"Faith and the Human Genome", by Dr. Francis Collins

I have mentioned the essay “Faith and the Human Genome” by Dr. Francis Collins in various threads, and I thought it might be helpful to highlight it again in a thread of its own. Some questions about the legitimacy of both the theology and science of theistic evolution and evolutionary creationism have been bouncing around these forums and the interwebs. I think Collins’ essay does a great job of addressing both. It is both his personal testimony and a general description of his theological views as they apply to biology, evolution, and life’s history.

Essay found here:

Collins lists several pieces of evidence for common ancestry and evolution, one of which is the differing rates of sequence divergence between exons and introns. I haven’t seen this argument used very often in forums or discussions like these, so I thought I would mention it. From the essay:

What is cool about this piece of evidence is that you can check it out for yourself at the UCSC Genome Browser found here: UCSC Genome Browser Gateway

Just type in the CAPZA2 into the Position/Search term, click on the first hit, and it will show you the gene in the human genome along with the sequence conservation across several model vertebrate species and the overall sequence conservation across 100 vertebrate genomes (“Cons 100 Verts”). In fact, you can do this across the entire human genome. Here is a snapshot I took of CAPZA2 from the UCSC genome browser:

I have never seen creationists try to explain this pattern. Why would the introns differ more than the exons when looking at homologous genes across vertebrate species? Why does similarity in introns correlate with the proposed evolutionary distance?


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