Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Intelligent Design Proponent Says God Must Be Stupid

Our friends over at the "Discovery Institute" (a misnomer if ever there was one) have in essence told us that God is just plain stupid. What's even funnier is that their boneheaded leader, Dr. Cornelius Hunter, doesn't even seem to realize what a gaffe he just pulled.
We do not know evolution to be an obvious, compelling explanation of the data—beyond any shadow of a doubt. Yet this is precisely what evolutionists claim. ... Here, for example, is what one professor recently wrote to me:
"An omnipotent god could do anything (we guess), but one who is omnipotent, serious, and thoughtful (at least as serious and thoughtful as an exemplary human) would not route wiring from giraffe’s larynx around its aorta."
How does the professor know that an omnipotent, serious, and thoughtful god would not route wiring from the giraffe’s larynx around its aorta? What does the professor know about omnipotent, serious, and thoughtful gods? And what does the professor know about creating giraffes? Precious little, I’m afraid, in both cases."
Wrong, wrong, wrong!

OK, Dr. Hunter, let me explain it in plain simple terms. God wouldn't route that giraffe's nerves from its brain, down around its heart, and then back up its neck to its larynx because it's a really stupid way to do it.

One of the replies to Dr. Hunter's column says it better than I can. Dave Mullenix writes:
That's a pretty easy question to answer. The routing we see in the giraffe makes the nerve at least ten times longer than a direct route, which requires more material to make the nerve and makes the nerve impulses take at least ten times longer to reach their target. It also exposes ten times more nerve to damage. The giraffe routing is not only unintelligent, it's spectacularly unintelligent!
There are thousands of examples like this in nature, where evolution has created peculiar structures that would be far better if they were designed rather than evolved. In fact, just about everywhere you turn in biology, there are stupid "designs" that no intelligent designer would make. Contrary to Dr. Hunter's claims, these are some of the most convincing examples of why evolution must be true. In each case the "stupid" design makes perfect sense when you look at the complete history of how that feature evolved.

One of the most embarrassing arguments you hear from religious apologists is "God is smarter than you," or "God works in mysterious ways." It's the "easy out" excuse.

You can corner a religious apologist into the deepest logical contradiction you like, and presto-chango, he escapes! "Ha! God is so smart that HE knows the reason for this ridiculous claim I'm making, so I'm right and you're wrong!" And the apologist smiles smugly while his friends pat him on the back for being so clever.

We don't have to be gods to know right from wrong, clever from stupid, and impossible from possible. Over two thousand years ago the Greek philosophers realized that there were some laws that even gods had to obey. 2 + 2 = 4 is true no matter what universe you live in, and even God himself can't make it otherwise. And no matter how smart God is, there is still no excuse for a stupid design.

No amount of omniscience can change stupid to smart. But Dr. Hunter seems to know how to get a PhD and still be stupid.


  1. Thanks for this excellent post. I'm going to link to it in my blog because I'm collector of evidence for evolution. Dave Mullenix's explanation was perfect. An unnecessarily long nerve in a giraffe only makes sense if evolution is true. Even a Christian fundamentalist should be able to understand this stuff, but unfortunately their minds are made up, everything is magic. They always have the Christian Creationist Discovery Institute to back them up. Professional liars for Jeebus know they are full of it, but they also know their gullible customers never check facts.


  2. I don't know why Darwinists aren't able to get it. It's really quite simple. Good design is evidence of ID because we know that a designer would probably do it that way. Bad design isn't evidence of anything because we can't possibly know what a designer would probably do.[/poe]

  3. Venture Free – I don't know why creationists aren't able to get it. There is no design. That's a human projection on nature's workings. We look at something and say, "If I were asked to create this thing, here's how I would do it." THERE IS NO DESIGN IN NATURE. Only things that happened to replicate more effectively than the other entities around them. Words like "want" and "compete" and "design" imply motive where there is none, but we must use them for brevity.

    A planet's orbit wasn't "designed." It just happens that the way physical matter interacts at a distance causes large aggregations of matter to follow a path, and humans have given that path the name "orbit."

    "Bad design" isn't what we find in nature, because there is no design at all. Instead, we find physical structures that are sub-optimal. And sub-optimal features ARE evidence against a designer. Especially when there is an alternative explanation (Darwinism) that predicts that sub-optimal features should be common in nature.

  4. Venture, that's just the problem. A designer wouldn't do it this way. There are lots of very bad, very inefficient, and frankly -- very cruel elements in nature, and any half-competent engineer with an ounce of compassion wouldn't do things the same way.

  5. While I'm at it, why do you folks insist on calling us "Darwinists"? That's like calling physicists "Newtonists." Darwin got a number of things wrong, primarily because he didn't know about DNA. When it came to sexual selection, he got a lot of things wrong, primarily because he was a British Victorian.

    He was also not the first person to discover evolution. He was just the guy to get it on the front page.

  6. I gotta find a better way to indicate Poe. Please note the [/poe] at the end of my post. That's supposed to be a mock HTML tag, closing my Poe rant. (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law)

    I was actually attempting to demonstrate the compartmentalization that creationists are such masters at. Note that my "good design" statement relied entirely on knowing what a designer would or would not do. Note also that my "bad design" statement relied entirely on the premise that we can't possibly know what a designer would or would not do. The two are of course mutually exclusive, but both are used by many creationists, often within the same argument.

    He was also not the first person to discover evolution. He was just the guy to get it on the front page.

    [In] science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs. ~Francis Darwin

    I wonder how many world shattering ideas have been discovered by stoners having a laugh with their friends in their hazy, smoke filled rooms, only to be forgotten a moment later when the commercials ended and Spongebob Squarepants came back on.

  7. Venture ... well, it was a parody well done! I've never heard of Poe's Law but I like it. It sounds like it's in league with Godwin's Law, a great idea but it hasn't spread everywhere yet.

  8. we're this far from nuking all of you....

    the X-MAS vacuum cleaner for the atheists....

    shermer, randi, myers, pz, dawkins, harris



    why does everyone always want to PUNCH you, shermer?




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