Hambo Defends Human Body ‘Design’

Way back in 2009, in recognition of all the obvious blunders that were made in designing humans, we wrote Buffoon Award Winner — The Intelligent Designer. And it was just two weeks ago, in Triumphant Free Fire Zone, that we briefly noted something about the same subject:

There’s a great new article at PhysOrg that debunks just about everything Discoveroids and a lot of other creationists have ever said. It’s well worth reading: Evolutionary flaws disprove the theory of intelligent design.

That paper mentioned by PhysOrg came to the attention of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Is the Human Body a Bad Design? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

“Any poor designer with millions of years available for trying out new solutions could have done a much better job [than evolution did].” That’s the conclusion reached by an evolutionary biologist from Norway, Professor Glenn-Peter Sætre, whose opinions on the issue were recently recorded in a lengthy article. This article highlights the supposed “flaws” in the design of the human body. But are these really “flaws”?

Hambo links to the same PhysOrg article that we did — and he’s furious! We doubt that he learned about it from us, but however it happened, we imagine that he’s red in the face, foaming at the mouth, and rolling around on the floor chewing the carpet. He says:

Here’s what anatomist Dr. David Menton had to say about Sætre’s argument. He declares that these arguments “show a profound lack of understanding of the integrated complexity of the human body.”

That’s Hambo’s rebuttal? Menton is one of his creation scientists. Here’s AIG’s bio page for him. Hambo quotes a bit more from the guy, and then he tells us:

The argument here is basically this: You expect junk “constructions” from evolution (no design at all), but not from an intelligent designer. An intelligent designer would design everything we see in nature in a manner considered to be “intelligent” by an evolutionist/atheist who is dead certain there is no intelligent designer of the natural world. Finally, the argument insists that evidence of poor design (in the opinion of an evolutionist/atheist) is evidence of no design at all. Yes, this is what passes for logic in evolutionism.

Hambo heaps scorn on evolutionist logic:

It should be noted that by all common dictionary definitions, there is no such thing as “chance design.” All definitions of design imply forethought, so all design is “intelligent design,” whether or not one likes the design or believes that it can be improved on. You may be sure that evolutionists would be no more likely to accept “mere design” than “intelligent design.”

Did you follow that? We had some trouble with it. Anyway, then he takes some of the article’s examples of poor design, and explains why they’re really wonderful. Here’s a bit of that:

1. The human pelvic birth canal: The author argues that it is a poor design for humans to deliver their babies through a narrow bony pelvis rather than through the abdomen, as in a caesarian section. He says that this is “an obvious example of ‘unintelligent design in the human body that women have a narrow birth canal, which makes childbirth both more dangerous and more painful than in other species.

And here’s Hambo’s response:

It is true that humans seem to endure more pain in the same process than do most animals. Genesis 3:16 explains this, that the greater pain in the human birth process is a result of sin: “To the woman God said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.”

Brilliant rebuttal! Then he gives us another example of alleged poor design:

2. Human inability to synthesize vitamin C: The author claims the human body is poorly constructed because we are unable to synthesize vitamin C, unlike most other mammals. [Skipping an ark-load of irrelevant blather.] Every creature requires some essential nutrients in their diet while being able to synthesize others.

Problem solved! Here’s the next alleged example of poor design:

3. Humans are so poorly constructed, it is even dangerous to eat! “The problem is that both the food that should be heading for the stomach and the air that should be heading for the lungs, enters our body via the same channel — the pharynx.” So, to the evolutionist, it’s a huge problem for humans (and every other vertebrate with lungs) that we must both breathe and eat through the same opening.

We noted that one in our earlier post. Here’s Hambo’s rebuttal:

Fortunately for the evolutionists, this is a problem easily solved by a rather simple surgery called a tracheotomy. When a tube is placed into the trachea through an incision in the neck, you achieve this “smarter” evolutionary arrangement where air enters our trachea and lungs and food enters our esophagus and stomach by completely separate channels. One can now horse down food like a trousered ape without getting it in your windpipe. But discuss this with your surgeon before you undergo this surgical “improvement” because you will be unable to talk after this procedure. You see we move air from our respiratory system through the vocal cords in our larynx in order to make the sounds of speech and we use our mouth to pronounce the words of speech. Perhaps we should just leave everything the way God created it.

There’s a lot more in Hambo’s post, but we’ve given you the general idea. In our earlier post from years ago, we mentioned several other defects the designer gave us, but it doesn’t matter. If our list were presented to ol’ Hambo, he’d still respond that we’re the best of all possible designs — and anyone who disagrees can complain forever in the Lake of Fire.

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19 responses to “Hambo Defends Human Body ‘Design’

  1. So old hambone says that all creatures are designed such that they can’t make and need certain stuff. So he agrees gawd is an incompetent ahole designer.

  2. No such thing as chance design?
    Creative Artists often make use of chance. Look up the term “aleatory”.
    Any performance artist is familiar with the unpredictable response from the audience. There is crackle-glaze finish in pottery and patina on bronzes.

  3. Dave Luckett

    The human inability to synthesise Vitamin C has two problems for creationists: one, the specific broken gene that causes it has been identified; two, the same gene is also broken in the chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan. Evolution has an explanation for this: that the gene became inactive after the divergence of the “anthropoid” apes from their ancestors, but before their further divergence into the species we know today.

    Creationists might be able to say that to be prone to scurvy is a problem caused by sin. But the great apes, too? Why them? Why only them? What did they do to incur the pique of the Lord, that the macaques and capuchins and the rest did not? They’re all innocent, no? At which point the creationist has the traditional recourse – throw up the hands and point out that humans are not to question the Will of Almighty God.

    Scientists, whose very purpose is to question, and to find answers to the questions, are not allowed the luxury of that response.

  4. chris schilling

    The Lake of Fire was intelligently designed as a splendid surprise for all those miscreants who refuse to believe in it.

    Pools of boiling vomit and excrement don’t just design themselves

  5. The vitamin C issue is just one of many which describe a complex pattern of a nested hierarchy of taxonomy, the “tree of life”. It is not very satisfying to explain it away by a matter of chance. In general, a nested hierarchy suggests descent with modification, as with the families of languages and the families of manuscripts. The example of the info-European languages, although strong, is based on “only” a few thousand instances, rather than the millions in biology. To attempt to explain the tree of life by repeated ad hoc “that’s the way that an omnipotent creator chose to exercise his inscrutable will” is no better than an appeal to random chance. Unless one can come up with constraints on the omnipotent’s action: a theory of Intelligent Design. So we have four options: I am not interested in explaining taxonomy; I am satisfied with “that’s the way that the Intelligent Designer chose to do it”; descent with modification; or some alternate theory, which no one has ever suggested.
    But scientists are not satisfied with “descent with modification” being the only known viable theory. They have been testing the predictions made by the theory for well over a century. And the theory has survived all of the tests.
    That, in brief, is why there is widespread acceptance of evolutionary biology today.

  6. “are these really “flaws”?”
    Ah! This is the funnier kind of creacrap. How will Ol’Hambo deal with The Tension (Herman Philipse), ie the problem that being too similar to science makes creacrap (and theism in general) vulnerable for falsification, but not being similar enough will make it lose all credibility? This promises to be exciting!

    “the integrated complexity”
    As every human designer knows: the more complex, the more flaws a system has! Why d’ya think Microsoft issues all those updates and patchworks?

    “there is no such thing as “chance design”
    Brilliant! Poor design is also evidence for a Grand Old Designer (and Ol’Hambo won’t hesitate to tell us his name: YHWH). That’s the second option – lose all credibility by making your non-theory unfalsifiable.

    “You may be sure that evolutionists would be no more likely to accept “mere design” than “intelligent design.””
    Yes, I do. Unintelligent Design is compatible with polytheism, which assumes that gods are not omni-everything. It still is a problem for monotheism of course.

    “Genesis 3:16 explains this”
    Ah, the good old “something bad, blame Homo Sapiens”.

    “Perhaps we should just leave everything the way God created it.”
    Ah, of course no scientist (a real one, not a fake one like Davy Menton) would recommend tracheotomy as an improvement.
    Losing credibility is what happens when theism, like Ol’Hambo’s YEC, moves away too far from the scientific method by using red herrings. And Ol’Hambo needs many of them this time.

  7. I always think of the statement: What kind of designer would place waste disposal sites right next to a recreation area?

  8. Btw, I forgot a few days ago – randomness (or probability or chance) indeed are compatible with design. We all have a fine example right under our nose. COVID-19 is excellently designed (I hesitate to use “perfectly”) to contaminate and kill as many living beings as possible. However COVID needed 19 attempts before hitting the jackpot.
    It’s the same with the IDiot Central Question. Combine laws of nature (specifically chemistry) with the Law of Large Numbers with favourable circumstances and given enough time the probability of life popping up “randomly” will approach 1. TomS is right to refer to aleatory. Also it has been shown that monkeys using typemachines, when selection is applied, will arrive at Shakespeare’s plays relatively quickly. This is an example of the danger of theism’s first option: “either design or randomness” is too vulnerable for falsification. As always theism loses to science.
    So the most promising strategy for believers – and all the sensible ones do – is to adapt theology to science. Fortunately creacrappers are not that sensible and are doomed to fall into the same trap over and over again – to our joy.

  9. Eddie Janssen

    A nice example of dumb design is about Vitamin B12. It is made for us inside our own body by bacteria. Good solution you would think!
    Alas, it is made by bacteria in the larger intestine (the colon) and we cannot get the stuff from the colon into our bodies.
    Or, as Nathan Lents describes it in his “Human Errors”(page 45): “We absorb B12 in the small intestine, which comes before the large intestine in the flow of traffic within the digestive system. So the wonderfull bacteria of the human gut are nice enough to provide B12 for us, but the gut is so poorly designed that we send all of that B12 to the toilet.”

  10. Eddie Janssen

    Another revealing book on “remarkable” design is “Inside the human genome” by John Avise.
    The whole production line from DNA tot protein for instance is quite astonishing, not to say cost in-effective.

  11. @eddie Janssen, I was going to mention “Human Errors”. Nathan Lents and I correspond regularly, and I have mentioned him before as an example of an evangelical Christian who is unreservedly our ally when it comes to defending science. How he can believe in the Resurrection is beyond me, but that is his problem, not ours, and we both know that discussing it is unlikely be fruitful

  12. Full disclosure: I used to teach human anatomy at a medical school. In that role I have been involved in dissections of at least 250 bodies, all of which displayed the various unintelligent designs mentioned above. One of my favorites is the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the course of which is readily explained by our evolutionary history. It’s only “intelligent design” explanation is that, because of it’s proximity to nodes of the lymph drainage of the lung, Hammies favorite god designed it to warn people about to die from metastatic lung cancer of their impending fate by giving them a distinctive hoarse voice.

  13. I have a question about the bad design of the adult human body. Have we taken account of the growth of the adult from a single cell? Is there a better way to produce the adult body?
    And, given the realities of evolution, is it such a bad design to produce a human anatomy as a primate, a mammal, a vertebrate, etc.?

  14. Laurette McGovern

    Basically, what creationists are saying is that even if the human body is not perfect in human eyes, it is perfect in god’s eyes. So, people, stop complaining–god knows what he is doing

  15. @abeastwood, that must have been useful to Diplodocus. Btw, defending the poor wiring of the mamalian eye, Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) actually does use the arguent that we don’t know the designer’s full.purposes.

    Let me again commend http://centreforunintelligentdesign.yolasite.com/

  16. We don’t know the designer’s full purposes? But we do know that the designer has purposes?
    How do we know that the eye has the purpose to see?
    And if the designers are above the constraints of nature (supernatural or omnipotent) what sense does it make for them to resort to design?

  17. LauretteMcG is spot on: “it is perfect in god’s eyes”.
    What’s more, just like our world may be imperfect but still is the best one of all possible worlds (Leibniz) our human body may be imperfect in our eyes but still is the best one of all possible human bodies (apparently Ol’Hambo).

  18. But with God, all things are possible. That’s how the 2nd law of thermodynamics is no difficulty for life.

  19. No but – when doing apologetics yours is not a contradiction. It only looks that way due to our imperfect brains:) .