In talking with Intelligent Design hucksters, I’m often surprised that they don’t understand a simple truth about nature. If our world was designed by a conscious creator, the creator is astoundingly dumb. I’m especially surprised when Christians espouse ID. Their god’s claims at omnipotence seem a bit… haughty… when its design models can’t even pass first year engineering.
This seems to be an insurmountable hurdle. In years past, it was relatively easy to slough off arguments like this with ignorance. That is, theists could say, “Well, we know so little about biology, there’s obviously something missing, and if we knew it, God’s design would make sense.” Today, we know quite a lot. We’ve got entire genomes transcribed, and we have enormously powerful computers capable of decoding them.
Among the most egregious errors the creator made was forgetting to include a mechanism for disposing of junk DNA. Nearly every genome has large amounts of non-functioning DNA. Most people are aware that most mutations are neutral or bad. But have they thought about the implications? Simply moving a stop codon a few places can render an entire gene un-transcribable. When this happens, it just sits there. If the organism survives, it carries this unusable baggage around, sometimes for millions of years.
Computer designers know something God didn’t. Most computers have programs designed to ferret out and erase data that no longer points to anything usable. They have “defrag” utilities to increase the efficiency of data processing and reduce the number of fatal crashes. Nobody likes going blue screen.
Blind spots are unnecessary. Take this basic diagram to any engineer with a focus on optics, and you’ll get a better design. It’s ironic and funny that IDers make such a big stink about the “irreducible complexity” of the eye. Even if we ignore the fact that the evolution of the eye is well understood, and that it is anything but irreducible, we’re still left with the barking madness of putting the human eye up as an indicator of intelligence.
IDers cannot escape this logic. Appealing to a “higher meaning” doesn’t work when even children are capable of coming up with better ideas than the ones we see in nature. Intelligent is as intelligent does, and if this world was designed, we have no reason to suspect the designer of intelligence.
Here’s your moment of clarity: If a designer is intelligent enough to design DNA, he’s obviously capable of passing a first year engineering course. Since most life wouldn’t pass first year design basics, there’s no reason to believe DNA was designed.