Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Intelligent Design » Does bad design mean no design ?

Does bad design mean no design ?

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1 Does bad design mean no design ? on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:32 am

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Does bad design mean no design ? 

http://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1302-does-bad-design-mean-no-design


Thoughts on the Human Body, Alton Ochsner, MD
It is obvious that the human body is the most efficient and best designed system that has even been designed
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096191/

Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong, or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer, might be evident, and in the case supposed would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made: still less necessary, where the only question is, whether it were made with any design at all. 
Paley, (Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter I, pp. 4-5)


When we are inquiring simply after the existence of an intelligent Creator, imperfection, inaccuracy, liability to disorder, occasional irregularities, may subsist in a considerable degree, without inducing any doubt into the question: just as a watch may frequently go wrong, seldom perhaps exactly right, may be faulty in some parts, defective in some, without the smallest ground of suspicion from thence arising that it was not a watch; not made; or not made for the purpose ascribed to it…
Irregularities and imperfections are of little or no weight in the consideration, when that consideration relates simply to the existence of a Creator. When the argument respects his attributes, they are of weight; but are then to be taken in conjunction … with the unexceptionable evidences which we possess, of skill, power, and benevolence, displayed in other instances; which evidences may, in strength; number, and variety, be such, and may so overpower apparent blemishes, as to induce us, upon the most reasonable ground, to believe, that these last ought to be referred to some cause, though we be ignorant of it, other than defect of knowledge or of benevolence in the author. 
(Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter V, pp. 56-58) 2


In order to say something is badly designed, you would have to make a theological claim about what the designer would do. That would be a theological argument, not a scientific one. A scientific argument only identifies the action of a intelligent agency. Someone could point out that a design could be better, but that doesn't mean the object wasn't designed, even if the objection is eventually true.

It is generally agreed that no human being is perfect or designs things perfectly and yet we are intelligent.
Even suboptimal designs require a designer. The Newcomen steam engine was not nearly as efficient or practical as Watts’ steam engine, but no one in his right mind would suggest on that basis that Newcomen’s engine self-assembled by random chance. Second, some designs that may look suboptimal to us are actual optimal e.g. the panda’s thumb; the panda uses his “thumb” (actually a specialized bone in the wrist) for near continuous grasping of bamboo. If it had used an opposable thumb to do so, as proponents of naturalism suggest as a superior design, it would almost certainly suffer from permanent carpal tunnel syndrome. Third, what we see now is the world as marred by the curse of sin. For all we know, people, as created, may have been able to synthesize every necessary vitamin, but some of those abilities may have subsequently been lost due to genetic corruption and drift. Furthermore: Since Genesis history includes the origin of sin and death, it is crucially foundational to the logic of the gospel: a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future.

Imperfection merely raises the question of why God used plan A, rather than plan B.
Some, for example, point to the cruelty in nature, arguing that no self-respecting designer would set things up that way. This argument assumes an infallible knowledge of the design process. But that need not be the case. It may well be that the designer chose to create an “OPTIMUM DESIGN” or a “ROBUST AND ADAPTABLE DESIGN” rather than a “perfect design.” Perhaps some animals or creatures behave exactly the way they do to enhance the ecology in ways that we don’t know about. Perhaps the “apparent” destructive behavior of some animals provides other animals with an advantage in order to maintain balance in nature or even to change the proportions of the animal population.

Under such circumstances, the “bad design” argument is not an argument against design at all. It is premature — and, at times, a presumptuous — judgment on the sensibilities of the designer. Coming from theistic evolutionists, who claim to be “devout” Christians, this objection is therefore especially problematic. For, as believers within the Judeo-Christian tradition they are committed to the doctrine of original sin, through which our first parents disobeyed God and compromised the harmonious relationship between God and man. Accordingly, this break between the creator and the creature affected the relationship between men, animals, and the universe, meaning that the perfect design was rendered imperfect. A spoiled design is not a bad design.

Juda Kenol : I tend to see many atheists disagree that the quality of nature does not equate to a causal agent but do so not on a logical basis. It's not a question of whether an agent was behind it or not, it is a question of whether great grandma soup could have done a better job; which is less erroneous; and must be done so in the scrutiny of every cosmological to subatomic detail. What are you comparing deficiency of the eyeball too when you call it 'unintelligently designed? Your own conception of God? What would you of done if you were a god ? Once you admit this your argument becomes subjective and therefore not an argument at all. Even if we were to accept it, a plant cell is more complex than a space shuttle and if you believe a space shuttle is not intelligently designed, i become less inclined to believe in ID because you exist...

There is 1) God and 2) everything else that is not God. 1 What is not God can never be equal to God, and even God can’t make it so. God can’t create a second God because that wouldn’t be God: not being eternal and self-existent.  If we have physical matter, and some of it is sharp or hard, sometimes people will get hurt.

Badly designed arguments—‘vestigial organs’ revisited

http://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1811-vestigial-organs


http://sententias.org/2012/05/02/bad-design-arg/

The design hypothesis merely states that there is intelligent causation that permits the existence of life (a probability factor).  Optimality of what has been designed is not a criterion for design.

"Bad design" arguments are usually flawed from the outset. Perceived "design mistakes" are just that; a matter of perception.  What those critics often see as a "flaw", is actually their own limited knowledge.  And, some apparent "design flaws" were actually built into the design in order to accommodate future adaptations.

So, things often cited as design flaws are most typically a lack of the User's understanding.

The real scientific question is this: Is there any evidence for design in nature? Or, if you like, is a design inference the most reasonable conclusion based on the evidence?

http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/#nobdesn

Why Does God Allow Diseases to Occur?
http://www.apologeticspress.org/DiscoveryPubPage.aspx?pub=2&issue=787&article=1253


Salvador Cordova talks about the possibility that many things that are commonly considered errors in biology actually have identifiable purposes. Cordova confronts what is both a theological and a scientific critique of design, and shows its limitations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goKn-BKly4A



1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/08/why-did-a-perfect-god-create-an-imperfect-world.html

The Problem with “Bad Design” Arguments
https://evolutionnews.org/2018/05/the-problem-with-bad-design-arguments/



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2 Re: Does bad design mean no design ? on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:33 pm

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Are Our Bodies the Product of "Unintelligent Design"?



A couple of years ago prominent evolutionary biologist David Barash opened a remarkable window on his classroom teaching. Writing in the New York Times, he described a yearly talk -- "The Talk" -- he gives to his students at the University of Washington. In The Talk, he explains why Darwinian theory, if faced squarely, undermines belief in a "benevolent, controlling creator."
His candor is to be commended. Many biology students likely receive a similar message, perhaps more implied than explicit, from their teachers. But what about the conclusion he draws? Does what we know about biology run counter to the idea of purpose or design behind life?
In the Wall Street Journal, the prolific Dr. Barash recently highlighted a particular challenge, as he sees it, to "intelligent design." I put the phrase in quotation marks because the only example of design thinking he gives goes back well over a century and a half, to the Bridgewater Treatises (1833-1840), while skipping over modern evidence of intelligent design altogether. But leave that aside.
In the article, he reviews two new books that describe the evolutionary mess that our bodies are -- a hodgepodge, so this argument goes, of barely good enough solutions to physiological problems, a collection of compromises that leave us prone to injury and disease, according to the authors and according to him. I haven't read the books in question, but Barash's piece provides an occasion to examine the often-heard argument for "unintelligent design."


There's an undercurrent that runs through that argument, sometimes visible on the surface, sometimes below the water, tugging our feet out from under us. That ripple on the surface goes something like this: our design isn't perfect. That's the visible part. Then there's the undercurrent: If there were an intelligent designer he would have made perfect things. Barash, ever frank, says this directly. Giving examples like the optic nerve and the prostate gland, he says, "An intelligent designer wouldn't have proceeded this way." Therefore we are the product of patchwork evolution and there is no designer.
Note, that undercurrent is an assumption. Who knows what an intelligent designer capable of creating life would have done? Theologians who believe the designer is God may argue about that, but science provides no insight.


It's another assumption that good design never breaks down. Not many human machines can last seventy years without breaking down sometime. A 1940 Cadillac, top of the line, in continuous use, would have needed considerable refurbishing by now to keep it running and looking decent. Its leather seats would likely have cracked and its paint job cracked and dimmed, numerous sets of tires worn out, its brakes replaced numerous times, and its valves and pistons either machined or replaced.
At the same age, many human beings look pretty good by comparison, since we generally keep running without replacement parts long after our warranty has expired.
Any human designer knows that good design often means finding a way to meet multiple constraints. Consider airplanes. We want them to be strong, but weight is an issue, so lighter materials must be used. We want to preserve people's hearing and keep the cabin warm, so soundproofing and insulation are needed, but they add weight. All of this together determines fuel usage, which translates into how far the airplane can fly. In 1986, the Rutan Voyager made its flight around the world without stopping or refueling, the first aircraft ever to do so. To carry enough fuel to make the trip, the designers had to strip the plane of everything except the essentials. That meant no soundproofing and no comfortable seats. But the airplane flew all the way. This was very special design.


Last, despite what some, like Dr. Barash, would tell you, our bodies are marvels of perfection in many ways. The rod cells in our eyes can detect as little as one photon of light; our brains receive the signal after just nine rods have responded. Our speech apparatus is perfectly fit for communication. Says linguist Noam Chomsky, "Language is an optimal way to link sound and meaning." Our brains are capable of storing as much information as the World Wide Web.
We can run long distances, better than a horse and rider sometimes. For an amusing comparison of our fastest times compared to various animals, have a look here. But bear in mind, not one of those animals can run, swim, and jump as well as we can.
Then there are our incredible fine-motor skills -- think concert pianist -- and our capacity for abstract thought, an activity you and I are engaged in right now.
Before allowing some evolutionists to drag us under, let's remember and be grateful for all the things that go right and work well. Intelligent design does not mean "perfect design," or "design impervious to aging, injury, and disease." It means being a product of intelligence, whatever the source might be, giving evidence of care, intention, and forethought, as our bodies surely do.


Neither, secondly, would it invalidate our conclusion, that the watch sometimes went wrong, or that it seldom went exactly right. The purpose of the machinery, the design, and the designer, might be evident, and in the case supposed would be evident, in whatever way we accounted for the irregularity of the movement, or whether we could account for it or not. It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made: still less necessary, where the only question is, whether it were made with any design at all. 
(Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter I, pp. 4-5)


When we are inquiring simply after the existence of an intelligent Creator, imperfection, inaccuracy, liability to disorder, occasional irregularities, may subsist in a considerable degree, without inducing any doubt into the question: just as a watch may frequently go wrong, seldom perhaps exactly right, may be faulty in some parts, defective in some, without the smallest ground of suspicion from thence arising that it was not a watch; not made; or not made for the purpose ascribed to it…
Irregularities and imperfections are of little or no weight in the consideration, when that consideration relates simply to the existence of a Creator. When the argument respects his attributes, they are of weight; but are then to be taken in conjunction … with the unexceptionable evidences which we possess, of skill, power, and benevolence, displayed in other instances; which evidences may, in strength; number, and variety, be such, and may so overpower apparent blemishes, as to induce us, upon the most reasonable ground, to believe, that these last ought to be referred to some cause, though we be ignorant of it, other than defect of knowledge or of benevolence in the author. 
(Natural Theology. 12th edition. J. Faulder: London, 1809, Chapter V, pp. 56-58) 2


http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/02/are_our_bodies102587.html
2. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/paleys-argument-from-design-did-hume-refute-it-and-is-it-an-argument-from-analogy/



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3 Did God Create An Imperfect World? on Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:09 am

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Did God Create An Imperfect World? 1



The evidence seems overwhelming. The world is anything but perfect. This has led some to believe that a God of perfect love could not have been the author of such a flawed plan. But if we contemplate this notion a bit, we will see that to do otherwise would rule out God’s having to create a world of time and space.

God created the earth with a finite size, taking up a finite space. Was this a mistake? The imperfection of this finite design is that everything that will ever live cannot possibly occupy this limited space at the same time. So life forms come and go. They die but they reproduce to keep things going.

The only way to change this apparent “wasteful” situation would be to allow everything to live forever, and on a planet that kept getting bigger and bigger. This would also mean that one life form could never eat another.

But this would throw all organic process out the window – since the main function of internal organs is to process food and make it available to every cell in the body. Cells would no longer have to process anything for the body, either. (We certainly would not need an immune system in a world of perfect health.)

So, it would be no sense keeping our internal organs unless they were allowed to remain inside our bodies in order to “pantomime” the functions of life. Is it not within God’s Infinite power to keep us alive even with hollow bodies?

Why stop there? Plants would no longer have to turn the energy of the sun into starches. Earthworms would not have to labor to keep the soil fertile, etc., etc.

So what would everything be alive for in a perfect world if what they were designed to do became irrelevant? Idealists might respond by saying that everything in a perfect world would be alive to share the world in peaceful coexistence and happiness – people, bugs and bacteria.

But could a worm find happiness in not being a human? Therefore, in a perfect world, there would be no hierarchy. Evolution (and species extinction) would not be necessary if God simply created only humans – right off the bat.

But that would not make things perfect unless all humans were created as loving angels.

Furthermore, we would all have to look equally beautiful or handsome, and be equally intelligent, in order for the world to be a place of true equality and justice.

Unfortunately, in such a perfect cookie-cutter world, how would we maintain our unique personalities without enjoying first-person phenomenal experience? How would we be interesting to others?

I believe a true God of love would give us the capacity to choose what we love, good or bad, because this is the drive belt of who we are.

Think about that. Human free will and human disposition is founded on love itself. God protects this freedom of the human spirit above everything else. Heaven is a choice. And there is nothing that could prevent us from making that choice but ourselves.

The physical world of time and space was created in such a way as to offer us a full spectrum of influences so that we could prepare ourselves for a non-material afterlife. In God’s eternal, spiritual realm, we will find ourselves in a non-physical environment whose topological features, flora and fauna, reflect the qualities of our heart and mind.

What could be more perfect than a world tailor-made for each of us, and our personal proclivities?

1. https://thegodguy.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/did-god-create-an-imperfect-world/

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4 Re: Does bad design mean no design ? on Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:52 am

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One of the most tiresome and often repeated "argument" in the repertoire of unbelievers is that there is bad design in nature, and that supposedly points to no design, and no creator.

Thoughts on the Human Body, Alton Ochsner, MD

It is obvious that the human body is the most efficient and best-designed system that has even been designed

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096191/

It is remarkable that following was written in the sixties...

Thoughts on the Human Body 1
When we arrive on this earth we are endowed with the most perfect, the most efficient, and the best-constructed machine ever devised – our body. A machine beautifully engineered and constructed with the best materials with no planned obsolescence. Constructed with material of superb quality destined with proper use to last long periods of time.

The body's computer, the brain, is by far the most sophisticated, the finest constructed, the most efficient computer that has ever been or ever will be designed. No man-made computer can approach the efficiency of the computer each of us has. The brain's frontal lobes which contain higher centers form an extremely elaborate electrical system which monitors and operates the entire machine with an efficiency that is unknown in any other machine. Located in the brain is the center for the activation of the various motors (muscles that move our body, for monitoring the various activities which are essential for proper function, namely the pumping system, the waste disposal system, the heart-regulating system, the alarm system).

The thermostat which is located in the brain is adjusted to such a fine degree that the temperature remains constant almost at all times unless something interferes with the function of the machine. If the body generates more heat, the thermostat goes to work and opens up avenues for the dissipation of the heat, such as the dilatation of vessels on the surface of the body and outpouring of fluid on the surface to permit evaporation which tends to lower the surface temperature. An increase in the rate air is exchanged in the lungs also permits dissipation of heat. Conversely, when insufficient heat is generated or in cold areas, the valves controlling flow through the pipes (blood vessels) extending to the body surface are closed, shunting most of the fluid (blood) into the interiors and preventing the dissipation of the heat in the periphery. Also, more heat is generated by involuntary contraction of muscles, i.e. shivering.

The pumping system of the body is the most efficient of all pumping systems. It begins working while the infant is still in utero and pumps day and night without cessation until the individual dies at the age of 50, 60, 70, 80, or even 100. With no rest, it is obvious that this machine is a very efficient one. It requires a great deal of energy – much more than is ordinarily thought. The amount of energy required by the human heart at rest, i.e. asleep, is 40-foot tons in 24 hours, which is the amount of energy necessary to elevate a ton 24 feet in 24 hours, a power far too great to be supplied by a battery. Additionally, of all machines the human heart is the most efficient, a two-cylinder pump which is most efficient at the time of its greatest stress. Most pumps when under increasing stress require increasing amounts of energy. The human heart, however, requires less energy at the time of its greatest stress than when subjected to less stress. At the beginning of contraction of the heart when the blood pressure is at the resting stage (diastole) more energy is required than at the completion of the contraction when the blood pressure is highest (systole). No other pump has this degree of efficiency. The heart requires no conscious action on our part to function, but it is under the control of the nervous system to a certain extent in that its rate is slowed by stimulation of the vagus nerves and increased by stimulation of the sympathetic nerves. Normally the heart assumes its own control and is automatic in this control unless there is some external stimulus that causes it either to be slowed or to be increased in rate. With increased exertion on the part of the individual, more blood is needed to be pumped to the various parts of the body to supply more food and oxygen, resulting in an increased heart rate and pumping efficiency of the heart.

The system of borrowing and lending of blood whenever it is necessary is entirely automatic and goes on without the consciousness of the individual. Those portions of the machine that require the greatest amount of blood, oxygen, and food – the brain and the kidneys – are supplied with enormous amounts of blood, relatively much more than other portions of the body. The nitrogenous waste products of the body as the result of energy production are almost entirely removed from the body by the kidneys, so that enormous amounts of blood necessarily flow through the kidneys. The kidney removes from the blood the nitrogenous wastes in solution, and because water is so essential to the body, most of the water is separated from the wastes and retained in the body. The nitrogenous wastes are thus concentrated and excreted in the urine. If, however, there has been kidney damage in which this selective process of excreting the noxious substances and retaining the waters is lost, the individual loses the ability to excrete the poisons, resulting in their retention in the body and accumulation.

For any pump to operate it is necessary to supply it with energy. The human body is supplied with energy by the food that is taken in and is consumed more efficiently than in other machines. The food is masticated, swallowed, and acted upon by digestive juices in the stomach and in the intestines. As the result of chemical alterations it is absorbed into the blood streams and carried to the liver. Because toxic products and bacteria are absorbed into the blood, they must be removed, which is done very efficiently by the liver. After the food substances have been purified by the liver, they are carried in the veins back to the heart and lungs to be transported throughout the body where they can be utilized. The liver also serves as a filter to remove bacteria absorbed from the intestinal tract and also debris. In certain forms of anemia in which the red blood cells are destroyed, the liver filters out the cell debris and excretes it in the bile.

The human body is one of the most efficient chemical factories in the world. It can produce chemicals of very complex nature which are required for body functions by using the raw chemicals and building them into the complex chemical structures which are needed for the proper functioning of the machine. This is done in various portions of the body, in the liver, the glands of internal secretion, the pituitary, the adrenal, the prostate, the thyroid, and the pancreas.

Another part of the waste disposal plant is disposal of wastes through the gastrointestinal tract. After the food has been utilized and most of the essential elements have been extracted normally from them, including the water in order to conserve water, the residue is excreted from the lower intestinal tract. A very important part of the disposal system is the action of bacteria on waste products which is necessary particularly in the large intestine or colon to make a normal function of the intestinal process. These bacteria help in the chemical breakdown of the food elements that the body needs.

The body is endowed with a very good protective system which alerts one if there is danger. Largely as the result of the programming of the computer, the individual learns which conditions are hazardous. When these present themselves, the immediate reaction is an increase in the production of adrenalin which activates the heart to pump more blood and the body to respond more quickly. One is able to respond to stress more effectively than would be possible without this stimulus. As the result of programming, one learns which things are harmful and avoids them. For instance, it does not take long for children to realize that when they touch something hot and feel the sensation of heat on the skin that this is harmful. The immediate application of the heat means a recoil to protect the individual from further damage.

The body also has a tremendous back-up system that is endowed with a great deal more capability than is ordinarily used. There are a good many paired organs, two lungs, two eyes, two kidneys – each of these has a tremendous reserve far beyond what is ordinarily needed, so that a tremendous reserve is present. Also in many parts of the body there is re-generation. The cells of the body are continually being destroyed as a result of the wearing out process but are being regenerated. This is true of most of the body but not all, and this is a part of the back-up system which is essential for the proper functioning of the body.

From the above it is obvious that the human body is the most efficient and best designed system that has even been designed, but like all systems, it is subject to wear. The human body has a longevity far greater than most machines. However, it, as all machines, should not be abused but given good care and maintenance. For some reason or other we have come to believe that the human body can stand any amount of abuse and that it is not necessary for it to have care. As do all machines, the body does experience wear, although its rate of wear and deterioration depends largely upon the care it receives. If it is neglected and abused, rapid deterioration and early obsolescence and failure result. It is astounding to me how the public generally completely disregards their bodies at the same time that they take meticulous care of their automobiles, their watches, their home appliances, etc. With proper care and lack of abuse, this beautifully machined mechanism will last for a long time and function perfectly. One must avoid all factors which produce an increase in the wearing out process and do everything to ameliorate deterioration.

In the human body as in any machine, use and proper use are necessary. Too frequently we do not get exercise; we have become a sedentary people. Exercise is important daily, and it should be strenuous enough whenever possible to require rapid deep breathing and to cause an increase in the heart rate.

Dawkins wrote,
“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the illusion of design and planning.” {Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1996, p. 21.}

I think, the only illuded and blind is Dawkins, which despite his intelligence is unwilling to acknowledge:

1. The more complex a machine, the more likely it was created rather than self-assembled.
2. Science is uncovering more and more levels of complexity in physical and biochemical systems.
3. Science is, therefore, leading to an increased likelihood that things are created rather than self-assembled.

Topics on the structural complexity of the human body

http://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2697-topics-on-the-structural-complexity-of-the-human-body

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