Cornelius Hunter points out that the most powerful arguments for schoolbook Darwinism are theological in character: What God wouldn’t do, etc. And they also apply only to alternative viewpoints, not to core Darwinism itself:
The theological claim that divine intent is strictly utilitarian is uniquely evolutionary. It makes for powerful arguments for evolution, but the power derives from the theology. Mark this: the stronger the argument for evolution, the stronger its theological commitment. Absent theology, there is little reason to believe the entire biological world arose spontaneously, as evolutionists heroically claim.
The irony in all this is that evolution itself is a utilitarian formulation. That is, natural selection describes a process in which species with greater fitness (or utility) evolve. The evolutionary process must create greater utility. Therefore, the many examples of disutility, presented as proof of evolution, in fact are problematic for evolution. We must believe that such useless designs escaped natural selection’s watchful eye which, otherwise, seems to have no limit of precision engineering.
While evolutionists fail to apply this evidence of disutility to their own theory, they inappropriately apply it to intelligent design. In other words, evolutionists subject intelligent design to the evolutionary criteria of fitness and utility, while dropping that criterion from evolutionary theory. They have it backwards.Cornelius Hunter, “Why the Main Argument Against Intelligent Design Is False” at Evolution News and Science Today (February 7, 2022)
Recently, we were looking at a salamander whose genome seems like a mess but it has gotten on fine for many millions of years nonetheless. The people who sound so sure of what is and isn’t good design are often simply imposing an opinion or a value judgment.
You may also wish to read:
At Scientific American: Salamander “junk DNA” challenges long-held view of evolution. Douglas Fox at SciAm: The salamanders would be on death’s door if they were human. “Everything about having a large genome is costly,” Wake told me in 2020. Yet salamanders have survived for 200 million years. “So there must be some benefit,” he said. The hunt for those benefits has led to some heretical surprises, potentially turning our understanding of evolution on its head.