From time to time we write about how evolution and free enterprise are in conflict with intelligent design and socialism. It always enrages some of you, but a Curmudgeon expects that. For example, see Obamacare and Intelligent Design, which links to several earlier posts.
Well, dear reader, it’s a weekend and we need some entertainment, so today we’re doing it again. We found a great article by Gary M. Galles, a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. It’s titled The myth of intelligent (government) design, and it appears in Marianas Variety, a newspaper published in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. They have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
A FEW years back, intelligent design was a red-hot controversy. It has cooled since, but it doesn’t take much to stir the embers. When British astronaut Tim Peak repeated his openness to an intelligently designed universe this year, he was attacked with rejuvenated enthusiasm. One Guardian story responded by quoting, among others, evolutionary biologist Matan Shelomi about problems with our eyes: “Who designed these faulty things? The answer can’t be a God, because a God so incompetent in designing vision sensors isn’t worth worshipping.”
That’s standard stuff criticizing intelligent design. Now the professor turns to politics and economics: He says:
What I find striking about such an “imperfection as proof against believing in something” standard is seldom applied to government, which affects us, and often assails us, every day. That is, why don’t we use that criterion in evaluating whether government is intelligently-enough designed to believe it will solve our human problems?
A centerpiece of calumny against intelligent design as science is that it is neither proven nor provable. However, is it proven or provable that government — whose only superior ability is in coercing others — advances Americans’ life, liberty, or happiness by its ubiquitous intrusion in our lives? Our founders certainly did not believe so. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution imply nothing of the sort. And our experience since has certainly been far from perfection. As a result, is there any reason to believe that government overriding ever more of our choices will give us better results?
After that he tells us:
Can we conclude that government policies and programs work so well, with each intricate part fitting together so seamlessly, that we should credit their designers with sufficient intelligence to trust still more decisions to them? And if not, why should we believe in demanding that government “do something” about every perceived problem, old or new, real or imaginary?
Why would we think that moving decisions to government will result in more intelligent arrangements? There is no way a government plan can replicate the market system’s integration and productive use of the vastly different and overlapping knowledge of each of its participants, coordinated without government central planners. Consequently, moving decisions to government throws away reams of valuable, detailed information that millions of individuals know, leading to less intelligent results.
This is pure gold! We’re not going to excerpt much more because we want you to click over there to read the whole thing. But we can’t leave out the final paragraph:
When you spend your own money, you don’t delegate crucial decisions to designers with extensive records of failure. They are not intelligent enough in the relevant ways to let them decide for you. But saying we need the government to do more — on no better evidence, as so many candidates in the midterm elections did — is no more sensible. Intelligent government design is not established, and the “faulty things” that American public servants create cannot possibly justify our faith in them.
Okay, dear reader, after you’re read it all, consider this: If you’re so certain that intelligent design is ghastly science — which it is — then why in the world do you want government to be the intelligent designer of our lives?
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