John Avise commences his paper with a quotation from Michael Behe affirming that research into the molecular workings of the cell leads unambiguously to the conclusion: “design!” To counter this, Avise presents the human genome as clear evidence for non-sentient design. He thinks that conventional evolutionary mechanisms are perfectly capable of explaining complexity, declaring: “it is not my intent here to repeat the voluminous evidence for how natural selection in conjunction with other nonsentient evolutionary forces can yield complex adaptations”. Instead, he suggests that the decision as to whether the design is intelligent or non-sentient can be made by looking at the imperfections and flaws evident in the cell’s molecular systems.
“Both a Creator God and natural selection are powerful shaping forces that might be expected to have engineered beautiful functionality and efficiency into complex biological features, such as the human genome. The much greater challenge – for proponents of ID and for scientists alike – is to explain complex biological traits that operate inefficiently or even malfunction overtly. On closer inspection, the human genome itself becomes a prime example of a highly complex trait with serious molecular shortcomings.”
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