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Author Topic:   Animals with bad design.
Aaron
Member (Idle past 4073 days)
Posts: 65
From: Kent, WA
Joined: 12-14-2010


(1)
Message 1 of 204 (600543)
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


I'm going to post a snip from a different topic and a snip from a book and offer a few counter thoughts.
Granny Magda said:
"Why don't we see eagle-like eyes in humans? Or a dog-like sense of smell? These are both good designs, so why are they kept strictly to separate lineages? Why do only birds of prey have those eyes? Why no other species? Why not give chimps the same smell capabilities as dogs? They sure could use it."
In his book Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne makes a similar point:
"Female sea turtles dig their nests on the beach with their flippers - a painful, slow, and clumsy process that exposes their eggs to predators... A conscientious designer might have given the turtles an extra pair of limbs, with retractable shovel-like appendages..."
This line of thinking seems to me like a very narrow idea of what constitutes good design.
First, its amusing how evolutionists like Coyne and Dawkins look at organisms and marvel at how well adapted they are - and how they appear to be designed. Oh, but before getting too carried away in awe - they bring in some aspect that seems to them like bad design.
It's like sitting in a car and saying it wasn't made by a designer because the seats aren't heated, the mirrors have blind spots, and the brake pads are prone to wearing out early.
You might retort "But cars are designed by humans. God's designs should be perfect in every way."
What does it mean to be perfect? Let's push Jerry Coyne's suppositions further. Why didn't God create sea turtles with another set of limbs with sharp claws to fend off predators. Wings would have been nice too just in case it needs a quick getaway.
Why can't mice run 60 mph to escape the swooping owl? Why aren't all plant species poisonous to fend off hungry herbivores?
Ahh yes, that's more like it - a world where every species has the maximum level of offensive and defensive capabilities.
But wait - how long do you think a world like that would last? If every plant and animals is perfectly equipped to fend off every potential snack seeker - nothing would get eaten, nutrients wouldn't be exchanged, the complex circle of life would come to a grinding halt.
When it comes to creating a complex interdependent ecosystem, vulnerability is necessary to keep the whole thing going.

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Message 2 of 204 (600555)
01-15-2011 8:04 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Animals with bad design. thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 3826 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 3 of 204 (600562)
01-15-2011 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


Aaron writes:
When it comes to creating a complex interdependent ecosystem, vulnerability is necessary to keep the whole thing going.
What about those imperfections that do not affect vulnerability?
e.g. vestigial tails.

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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4303 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 4 of 204 (600570)
01-15-2011 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


But wait - how long do you think a world like that would last? If every plant and animals is perfectly equipped to fend off every potential snack seeker - nothing would get eaten, nutrients wouldn't be exchanged, the complex circle of life would come to a grinding halt.
If all living things were designed perfectly, then there would be no need for exchanging nutrients, since there would be no need for anything to advance. Of course that would also mean there would be no need for reproduction so only those created would remain.
There fore life would be invariably lifeless.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969
Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008

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jar
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Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 5 of 204 (600571)
01-15-2011 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


Move the goal posts?
It seems that you are moving the Design goal posts from product centric to systematic, and if so, then you MIGHT be able to make a case for design. If you want to say that the system itself seems perfectly designed to assure that life continues (mutation and all the other methods of genetic change) despite changes in the environment (natural selection) then I would agree, the system does seem to have worked well over an extended period of time.
But is that really evidence that even the system itself is designed?
Does that not mean that no specific end product is intended but rather only life itself MIGHT be a desired outcome?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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ringo
Member (Idle past 525 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 6 of 204 (600579)
01-15-2011 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


Aaron writes:
When it comes to creating a complex interdependent ecosystem, vulnerability is necessary to keep the whole thing going.
So the concept of Intelligent Design won't work unless the design is flawed. The next question is: Does it take an "intelligent" designer to balance all of those flaws or just an incompetent boob?

"I'm Rory Bellows, I tell you! And I got a lot of corroborating evidence... over here... by the throttle!"

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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 398 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 7 of 204 (600583)
01-15-2011 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


But wait - how long do you think a world like that would last? If every plant and animals is perfectly equipped to fend off every potential snack seeker - nothing would get eaten, nutrients wouldn't be exchanged, the complex circle of life would come to a grinding halt.
But now you've made the idea of good design unfalsifiable. If God magicked up a fish that could only swim backwards, that would just be another brilliant idea, since then they'd be more likely to get eaten by sharks --- which is good for the sharks and helps keep the whole ecosystem going. Sure, it would be a crappy fish, but it would still be an example of God's awesome cleverness at designing things.
When it comes to creating a complex interdependent ecosystem, vulnerability is necessary to keep the whole thing going.
Well, why do so in the first place? There's nothing in the concept of life as such that requires everything to chow down on everything else. Why not make a world where "the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them"?

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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1518 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 8 of 204 (600604)
01-15-2011 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


deism
Hi Aaron, and welcome to the fray.
This line of thinking seems to me like a very narrow idea of what constitutes good design.
When it comes to creating a complex interdependent ecosystem, vulnerability is necessary to keep the whole thing going.
So you would agree that the best conclusion regarding design would be that it starts with the creation of a universe set up so that the universe would behave according to what appear to be natural laws, where life would occur and then evolve ... and then leave the system alone for billions of years, having already done the necessary design work?
See Is ID properly pursued? for more.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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Replies to this message:
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barbara
Member (Idle past 4915 days)
Posts: 167
Joined: 07-19-2010


Message 9 of 204 (600632)
01-15-2011 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Dr Adequate
01-15-2011 12:37 PM


Predator/Prey mechanism
What do mean there is nothing in the concept of life that says living entities have to eat other living entities?
This is an absolute fact of life on this planet that all living organisms must consume other living organisms to survive. Animal designs that are viewed as imperfect and the constant remarks that a "God" should have made them perfect so obviously no God created them is stupid.
Another way to look at this is why waste your time on designing animals perfectly when they are just going to be eaten anyway? The comments that animal designs are just made good enough to survive long enough to reproduce and die from predation seems to be the goal intended.
Oh, I forgot there is no reason or goal in the predator/prey mechanism which supports the entire food web and there was no effort put into the sexual reproduction methods that are specific to different species.
Recycling of converting energy from predation is the only mechanism on this planet that feeds the living. Perfection does not occur in life forms because the food web of recycling energy would not be successful.
So no matter how you insist that life does not have any direction because life is so powerful that it is difficult to wipe out so it does not require any guidance is wrong.
All of the traits that are unique to each specific body plan organism that work in the predator/prey mechanism does seem to involve organization with rules. We do not observe any body plan organism that has all those special unique traits in one specific species.
We are all related in one way or another, aren't we?

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DrJones*
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Posts: 2301
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 10 of 204 (600633)
01-15-2011 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by barbara
01-15-2011 7:45 PM


Re: Predator/Prey mechanism
Recycling of converting energy from predation is the only mechanism on this planet that feeds the living
I suggest you look up photosynthesis.

It's not enough to bash in heads, you've got to bash in minds
soon I discovered that this rock thing was true
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
All of a sudden i found myself in love with the world
And so there was only one thing I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang along ling long - Jesus Built my Hotrod Ministry

Live every week like it's Shark Week! - Tracey Jordan
Just a monkey in a long line of kings. - Matthew Good
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - Get Your War On
*not an actual doctor

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Coragyps
Member (Idle past 848 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 11 of 204 (600634)
01-15-2011 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by barbara
01-15-2011 7:45 PM


Re: Predator/Prey mechanism
This is an absolute fact of life on this planet that all living organisms must consume other living organisms to survive.
Well, excepting most bacteria, all (?) archaea, plants, photosynthetic non-plant microorganisms.......etc.

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Coragyps
Member (Idle past 848 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 12 of 204 (600636)
01-15-2011 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


Aaron, my old cyberfriend Oolon Colluphid has rather a nice list of "design problems" that is worth a few minutes of your time:
http://oolon.awardspace.com/SMOGGM.htm
Many of these have come up here at EvC in the past. Food for thought.....

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Panda
Member (Idle past 3826 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 13 of 204 (600637)
01-15-2011 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by barbara
01-15-2011 7:45 PM


Re: Predator/Prey mechanism
barbara writes:
This is an absolute fact of life on this planet that all living organisms must consume other living organisms to survive.
Unless they are detritivores, scavengers, commensalist or mutualist symbiotes, etc.
Edited by Panda, : No reason given.

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 398 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 14 of 204 (600653)
01-16-2011 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by barbara
01-15-2011 7:45 PM


Re: Predator/Prey mechanism
What do mean there is nothing in the concept of life that says living entities have to eat other living entities?
I'm not sure that there's any simpler way to put it.
This is an absolute fact of life on this planet that all living organisms must consume other living organisms to survive [...] Recycling of converting energy from predation is the only mechanism on this planet that feeds the living.
I think enough posters have commented on this howler.
Animal designs that are viewed as imperfect and the constant remarks that a "God" should have made them perfect so obviously no God created them is stupid.
Perhaps you could explain why.
It seems obvious that a perfect creator would create things perfectly.
Another way to look at this is why waste your time on designing animals perfectly when they are just going to be eaten anyway?
Well, again, there's that "perfect" thing.
God doesn't have to settle for just good enough, he doesn't have to be lazy or cut corners, he doesn't have to economize on his effort or resources. He's God.
Perfection does not occur in life forms because the food web of recycling energy would not be successful.
Like the original poster, you seem to have eliminated the possibility of distinguishing good design from bad design. Badly designed prey is well-designed because the bad design means predators can catch it. Badly designed predators are well-designed because that means that they can't eat all the prey animals. Any design flaw, no matter how crass and stupid, could be represented as a good thing from some point of view.
---
I found it hard to follow some of your remarks, especially since they seemed to be unrelated to the post to which you were supposed to be replying, so for now I have passed over them in silence.

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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4741 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 15 of 204 (600655)
01-16-2011 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Aaron
01-15-2011 4:22 AM


I think it is a good point, Aaron. If the designer wanted an ecosystem, it would make little sense to create everything perfect.
If it were all about "imperfections" and no elaboration, then it would not necessarily take ID off the table. For an imperfect designer, imperfect designs are expected. For a perfect designer, maybe the "imperfections" really were part of the plan all along.
When we get into the details of imperfections, then I think the problems of ID run deeper.
Richard Dawkins made a video of a dissection of a giraffe, and you can find it on YouTube. Maybe this was also covered by Jerry Coyne in his book. In giraffes, there is a nerve that goes from the brain to the vocal chords, which would be expected to be only a few inches, but it goes all the way down and back up the neck, winding around an organ in the torso.
Here is that video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO1a1Ek-HD0
The video shows the evolutionary explanation for such a thing--all mammals have that anomaly, and it supposedly goes all the way back to the fish ancestors.
The reason such imperfections are relevant is that those imperfections are addressed by the theory of evolution with enough explanatory power to make the theory conclusive.
But, it is not narrowly expected that the laryngeal nerve going all the way up and down the giraffe's neck is a purposeful imperfection or vulnerability. Certainly it is an imperfection, but there are such a large number of ways to have imperfections. If the imperfection of the nerve in giraffes was unique to giraffes, being shown in no other species of mammal in existence, then that could not be explained by common descent, at least not without incredible difficulty.

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