Re: [asa] Re: "junk" DNA

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 13:21:12 EDT

*It's fair to say that IDist, unless they base their views on their God
not being wasteful, have no way to predict the existence or absence of
junk DNA.*

I've never understood why this is taken as a strong argument againts
ID. "Wasteful," after all, is a value judgment. Assuming God is
the "designer," who is to say that what God has done is "wasteful?"
Wouldn't be more than just a bit arrogant for a human being living at one
particular moment in history, with all the limitations on cognition and
knowledge that implies, to presume that the processes that produce "junk"
DNA are "wasteful?" Even the term "junk" is rather silly, IMHO, regardless
of whether non-coding DNA has any present function, as it also is a value
judgment.

Moreover, if the ID advocate suggests that we "detect" God's design because
of a sort of *analogia entis* -- by some analogy to human design -- it would
not be surprising in the least that God's design would resemble a
*process *that
produces artefacts such as non-coding DNA. I was in the Louvre this
weekend, looking at paintings that were designed by people. Underneath the
layers of visible paint, there are pencil lines that once supplied the
initial outline for the finished design. Those pencil lines no longer serve
any function -- they are covered over by the paint and invisible to the
naked eye. Does the presence of "junk" pencil markings suggest the painting
was created randomly rather than by design? Was it "wasteful" of the
painter to start with pencil rather than to immediately splash paint onto
the canvas?

In addition, a microscopic examination of the canvas would probably reveal
other artifacts of the design process *arising from the design media chosen
by the designer*, which no longer serve any purpose -- say, tiny bits of
fiber from the paint brushes embedded in the layers of paint, or invisible
threads of canvas fiber that have become dislodged into the paint. I would
daresay that in no area of human design is there a design process that
incorporates 100% of the design media into the final functionality. This
isn't necessarily "wasteful" -- it simply reflects the constrains of the
physical media with which designers must work.

Finally, if "waste" is a problem for ID, it is just as much a problem for
TE. In fact, many materialist atheists argue exactly that evolution
necessarily elides *any* concept of the Christian God because of the problem
of "waste." It is ultimately a theodicy problem. And I have to imagine
hearing God's response to Job: "where were you when I laid the foundation
of the world?"

On 6/14/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On 6/14/07, Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu> wrote:
> > Not so fast, Pim, not so fast.
> >
> > ID adherents have for some time been saying precisely this: that "junk
> DNA"
> > isn't junk, that it probably does have a function as yet unknown. This
> > follows from their overall view of biology, and it's fair for them to
> > trumpet this. It is not fair for you to deny them their point.
>
> It's fair to say that IDist, unless they base their views on their God
> not being wasteful, have no way to predict the existence or absence of
> junk DNA. Their main objection to junk DNA was not founded on a
> scientific principle.
>
> In addition, IDists have never really understood the concept of Junk
> DNA nor how science viewed Junk DNA.
>
> That IDists can claim a minor victory has no impact on the simple fact
> that ID remains scientifically vacuous.
> Or explain how ID can 'predict' function for some/all? DNA based upon
> first principles. Remember that ID is based on ignorance and a
> negative argument. While Science rightly considered absence of
> detectable function to be a reason to hold to the null hypothesis,
> IDists concluded design.
> If this were really such a foundational principle of ID, how come that
> it was not IDists but actual scientists who detected the latest
> exciting data.
> No, their is little reason for IDists to celibrate here, at least
> scientifically speaking. From a PR perspective I am sure that
> creationists (and function for junk dna IS a creationist prediction)
> will be having a field day.
>
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Received on Thu Jun 14 13:21:44 2007

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