“Facial miscues” (Intelligent design)

TUFK

Since Intelligent Design is not testable, falsifiable, or provable, it has no place in science class. It would be OK for philosophy course, but even then the idea withers under scrutiny.  While the body has some amazing attributes, its numerous flaws speak against the notion of it having been designed by a flawless, all-knowing, all-powerful being. However, our bodies make sense when one considers the limits and misfires of evolution.

The SkepDoc, Harriet Hall, wrote that examples of a lack of design in humans would include backward retinas, tail stump remnants, and an inability to naturally produce needed vitamins and minerals.  

Most Young Earth Creationists accept what they call microevolution, or minuscule changes within a species. This might include fur becoming darker so the animal can blend into brush to escape a predator. But an intelligent designer creating flawless masterpieces should produce flora and fauna that never require any change.

However, we do change and are mostly the better for it, but it hasn’t always gone well and there have been some evolutionary errors. This is to be expected in an ongoing, imperfect cycle of random mutation and natural selection. These defects come in three types: Characteristics that developed in our distant ancestors as they fought to survive in a prehistoric world much different from the one we occupy; incomplete adaptations, such as the knee being ill-suited to our bipedal stride; and shortcomings that are constrained by evolution’s limits. For example, we have inherited structures that are inefficient but will never be re-designed through random mutation. Or as Hall put it, “No robot arm will ever be designed to imitate our nonsensical bone structure.”

And it’s not just arms that are the issue. There exists a great meme of Ken Ham calling the eye a perfect organ created by a perfect designer – said while Ham is wearing glasses. The only thing Ham and I have in common is that we use eyewear, as do one-third of Westerners and a whopping 75 percent of Asians. This would never happen with perfect design, to say nothing of those who are born blind or become so through congenital defects.  

Meanwhile, the eye’s facial neighbor, the nose, contains nasal sinuses that drain up instead of down.  Not only does this fail to take advantage of natural gravity, it leaves us move vulnerable to colds and sinus infections than other mammals, whose sinuses run the other way. Then there’s the question of why illness would exist at all in a world created by a benevolent being incapable of error.

But with evolution, this again makes sense. Biology professor Nathan Lents explains, “Evolution cares little about the individuals who will die of cancer. This is a sacrifice worth making for the diversity that comes from mutations.” Hall adds, “If a mutation causes harm late in life after the individual has reproduced, such as in Huntington’s disease, natural selection is powerless to stop it.”

Moving down to the throat, the windpipe’s positioning opens the possibility of choking to death through accidental inhalation of food. An intelligent designer would place the path to the lungs and the path to the stomach in separate compartments.

Hall wrote about another throat feature that belies intelligent design: “Our recurrent laryngeal nerve loops under the aorta, following a circuitous path that is more than three times as long as it needs to be. The error originated in fish, which don’t have necks and have a circulatory system very different from that of humans.” Again, this would never happen with intelligent design but can be seen as the result of man and fish having common ancestors.

Those are some flaws in our bodies, now consider what we have to put in it and how that also discredits ID. Unlike most animals, humans are incapable of making nutrients that our diets lack.  To maintain optimal health, we need to eat a varied diet to provide vitamins and micronutrients because we are incapable of producing them internally.  

But that eating often does us in. In the wild, one never sees a fat feline, obese ostrich, or rotund rabbit. But some humans overeat to the point of obesity and this is partly the result of the evolutionary drive to stuff ourselves in order to offset the long stretches of being unable to successfully forage or hunt. So if all this has been produced by an intelligent designer, that creator is also getting in a cruel joke at our expense.

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