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quinta-feira, agosto 18, 2005

The Human Genome

by Carol Loeffler

The announcement of the completion of human genome mapping has brought some interesting - if not amusing and contradictory - responses from the scientific community about what the map tells us. These differences reveal the growing chasm in the scientific community over the subject of origins and the "end of science." More and more, scientists are being confronted by the fact that science has failed to answer core questions regarding the origins of the universe and life, and the evidence is contradicting much of what has been traditionally believed about Darwinism.

Two articles, which appeared on February 16, 2001, were directly contradictory to each other. They both featured scientists reacting to the genome-mapping project.
The first article, entitled "Darwin Vindicated," was written by Dr. Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The professor asserts that "the genome reveals, indisputably and beyond any serious doubt, that Darwin was right - mankind evolved over a long period of time from primitive animal ancestors. Our genes show that scientific creationism cannot be true. The response to all those who thump their Bible and say there is no proof, no test and no evidence in support of evolution is, 'The proof is right here, in our genes.'" 1

From reading the article, one would be sure that science had once and for all proven the Bible wrong. However, Professor Caplan did not work on the genome project. On the same day, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article entitled, "Human Genome Map Has Scientists Talking About the Divine." It featured an interview with Gene Myers, who was the computer scientist at the Maryland headquarters of Celera Genomics, who actually worked out the genome mapping. Myers said, "We're deliciously complex at the molecular level...We don't understand ourselves yet, which is cool. There's still a metaphysical, magical element." He went on to say, "What really astounds me is the architecture of life...the system is extremely complex. It's like it was designed."2 As to whether this implicated a designer Myers said, "There's a huge intelligence there. I don't see that as being unscientific. Others may, but not me."

The contradiction between these two views is really a clash between two worldviews. Dr. Caplan seized upon the similarities in genetic code as proof that humans and so-called simpler life forms descended from a common ancestor. In his eagerness to affirm evolution, he excluded the possibility that an intelligent creator may have used the same functional coding system for more than one species.

Ironically, many of the same scientists who deny the complex coding system of the DNA molecule as evidence of intelligent design also support the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, which searches the far reaches of the galaxy for the signs of non-random, non-periodic radio signals as signs of alien intelligence. Their bias against God has blinded them to other possible explanations for the scientific data collected.

While the Human Genome Project has successfully produced a map of the human genome, it has yet to map the proteins encoded by our genes. Only one-third of the genes in the human body have been identified by function. 3 Furthermore, just over a third of the human genome contains repetitive sequences that scientists label "junk DNA" because, at the moment, they don't appear to have any function.4 What we do know about the DNA code is that it is digital, error-correcting, redundant, and self-replicating. For all the new advances made in genetics, we are constantly discovering how complex the DNA really is and how much more we have to learn. What has been called "the Book of Life" is more like a library.5 The field is so complex that President Bush is considering a proposal to hire a biotechnology coordinator to act as coordinator among government agencies and scientists in this rapidly changing field.6

The Battle for Minds

There are numerous admissions emerging in the technical literature about serious "problems" with random chance accounting for such complex DNA design, but it goes virtually untold by the gurus of the pop science culture of evolution and their publications.7 Few people outside the scientific disciplines read the actual literature, and the gurus aren't about to tell the public that their prize theory is in real trouble. A new book by Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution, is a bold exposé on the fraudulent support for evolution, which continues to be published in school textbooks and taught as fact. For example, "...evidence for Darwin's theory: peppered moths. Before 1820, most peppered moths were light colored, but during the industrial revolution they became mostly dark colored. In theory, the shift occurred because light colored moths were more visible against pollution-darkened tree trunks and thus were eaten by predatory birds. Textbooks typically illustrate this story with photographs of peppered moths on tree trunks. In the 1980s, however, biologists discovered that peppered moths in the wild don't rest on tree trunks. The textbook photographs were staged-often by gluing or pinning dead moths in place."8

In reality, the current battle of Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design seems more a matter of philosophical debate than evaluation of scientific evidence. The Darwinists are beginning to show the classic, desperate signs of a failing philosophy as their arguments become more and more irrational in an attempt to prop up something that is quickly being refuted. As the dispute rages in the future, keep in mind that making those arguments are brilliant minds: minds capable of analyzing complex data, imagining, theorizing and extrapolating. Those minds are obviously a triumph of random chance...not!

This article was originally published in the
April 2001 Personal Update NewsJournal.

1. Caplan, Arthur, "Darwin Vindicated!" MSNBC, February 21, 2001.
2. Abate, Tom, "Human Genome Map Has Scientists Talking About the Divine," San Francisco Chronicle.com February 19, 2001.
3. Patrizio, Andy, "Genome Effort Hits Home," Wired News, February 17, 2001.
4. Belsie, Laurent, "The Short, Simple Human Gene Map," Christian Science Monitor, February 13, 2001.
5. Jasny, Barbara R. and Kennedy, Donald, "The Human Genome," Science Magazine, February 16, 2001.
6. Rosenberg, Ronald, "Bush May Hire Biotech Coordinator," The Boston Globe, February 21, 2001.
7. Meyers, Dr. Steve, Interview with Dr. Meyers, Director of the Center for Renewal in Science and Culture, Seattle, on the Steel on Steel Radio Program, www.steelonsteel.com, March 10, 2001.
8. Wells, Jonathan, "Let's Change Science Standards And Let Students Do Real Science," Philadelphia Inquirer, December 11, 2000.