Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Are we intelligently designed?

  1. Oct 10, 2005 #1
    Intelligent design is nothing but a veiled attempt to argue that we were created by an omnipotent being. So lets see how intelligent our design really is.

    A human being has many bad design components.

    The human eye was designed to last about 50 years. The eye is filled with a gel sac that shrinks quite a bit by age 50. This shrinkage sometimes results in torn retina's that, until recent times, caused blindness. Not a big deal because the average life span then was about 50 years so it went pretty much unnoticed. If an omipotent designer had designed the eye you would think it would take into account the fact that we would eventually have a much longer lifespan than 50 years. Especially if he was the Christian God who designed earlier humans to live hundreds of years like Moses and his buddies.

    What about designing us with skin full of holes (pores) that are perfectly designed to harbor bacteria and cause many people much grief?

    Then there are inadequate muscles and tendons that tear and break easily.

    The biggest design element of the human being that makes intelligent design unlikely is the fact that our brain is split into 2 halves and requires a nerve bridge between them to act somewhat in unison. While this may be a good design, it isn't the way an omnipotent designer would make the vessel of a soul. If you want a container to hold something that must not be divided, you don't design it with 2 compartments. 2 compartments can and will be split. The nerve bridge between the halves of the human brain has been cut in operations and these people in effect have two separate consciousnesses. You might argue that the soul is still in one body but it is inevitable that someone will take half a brain from someone and transplant it in another body. If this isn't splitting the soul, if it exists, then you will have to invoke some crazy logic like quantum entanglement to explain the soul not being split too. That would be stretching logic quite a bit.

    Taking all this into account shows that the intelligent designer wasn't too intelligent, much less omnipotent. All of the above can easily be explained by evolution and natural selection though.


    I think another bit of evidence against intelligent design is the fact that the universe works by the laws of logic. That's right, logic implies a natural universe, not a created one. Why would an omnipotent being create a logical universe, just because he could? It would be better for his purposes to create a universe of magic and chaos where there were no logical physical laws. There would be no need for an infinite universe. The stars only need to be lights in the heaven. Another words, the universe only needs to be what people thought it was when religions were created. The logic of the universe has only become apparent in recent history, long after religion was invented. :devil:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2005 #2
    well i don't know about you as i can only really speak for my self...

    ...but i intelligently designed myself to be the person I am today

    though that in itself is relative to your perception...

    ...think what you will

    as you were...
     
  4. Oct 11, 2005 #3
    That's a convincing argument against intelligent design, but check this out:
    The universe has infinite time and space and gives rise to ever progressing forms of "intelligent" life, given these three facts it is a matter of time until a species progresses to some point where for lack of a better word they are "God" to us, but within infinite time this has already happened.
    On some level we are Gods ourselves to the other creatures of this world, I imagine seeing a car to a deer might be like us seeing a 200M ton pyramid fly down from the sky and float, but in a universal context we are perhaps more like a colony of ants. I know if I were a god I would probably spend a lot of time making up crazy stuff, maybe they make universes the way we make a beautiful painting...I do agree that no one really knows for sure what the hell is going on.
     
  5. Oct 11, 2005 #4
    Why do you call it a a vieled attempt? And who is to say that the creator is an omnipotent being?

    First off let's get one thing creal straight off the bat - It is the designer who is intelligent and not the object being designed.
    Sounds right. If anybody wants to challenge this first remark I suggest we discussmy back in e-mail. :rofl:

    If you say so. I have no data on eye design and gel sac shrinkage vs time. I'm close to 50 myself and my eyes don't seem much different to me than hwne I was 25. They are just as bad now as they were then.

    Why? That a creator is omnipotent doesn't mean that his creations are omnipotent too. God may choose his creations to be imperfect for reasons only god knows and for reasons we can only speculate. And I know people whose eyes are fine for someone their age. Our diets today are not the same as they were in biblical days and that may play a role or perhaps God wanted it that way. Life is not a play ground. To me it is a place for our souls to develope even if that means they develope in non-perfect bodies.

    Porse are no designed to harbor bacteria anymore than the hand is constructed for killing other men.

    So basically you're upset because didn't make you perfect? So get used to it like the rest of us and move on. You can look at the bad parts or the good parts like sex. IF sex is not perfect here and it is perfect in heaven then OH BOY! :)

    Pete
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2005
  6. Oct 11, 2005 #5
    Are you really whining that we are not naturally perfect? You must be forgetting the fact that we have poisoned our bodies countless times over.

    You also are forgetting the fact that we are capable of improving upon our own design. Which we are doing right now. Our bodies are insignificant, our minds/brains are perfect, we simply have yet to harness it's full potential.

    Our bodies will eventually be designed and artificially created, or we will simply have replaceable mechanical parts. (Nanotech at work.)
     
  7. Oct 11, 2005 #6

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    pmb_phy and scix, the potential defects of our "design" are brought up not to lament or whine, but to point out that evolution, which has no guarantee of perfection is a better fit for our condition that intelligent design, which by implication does.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2005 #7
    True, but I am whining a little because I am intimately aware of the flaws I mentioned. I had a torn retina last year so that's how I know about the eye design. Retina's don't tear with everyone but the eye sac does shrink with everyone so the potential is there. I tore my achilles playing baseball 20 years ago and that ended baseball for me. And who doesn't have zits?

    The point is not so much that we are designed poorly (and I have only hit a few of the design flaws we suffer) as we are designed poorly compared to other species. It's not like there isn't something around better designed. All of our design flaws are better designed somewhere in the animal kingdom. So what, the designer is playing a joke on us by designing us poorly and letting us be smart enough to see that these problems don't exist elsewhere in the animal kingdom? ha ha, very funny. I don't think God would be a jokester.

    I am not saying God doesn't exist, he might, but I don't see his hand in our design. I don't see it in the universe either for that matter but he may have and then let evolution take its course. That is far more believable than he is a really poor engineer or just likes jokes which is the only explanation if we are products of "intelligent design". And please don't hand me that 'God works in mysterious ways' crap, that statement is a refuge of the 'intelligently designed' intellect.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2005 #8

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I am no Believer (in fact, I'm an aetheist), but you give Darwinists a bad name with this drivel.
    Who do you think you are that you suppose you know how and why we *should* have been designed? Why does every non-believer think that God would have created our world to make us perfect, to never have us experience any pain, and never have any of us suffer?
    Too many Darwinists are as guilty of shutting our minds to counterargument as we are so fond of accusing the Creationists of. Even *I* (as an aetheist) know that the idea is the He put us here so that we may make our OWN fate, and that we may learn to help each other with our suffering (or not).
    Come on, this gives Creationists a huge target to shoot at.

    Edit: Your arguments, that is. No offense intended about your ailments - I know what you mean! I'm 41 and I know what it means to have your warranty expire!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2005
  10. Oct 12, 2005 #9
    who says so?

    with all due respect, this is not necessarily so.

    MF
     
  11. Oct 12, 2005 #10
    How do you explain these bad components in terms of the theory of natural selection? I thought that that only traits that enhanced survival would get transmitted. Does bad eyesight enhance survival?

    On the other hand, it can be explained in terms of the theory of intelligent design. What would prevent an intelligent designer from making design decisions that we don't fully understand or agree with?

    In other words, unless you can elaborate further, I see your argument as being more in favor of ID than natural selection. Please elaborate further.
     
  12. Oct 12, 2005 #11
    an eye that performs reasonably well up to the age of 50 in most humans would be enough to ensure propagation of the associated genes (by age 50 most people are past the bulk of their reproductive life), therefore would "pass" the natural selection test.

    MF
     
  13. Oct 12, 2005 #12
    So it's not a bad design component after all. What on earth are we talking about?
     
  14. Oct 12, 2005 #13
    I have no idea since I am not the author of the first post in this thread.
    :smile:
    MF
     
  15. Oct 12, 2005 #14
    Tonight and for the next two nights there is going to be a debate near where I live entitled "Creation vs. Evolution". This is not exactly what I am interested in. I would have preferred a debate between intelligent design and natural selection. However, I intend to show up. Here are a couple of thoughts that I bring with me as I prepare to attend.

    1. I know zip about biology. Regardless of what good reasons there may be for favoring natural selection over other theories, I don't know what these reasons are. For me to favor one theory over another at this time would be a religious act, not a scientific one. Perhaps (not likely, I admit) this debate will clear up some things for me.

    2. If there is a Q & A session, I may get to ask what I really want to know: A. What are the scientific rivals to natural selection and what experiments favor natural selection? B. Are intelligent design and natural selection falsifiable and if so, what experiment would falsify them? On the other hand, if there is a Q & A session, I expect there will be a lot of questions from semi-articulate people with vague axes to grind and lots of free time on their hands.

    Public debate on the issue has different goals than scientific debate. The issue tends to center on what will be included in grade school textbooks and classrooms. It's one thing to claim that intelligent design is not science and should not be taught in the science curriculum. But are kids being taught that science progresses by improving upon and in rare cases by replacing existing theories. Or are we telling them that the scientific battles are over, natural selection wins. World without end.
     
  16. Oct 12, 2005 #15

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I await your report on the debate.


    "But are kids being taught that science progresses by improving upon and in rare cases by replacing existing theories. Or are we telling them that the scientific battles are over, natural selection wins."

    I heard somewhere an intriguing compromise:
    First, instill in our children a strong foundation upon the principles of critical thinking and the Scientific Method.
    Then, introduce them to the theories of natural selection and intelligent design. Educate them in coming to their own conclusions.
     
  17. Oct 12, 2005 #16
    As far as I know, the courts have consistently ruled that ID cannot be taught in the classroom because it it religious. Maybe I have it wrong.
     
  18. Oct 12, 2005 #17
    Intelligent design implies an intelligent designer. One possible designer is God. imho (and a lot of other people's opinions as well), the existence of God (and hence whether He intelligently designed creation) is NOT falsifiable by definition, thus you would be wasting your time looking for ways to falsify the intelligent design argument (for this reason it must always be considered an issue of faith and can never be considered a reasonable subject for scientific study).

    MF
     
  19. Oct 12, 2005 #18
    True enough, but the rest of your argument seems to be based on the assumption that the ONLY possible designer is God. However, the intelligent design people take great care to avoid postulating that the designer is God because they want their theory to be taught in public schools. In my opinion, this means that your argument doesn't work.

    The ball is in both courts. Is natural selection falsifiable?
     
  20. Oct 12, 2005 #19

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Sure. If you find the conserved portion of the human genome is encoding the message, "Patent Pending: God". That would do it I suppose.
     
  21. Oct 12, 2005 #20
    I don't mention 'how we should have been designed'. I am pointing out that we are poorly designed relative to our current lifespan. Our lifespan is artificially long due to our intelligence and many of our design flaws would not be a problem if we were unintelligent animals and our average lifespan would be about what it was 500 years ago (around 35?). Our design reinforces the idea of evolution and is not supported by intelligent design. I don't see how you get my statements are anti-Darwin, they seem to be perfectly evolutionary to me.

    You can buy into the religious crap which has evolved over the years (and your statements sound distinctly religious for an atheist) to explain pain and suffering so that they can continue to believe, I don't. Where do we get this idea that the only way we can be better people is to have pain and suffer? It hasn't made me a better person, it has made me an angry person, the suffering of humanity has made me even more angry.

    This is off the subject I brought up though. You criticize my statements without any supporting arguments other than religious ones.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Are we intelligently designed?
  1. Intelligent Design! (Replies: 28)

  2. Intelligent Design (Replies: 1)

  3. Intelligent Design (Replies: 1)

  4. Intelligent Design v.2 (Replies: 22)

Loading...