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Is there garbage in our genome? Carl Zimmer’s March 8 article about the debate in the scientific community over junk DNA sparked a conversation that spread to the blogs of half a dozen scientists.

Zimmer wrote that some scientists, like T. Ryan Gregory, a evolutionary biologist at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, argue that if DNA is mostly functional, then it’s hard to explain why rather humble species, like the onion, have far more DNA than we do. From this perspective, “giant genomes only make sense . . . if we give up thinking about life as always evolving to perfection,” Zimmer wrote.

“Exactly!” responded Paul Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a well-known foe of creationism, on his blog, Pharyngula. “If evolution works, this is what we expect, whereas a human genome that was three billion nucleotides worth of perfectly optimized, functional DNA is what creationists want . . . and why they’re so adamant in denying the evidence.”

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