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New book examines the flawed human body
Date:2/11/2010

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A: Proponents of intelligent design understandably focus on the many beauties of life, claiming that smooth-working biological traits prove direct creation by a supernatural deity. However, natural selection in conjunction with genetic processes can also produce complex biological systems that usually function well. So both natural selection and intelligent design are consistent with the appearance of biological craftsmanship. Serious biological imperfections, on the other hand, can only logically be expected of nonsentient evolutionary processes that are inherently sloppy and error-prone. They're more troublesome to rationalize as overt mistakes by a fallible God.

Q: Why do you think theologians should welcome evolutionary discoveries?

A: Theodicy is the age-old conundrum of how to reconcile a just God with a world containing evils and flaws. With respect to biological imperfections, evolution can emancipate religion from the shackles of theodicy. No longer need we feel tempted to blaspheme an omnipotent deity by making him directly responsible for human frailties and physical shortcomings, including those we now know to be commonplace at the molecular and biochemical levels. No longer need we be apologists for God in regard to the details of biology. Instead, we can put the blame for biological flaws squarely on the shoulders of evolutionary processes. In this way, evolutionary science can help return religion to its rightful realm not as a secular interpreter of the biological minutiae of our physical existence, but rather as a respectable counselor on grander philosophical issues that have always been of ultimate concern to theologians.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from your book?

A: First, I hope they'll learn a great deal about the structure and operation of the incredible human genome. But more generally, I hope they'll come to see that the evolutionary and genetic sciences can and should be viewed a
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Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger
jfitzen@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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