I am baffled as to why some people are so offended by the te
I am baffled as to why some people are so offended by the term 'junk DNA.' The colleagues I work with don't find the subject that mysterious or controversial. Some scientists such as Francis Collins make baffling statements about junk DNA that few of my colleagues at our Center for Genome Sciences would agree with. (Many of the things Collins says make my colleagues groan and roll their eyes.) And some religious people have latched on to the strange notion that there can't be any non-functional DNA in our genomes, because God wouldn't be so wasteful. Given the waste we can directly observe in the natural world, I find that reasoning rather dubious. It's not that hard: some DNA is obvious junk, some DNA we have no clue about - it may be junk, it may be important, we just don't know, and some DNA is obviously functional. Some of the stuff we think is junk will turn out to be functional, but it's unwarranted to think that most of the known junk, taking up a huge amount of space in our genomes, will ever be more than just junk.