Wednesday, December 14, 2005

inteligint Desine

Why Intelligent Design is stupid: because there is a really good alternative explanation, which doesn't require the actions of God/s.

The reason we don't want God/s in our explanation is that it _isn't_ an explanation: God as explanation equals "then a miracle happens". And miracles are by definition non-scientific. That is, miracles (or anything non-scientific) can't be observed, described and tested. And if we can't do these, there is no reason to believe a thing is true. Anything else could be equally true: an omnipotent omnibenevolent etc entity, or a fluro-orange-tentacled homosexual camel could equally be creators of the universe. Maybe the pair got together and bred to create the universe. But as we can't verify the truth of either of these, there is really no reason to believe either one exists.

So, discounting the existence of miraculous entities, we still want to explain the apparently "designed" nature of reality. That the universe has a semblance of order is indisputably true. For example, those wacky giraffes are excepionally well suited to browse the luscious leaves of tall trees, pythons are really good at constricting the life out of their prey, and cheetahs svelt muscular bodies are able to run at 100km an hour! Then there are the characteristics of humans which have to be experienced to believed - our exceptional intelligence (we're talking relative to the rest of the animal kingdom here), our ability to dream and thus psychologically experience events that don't actually happen (it's great practice!) and of course the trait we share with other complex organisms: the intricate, delicate and startlingly useful eye. This is one Darwin picked out as being an especially counter-intuitive example of evolution.

This amazing world does not need to appeal to an intentional designer. There is an obvious, consistent reason for this _apparent_ but _non-existent_ intentionality. And this, my rational friends, is the COLD HARD LOGIC of natural selection. That is, the completely amoral way that being less well-equipped to compete for resources means you will die sooner, and get laid less (or biologically speaking, reproduce. But y'know, popular appeal).

The very reason that the world has evolved so as to fit together so well (as tho by design yo) is that natural selection is more logical than any intentional actor has ever been. (Okay its true, I say that without having surveyed all intentional actors ever. But I'm still comfortably certain of the truth of my claim).

Who needs God/s when you can explain reality in terms we can actually observe, describe and test the workings of natural selection? Not I. Anyone care to differ?

Coming soon via an IP near you: why religion evolved, and why it persists when we have better alternatives.

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