When you think about it, it’s a better long-term strategy to predict that something has function than that it doesn’t.
Almost fondly, given how amusing it all seems if you are old enough to remember when they were taken seriously. From a piece on how the concept of “pseudogenes” is likewise headed for the composter.
The authors of the paper, of course, avoid pointing out that the presumption of uselessness was anchored in the comfortable fit between useless junk in the genome and the idea of unintelligent evolution. Never mind, Jonathan Wells’ The Myth of Junk DNA seems to be holding up well.
Remember how important pseudogenes (evolution’s huge library of useless junk) once were? By now, Darwin could paper his study with goodbye notes.