Re: [asa] Re: "junk" DNA

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 16:17:22 EDT

I think that there is a slip up here. What human designer is both
omnipotent and omniscient? Why would a deity who knows exactly what a
final creature should be like in order to function with maximum
efficiency have to tinker with dozens of whalelike creatures on the way
to a final design? Why would there be a process taking 2 or 3 billion
years from a start for life, hundreds of millions for development from
the so-called "explosion," evolutionary trees with more lopped off
branches than ones continuing to the present? Occasionally a human being
will put things together in a single insight, but normally we try one
thing after another until we get something that functions somewhat as
desired. I owned (bought new) one of the first cars that was designed to
reduce pollution--more things hung on the engine to do one thing or
another. Worst car I ever owned, though it looked great. The dealer even
brought an engineer from Detroit to try to get adequate function, without
success. One of its most endearing traits was dying during a left turn.
The designers finally rethought the entire concept and have engines that
are functional, economical and "green."

The ID designer may be incompetent, though smarter than we. The process
theology Mind may be restricted by its connection to matter of a sort.
But the Creator of orthodox theology is not restricted in knowledge or
action, and the lesser made-in-human-image super-beings are.

On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 19:21:12 +0200 "David Opderbeck"
<> writes:
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

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?"

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Received on Thu Jun 14 16:20:48 2007

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