Junk DNA Bet! (Expiration Date: 24 August 2016.)

So, there was this story that my esteemed Clarion classmate Guy Immega (of Vancouver, B.C.) wrote, and he asked for crits. I won’t go into the story in detail since (a) it’s his and (b) I’d rather just footnote this post when the story gets published in an SF magazine, so you can all run out and read it yourselves. But anyway, during crits, a disagreement arose between Guy and myself about the purposiveness of junk DNA. I expressed concern that certain uses of junk DNA might be problematic (especially over the long term), whereas Guy took the opinion it was probably junk, and most definitely so in terms of the upkeep and management of the already-developed body. (You can see how the two views might converge, and there’s even a little evidence that both viewpoints are true, in different contexts, but that’s for us to discuss sometime later, when the statements of scientists studying this area aren’t all couched in “might” and “perhaps”.)

In any case, after some haggling, we agreed on the following bet:

By the year 2016, at least 2 percent of the human genome, from a portion which was considered during 2006 to be ‘junk DNA’, will have been found to demonstrate some important function, be it evolutionary, phenotypical, or otherwise.

I’m betting this statement turns out to be true, while Guy’s betting it will turn out to be false.

If I’m right, then in 2016 Guy will send a groveling email about how wrong he was and I’ll post it here, crowing all the way. If Guy’s prediction turns out to be right, I’ll be posting the groveling letter to Guy, and I’ll give him a space to crow here on my site (that is, if he doesn’t have his own blog by then).

So, uh, watch this space in August 2016. And if both Guy and I forget, remind us!

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