Jonathan Wells reviews Francis Collins
|March 31, 2008||Posted by William Dembski under Darwinism, Evolution, Intelligent Design|
Here’s the conclusion of Jonathan Wells’s review of Francis Collins’s THE LANGUAGE OF GOD:
Darwin of the gaps
Recall Collins’s principal objection to ID: “ID is a ‘God of the gaps’ theory, inserting a supposition of the need for supernatural intervention in places that its proponents claim science cannot explain… But those theories have a dismal history. Advances in science ultimately fill in those gaps, to the dismay of those who had attached their faith to them. Ultimately a ‘God of the gaps’ religion runs a huge risk of simply discrediting faith. We must not repeat this mistake in the current era. Intelligent design fits into this discouraging tradition, and faces the same ultimate demise.”
Except for the “supernatural” part, this actually sounds like a description of Collins’s own strategy of defending Darwinism by relying on supposedly functionless segments of DNA. He repeatedly assumes that if we are ignorant of the function of a stretch of DNA then it has no function; it is simply a relic fortuitously inherited from a common ancestor. But the more molecular biologists learn about DNA, the more they discover functions in what were previously thought to be functionless segments. Collins’s defense of Darwinian evolution becomes less tenable with every new advance.
How ironic. Collins claims he’s basing his case for Darwinism on new knowledge from genome sequencing, but he’s actually basing it on gaps in that knowledge. Collins himself argues that such an approach has “a dismal history.” Advances in science ultimately fill in those gaps, to the dismay of those who had attached their faith to them. Ultimately a “Darwin of the gaps” approach runs a huge risk of simply discrediting science. We must not repeat this mistake in the current era. Darwinism fits into this discouraging tradition, and faces the same ultimate demise.