Finding out what doesn't work is very nearly as important as finding out what does work. Some things work for a while and then they don't. Perhaps all of these failed life forms were merely stepping stones on the way to some ultimate objective. Perhaps the variety is the objective.
No.. Evolution is not an entity trying to find a path or what works. All that is required for an evolutionary direction, is for a group to survive and pass on their genes. The ones who do not reproduce are dead ends and populations that go extinct are the ultimate dead end. No objective, nothing to do with variety, not a stepping stone, just a dead end.
I agree with you about that but I am talking about the potential objectives of some hypothetical designer.
It is fun to imagine some advanced alien infinitely regressing and tinkering with DNA, but seeing how this happens naturally in systems that are self replicating, invoking alien intervention unnecessarily inserts an unknown and unevidenced claim.
What catches my interest is the question of what we can infer about the designer from the design should either one exist.
Aside from navel gazing, a designer does not follow and is not be needed or make sense in the bio chemical systems we observe here on earth.
It seems to me that a population can go extinct via evolution. They reproduced and evolved into a new species, or perhaps a vast chain of new species. The original species no longer exists (is extinct), but was not a dead end.
That's why I said populations. Over 99% all species have gone extinct, we are the current survivors. There are many, many dead ends.
I understand there are environmental variables to selection, my point being that evolutionary processes are not guided by a genie, there is no linear progression, there is no end goal. There are many branches, bushing out to many dead ends, the goal it is to reproduce. There is no invisible genie guiding one species to branch off and fade a away while their distant cousins linage survives.
My point is that the notion of a designer can not be dismissed by some perceived inefficiency in the nature of reproduction. It just doesn't follow especially if you don't know what the design objective was.
I don't think anyone is rejecting design just based on reproduction. We know what design looks like and we simply do not see anything being designed in nature. There is no design objective, the objective to survive and pass on genes i.e. natural selection, ultimately drives what we see in the structures of bio chemical entities.
No one's "attacking design" you're inferring design where there is none. Much like the puddle analogy, the puddle finds itself to fit the hole it rests in perfectly, therefore he thinks he's designed to fit the hole perfectly or the hole was designed for him.
The environment is not designed for us to fit in it and we are not designed to fit to it. We have evolved to survive the environment and if we could not have evolved to fit/survive, none of us would be here.
We know what our designs look like. It is one thing to look at a piece of pottery on earth and say that it was designed but how do you assess a universe for elements of design? What would a designed universe look like?
The burden of proof for a designed universe is on the claimant. But you can't and here's why:
ID provides no way to compare complex systems, like a laptop compared to bio chemical entities, to tell which one is purposefully designed and which was the result of combinations of natural processes.
ID deceptively uses words like "design" and "complexity" without clearly defining them.
ID then goes on to claim "design" without defining the designer or providing any experiment that could independently confirm the existence of said designer.
ID raises to many questions of infinite regression "who designed the designer?" which is fundamentally unanswerable, as well as contradictory to things we already know to be true.
ID is just a clever idea some lawyers came up with to sell pseudoscience to gullible believers and in the end, on every front, fails on science based reality.