Here’s a show that was a lot of fun! Australian science journalist Robyn Williams, author of Unintelligent Design: God Isn’t as Smart as She Thinks She Is and I go at it, with Sheridan Voysey of Open House Australia trying to moderate. I must at some point say more about Williams’ interesting book, summarized at Amazon,
Why make the earth, the solar system, our galaxy and all the rest when the Garden of Eden was all that was wanted? And then there’s lifespan. During long periods of human history, the life expectancy of men was a mere 22 years and children were lucky to toddle, let alone grow up. Why the waste? And shouldn’t we sue God for sinus blockages, hernias, appendix flare-ups and piles, not to mention bad backs? Using all sorts of examples from the natural and scientific world Robyn Williams takes on the stalking monster of fundamentalist religion and creationism in a short, wicked and witty debunk of intelligent design. This is a book to infuriate the Christian fundamentalists and amuse the rest of us.
Williams is fundamentally – so to speak – confused about the difference between intelligent design, optimal design, and perfection, as I pointed out at the time.Ã‚Â Intelligent design just means input of a higher level of information than law and chance together account for. Optimal design means the best available design, given constraints, but the best optimized systems do not perform well under all circumstances. As for perfect design, well, in a universe where everything must be mortal, it would be disastrous. But I digress. Robyn and I are poles apart, no less.
One of the most interesting discussions I’ve ever had on the intelligent design controversy was with Jay Kelly at Wired Parish. Kelly, who has a background in philosophy, sees the big picture better than most radio hosts.
Note: You’ll have to use this link. I can’t make it work by embedding it.