Getting Evolutionists to admit what would be evidence of design is about as hard as it is to get my fellow IDists to separate issues of cosmic design from biological design. So you can bet your genes that when I read this post titled: Luskin on gene duplication, I was pleasently surprised.
Copying a pre-existing gene does create new information … but it's just a small
amount. Luskin can't be serious in considering this a weakness: evolutionary
biology would predict only small changes at any one time. If a process produced
a massive increase in the information content of the genome in a biologically
functional way (that is, not just the production of random noise), then we'd
have to say that you've found evidence for Intelligent Design. A succession of
small genetic changes is what we expect from evolution and genetics, and that's
what we see.
One of the things that we would also expect to see from evolution, is a huge diversity of outcomes - and especially - perfection in the resultant phenotypes. This is not what we see in all cases. Life is rife with imperfections and low amounts of genetic diversity (when it comes to certain sequences), which could be hallmarks of design. I know, IDists usually portray the design as perfect, but as I will demonstrate in future posts, the assumption of perfection is not only based on certain philosophical predispositions, but it also contrasts starkly with the available evidence.
Also, on Uncommon Descent, DaveScot also seems to agree with me on this - that "perfect" design, or in the context of the discussion that the following comment is in, the lack of genetic "junk" in the genomes of organisms does not follow necessarily from the design premise. Here's the quote:
I still fail to see how ID predicts no junk DNA. Random mutation definitely
happens and if it’s good at *anything* it’s good at producing unorganized,
non-functional crappola. It can produce crap out of nothing and it’s even better
at making crap out of stuff that wasn’t crap to begin with. (source)
I think we ought to invite DaveScot over to this blog - not only is he an Agnostic, which fits under the theme of this blog, but we might benefit from his perspective on this and other design issues as well. What do you think, William?
Anyway, the quote from PZ Myers is pure gold. Let's spread it around so there can be no doubt that he said it!
If a process produced a massive increase in the information content of the
genome in a biologically functional way (that is, not just the production of
random noise), then we'd have to say that you've found evidence for
Intelligent Design. -- PZ Myers
Now all we need to do is find evidence of a massive amount of information increase in a genome. No, not the usual "we don't know where all this information came from so it must be design" argument. I mean, evidence of the insertion of that information, specifically what information was inserted, and exactly how to detect it. That's what Intelligent Design can be all about! Anything else is a waste of time.