Intelligent Design

Müller Cells are Wavelength-Dependent Wave-Guides

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The best arguments for evolution have always been from dysteleology. This world, as evolutionists explain, just does not appear to have been designed. Consider our retina for example. Isn’t it all backwards, with the photocells—which detect the incoming light—pointed toward the rear and behind several layers of cell types and neural processes. Does this make any sense? Surely such a claptrap would offend any “tidy-minded engineer,” as Richard Dawkins put it. But such arguments have never worked and the history of evolutionary thought is full their failures. Aside from the fact they are metaphysical and not open to scientific testing, they inevitably are simply false. The “bad retina design” argument, as discussed herehereherehere andhere for example  Read more

66 Replies to “Müller Cells are Wavelength-Dependent Wave-Guides

  1. 1
    Mark Frank says:

    Aside from the fact they are metaphysical and not open to scientific testing, they inevitably are simply false

    Not open to scientific testing except that they are false! Interesting.

  2. 2
    Hoplite says:

    Perhaps the argument is:
    1. X is a bad design
    2. The intelligent designer would not design something badly
    3. Therefore an intelligent designer did not design X

    1 is open to scientific testing, 2 is a matter of philosophy. 3 is false if 1 or 2 are false, but to show 3 is true, both 1 and 2 need to be true.

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mark, are you suggesting that “a designer would not have done it that way” is subject to scientific testing? Do tell.

  4. 4
    Mark Frank says:

    #3 Barry – no. As you know I think the designer of undetermined power and motive is untestable – but as Cornelius claims to have falsified some “designer would not have done it what way” hypotheses I guess he must have found a way to test them. Perhaps he can explain.

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You don’t need to scientifically test certain statements to conclude that they are false.
    In order to conclude “bad design” you have to know the intent of the design plan.
    So, declaring “bad design” without understanding the purpose of the design is false without need for scientific tests.

  6. 6
    Joe says:

    Mark FRank:

    As you know I think the designer of undetermined power and motive is untestabl

    Who is trying to test the designer? The design can be tested. ID is about the design.

  7. 7
    Box says:

    Mark Frank:

    as Cornelius claims to have falsified some “designer would not have done it what way” hypotheses (..).

    Cornelius never did claim such nonsense. He claims that the bad design claim is false. He backs this up by informing us that new research out of Israel shows that we are in fact dealing with very clever design.

  8. 8
    Mark Frank says:

    #7 Box

    This is a very subtle distinction between:

    This is badly designed so a designer would not have done it that way.

    and

    This is badly designed.

    I guess the difference is the possibility of “This is badly designed but the designer would have done it that way” presumably out of incompetence.

  9. 9
    Box says:

    Mark Frank,
    why do you keep prattling about bad design? Hunter’s point is that the retina is not badly designed. On the contrary, it is an example of great design.

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    Box, Mark Frank seems to be ignorant of the fact that random effects do happen and sometimes they can mess up a once good design.

    Not only that the people who prattle on about the alleged bad design couldn’t do any better.

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    What is good or bad design depends on the objective. Darwinian processes would seem to favor organism or species optimization since this is what inner breeds. But we do not see species optimization, instead we see for every species boundaries for development

    This suboptimazation is a requirement for a successful ecology otherwise the runaway species would destroy the ecology as it gets optimal. So limitations on species or what is called bad design is actually a fantastic argument for design. Because naturalistic processes would not lead to this necessary suboptimazation.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Mark Frank:

    Not open to scientific testing except that they are false! Interesting.

    So science is about finding the truth. Interesting.

  13. 13
    Mark Frank says:

    #11 jerry

    Darwinian processes do not favour any kind of optimisation. They suggest that species will develop features that increase their fitness in the current environment. There may well be alternatives that would increase fitness that evolution happens never to have stumbled upon (in fact there almost certainly are).

    We frequently see runaway species destroying ecology – homo sapiens being perhaps the most dramatic example – but locusts and algal blooms do a pretty good job too.

  14. 14
    tjguy says:

    Hoplite says:

    Perhaps the argument is:
    1. X is a bad design
    2. The intelligent designer would not design something badly
    3. Therefore an intelligent designer did not design X

    1 is open to scientific testing, 2 is a matter of philosophy. 3 is false if 1 or 2 are false, but to show 3 is true, both 1 and 2 need to be true.

    I am not so sure that I agree that #1 is testable – at least in every situation.

    For instance, the retina design seems to work very well so how could it be testable? What experiment would you use to test the hypothesis that the retina is badly designed?

    Normally, a test for a bad design is whether it works or not and how well it works. A design for a machine can be tested against other designs, but how can you test the design of the eye?

    Would you try and build one that is better designed and see if it works better than the one we have?

    Is this possible?

    I would love to see the naysayers step up to the plate and do this. Otherwise, it is just an empty biased claim that cannot be tested.

    It is easy to sit back and say that something is badly designed, but, design in nature continually surprises us. My bet is that there may be reasons that we are unaware of for the particular design in question. Besides, it works well and as Dr. Hunter’s article shows, there is real evidence for good design here as well.

    The good/bad design argument is a bit subjective in my view anyway. Evolutionists are so eager to score a point that they are quick to see “faults” with designs we see in nature that seem to be functioning very well.

    Just an aside: Anyone every heard of the bad back argument? Many evolutionists claim the back problems we have are due to the evolutionary process of change from walking on all fours to walking upright. So to solve this problem, they want to straighten out the spine, but in reality, the restoration of the curve in the spine is the proper treatment for back problems. So in this case, the evolutionary paradigm is a hindrance to medicine.

    Other problems with the bad design argument are that things deteriorate over time so the problems we see today may be more the result of a genetic mutation than original design. Evolutionists want to pin the current problems on the Creator, but the Bible says the current designs were originally created “very good”, but later, when sin entered the world, the creation also was cursed and the process of degradation began. So, according to the Bible, “bad designs” – if indeed they are bad designs – are probably due to the curse put on the creation as a result of Adam’s sin.

    Anyway, my point is that what constitutes a bad design is really very subjective and sometimes is very hard to accurately determine. Claims abound, but as in the case of the retina, can they really be tested?

  15. 15
    Box says:

    MF (off topic)

    We frequently see runaway species destroying ecology – homo sapiens being perhaps the most dramatic example – but locusts and algal blooms do a pretty good job too.

    Think about this. Why is it that we don’t see only runaway species? What is this “ecology” you are referring to? Where is the harmony and balance in nature coming from?
    Why is coexistence so dominant in nature?

    Bonnie Bassler: “I know that you think of yourself as human beings but I think of you as 90 to 99% bacterial”
    “You have a hundred times more bacterial genes playing a role in you or on you all of your life.” – [source: youtube ]

  16. 16
    Mark Frank says:

    #14 tjguy

    I agree that claims of bad design are hard to prove or falsify (among other things you have to make some assumptions about what the design is intended to achieve). That is why I was surprised at CH’s claim that some of them had been falsified.

  17. 17
    Box says:

    MF,
    when one is able to show that a design is excellent doesn’t that falsify the claim that it is bad design?
    Hello?

  18. 18
    Mark Frank says:

    #17 Box

    How do you show it is excellent?

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    If the Bible is to be taken literally, wasn’t it only the ground (land) that was cursed?

  20. 20
    anthropic says:

    Mung 19

    Literal is not the same thing as literalistic. When Jesus said, “I am the door”, a literalistic reading would have us claiming He had hinges.

  21. 21
    Joe says:

    Mark Frank:

    Darwinian processes do not favour any kind of optimisation

    And yet the TSZ denizens have said that it does.

    They suggest that species will develop features that increase their fitness in the current environment.

    Whatever those features are and fitness wrt biology is an after-the-fact assessment.

  22. 22
    Box says:

    Mark Frank #18,
    did you bother to actually read the article?

  23. 23
    Silver Asiatic says:

    @16 Mark Frank,

    I would have to agree since it would be almost impossible to falsify the claim of bad design without knowing the pre-supposition. “Bad design for what”?

    What goes unstated is the various assumptions about the nature of the designer that lead to the conclusion of bad or good design.

    Dawkins assumes a “tidy-minded engineer”. That has a very Anglo-Protestant sound to it – which makes sense because that’s the theological view he imposes on the question.

    Others might view the designer more as a Renaissance artist or playwright — and “tidy minded” is not the first term one has in mind in that case.

    One might have a “tidy” murder-mystery novel where the solution is given in the first page so readers don’t have to deal with all the messiness of following clues and having a lack of knowledge about the purpose, design and intent of the story.

  24. 24
    Mark Frank says:

    #22 Box

    The article shows how the arrangement of nerve cells in the mammalian eye may increase the fitness of the organism in unexpected ways. This does not demonstrate excellence of design unless you can show:

    * What the design was intended to achieve (see SA #23)
    * There were no alternative designs that were even better.

    I challenge you to do either.

  25. 25
    inunison says:

    Apparently Mark Frank does not understand that a claim/argument could both be scientifically untestable and logically false.

  26. 26
    Silver Asiatic says:

    This does not demonstrate excellence of design unless you can show:

    * What the design was intended to achieve (see SA #23)
    * There were no alternative designs that were even better.

    We’re starting with the conclusion that it was designed and that’s a great starting point.
    From there, one could propose a particular designer – based on metaphysical and theological evidence.

    From theology, there is evidence about what the design was intended to achieve.
    There is also evidence about whether this was the best design for that purpose.

    The arguments will surround the theological/philosophical starting-points since we’ve already concluded that there is a designer.

    Theological and philosophical proofs are different than science but they’re essential.

  27. 27
    Box says:

    Mark Frank #24,

    Logical fallacy! The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim. It’s up to the person who makes the positive claim of “bad design” to show alternative (better) designs. Also this person has to provide a concept of what the design intended to achieve (whether such an attempt makes sense or not).
    After all that it’s the other guy’s job to show him wrong.

    Blabbering “bad design”, without any arguments just won’t do. Russell’s teapot comes to mind.

  28. 28
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You can determine it is excellent design by comparison also.

    For example, the structure of the eye, in comparison to what known-designers create in biological organisms is an example of superior design.

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    In order to conclude good or bad design, you first have to conclude “designed”.

    In the case of the eye, the function of the eye is evidence that enabled us to conclude design.

    The question that Dawkins didn’t answer was why he conceded that the eye is designed.

  30. 30
    Mark Frank says:

    #27 Box

    Blabbering “bad design”, without any arguments just won’t do.

    I never did argue bad design! I am one of those who agree that it is almost impossible to say whether a design is good or bad.

    The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim.

    And I was asking you (or CH) for proof for your claim that the eye is excellent design.

    SA

    You seem to want to say you can never have evidence for bad design but you can have evidence for excellent design.

  31. 31
    drc466 says:

    Mark,

    I’ll go ahead and take you up on the “bad design” challenge in the form of a logical argument.

    Factually true statements:
    1) The Human eye is design to convert photons into an image
    2) Cameras are design to convert photons into an image
    3) Cameras are designed
    4) Many cameras are praised for their excellent design
    5) The Human eye has far greater capabilities than the best camera ever invented.

    Logical Conclusion: __________

  32. 32
    JGuy says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    In light of your point, maybe Dawkisn would respond that it’s “bad apparent design”. 😛

  33. 33
    JGuy says:

    drc466 @ 31

    Ohhhh snap!

  34. 34
    drc466 says:

    Mark,

    In addition, let me try a separate line of reasoning as well.
    The point of the evolutionist’s “bad design” argument is not the generic “how do you define good or bad?” that you are trying to make it. The point is that evolutionists pick a specific design attribute (the eye is wired backward!) and then give a specific reason why that is “bad” design, i.e. should not have been done that way (inefficient, no good reason for it, causes problems). So the evolutionist is the one setting the definition of bad design in this case.
    Scientists who specialize in biology who subsequently study that design attribute (why is the eye wired “backward”?) refute the specific argument presented by the evolutionist (it is efficient, there is a good reason for it, doesn’t cause problems but has benefits). So, by the evolutionist’s own criteria their argument for “bad design” has been refuted. While it may or may not be true that the eye is badly designed, the evolutionist’s argument for bad design has been disproven (“debunked” is the evolutionist’s favorite word on these occasions, I believe).
    CH’s point is that, for every specific “bad design” argument put forward by evolutionists, further research shows that the argument for bad design is faulty, i.e. there are very good reasons for the design to work that way.
    So your semantic argument of what is good? what is bad? is completely irrelevant. Evolutionists make claims of bad design based on specific criteria – research disproves all those claims – claims of bad design ultimately fail based on their own criteria.
    Q.E.D.

  35. 35
    JGuy says:

    drc466 @ 31

    It might be worth noting that it’s not only a superior camera, it’s one that among other features streams live video and musculature fitted for real time tracking on the X, Y AND Z(focus) dimensions.

  36. 36
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You seem to want to say you can never have evidence for bad design but you can have evidence for excellent design.</blockquote.

    You can't claim "bad design" or "good design" without some frame of reference. I only agreed with you that the OP article didn't provide that reference.

    Of course, once you give your parameters you can have plenty of evidence to prove good or bad design.

    From the atheistic perspective, there are much bigger problems to deal with than good or bad design. If an atheist wants to concede design, the atheist could also concede "Christian God" as the Designer. Then you could talk about good or bad design from that perspective.

    Dawkins wants the designer to be a "tidy engineer", and there are more tidy ways to do things. But that's Dawkins' theology at work. He doesn't explain why should the designer needs to be "tidy". If he said that he conceded more about what he thought the designer is, then his response would have more meaning.

    The eye is "excellent design" within a frame of reference. It's also "poor design" in other frameworks.

    But as has been mentioned many times already, once you concede that there was a design/designer, ID's scientific work is done. You can the move the debate to some other forum for other analysis.

    Is the eye an excellent design for a designer that wanted to communicate certain things about the mysteries and complex functions of nature? Yes, very excellent.

    Is it a bad design for a designer that wanted to show that human life on earth was meant to be permanent? Since eyesight fades in 60 years or so, then yes, it's a bad design for that.

    But the mere comparison of the eye with anything known to be created by random processes like evolution – the fuction of the eye is obviously excellent.

  37. 37
    Silver Asiatic says:

    So your semantic argument of what is good? what is bad? is completely irrelevant. Evolutionists make claims of bad design based on specific criteria – research disproves all those claims – claims of bad design ultimately fail based on their own criteria.

    I fully agree. The problem I had was that Dr. Hunter introduced the topic as ‘metaphysical’ and not open to scientific testing.

    But if you establish a scientific framework, then you can test it. “A well-designed eye should be efficient (with measures of efficiency).” You could then use science to test that — as was done in this case.

  38. 38
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JGuy 32 — LOL. It’s bad apparent design if we assume a designer who will do things the way I want them done. 🙂

  39. 39
    Silver Asiatic says:

    #31 drc466

    I would only change it a little

    1) [If] the Human eye was designed to convert photons into an image
    2) and since Cameras … etc.

    The evolutionist has to concede the first point.

  40. 40
    jerry says:

    Mark Frank.

    Your extremely weak answer supports my proposition. Why cannot you admit that this is a problem for Darwinian evolution. You must know this but yet you dredge up irrelevant examples that do not in anyway undermine the thesis I offered.

    Also, don’t give us that nonsense that there is no direction to Darwinian processes. There certainly is a direction, to make the organism more fit in terms of offspring and anything that helps that will be favored. And generally any characteristic that helps it dominate will lead to more offspring.

  41. 41
    drc466 says:

    SA @37

    I fully agree. The problem I had was that Dr. Hunter introduced the topic as ‘metaphysical’ and not open to scientific testing.

    Excellent point. And I would like to address Mark Frank’s objection @1:

    Aside from the fact they are metaphysical and not open to scientific testing, they inevitably are simply false

    Not open to scientific testing except that they are false! Interesting.

    It would probably be more accurate to state that the generic argument “the eye is bad design…” is metaphysical and not open to scientific testing, while the specific argument “…because the retina is wired backward” is one of the inevitably false parts.

    By analogy, consider the specific assertion “All women are ugly.” Like the statement “the eye is badly designed”, most reasonable people would find this statement ludicrous, in addition to a metaphysical statement that is not open to testing. However, if you specify a reason/criteria for the statement, such as “…because they have eyes that aren’t crossed and 13 teeth” (analogous to “the retina is wired backward”), you can reasonably prove the assertion false by showing that all women do not have 13 teeth, and that “crossed-eyes” are not a generally-accepted requirement for beauty. And, even if it could be shown that women do, in fact, have 13 teeth and uncrossed eyes (analogous to “hmm, it does seem that the retina is wired backward”), the declaration of universal ugliness (or bad design) is still an untestable metaphysical statement.

    Hence, Dr. Hunter’s statement that evolutionary bad design arguments are metaphysical, untestable, and false is true, just shorthand.

  42. 42
    Mark Frank says:

    Sorry – I haven’t the time to respond to so many opponents.

  43. 43
    Mung says:

    MF:

    Sorry – I haven’t the time to respond to so many opponents.

    Just pick 10 or 12.

  44. 44
    jerry says:

    Sorry – I haven’t the time to respond to so many opponents.

    You could if you could promote a clear and coherent explanation for origins. That way you could point to it and it would answer most questions.

    You could still say that there was no evidence of a designer at any point in history prior to humans and therefore things must have developed naturalistically even if there is no science today that can explain either the origin of life or evolution since life first appeared. I assume you hold this position because you never defend any science on these issues.

    The ID people could say that life in its origin and in its changes is too complex to have developed naturalistically so there must be some designer some place who influenced the process even if there is no direct evidence of this designer or the methods used to exert this influence.

    But instead you take absurd positions. Why???

  45. 45

    Most discussions of the “bad design” argument miss the more subtle points that, for example, S. J. Gould makes in his essays in his “Panda’s Thumb” collection of Natural History essays, as well as in “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.” His argument was that evolutionary processes, because operating through differential success of extant individuals, can result only in structures derivable from modified versions of prior developmental plans. The signal evident in the vertebrate eye (for example) is not one of “bad design,” but rather an historical signal reflecting constrained evolutionary origins. The exquisite adaptations evident in the vertebrate eye, in turn, exhibit the power of evolutionary processes to build complex and functional structural work-arounds in the face of constraints imposed by evo-devo pathways to which ancestral species had become irreversibly committed.

  46. 46
    jerry says:

    Most discussions of the “bad design” argument miss the more subtle points

    Then there is the not so subtle point that all eyes poofed into existence in a very short geological time frame, during the Cambrian explosion. That is like a hammer to the head in terms of subtlety.

    His argument was that evolutionary processes, because operating through differential success of extant individuals, can result only in structures derivable from modified versions of prior developmental plans

    May be true once you have the eey but it does not explain how all these different eyes popped into existence so suddenly and then stopped developing. They all could not result from differential success of extant individuals.

  47. 47
    Acartia_bogart says:

    On one hand you have a creationist who says that the eye is not poorly designed. On the other hand you have a creationist say that the eye was well designed but has degraded due to the fall.

    And you wonder why rational people say that creationism is out to lunch.

  48. 48
    jerry says:

    And you wonder why rational people say that creationism is out to lunch.

    But yet these so called rational people can not defend what they believe. So may be there are a lot of people out there eating lunch but in different lunch spots.

  49. 49
    Joe says:

    RB:

    The exquisite adaptations evident in the vertebrate eye, in turn, exhibit the power of evolutionary processes to build complex and functional structural work-arounds in the face of constraints imposed by evo-devo pathways to which ancestral species had become irreversibly committed.

    Only if those “evolutionary processes” were intelligently designed to produce a vision system. Unguided evolution can’t even get to evo-devo, so you must be talking about IDE (Intelligent Design Evolution).

  50. 50
    Joe says:

    Acartia_bogart- Do all human visions systems function the same?

    On one hand you have a creationist who says that the eye is not poorly designed. On the other hand you have a creationist say that the eye was well designed but has degraded due to the fall.

    Just because something has degraded doesn’t mean the system was poorly designed. The two sentences are not contradictory, they are complimentary.

  51. 51
    Querius says:

    Joe @6 and Siver Asiatic @23 have it nailed. Consider a statement from a critic that sounds like this:

    “The side of a hammer that’s shaped like a claw is extremely poorly designed for driving nails.”

    The above statement is not a poor reflection on the designer, but rather a demonstration that the critic is arrogant and an idiot.

    But how much more advanced is the human eye than a claw hammer? Do the critics know what engineering compromises are represented in the human eye?

    The compromises include factors such as versatility, longevity, depth of field, sensitivity, durability, auto-repairability, compatibility (with what humans might be interested in and the processing power available to the visual cortex), and so on.

    So, to the critic, I’d suggest first designing a better organic eye, one that can replace a damaged one, before making any statement as to whether the eye is poorly designed or not!

    -Q

  52. 52
    Mung says:

    Reciprocating Bill,

    Does Gould have anything to say about the origin of the eye in either of those books that’s actually testable?

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    “May be true once you have the eey but it does not explain how all these different eyes popped into existence so suddenly and then stopped developing.”

    An eye-popping event, to be sure.

  54. 54
    Mung says:

    Our textbooks like to illustrate evolution with examples of optimal design – nearly perfect mimicry of a dead leaf by a butterfly or of a poisonous species by a palatable relative. But ideal design is a lousy argument for evolution, for it mimics the postulated action of an omnipotent creator. Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution – paths that a sensible God would never tread …

    – SJG, The Panda’s Thumb p. 20

  55. 55
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Sorry Querious, but a liar such as myself has a much better understanding of logic and rationale than you do.

    Connective tissue in front of detection system? Only a moron would suggest that this was ideal. Big frigg’n nerve going through the middle of the retina. Again, only a big moron.., a “design” that increases the likelihood of macular degeneration and detached retina…MORON.

    An invertebrate with a “design” that doesn’t have to deal with these weaknesses? Sounds like a VISA moment to me.

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Box, yes it is good design to require cells to get around the original poor design. But I am not a designer, so what do I know?

  58. 58
    groovamos says:

    Jerry: We frequently see runaway species destroying ecology

    Anyone ever see the ecology destroyed? I have not, nor have read of such. I have never seen a destroyed planet either. Rather interesting how both have been postulated. When neither can be verified when the potential verifiers would be all dead.

    bogart: Again, only a big moron.., a “design” that increases the likelihood of macular degeneration and detached retina…MORON.

    I’m wondering where a designer of bogart’s talent would plumb the vascular system for the light sensitive cells in mammals which must supply the highest by far rate of metabolic firepower of any cell in the organism.

    Quite entertaining to me when materialists insist nature created itself on one hand, but is rather stupid on the other hand. Stupid nature was so stupid that it couldn’t help but create itself.

  59. 59
    Querius says:

    A-B,

    But I am not a designer, so what do I know?

    Bingo.

    groovamos,

    Quite entertaining to me when materialists insist nature created itself on one hand, but is rather stupid on the other hand. Stupid nature was so stupid that it couldn’t help but create itself.

    Yeah, pretty ironic, isn’t it. Well put.

    On the one hand, we have what’s probably the most efficient code in the universe that’s left no evidence of evolving in millions, perhaps billions of years. We have an avalanche of complex, interdependent chemical cycles, astonishing subcellular structures, and many other organic technologies that far surpass anything that humans have ever designed or manufactured by many orders of magnitude.

    Then, we have some biologists who have the temerity to assert that because they don’t understand some aspect of an efficient and functional technology, it musta been poorly designed.

    Somehow, they’ve achieved a level of self-deception for which rational argument, blatant evidence, and frequent embarrassment have had no effect on their ideology, and thus they continue to assert their unsupported opinions and wild speculations as if their mere repetition somehow makes them more credible.

    What their relentless assertions do accomplish, however, is to expand the concept of pathetic far beyond its original definition.

    -Q

  60. 60
    EvilSnack says:

    And also remember that a designer may deliberately make use of an apparently inefficient design because the overall system in which that design will be placed runs better when one of its parts runs at a lower efficiency.

    For instance, I am assured that one of the proteins involved in photosynthesis is quite inefficient. However, this means that a given biomass of plant matter must have a correspondingly higher amount of total protein in order to survive, thereby increasing (however slight the increase may be) the amount of protein available to herbivores. Which is certainly something that a designer of an entire ecosystem would take into consideration when designing.

    So no, not even a feature that really is inefficient is disproof of a designer.

  61. 61
    groovamos says:

    Q: What their relentless assertions do accomplish, however, is to expand the concept of pathetic far beyond its original definition.

    Whoa, whoa there. See, nature being ignorant, was still able to come up with the “Brights”, the most intelligent among us, who by the way created intelligence, since nature is stupid. And they have so cornered the idea market and of course they deserve to rule it.

  62. 62
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Joe @50

    Just because something has degraded doesn’t mean the system was poorly designed.

    Oh. Planned obsolescence.

  63. 63
    Querius says:

    groovamos observed

    Whoa, whoa there. See, nature being ignorant, was still able to come up with the “Brights”, the most intelligent among us, who by the way created intelligence, since nature is stupid. And they have so cornered the idea market and of course they deserve to rule it.

    Hmmm, I see your point. So, when fact and reason abandons them, they still insist on ruling, but by arrogant argumentation, relentless repetition, and vacuous vituperation.

    How charming. 😉

    -Q

  64. 64
    Querius says:

    EvilSnack noticed,

    Which is certainly something that a designer of an entire ecosystem would take into consideration when designing.

    Good point.

    From what I’ve read and from personal experience, modeling a stable ecosystem is difficult. Even after prodigious tweaking of the model parameters, I was never able to mitigate the ever-increasing amplitude of the oscillating populations to the point of damaging the carrying capacity of the simulated ecosystem. The result was mass extinction. There seems to be some fine tuning involved, including competent feedback mechanisms.

    So, no flying lions that breed like rabbits. 😉

    Incidentally, wouldn’t it be interesting for a biology course to begin with the concept of studying an interdependent ecosystem rather than the usual cells to systems/organs to classification?

    -Q

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Incidentally, wouldn’t it be interesting for a biology course to begin with the concept of studying an interdependent ecosystem rather than the usual cells to systems/organs to classification?

    That’s a very interesting and good idea which is actually much more friendly to the creationist/ID view than to evolution. In the evolutionary-view, there really is no balance or need to preserve variety of species.
    Evolution cannot think ahead to know which less-fit species to preserve in order to preserve the overall ecosystem.

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    Querius says:

    Thank you, Silver Asiatic. I would also think that with such an approach, students would have a greater appreciation and respect for ecology and conservation.

    -Q

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