Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The Plausibility of Life

On Tuesday WBUR, the NPR affiliate in Boston, aired an interview with Marc Kirschner, professor and chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and co-author, along with John C. Gerhart of "The Plausibility of Life, Resolving Darwin's Dilemma."

"On Point" host Tom Ashbrook asks Kirschener how a feature as delicately engineered as the human eye could have arisen from a series of random mutations. Kirschner explains the theory of "Facilitated Variation" which accounts, he says, for the appearance of the bat's wing, the human arm, and the eye.

The development of complex structures, says Kirschener, in body parts as different as eyes, and ears, and arms are built up by the same basic molecular mechanisms. These building blocks -- like Legos -- can be rearranged and linked in novel ways with less chance of fatal variations than random mutation of DNA would allow.

Listen to it, here.

Added bonus: a report from Dover, and an interview with Eugenie Scott on how Evo Devo may affect intelligent design.


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