Re: [asa] How big a deal is homology?

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Tue Mar 27 2007 - 17:41:23 EDT

On 3/27/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> *For this reason, though I once thought that software-module re-use was a
> good explanation (and several creationists I've tried to argue with have
> made such arguments as Jim presents below), I no longer do so.
> *
> This is one thing that bothered me about Collins' book. He certainly
> establishes beyond doubt the genetic relationships that tie all of life
> together and that fact that the human genome has changed over time. But I
> still think there's a big leap between those facts and a complete
> evolutionary story that necessarily elides any acts of progressive creation.

To be sure there are gaps, but it is the job of science to fill the gaps,
and not really to give up and say that God is in the gaps.

> And also, computer code is only one metaphor for creation. We could also
> think of God as an artist working on a canvas, striving for sweep, grandeur,
> and pure expression, rather than a computer engineer striving for the
> most parsimonious code. If we were to examine a master painting carefully
> with x-rays and such, we'd be able to see early sketches, foundational color
> layers, and the like, which were part of the creative process, but which
> aren't all directly functional in the finished work. We might even find
> bits of whimsy -- "easter eggs" and graffiti -- that have no functional
> relationship to the finished work at all. Whether we view these things as
> wasteful mistakes, or as flashes of creative spirit, depends on how we
> approach the artist and his work.

I don't really find the artist metaphor any more convincing than the
computer code one. It's not a question of early sketches being found under
the layers. The pseudo-gene that is a working gene in other species is not
beneath the surface - it's directly in the code. It is as if your artist
had clumsily scribbled over a bit of the picture that you're now supposed to
ignore. I think your illustration merely replaces an incompetent computer
programmer with a bodger of an artist. Neither of these really correspond
to the God I worship. But to pull of a trick like defining the laws and
constants of the universe so that everything assembles itself automatically
- now that's really impressive!


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Received on Tue Mar 27 17:41:34 2007

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