Dawkins does not think that there really is any design in nature. His solution is Darwinian evolution, by which inventions emerge by one tiny incremental step at a time in response to natural selection (survival of the fittest).
Can we test that?
As it happens, we can simulate this process on a computer, using evolutionary algorithms. Do we get marvels of mechanical and material engineering, such as bioluminescence and waterproof soccer balls?
Engineers have tried Darwinian evolution for the past decade and a half at a competition called the Humies, in which new human inventions, produced by evolutionary algorithms, compete. However, if you scan the list of past winners, you’ll note a pattern. All the awards are for what is called “parameter tuning.” The actual hard creative work of coming up with the overall blueprint of the invention has already been done by a human engineer and encoded as an objective function for the evolutionary algorithm to optimize. The evolutionary algorithm has already been told where to go.
When we apply Dawkins’s “blind evolution” explanation of the abilities exhibited by insects to the real world engineering, all we get is fancy knob twiddlers.Eric Holloway, “Technology? Hey, bugs invented it all before us!” at Mind Matters News
See also: Human, mouse, and fly brains all use the same basic mechanisms. The study of brains in recent decades has yielded a very different picture from the patterns we might have expected.
Why do many scientists see cells as intelligent? Bacteria appear to show intelligent behavior. But what about individual cells in our bodies?