Insipid Design

Well, yes. It’s an obvious thought, isn’t it. One of the first that occurs to us, in fact. If the Designer is so damn intelligent, why aren’t we better? Why isn’t everything? I mean, is this supposed to be optimal? You’re kidding, right?

Far be it from me to kick an idea when it’s down, but I do wonder whether proponents of ID have really thought this through…Because if we were designed by God, it wasn’t on one of His better days.

Yeah you could say that.

Why would an intelligent designer equip each of us with an appendix — an organ whose sole purpose is to become infected and periodically explode? If this was Intelligent Design, then it implies the designer hates us the way many interior designers hate the people who actually live in their creations.

Right so the appendix is kind of like a cook or server spitting in your soup. That and one or two other glitches I can think of. Backs, colons, cholesterol, knees. And if we asked giraffes or hummingbirds or snakes or worms, they might have a few items to throw into the pot too. Maybe snakes and worms would actually like to have arms and legs, you know? Ever thought of that? No, neither did the oh so clever designer, either, apparently. Unless it did, and witheld them to be mean.

Remember, if we are the products of an Intelligent Design, there’s no excuse for such design flaws. It would be like buying a new car and finding out someone had forgotten to include brakes. I wouldn’t call that Intelligent Design.

Well, exactly. I wrote an essay for TPM Online a couple of years ago that says much the same thing.

It’s all such a ramshackly arrangement, really. Who set this up? A little more imagination wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Some bigger thinking. Quite a lot more generosity, scope, long-term planning wouldn’t have come amiss. Following things through, realizing implications, seeing where all these pathetic contrivances were going to lead – you’d think that would be part of the job, quite frankly. To be brutally honest, one wonders if whoever did this even had an engineering degree. Degree, hell, one wonders if the poor bungler ever even took a single class. Maybe it was an eight o’clock, is that it? Sleep too attractive, so the result is we have to put up with these ridiculous bodies that break so easily, that get stiff and slow and then stop altogether, that ooze and drip all sorts of foul smelly liquids, that have to be fueled every few hours and turned completely off for nearly a third of every day, that get too cold or too hot, tired or sick, frightened or sad, angry or deranged? That come with throats that get sore, lungs that fill with fluid, guts that malfunction, teeth that rot and crack? And of course there’s no warranty. In short, one or two design flaws, wouldn’t you say? Rather obvious design flaws? I mean, what were they doing? Working with their eyes shut? Did they not test the product? Did they just slap something together and then ship without even checking it, or what? It’s not as if these things are subtle, or hard to detect. It’s not as if they don’t show up right away, is it.

I even mentioned the car without brakes. (Well it is an obvious example, isn’t it, so that’s not surprising.)

It is hard not to get exasperated. It’s all so obvious. A child could have noticed. (Maybe it is a child?) It’s not just the bodies, though they’re bad enough, it’s so many other things too. This place we’re given to live, for instance –

I mean, it has such potential. Don’t get me wrong. Of course I realize that, I’m not stupid, I’m not blind, I know about the good bits. I’ve stood and marveled at the oceans with the best of them. Sunsets, stars, mountains, waterfalls, flowers, fruit – all lovely, yes, I know. I admire it all as much as anyone. But so what? Does that mean the not-so-good parts are not a problem? Do we usually think about things that way? ‘Well this shirt is a lovely colour so I really don’t mind that it’s full of holes. This car has excellent tires so it’s okay that the brakes don’t work.’ No I don’t think so, I think we want all the parts to work, thank you very much, not just some of them. Is that so much to ask?

And why can’t we fly? And live forever, but hibernate for awhile when we get bored? And make some kind of electric ray shoot out of our heads so that all the cell phones within a quarter of a mile would stop working? And if we wanted not to have hair on some particular part of our bodies where there was hair, just decide not to have it there and be done with it? And go deaf whenever we wanted to, and stop being deaf whenever we wanted to do that? And have a filter so that we would hear what we wanted to hear and not hear what we didn’t want to hear? And live underwater if we feel like it? And see in the dark? And be invisible? And have our own climate control dial built into the backs of our hands?

Intelligent designer ha. Just ha. Inattentive designer. Inept designer. Inclined to do sloppy work designer. In for a nasty shock if it expects me to give it a round of applause designer.

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