated.
Another, likelier possibility is that the extent of transposons in mammalian genomes wasn’t appreciated until results started coming out of the Human genome project which was started in the early eighties, long before this silly letter was rejected by Science.
When I made fun of this tendency of the IDers suggest we “ignored” junk DNA on my old blog I got this great comment from Tim describing the Casey Luskin argument.
“The fly sat upon the axel-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, ‘What a dust do I raise!'”
Or, from the Simpsons:
BURNS: You, Strawberry! Hit a home run!
STRAWBERRY: Sure thing, Skip!
(STRAWBERRY hits home run.)
BURNS: (chuckles) I told him to do that!
SMITHERS: Brilliant strategy, sir.