...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Day 2609: Stupid By Design


No, no, no! It is no good giving an INCH to the Unintelligent Design crowd: give them an EYE of a NEEDLE and they will try to force a DIPLODOCUS through it. AND claim that Noah had them on the Ark! Along with all the cat-monsters and donkeys and upwards of five million species of beetles. In pairs.

I am referring to this article by an American scientist suggesting that science should try to RECLAIM the word "design", and say that yes evolution DOES "design" things.

This really IS NOT helpful. Evolution does not DO design. It just DOESN'T.

Design means sitting down at the start and working out where you want to end up. Evolution only works on what it has, chipping bits off, adding on strange new convolvulations, scouring away the redundant bits, always trying to make the square peg a better fit for the starfish* shaped hole.

(*other evolutionary niches are available.)

The argument that telling people "sorry there's no designer" makes them feel bad is a fast trip up the wrong creek. Science isn't about telling people a CUDDLY STORY – and it's not going to beat religion on THAT score; if they need it, they're always going to have a CUDDLIER sky fairy to fall back on who'll wuv you forever and ever (if you're a gud lickle babykins) at a point where science is going to have to say, "sorry, cold hard fact".

I do understand that there is a DIFFERENCE between America and Europe, as illustrated by this new GLOBE, designed in accordance with the new Theory of "Intelligent Geography". (It's like Intelligent Design: you ignore the bits you can't ANSWER.)

I do realise that it is DIFFICULT for scientists in America, because the number of people over there who believe in nonsense over the evidence is quite a lot larger than here in Europe, where fortunately we are able to SCOFF OPENLY at anyone who thinks that evolution isn't true or that humans and dinosaurs lived side by side like the keys on a piano. Those ivory ones would be the Tyrannosaurus's TEETH, by the way.

But this is the wrong way to go. You can't compromise the science, and say "oh, okay, we'll say that it IS a bit like that made-up story that you've made up." Because it's not.

Evolution is NOT a process of "mistakes". It's an ongoing series of triumphs over adversity, and every species alive today is a gold medal winner. We're NOT just the recipient of a spoonful of divine generosity. We have worked our way up.

(I will IGNORE the fact that Daddy is watching "HOWARDS' WAY" as this might disprove my argument!)

Frankly, evolution is the American Dream, red in tooth and claw, and it boggles my fluffy mind that the US can worship one and deny the other. Often in the same SERMON!

1 comment:

Peter Mc said...

So you aren't a tapir designed by a committee? OK.