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Ingenious GenesHow Gene Regulation Networks Evolve to Control Development$
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Roger Sansom

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195812

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195812.001.0001

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The Problem of the Evolvability of Gene Regulation Networks

The Problem of the Evolvability of Gene Regulation Networks

(p.xii) (p.1) 1 The Problem of the Evolvability of Gene Regulation Networks
Ingenious Genes

Roger Sansom

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the superb engineering of organisms, which was the foundation of the argument from design for the existence of God. This argument was most famously presented by the natural theologian William Paley, who used the analogy of a watch and its maker. If we can reason from the design of a watch to the existence of its designer, Paley argued, we can certainly reason from the design of an organism, which is finer than that of a watch “in a degree which exceeds all computation,” to the existence of its designer: God. A number of thinkers would challenge this conventional wisdom, and some of them are introduced here, not as elements of a complete history of evolutionary theory, but rather as elements of a narrative that ultimately leads to the problem this book addresses: The problem of the evolvability of gene regulation networks.

Keywords:   engineering of organisms, argument from design, God, William Paley, evolutionary theory, evolvability, gene regulation networks

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