Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not very intelligent design

A C Grayling explains why ID theory would be hilarious if it were not such a threat to world peace. Actually I think he exaggerates the threat to world peace.

" . . . your average engineer, tasked with building a human being, would not separate the entrances to the trachea and oesophagus with a movable flap tagged with an instruction not to breathe while you eat, or the organs of generation not just next to but partially carrying the organs of excretion, or redundant bits of anatomy than can become infected and kill their owners, or permanent vulnerability to large numbers of invasive life-threatening organisms, or cells that constantly mutate in potentially life-threatening ways, or the origin of the optic nerve slap in the middle of the retina, or... and so endlessly on. Next time Fuller (an ID theorist) crosses a bridge or a railway line, let him note the way it allows for expansion and contraction of the materials from which it is made in response to circumambient temperature; and ask him why the soft tissue constituting the brain, apt to swell if bruised, is encased in a rigid box of bone. I take it, on the evidence of his book, he has never had wisdom teeth: had he done so, he might have contemplated the evidence they constitute, in connection with orthognathy, of evolution's blind gropings. Intelligent design? Look in a mirror for the horse-laugh answer to that one. Look at nature - in all its beauty, ugliness, sweetness, brutality, charm, indifference and immense variety - and the idea that it manifests conscious design or purpose, still less intelligent design, is seen for what it is: a little driblet of childish ignorance; a mark of mankind's infancy."

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