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Gene. 2006 Dec 30;385:2-18. Epub 2006 Aug 5.

Intelligent design and biological complexity.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University and Institute of Molecular Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 20452, Stanford, California 94309, USA. emileIMMS@aol.c <emileIMMS@aol.c>


Before any intelligence can appear, a world endowed with the potential for being experienced as a body of phenomena has to be existent. Indeed, if there is to be an intelligence, there first has to be something intelligible. Hence, when an intelligence is present, "creation" must already have taken place. Nevertheless, biological complexity has been deemed by some to be one of the privileged points of insertion of a supernatural intelligence endowed with temporal and causal primacy. In the course of a critical review, it is pointed out that the spectacle of nature's spontaneous tinkering with the structures and performances of informational macromolecules and with interactive connections among these molecules suggests that intelligence and design are absent from evolution. Nor is intelligent design required for explaining biological complexity, which can increase spontaneously as a byproduct of combinatorial intermolecular gambles and of the restoration of molecular damage wrought by mutations. One of the possible molecular pathways to spontaneous evolutionary increases in complexity is described.

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