Picture 2

Picture 2

Feb 15, 2015

Sequencing DNA and Combinatorics Yield Intelligent Design

I don’t see much conflict anymore between intelligent design and natural selection.  Now that we are sequencing DNA we know that the genetic possibilities are not infinite and they are not random.  Applying a field of mathematics called combinatorics to DNA sequences, gives us a very, very large but finite number of genetic combinations that are mathematically possible. Of those, there are likely a lot smaller but still very large number of combinations that are biologically viable. At this point, if you want to consider the biologically viable genetic combinations intelligently designed I don’t think the science is changed at all.  The natural selection of Darwin chooses which of the biologically viable designs survive and which don't. There's no scientific conflict between intelligent design and survival of the fittest, but there is also no evolution driven by random events. The laws of genetics were all baked in the cake before the natural selection began with the original set of biologically viable designs.

The open questions have to do with the exploration of which of the mathematical genetic combinations are biologically viable. At the moment, we are in the early stages of genetics and can only glimpse that these questions will exist once we get further information. However, I would expect that eventually we will have models that will be able to explore the biologically viable combinations for clues as to hidden aspects of extinct lifeforms. If you want to dwell in the past conflicts of pre-genetic Darwinism versus creationism, enjoy yourself.

The creationists believe G_d designed man. The Darwinists believed man evolved through natural selection. At this point, our knowledge of genetics is leading us towards the position that both are right. So from a scientific point of view, we can stop arguing and get on with more interesting questions.  The only reasons left to argue this are political, not scientific. The argument allows Liberals to feel superior to Conservatives for being "scientific." But the science involved has moved on from the original argument.

Evolution is in the news lately, because Scott Walker refused to answer a question about it.  I think somebody should ask if belief in Darwin is a religious test for holding office in the US. Because any religious test for holding office is unconstitutional. Since Scott Walker refused to answer the question, I think they are assuming he has to answer the question and demonstrate a religious belief in Darwin in order to hold the office of president. They are saying failure to answer the question is disqualifying.