Chapter

Intelligent or Non-Intelligent Design?

John C. Avise

in Inside the Human Genome

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780195393439
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775415 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393439.003.0005
Intelligent or Non-Intelligent Design?

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This chapter recapitulates evidence for rampant imperfection in the molecular architecture and operation of human genomes. Inherent structural flaws as well as mutational glitches combine to produce genomes that are complex but often dysfunctional, and that invariably fall far short of designer perfection. These unassailable empirical findings extend the age‐old theodicy challenge into the previously unexplored molecular realm. From a scientific vantage, however, such genomic flaws are hardly surprising, because natural selection (a primary directive force of evolution) is nonsentient and far from all‐powerful. Contrary to claims from the Intelligent Design movement, the human genome is not irreducibly complex. Widespread imperfections in the human genome are fully consistent, however, with evolutionary expectations. The evolutionary sciences can thus be interpreted as emancipating religions from the ancient philosophical prison of theodicy.

Keywords: genomic flaws; natural selection; irreducible complexity; philosophy; theology; science; theodicy

Chapter.  8679 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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