Making Sense of Biology

The Evidence for Development by Design

by Jonathan Wells

A developing embryo is an amazing thing to watch. First, a single cell divides into many cells; then, with uncanny precision, those cells rearrange themselves into the basic shape of the animal, forming a gut in the process; and finally, small groups of cells form specific structures such as eyes and limbs.

As a developmental biologist, I study embryos primarily by perturbing their development. I am constantly impressed by their resilience: despite my interference, a surprising number of them develop to adulthood. Remarkably, although my interference may introduce various deformities, the basic endpoint of development . . .

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