Evolutionary biologist T. Ryan Gregory of the University of Guleph in Canada has offered ID supporters an 8-Fold Path to scientific legitimacy in an entry at his blog 'Genomicron', entitled -
An opportunity for ID to be scientific.
Seems T. Ryan has his nose a bit bent out of shape by recent developments in genetics which have demonstrated "Junk DNA" to actually have functions. Well, it's not so much that the discoveries have angered him, it's that ID proponents predicted that much the so-called 'junk' would turn out to have functions. While avoiding the issue of why it was that mainstream evolutionary biologists considered non-coding DNA to be useless for so long, he does invite IDers to the table at last…
…provided, of course, they can jump through his eight flaming hoops. Below the fold are all of Gregory's demands – sans commentary from me – for your amusement and analysis:
1. Specify the basis for assuming that all non-coding DNA must be functional.
2. Specify how one would go about demonstrating evidence of functions for non-coding DNA in the absence of a framework based on common descent.
3. Make specific predictions about what function(s) all non-coding DNA is likely to be fulfilling, and propose ways to test those predictions.
4. Propose functions for transposable elements that take into account their parasitic characteristics [...] but do not invoke the notion of co-option.
5. Provide a specific explanation for how the great majority of transposable elements in the human genome can be functional while showing clear signs of being inactive.
6. Provide an explanation for why the DNA sequences of non-coding regions in different species appear to correspond to degree of relatedness.
7. Propose a testable explanation for why similar species may have widely different quantities of non-coding DNA in their genomes.
8. If one does accept common descent, propose a testable explanation for how there can be significant reductions in DNA content in some lineages.
There you have it. 8 very simple requests which, once complete ID answers been provided to T. Ryan Gregory's satisfaction, will allow him to possibly think about maybe suspecting there might be something to ID after all. Or not.
[H/T: Joey Campana]