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Story on intelligent design study highlights debate on creationism and evolution

Alan Robinson(robin073@tc.umn.edu)

To the Editor:

The story "Intelligent design study appears" on September 3 dealt with a major unresolved scientific question concerning evolution. I suspect that many scientists, Dr. Meyer included, may not fully realize that biological organisms are not designed the way that humans design mechanisms. Engineers, who deal with complex human-designed systems on a daily basis, have long recognized that the best designs are those that completely separate the functions of subsystems. Thus, the spark plugs of an automobile have an entirely separate function from the tires.

Biological organisms are not designed this way. Even though there is functional specialization with organs and organelles, many functions may be distributed across almost the entire organism, and at all levels, from the molecular level on up. Indeed, such designs appear very complex, and are hard for humans to fathom. It is evolutionary change, of course, working at the whole organism...

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