In a recent post I described a scenario and asked a question to Dr. Moran as follows:
In a comment to a prior post Larry Moran writes:
Craig Venter and his colleagues constructed a synthetic genome and inserted it into a cell. The DNA determined the structure and properties of the organism that grew and after many subsequent generations we have a new species that behaves exactly like it was supposed to based on the genes that the scientists built.
Now Dr. Moran, suppose that new species escaped the lab and was captured by a researcher who had no idea about Venter’s work. Suppose further that researcher concluded that the genome of the creature had been intelligently designed. Would that researcher’s design inference be the true and best explanation of the creature’s genome’s provenance?
Dr. Moran answered the question:
The answer is “yes,” the researcher correctly observed that the genome of the synthetic organism is nothing like the genomes of real species. It lacks pseudogenes, transposons, and any trace of junk DNA and the sequence of its genes and regulatory regions is far too perfect to have evolved naturally.
And I responded to his answer:
Dr, Moran, you astonish me. In a good way. Thank you for admitting that design leaves indicia that are empirically detectable in biological organisms, and that a design inference is perfectly valid if those indicia are present.
I congratulate Dr. Moran for following the data where it leads and making the most reasonable inferences from that data.
Furthermore, after reviewing my response, I realized I owe Dr. Moran an apology. I extend my apologies to him for assuming he would he would not follow the data and make a reasonable inference. My assumption was, I realize, based on prejudice (in the sense of “pre” and “judging”) and that was especially inexcusable coming, as it did, just days after I accused Dr. Moran of being prejudiced against me.