222 pages, Figs, tabs
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.
"Wonderfully crafted."--The Journal of Heredity
Mention in Evolutionary Anthropology
listed in Birdbooker Report
"A wonderful trip through the workings--and non-workings!--of the human genome. The author opens the door to a view of life that is exciting for those who love science and theologically stimulating for those with religious beliefs. Everyone who cares about human nature should read this book."--Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University, and author of Darwinism and its Discontents
"Over millennia we have become experts in theodicy--vindicating the perfections of God despite the world's errors and evils. Having now discovered a great deal about life at and below the cellular level, we know that our genetic machinery is full of waste, mistakes, dead ends, and the molecular equivalent of evil. No intelligent designer would produce such a mess. But it works, and it is exactly what would result from genetic
PREFACE; 1. The Eternal Paradox; 2. Fallible Design: Protein-Coding DNA Sequences; 3. Baroque Design: Gratuitous Genomic Complexity; 4. Wasteful Design: Repetitive DNA Elements; 5. Intelligent or Non-Intelligent Design?; EPILOGUE
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