Human evolution Intelligent Design

Jonathan Wells asks, Is the human shoulder badly designed?

Spread the love

Personal misfortune taught him otherwise:

A few months ago, I fell and dislocated my left shoulder. My upper arm bone was put back in its socket the same day, but then I spent months in physical therapy to regain full function. In the process, I have learned a lot about an amazing joint that I previously took for granted.

The more I have learned about the shoulder joint, the more I have been impressed by its specified complexity, which points to intelligent design. Imagine my surprise when I came across a six-and-a-half-minute video claiming that the human shoulder is a “design disaster.” The video was made by Cheddar News, which describes itself as “the only news network focused on the next generation of innovators and decision-makers[.] Cheddar News is where forward thinkers go to learn about the people, ideas and innovations that are driving change and creating what’s next.”

Jonathan Wells, “Is the Human Shoulder Badly Designed?” at Evolution News (May 13, 2022)

Wells proceeds to take apart the video, including

The video’s producer is Natalia Ryzak, who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. At the beginning, Ryzak explains that “human shoulder blades tilt down and outwards, whereas chimps tilt up. Small variations like this are the reason humans have awful shoulders. And chimps, with whom we share nearly 99% of our DNA, don’t.” For that, Ryzak continues, “we can thank evolution — or more specifically, how we are outpacing it.”

But the tilt difference does not explain why the human shoulder is “awful.” If we spent most of our time swinging from tree branches, it might; but we don’t. And the claimed 99% similarity between human and chimp DNA has no bearing on the issue.

Jonathan Wells, “Is the Human Shoulder Badly Designed?” at Evolution News (May 13, 2022)

You may also wish to read: Claim: Why human brains were once bigger The researchers cite writing as one possibility for shrinking brains.

4 Replies to “Jonathan Wells asks, Is the human shoulder badly designed?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Something that, while far from perfect, works well enough is what we might expect from evolution. The problem for ID is explaining why their perfect Designer produces somewhat less-than-perfect designs.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    I don’t buy the correlation that ‘least stable’ is bad design. It only goes wrong when used repeatedly for unnatural purposes like throwing a baseball. The absence of a proper hinge means that the shoulder is still movable when arthritis immobilizes everything else.

    Arthritis is bad design, the shoulder isn’t.

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “The video’s producer is Natalia Ryzak, who has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.”

    Seriously, what is this credential worth? People produce videos falling out of bed these days.

    Andrew

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    Sev @ 1: How many times do you need to be told that there is no such thing as a perfect design? Every design is a trade-off among various requirements and specifications. Improving a good design for one way will make worse for another. The best a designer can do is optimize the design to best meet all the specifications. So unless you know what all the spec’s were, how the design meets those requirements, and can come up with a design yourself that is demonstrably better, then please stop looking foolish by writing about supposedly poor designs.

Leave a Reply