Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SkepticLance

Evolution stuffs up

Recommended Posts

One of the really bad flaws in the creationist argument is based on their idea of a perfect creator.

 

Evolution is imperfect by its very nature - too many random variables. The results of evolution are very often seriously imperfect. If life had been created in finished form by a perfect creator, that life would, ipso facto, be perfect. Why would a perfect creator indulge in crappy workmanship?

 

Some of the imperfections I see as a result of evolution's stuff ups are ;

 

The human appendix

The fact that our breathing tube (trachea) and our swallowing tube (esophagus) open in our throats side by side, resulting in thousands of choking deaths each year.

Menstrual pains.

Inability to make Vitamin C inside the human body in spite of most of the required genetic mechanism being present.

 

Any comments, or other examples ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eyes wired backwards

 

large heads(leads to more deaths during childbirth)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairy asses and backs.

Hairy women.

Balding.

 

 

Hmm... I think it's time for me to get a haircut. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's please keep this specific to the OP, and not just bash creationism in general.

 

 

 

 

How about wisdom teeth? Some people never have any problems, others get impacted and require surgery. Not wise, not intelligently designed.

 

Is this for humans alone? I remember reading where anteaters develop teeth while in the womb and then lose them before birth. They never need or use them while they have them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The horse's digestive tract is another common example, but I don't know how horribly effective that argument is. Its based upon an assumption about how a Creator would create that any Creationist can simply answer with "Well maybe God wanted to do it that way" or "Its all because of the Fall."

 

The fact that the very inability to define Creation in such a way as it could be argued against using such reasoning based on knowledge of the Creator demonstrates precisely why Creationism can't be science seems to be lost on them.

 

How about wisdom teeth? Some people never have any problems, others get impacted and require surgery. Not wise, not intelligently designed.

 

Is this for humans alone? I remember reading where anteaters develop teeth while in the womb and then lose them before birth. They never need or use them while they have them.

 

Human wisdom teeth are a relic of the 3rd molars in the mouths of all higher primates. The reason humans tend either not to grow them or to go grow them scrunched up against the 2nd molar is because the human jaw has been shortened dramatically during its evolution. The same thing happens in South American marmosets, because they have similarly reduced jaws.

 

So, all other higher primates (except some marmosets) have the same teeth, and marmosets have done the same sort of things with theirs that we have with ours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our back is not particularly well-suited for upright walking. The whole abdomen shows co-opting from quadrupedal movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be interestd to see some good non human examples. Perhaps with a little explanation?

 

To CDarwin

 

Your contribution was interesting. Could you elaborate on the horse's digestive tract?

 

To swansont

 

Good point. I read somewhere that 80% of modern humans suffer bad backs some time in their life. Definitely not good design!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your contribution was interesting. Could you elaborate on the horse's digestive tract?

 

Sorry, I probably should have done that. iNow posted a video on it, but just to summarize it's really inefficient.

 

In order to break down foliage of any sort (blades of grass are just skinny, siliceous leaves), an animal needs a large fermenting chamber to culture bacteria. No animal can efficiently handle leaves without lots of bacteria. The 'best' way to do this is to have a large, sacculated stomach, like cows or colobus monkeys.

 

Horses instead have an expanded pouch in their large intestine called a caecum. The problem with this is that the majority of the energy from any food is absorbed as it passes through the small intestine between the stomach and the large intestine. The horse only fully processes its food after it's missed the chance to get the most out of it in the small intestine. Gorillas actually do this too. Rabbits as well if memory serves, and most foliage eating mammals. The processing time is faster, but it is much less complete and more wasteful.

 

I suppose in either case a 'perfect' designer could make an animal that could break down leaves without recourse to bacteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rabbits as well if memory serves

 

Don't rabbits eat their scat to give it another go at their digestive tract?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

panda's thumb

 

whale leg vestiges

 

photosynthesis is only 5% efficient at using light as energy

 

snake leg vestiges

 

unibrows lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

snake leg vestiges

 

The Charleston Museum doesn't believe in evolution; they took the legs off the whale skeleton!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't rabbits eat their scat to give it another go at their digestive tract?

 

Mhm. Again, if memory serves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re digestive tracts - and I know this is off topic.

 

One thing I find interesting is that Homo sapiens has the smallest digestive tract for body weight of any primate. If you don't believe me, look at a photo of any skinny female teenage model in a bikini, and see how much space she has for gut. Over 90% has to fit between bikini top and bikini bottom. It is not much.

 

Why can we get away with so little gut? Obviously, we do not digest cellulose. I suspect that our species has had fire and hence cooking for long enough for it to affect our evolution. Cooked food requires little digestion, and a smaller gut carries benefits in allowing a lighter body, and hence better running and more stamina. Of course modern humans stuff up that advantage by adding too much fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re digestive tracts - and I know this is off topic.

 

One thing I find interesting is that Homo sapiens has the smallest digestive tract for body weight of any primate. If you don't believe me, look at a photo of any skinny female teenage model in a bikini, and see how much space she has for gut. Over 90% has to fit between bikini top and bikini bottom. It is not much.

 

Why can we get away with so little gut? Obviously, we do not digest cellulose. I suspect that our species has had fire and hence cooking for long enough for it to affect our evolution. Cooked food requires little digestion, and a smaller gut carries benefits in allowing a lighter body, and hence better running and more stamina. Of course modern humans stuff up that advantage by adding too much fat.

 

That's basically what most anthropologists think. Humans consume lots of high-energy, high quality food like meat, fruits, and tubers, and their digestion only became easier once cooking was introduced. Animals with high proportions of animal matter in the diets tend to have smaller digestive tracts.

 

When talking about proportions, though, you always have to consider scale. The relative size of most organs gets somewhat smaller as an animal gets larger. Small animal-eating primates like tarsiers probably have equivalent sized digestive tracts, even if the proportion is slightly larger because of the size of the animals.

 

I suppose a perfect designer could make a world where every animal could have a tiny little efficient digestive tract like that? I guess I'm reaching a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying the following based on any example i noticed posted thus far, cuz these examples are so far pretty good - i'm just wondering if anyone feels the same way:

 

for the sake of objectivity, we need to distinguish between A) poor design, which definitely exists and is evidence against a designer, and B) saying "he could've done better than this" ad infinitum.

 

when something is patently bad, like a jaw not big enough for our teeth - that's messed up. so are all the other things mentioned here.

 

but as for other things, (not necessarily anything mentioned thus far - again this is just a general warning we should think about) a designer, even if it's some sort of god, can always make his creation better and better and better ad infinitum - so we can always find flaws in the design. any design can always be improved upon. so in bringing these examples let's just bear in mind the difference between obvious stupidities in nature's design, which certainly exist in large quantities, and on the other hand nitpicking until the cow's come home, saying "he could've done better" again and again.

 

what are your thoughts on this, everyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to point out that the "designer" wasn't really "intelligent". You just have to point out that ID is not a falsifiable and valid theory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Charleston Museum doesn't believe in evolution; they took the legs off the whale skeleton!
That's a 28 million-year-old fossil whale. How are they afraid it's going to damage creationism any more than it already does?

 

If you don't believe me, look at a photo of any skinny female teenage model in a bikini, and see how much space she has for gut.
Alright, but I want you to know I'm thorough in my research. This could take a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Phi for All

 

I fully understand. As someone who appreciates thoroughness in research, I think we should all follow your excellent example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh i thought phi for all was joking, implying that he's gonna be a while staring at the models in bikinis. lol maybe he meant both research and that too lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of the really bad flaws in the creationist argument is based on their idea of a perfect creator.

 

Let's make no mistake, when you are making this argument, you are finding a theological flaw in creationism, not a scientific one.And a flaw that got creationism abandoned by Christians to begin with in the period 1859-1880.

 

The creationist argument isn't based on the idea of a "perfect" creator. Rather, Judeo-Christianity has as a core belief that Yahweh is good (some say "perfect"). Therefore when creationists were invoking the Argument from Design they would always note the "perfect" designs in organisms and then say that you needed a "perfect" deity to get those designs.

 

However, in the period 1830-1860 as naturalists began looking at more and more species, they found designs that were not only "not perfect" but downright stupid or sadistic. Darwin noted several of these. Just 2 are woodpeckers on the pampas of Argentina and ichneud wasps.

 

The woodpeckers have very good designs for pecking wood, but there isn't a tree for hundreds of miles! What use such a design? And how bright was the Creator that put them there?

 

Ichneud wasps have great designs for their ovipositors. They can sneak up on aphids and inject an egg into the aphid so fast that the aphid never even feels it, much less has time to avoid it. Yet the result of that design is that the wasp larvae hatches inside the aphid and then eats it alive from the inside out! Just like Alien.

 

This is one reason why evolution was regarded by Christians as rescuing Yahweh from Special Creation (ID). If we look at all the designs in living things, we must conclude that the ID is stupid, sadistic, and suffering from Alzheimer's. This is not acceptable for Judeo-Christians. So ID and the Argument from Design was putting Christians in an untenable theological position. Having Yahweh create by the material process of natural selection got them out of that position.

 

You don't need to point out that the "designer" wasn't really "intelligent". You just have to point out that ID is not a falsifiable and valid theory.

 

ID is falsifiable. That's what makes it invalid. Cap'n Refsmmat, if a theory is not falsifiable then you can't show that it is not valid! Duh!

 

All you can do is declare it "not science" but even that is debatable. Science contains lots of theories that aren't falsifiable. However, the only way you can declare a theory both unfalsifiable and not valid is to hold to the philosophy of scientism, and that philsophy is indefensible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ID is falsifiable. That's what makes it invalid. Cap'n Refsmmat, if a theory is not falsifiable then you can't show that it is not valid! Duh!

 

All you can do is declare it "not science" but even that is debatable. Science contains lots of theories that aren't falsifiable. However, the only way you can declare a theory both unfalsifiable and not valid is to hold to the philosophy of scientism, and that philsophy is indefensible.

 

ID has elements (like irreducible complexity) that can be falsified (and have been) and elements (like "God did it" to explain any discrepancy) that cannot and thus aren't science. So in that manner it could be said to be both non-falsifiable and invalid scientifically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My position is, I stand on the bridge between ID and Evolution. I tend to argue against Evolution, but more in terms of the hows and whys? If we mean evolution loosely in the sense of gradual improving change, I can accept that. Where the ID crowd is making a mistake is the evolution they are describing is not physical evolution. What Genesis is talking about is the evolution of the human mind or a new type of conscious awareness.

 

One way to look at it is, animals do not contemplate the universe. They exist naturally, sort of in darkness, with respect to intellectual things. In their mind intellectual ideas are formless and void. They are still in paradise just doing what their ancestors have done for millions of years, with tiny tweaks. Genesis is talking about the new version of the human mind, capable of civilization, where humans suddenly begins to become aware of the world around themselves like they had never done up to that point in time. The "let there by light" is the light of modern consciousness separating from the instinctive unconscious darkness of ten of thousands of years of repetition. The light was a awakening from a primal dream state, where generations just blend together. Where the pre-humans live in the moment, acting with repetition and instinct. Not advance enough for civilization.

 

The subsequent days of Genesis reflect this new type of human awareness seeing things in a very different way. As a loose analogy, if a botanists and someone who hangs on a city street corner go into the woods, although both see the same things, the botonist to be conscious of much more. The one person sees a bunch of trees, the other sees all the unique differences, even though the same data goes into both eyes. The awakening of this new type of consciousness allowed new thing to be seen that it never really noticed before. Before it was only looking for food. Now it is noticing things which before it had no real instinctive interest or repetition to see. These things were always there, but not in awareness. All animals appear, like they had just been placed there, but they had always there, evolving.

 

The Bible has Adam appearing. This is consistent with evolution in that changes are often attributed to some type of mutation, meaning a rapid change that suddenly appears to add a new dimension to life. It is not coincidence that rise of civilization and Genesis coordinate in time. To form culture more advanced than migratory hunter-gathering groups implies a boost in the brain power. Not a small gradual one, but big quickly. Genesis give us a unique glimpse into that modern human light suddenly appearing. All of evolution was leading this to change, and it happen quite rapidly. It wasn't so much eduction but a separation of the waters or ego from instinct. This position does not preclude evolution or God but narrows the battle.

 

This bridge position insults both side of the debate, at the same time, but I'll stay on the bridge, because it pays honor to both sides at the same time. Unfortunately both sides want all the credit for themselves. Too childish to share any credit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's make no mistake, when you are making this argument, you are finding a theological flaw in creationism, not a scientific one.And a flaw that got creationism abandoned by Christians to begin with in the period 1859-1880.

 

 

Doubtless you are correct. However, the 'perfect creator' concept is still applied to a large degree by fundamentalists. And fundamentalists are the ones who deride evolution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doubtless you are correct. However, the 'perfect creator' concept is still applied to a large degree by fundamentalists. And fundamentalists are the ones who deride evolution.

Perfect in the sense that even our "flaws" are perfect, as in designed inherently to challenge faith or w/e.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.