Creationists love to cite “Intelligent Design” (ID) in discussions about evolutionary theory. The major argument for ID hinges on the assumption that the fit between form and function in organisms is so precise that there must be intelligence behind it. They further argue that there is a level of “irreducible complexity” in natural systems that cannot be explained in evolutionary terms. However, every example they have cited has been demonstrated to exist in an evolutionary context so their entire system falls on its face.
There is another unresolved issue that the ID people have not examined, and that is if we see examples of ID, it clearly demonstrates intelligence of the designer. But look at the flip side: suppose we discover “Unintelligent” or “Stupid Design” (SD) in our investigations of human anatomy? After all, if we impute intelligence to ID, we must also impute stupidity to SD and the designer behind the scenes. Lots of examples. I asked fellow Kossacks for other stupid designs and their suggestions were helpful to this updated diary (originally posted 25 Aug 2010).
Who designed the human skull in such a way that 80% of American adults have to have their 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) removed, lest they become impacted, infected, and lead to a painful death if untreated?
Who designed the human eye upside down and inside out? The image that falls on the retina is upside down, and the brain is forced to set it right side up so we don’t walk into things or fall off cliffs. The light-receptive cells face the rear of the eye, not the front, where the light it coming from. Then the nerve fibers push through the back of the eye toward the brain, leaving a blind spot at their exit. The compound eye of insects has a better design, with a direct linkage between the ommatidium and the brain.
Who designed sexual reproduction, which throws away half your genetic endowment in each reproductive cycle?
Who designed millions of sperm to chase a single egg when one sperm would do just fine? Why is the spontaneous miscarriage/abortion rate in humans over 90 percent, resulting in 120 million embryonic and fetal deaths last year? If a soul is infused “at the moment of conception” (whatever that means), why would God (whoops, sorry, the Intelligent Designer) make 250 million souls and then unceremoniously drop most of them?
Who designed the reproductive system to become entangled with the plumbing of the excretory system? Why does the human fetus have to be pushed through a narrow bony birth canal, and not simply unzip the mother’s abdominal wall in order to be born?
Who designed nipples in men? They have milk ducts that feed into male breast tissue, and during puberty some boys actually produce breast milk, which is a little unnerving to an adolescent, to say the least. It is a waste of resources to supply males with these useless organs. Stupid design.
Who designed male spiders without penises, so they are forced to masturbate into silk cups (masturbation is sinful besides!) and “fist” their mates with their pedipalps when they reproduce? Spider reproduction is even more bizarre. Females lay hundreds of eggs and they all hatch about the same time. The only food resources available are their little spider siblings. To reach maturity, spiders must cannibalize their brothers and sisters. What kind of wicked designer would do this? Spadefoot toads hatch in temporary ponds in arid areas. The first eggs to hatch are herbivores, with digestive systems that allow them to eat abundant algae in the pond. The problem the tadpoles face is they must rapidly grow to maturity before the ponds dry up. Without a protein-rich food source to push them along, they are lost. The solution? Take a page from spiders and eat your highly nutritious siblings. Later hatching Spadefoot tadpoles are carnivorous, and they gobble up all their tasty sibs. What malicious Intelligent Designer would do this? Isn’t cannibalism against the law of God and man?
Who designed roundworms to carry out homosexual rape of their brother hatchlings? The roundworm genitalia are flexible in nature. The vagina is an inpocket (push your hand unto a sock), whereas the penis is an outpocket (pull the sock out). Male roundworm semen contains an organic epoxy that seals the female vagina after mating to prevent other male from mating with her. The first hatchling male roundworms (you can envision them dressed with leather and chains) seek out their immature, inpocketed brothers, rape them and seal them up for good so they can’t reproduce. What kind of Intelligent Designer created this abomination in nature? And it goes on as we speak.
These are all examples of “Stupid Design” in nature. If ID is taught in schools, then SD must accompany the discussion to provide fair and balanced treatment of both concepts.