Category Archives: Scott Turner


Prion-like proteins, methylation patterns, transposons, and a host of other mechanisms make it no longer possible…to paint the gene as a simple protein-specifying (and hence function-specifying) nucleotide sequence.  Genes do not specify function: rather gene and function are more of a correlation, which, like all correlations, is indifferent to the direction of causation.  – J. Scott Tuner, The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself.

Agents of Biological Design

Scott Turner gave a presentation at Binghamton University’s EvoS speaker’s series in December 2007.  He outlined the argument for biological design that is developed more fully in his book.  You can watch the narrated Power Point version of this talk here: Agents of Biological Design.

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Conversation with Scott Turner

I think I am about to become a big fan of physiologist Scott Turner. I ordered his book entitled, The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself and will likely be discussing it over the next few months. I am finding that Turner’s views are very similar to mine with two differences: 1) I doubt very much he would go as far as to buy into my front-loading hypothesis and 2) He does a  vastly superior job of highlighting, organizing, and explaining various themes I have been addressing over the years (evolution under intrinsic influence, terraforming and its relation to evolution, evolution as a form of homeostasis, evolution as a function, etc.) 

To whet your (and mine) appetite, here are few excerpts from a conversation with Turner:

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