In his recent response to Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell, Francisco Ayala claimed that repetitive portions of our DNA called “Alu” sequences are “nonsensical.” Ayala wrote: “Would a function ever be found for these one million nearly identical Alu sequences? It seems most unlikely.” In his response to Ayala, Meyer showed that Ayala is factually wrong about this. According to recent technical papers in genomics, Alu sequences perform multiple functions. In a rejoinder to Meyer, Darrel Falk defended Ayala and claimed although “a number of functional regions have been discovered within Alu sequences,” there “is no question that many Alu sequences really have no function.” In my last blog, I showed that the vast majority of the genome is Read More ›
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn’t receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven’t grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I’d queried on the subject. “All told, I’m on the ID side of the debate,” he wrote, “but it isn’t a pressing interest for me.” Anyone who similarly doesn’t quite “get it” should read our friend and colleague Wesley J. Smith’s new and important book on the animal-rights movement, A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy. If you follow conservative journalism, you’ve likely heard about the book from the contentious deliberation it Read More ›
I’ve followed the back and forth between Francisco Ayala and Steve Meyer with interest. I happened to have just read Meyer’s book Signature in the Cell when I first saw Ayala’s commentary/review on it at the Biologos Foundation website. My initial response was that Ayala obviously hadn’t read the book, and, as a result, made some embarrassing mistakes that any reader of the book would recognize. Darrell Falk at the Biologos Foundation was apparently responsible for inviting Ayala to comment on Meyer’s book, and has been drawn into the debate. He published the first part of Meyer’s response to Ayala, but not without first offering his “background comments” about the debate. (I think David Klinghoffer has said what needs to Read More ›
Last updated 3/9/10, 7:00 pm. As a former book review editor (at National Review), I take a professional interest in book reviews and all the things that can go right or wrong with them. I confess, though, I’ve never seen anything quite like the treatment of Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, on BioLogos, the curious website funded by the Templeton Foundation and specializing in Christian apologetics for Darwin. The site published what was clearly, unambiguously written to look like a review by biologist Francisco Ayala that, as Steve Meyer pointed out already, actually gave every evidence that Ayala had not read the book. (My colleague Dr. Meyer thinks Ayala did read Read More ›
Earlier this year, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala critiqued Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell, in an invited essay for the Biologos Foundation website. Dr. Meyer has now responded with the first part of a two-part response, “On Not Reading The Signature in the Cell.” In this first part, Meyer argues that Ayala unfortunately does not appear to have read Signature in the Cell, and so his effort to refute the book falls flat. Indeed, Ayala’s “review misrepresents the thesis and topic of the book and even misstates its title.” Read more here.