THE FOURTH WINNER of the Curmudgeon’s coveted Buffoon Award is — [drum roll, flourish of trumpets] — the Intelligent Designer.
This conjectured entity — which is never identified as a deity — but which is supposed to have conjured us up ages ago out of primordial materials that never otherwise could have evolved (tornado in a junkyard, etc.) is tirelessly promoted by the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) as being the “best” explanation for our wondrous existence.
At last, all that expensive public relations activity has paid off. After toiling in obscurity for hundreds of millions of years to bring us to the apex of Creation, the Intelligent Designer is hereby recognized for the quality of his work.
Taking the Discoveroids at their word (a course which isn’t usually recommended, but which we do here as an intellectual exercise), let us briefly consider the handiwork of the Designer. What hath he wrought?
We’ll give you our conclusion right up front — the Designer is a slob, an incompetent, and virtually an imbecile. As we will clearly demonstrate, the Designer has fairly earned our Buffoon Award.
Consider first the obvious things — the ones that spring readily to mind. Our teeth are troublesome — they decay, they don’t replace themselves, and there are too many of them for the size of our jaws. This is obviously bad design. But there are numerous other examples.
Think about our spines, which seem to cause trouble for half of humanity. Our hearts are inadequate, our knees cause trouble, our eyes go bad, and even when our vision is “good” we’re blind to most of the spectrum. Were we able to see infra-red radiation we’d be much better equipped for night vision. Ultra violet vision might have informed us about the universe long before we had to fashion instruments to augment our senses.
One might argue that the Designer gave us vision that is sufficient for our purposes. Yes, but mere sufficiency is what we’d expect of evolution — whatever is adequate will survive. But that which is purposefully designed should be observably better than merely adequate. Shouldn’t it?
While we’re grading the designer’s work, we should add that our other sensory equipment is inadequate, compared to the abilities of “lower” animals. Other animals have a far superior sense of taste, smell, and hearing. Also — sorry to mention this, ladies — we have an embarrassingly defective control system for the disposal of solid waste. It’s sometimes too fast, at other times too slow. But there’s no need to go into details.
Aside from those well-known and exceedingly troublesome features, consider some basic, far more fundamental design flaws. We can’t regenerate lost limbs. Or organs. We could certainly use a better immune system — especially regarding cancer. Note that we’re not being unreasonable. This isn’t a Superman list. We’re not talking about the ability to fly, or being bullet-proof. Ours are very realistic complaints.
The foregoing were listed quickly, without searching the internet for further examples. Once one starts looking around, it’s possible to construct a really long list of design flaws. For example, Evidence for Jury-Rigged Design in Nature tells us: “In human males, the urethra passes right through the prostate gland, a gland very prone to infection and subsequent enlargement.” It also mentions some oddities about human toes, elbows, etc. Good article — but we wish “Gerry-Rigged” had been used in the title.
There’s no need to catalog all of our inadequacies from head to toe. The foregoing tells us what we need to know — we’re a mess!
But anyone can make a list of of defective components, inadequate capabilities, and desired improvements to present to the Designer. We’re going beyond that. It’s time to think big. We need to realize that we have entire systems that are incompetently designed.
Consider, for example, how a competent industrial engineer would design a factory to produce dog food. (We’ve never done this, nor have we visited such a facility, so bear with us in case we miss something.) Draw a rectangle. At the left end, cattle enter. The middle of the rectangle is where the cattle are converted to cans of dog food. At the right end of our diagram, a conveyor belt brings cartons of our product to waiting trucks. Input, output. Simple.
That takes care of the left and right sides of our rectangular diagram. The bottom side — the front of the building — is where we have the entrance for employees, because we wouldn’t dream of having them share the same entrance as the cattle. We should probably have yet another entrance on the front side, but some distance from the employee’s entrance. That would be a loading dock for deliveries — machine parts, empty cans, paper for cartons, office supplies, etc. That’s three separate entrances. Plus extras for water pipes, conduits for power, etc. We’ll need lots of separate input systems.
Now we look at the top side of our rectangular diagram — the rear of the building. Let’s use that as the place where animal waste is discharged. We don’t want that material using the same conveyor belt that transports our finished product out the right side of the rectangle. Such co-mingling would be incompetent beyond imagining.
So there you have it — a rudimentary diagram for a dog food factory. Let’s compare that to the way we are designed.
Our intake for air, water, and food all goes through our throat. That’s right — we have one all-purpose intake orifice. The resulting inconvenience is sometimes trivial, like belching, when air gets into the esophagus. We can suffer a coughing fit if liquid gets into our trachea. It can be potentially fatal when solid food goes down the trachea, and it’s downright ridiculous if we laugh while drinking and then sneeze beverages out through our nostrils. All of these nuisances — and potential hazards — flow from inadequate design.
Our output system for waste water is oddly entwined with our reproductive system. We designed our dog food factory to have waste go out the back, while the finished product goes out the side. Yet we — the pinnacle of creation — were “designed” so that our system for the output of waste product (urine) and our system for the output of real products (reproduction) are scrambled together. They use the same duct-work.
Well, there you are. No other conclusion is possible except that the so-called Intelligent Designer is a boob. A dunce. A clown. Or, as we have now officially designated him, a buffoon. Even a dog food factory would be better designed than we are.
If we were designed, that is.
Update: See More of the Intelligent Designer’s Blunders.
[History note: The first Buffoon Award was announced here: Buffoon Award Winner — John West; the second was here: Buffoon Award Winner — WorldNetDaily; and the third was here: Mark Souder, Creationist Congressman.]
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