Dawkins junk back flip occurred in a debate with UK Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks on science and religion, (on BBC Parliament, 18 Sep 2012), when recent discoveries by the ENCODE project came up. The most significant discovery made by this project was that large amounts of so-called “junk DNA” in the human genome have been found to have functions. (See our report here). Dawkins commented: “I have noticed that there are some creationists who are jumping on [the ENCODE results] because they think that’s awkward for Darwinism. Quite the contrary it’s exactly what a Darwinist would hope for, to find usefulness in the living world …” However, in his 2009 book The Greatest Show on Earth , Dawkins wrote: “… it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes”. In an article on the website Evolution News and Views 20 September 2012 David Klinghoffer commented: “A wonderful man like Rabbi Sacks would probably have to shed his courtliness for a moment to properly call out Dawkins on this blatant, unacknowledged and suspiciously convenient self-contradiction. Ah well, as we knew already, being a Darwinist means never having to say ‘I was wrong’”. A video of the debate can be seen on the Evolution News and Views website.
Editorial Comment: If Dawkins really believed Darwinists expected to find “usefulness in the living world” he has had plenty of opportunities to say so, especially as his book The Greatest Show on Earth is subtitled The Evidence for Evolution . In 2009, when the book was published, Dawkins presented the lack of usefulness in the genome as evidence for evolution, because no Creator would make such a wasteful system. Now in 2012 he claims the usefulness of the genome is positive evidence for mindless evolution. Now we admit, evolution may be a theory about change, but that does not excuse Dawkins blatantly reversing his story, unless he wants us to conclude that truth doesn’t matter to him, and evidence is a trivial inconvenience. (Ref. sceptics, genome, atheism)