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Woohoo, its Thursday
Woohoo, its Thursday
Well it was election time for several US states and there looks to be a Cunuck election too (for those of you from the US of A, we Canadians do have elections, though we eliminated the two line pass and go to shoot-out in the case of .. wait ... I get confused) Either way, Jason Spezza should be minister of finance (he may not get all the goals but he's helptastic).
Anyhow dear reader, you may be ponering how this affects your life (or perhaps the new Clay Aiken single: He does hit that Bitchin' g note in "the way") but I have to say that it does sometimes matter for us wee Canucks.
I worry that my kids are going to gave to suffer through "Intelligent Design" debates.
What is ID? Well most of its proponents maintain that living creatures are just too intricate to have arisen by evolution. Their claim is that throughout the natural world there is evidence of deliberate design. Is it not reasonable, then, to infer the existence of an intelligent designer? To evade the charge that intelligent design is a religious theory (creationism dressed up as science) its advocates make no explicit claims about who or what this designer might be. But students will presumably get the desired point. As one educator has already famously observed: ''The first question they will ask is: 'Well, who's the designer? Do you mean God?''
From a scientific perspective, one of the most frustrating things about intelligent design is that (unlike evolution or natural selection) it is virtually impossible to test. Old-fashioned biblical creationism at least risked making some hard factual claims; that the earth was created before the sun, for example. Intelligent design by contrast, leaves the purposes of the designer wholly mysterious. We are left to presume that any pattern of data in the natural world is consistent with his/her/its existence.
But if we can't infer anything about the design from the designer, maybe we should go the other way. What can we tell about the designer from the design? While there is much that is marvelous in nature, there is also much that is flawed, sloppy and downright freakish. Some nonfunctional oddities, like the peacock's tail or nipples on men might be attributed to a sense of whimsy on the part of the designer. Others just seem grossly inefficient. In mammals, for instance, the recurrent laryngeal nerve does not go directly from the cranium to the larynx, the way any competent engineer would have arranged it. Instead, it extends down the neck to the chest, loops around a lung ligament and then runs back up the neck to the larynx. In a giraffe, that means a 20-foot length of nerve where 1 foot would have done. If this is evidence of design, it would seem to be of the retarded variety.
Such disregard for economy can be found throughout the natural order. Perhaps 99 percent of the species that have existed have died out. Evolution and natural selection have no problem with this, because random variation will inevitably produce both fit and unfit individuals. But what sort of designer would have fashioned creatures so out of sync with their environments that they were doomed to extinction?
The gravest imperfections in nature, though, are moral ones. Consider how humans and other animals are intermittently tortured by pain throughout their lives, especially near the end. Our pain mechanism may have been designed to serve as a warning signal to protect our bodies from damage, but in the majority of diseases like cancer or coronary thrombosis, the signal comes far too late to do any good, and the horrible suffering that ensues is completely useless.
And why should the human reproductive system be so crappily designed? Fewer than one-third of conceptions culminate in live births. The rest end prematurely, either in early gestation or by miscarriage. Nature appears to be an avid abortionist, which ought to trouble Christians who believe in both original sin and the doctrine that a human being equipped with a soul comes into existence at conception. Souls bearing the stain of original sin, we are told, do not merit salvation. That is why, according to traditional theology, unbaptized babies have to languish in limbo for all eternity. Owing to faulty reproductive design, it would seem that the population of limbo must be at least twice that of heaven and hell combined. It is hard to avoid the inference that a designer responsible for such imperfections must have been lacking some divine trait like benevolence or omnipotence or omniscience, or perhaps all three.
Damn, I got really vocal there didn't I? Well it happens so I'm not going to fret as this is mostly a venue for me to spatula my egg bits of thought on the world. "Sunnyside or over-easy?" I ask, and the brown toast of the world keeps asking for ketchup. Go figure.
Cheetos are the only substance in the world that can serve as nutrients AND brick mortar after all.