11 July 2010

Introns. Let's think about this, people. Part IV.

So why is it that I and many other biologists hypothesize that introns are mostly non-functional?

(I'll assume that you've read the previous posts, and that you understand what it is that I mean when I challenge claims that introns are functional elements in an information-rich genome. And to avoid confusion, I'll speak only for myself, although I surmise that a tiny minority of biologists would agree with Steve Meyer's characterization of the human genome.)

Here are the basic data that lead me to conclude that intron sequences are mostly dispensable for biological function. I've provided links to key references, and we can go into more detail in further posts or in the comments.

07 July 2010

Introns. Let's think about this, people. Part III.

What does it mean to claim that an intron has a function?

The question is obviously important, at least as long as there are disputes about whether introns have "functions" and whether science ignored them for decades.

Now, I can't help the ID people with their propensity for repeating falsehoods about the history of "junk DNA" and the role of "Darwinism" in its characterization. But I do think we can move a little closer together on this intron thing. So, first a discussion of the types of functions that are associated with introns then some comments on my specific dispute with Richard Sternberg.