Irvine, Calif., Feb. 11, 2010 Humanity's physical design flaws have long been apparent we have a blind spot in our vision, for instance, and insufficient room for wisdom teeth but do the imperfections extend to the genetic level?
In his new book, Inside the Human Genome, John Avise examines why from the perspectives of biochemistry and molecular genetics flaws exist in the biological world. He explores the many deficiencies of human DNA while recapping recent findings about the human genome.
Distinguished Professor of ecology & evolutionary biology at UC Irvine, Avise also makes the case that overwhelming scientific evidence of genomic defects provides a compelling counterargument to intelligent design.
Here, Avise discusses human imperfection, the importance of understanding our flaws, and why he believes theologians should embrace evolutionary science.
Q: How flawed is the human body?
A: Many of the defects, such as those causing difficult childbirths, appendicitis or bad backs, have been painfully obvious for millennia. What was less apparent until very recently is the extent to which biological flaws might also be present deep within our DNA. Technological advances in the last decade have made it possible to examine our genetic material in excruciating detail. We now know that the human genome is riddled with molecular defects of many sorts.
Q: Why is it important to identify and understand these biological flaws?
A: That's what medicine is all about, really trying to heal our bodies when things go wrong. It's interesting to contemplate what the practice of medicine might look like a century or more from now. It's quite possible that science will find ways to cure patients or maybe even rid our species of serious genetic disorders through molecular-level microsurgery on some of our faulty genes.
Q: How does scientific evidence of human imperfection contradict intelligent desi
|Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger|
University of California - Irvine