jueves, 13 de mayo de 2010

Unintelligent Design

Often our new-and-hots relate to the ongoing debate between evolution and intelligent design. We have discussed the points of arguement and their subsequent pitfalls. I found a recent article and related NPR interview that discusses the irregularities within the intelligent design side. First, the article written by Michael Zimmerman for the Huffington Post states that one fundamental problem with the evidence laid out by IDers is the lack of hypotheses in their "scientific" experiments. Conducting experiments without this fundamental tenant of the scientific method allows the experimenter to then interpret the results as they wish, drawing conclusions that support their personal opinions. This can easily be found to be true with the experiments done by the Biologic Institute, a lab in Seattle that is funded by none other than the Discovery Institute. A podcast recorded by the Discovery Institute discusses one such flawed experiment in which the set up almost felt like a simple "Lets see what happens if we do this" type of experiment.

Another flaw that the article mentions is the faultiness of the claim that we must be intelligently designed because of the irreversible complexities of our bodies and biological functions. They link to a great NPR interview which shows many flawed parts of our body that a designer would not have allowed. Abby Hafer, a physiologist at Curry College, uses some of the examples are ones we have already discussed, such as the blind spot in our eye. Other human flaws that a designer would have probable left out are more interesting and things I would not have thought of. She asserts that male testicles are poorly designed, due to their sensitivity and their importance, and yet they are left vulnerable by hanging externally because of the need for lower temperatures for sperm production. If testicles had been intelligently designed, protection and sperm production should have been compatible, leading to internal testicles. Likewise, the human birth canal is poorly designed, because upright walking prefers narrower hips but our large heads at birth used to lead to high maternal death rates and now require C-sections. A better design for bipedal walking is found in kangaroos, where they give birth to embryo-like young which then develop in a pouch. A similar pouch in humans would allow for the narrow hips and safe births.

(An attempt to inbed the links into the summary was made. Find the article and audio clips above)


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