A friend writes to remind us of John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design (2010). From the Publisher:
Humanity’s physical design flaws have long been apparent–we get hemorrhoids and impacted wisdom teeth, for instance–but do the imperfections extend down to the level of our genes? Inside the Human Genome is the first book to examine the philosophical question of why, from the perspectives of biochemistry and molecular genetics, flaws exist in the biological world. Distinguished evolutionary geneticist John Avise offers a panoramic yet penetrating exploration of the many gross deficiencies in human DNA–ranging from mutational defects to built-in design faults–while at the same time offering a comprehensive treatment of recent findings about the human genome. The author shows that the overwhelming scientific evidence for genomic imperfection provides a compelling counterargument to intelligent design. He also develops a case that theologians should welcome rather than disavow these discoveries. The evolutionary sciences can help mainstream religions escape the shackles of Intelligent Design, and thereby return religion to its rightful realm–not as the secular interpreter of the biological minutiae of our physical existence, but rather as a respectable philosophical counselor on grander matters of ultimate concern.
Now that the very concept of “junk DNA” is being officially retired, this all seems pretty stale.
Also, as IF Avise or any of his ilk would think that any alternative to absolute dead materialism was a “respectable philosophical counselor.” For one thing, in the materialist universe there are no other “grander matters of ultimate concern.” One suspects that more people are onto this sort of thing now than used to be.
See also: You may also wish to read: Term “junk DNA” critiqued at journal. But now remember the history! “The days of ‘junk DNA’ are over…”? So the house is clearly supporting this move away from the Darwinian position. Oh yes, let’s not forget that “junk DNA” was very much a Darwinian position. Most or all of the Darwinian Bigs signed onto junk DNA as part of their thesis about the unguided nature of life. The big question will doubtless be put off for now: Why does it only count if Darwinian predictions are right but never if they are wrong?