Thursday, September 15, 2005

Body work

While considering the case for Intelligent Design, I've recognized some major design issues of the human body which require immediate attention:

1) Absence of prehensile tail. The supposed Intelligent Designer gave other bipedal mammals prehensile tails, a useful extra appendage for holding things and hanging from tree branches, yet neglected to give humans the same. It can't have been a matter of the brain capacity for using a tail being needed for other things; monkeys with much tinier brains than humans manage to use their tails just fine. If humans were designed to be the pinnacle of creation and the dominant lifeform on Earth, why were monkeys designed with an advantage denied to humans? Evolutionists claim that primates lost their tails when the common ancestor we share with monkeys descended from living in trees. Since there was no selection pressure in favor of long prehensile tails for creatures living on the ground, shorter tails were not eliminated from the gene pool, and they eventually vanished altogether. Evolutionists call this a "use it or lose it" scenario. Clearly this sort of issue doesn't matter to an Intelligent Designer, so why don't we have the tails our furry friends enjoy?

2) Poor sense of smell. Our human sense of smell is pathetic compared to that of any dog. There's anecdotal evidence that the neural pathways for much more powerful scenting exist in the human brain, and can even be activated in special circumstances...but if so, our capacity to smell is still mostly dormant by default. Again, why do they get something we don't? The evolutionist claims this is another case of "use it or lose it" -- that when our ancestors acquired three-color vision, sight became more important to reproductive success than the ability to detect pheromones, so our once-impressive scent organs atrophied. In fact, a large portion of the brain seems to be identical to that of other mammals, including a number of features we never use. Is this because the Intelligent Designer had finished work on the mammalian brain first, and reused his work in creating man rather than making a new design from scratch?

3) Hazardous brain location. The evolutionist claims that our brains are on top of our heads for cooling; that we learned to walk upright so as to present a smaller area exposed to the rays of the sun, and therefore the brain needs to be as close to the surface as possible, rather than buried deeply where it can't radiate excess heat as easily. Advocates for the Intelligent Designer have to explain why he couldn't invent a more efficient air cooling system when human engineers design these all the time. Are humans smarter than the Intelligent Designer? Is that why our brains sit in a location where they're exposed to damage from things falling on top of the head, or an antelope femur swung at our craniums by a jealous rival? If the Intelligent Designer cared at all about our safety, surely the brain could sit inside the ribcage away from easy harm? The sense organs could still be on top, but why was the fragile brain put there as well?

4) Even more hazardous genital location. Same comments. Human male genitalia need to be al fresco because they function better with the added air cooling. Unfortunately, this also makes them extremely vulnerable to a knee in the groin. And while I'm doubled over in pain, the bastard hits me in the head with an antelope femur. I'm dead because the Intelligent Designer couldn't think of how to design a natural jockstrap built into the human body? Did he not care? Or does he actually want me dead?

5) The whole waste elimination thing. No, I'm serious here. That clenched muscular ring we call an anal sphincter is just pathetic in design terms, prone to damage and often working poorly at best. A truly intelligent Designer could have given us a setup with voluntary control, an orifice which could open and close when necessary. Since we haven't been provided with this, untold suffering and embarassment have been the result. Gaining even the slightest voluntary control over this muscle is an aspect of yoga training -- I'm not making that up -- and even then the results are slight. This part of the design seems to have no thought put into it whatsoever.

These are but a few examples. I'm afraid the evidence suggests a disturbing pattern. The so-called Intelligent Designer responsible for human beings was not as inventive or intelligent as a human engineer; he reused earlier designs without regard to their appropriateness to the task at hand; cut corners wherever possible; and generally increased hazards to the users of his design even when they could easily have been avoided. In light of this shoddy workmanship and slapdash attitude, I have no choice but to recommend that the Intelligent Designer needs to be fired immediately.
Thu, September 15, 2005 - 10:48 PM

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