ENCODE Rethinks Evolution.
The recent results of the ENCODE program, which has revealed a level of complexity in the function of the genome never before imagined, has further raised doubts about the simple evolutionary model of random mutations and natural selection. Though our understanding of the level of complexity of gene control has grown exponentially, it is clear that, as we proceed further, the system will show itself to be even more complex, raising further calls for a more mature model for evolution.
It is only a Theory.
Even before the recent ENCODE studies, respected mainstream scientists have raised doubts about the simple evolutionary model. The Discovery Institute maintains a list (most recently updated in December 2011) of over 500 scientists that have signed the statement “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”
These scientists include notable professors from the most prestigious institutions in the world (MIT, Princeton, UCLA, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, etc.)
Michael Behe’s model of intelligent design has suffered many attacks over the years from mainstream evolutionary biologists because it is a simplistic model depending on a supernatural intelligent designer (God, though purposely never mentioned) for the evolutionary process. Behe gets mired down in particular examples (the eye, the flagellum, the clotting cascade) that have obvious answers in evolution (less evolved eye structures in lower organisms—e.g. the worm’s simple light detection organ, the squid’s eye—and the borrowing by evolution of proteins from other systems to use in the flagellum and the clotting cascade). The complexity of the gene control systems recently uncovered, however, seems to be a natural argument for a more expanded view of evolution. It is no longer only required to explain how multiple proteins needed for the function of an organ evolved simultaneously, but how the multilayered systems that control their expression evolved simultaneously.
Calls for Re-evaluation.
This will undoubtedly raise even more calls from the mainstream scientific community for a re-evaluation of our accepted views of evolution.