From O’Leary for News: Further to Cornelius Hunter’s “Evolutionist: We do not promote any ‘spiritual ideologies,’” (in which he recounts that recent findings about RNA structure conservation suggest that even more of the mammalian genome is functional than supposed, hence there is less “junk DNA”:
I’ve never clearly understood Darwin’s fans attachment to junk DNA. It makes a good “anti-God” statement, as long as you are certain that the stuff is not and never could be any use. But that is precisely what is now widely contested. And it was a trap they need not have fallen into.
But a simple illustration will show that even if most of the information in DNA were never used, it would still be valuable. Let us say I have a directory of members of a club I belong to. I never use most of the phone numbers. Many numbers may never be used by anyone.
Does lack of use make that proportion of the directory junk? Of course not, because the function, hence the value, of a directory is that it links the names of members with phone numbers. Its value to the club does not reside in constant, total use but in usefulness if needed. In other words, in its comprehensiveness.
A directory that showed me only the numbers I was likely to use would function no better than the address book in my purse, and might betray me precisely when the directory in my purse can’t help me either (= the phone number of that person whose name I forget through whom I can book the club gazebo for free). That’s why the members’ directory is considered a benefit.
What if junk DNA is in fact a similar list of possibilities? That is, a life form can possibly do or be what is in it but not what isn’t in it. That would accord much better with recent findings about the limits of evolution. In that case, there is no such thing as junk DNA.
One could largely predict evolution, once one could read the library. Evolution would at last become a science, not just Darwin’s followers’ creed.
See also: He said it: Darwin’s junk DNA zealots “have forfeited any claim to be speaking for science”