Poor-Design Argument Is Scientific Not Theological

cave fish without eyesJerry Coyne explains why “bad designs” in nature are flaws that make sense only in light of evolution:

Why do cave fish have nonfunctional eyes? That’s bad design for sure. You could impute it to the quirks of God, but isn’t it more parsimonious to conclude (and we know this independently from molecular data) that those fish evolved from fully-eyed fish that lived above the ground? Similarly, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, beloved of Dawkins and myself as a wonderful piece of evidence for evolution (see our books), is way longer than it need be—but that excessive length is completely understandable given the evolutionary history of that nerve, which once innervated the gills in our ancestors.
Over and over again, bad designs make sense as byproducts of evolution. They make no sense if you posit that they’re the product of a creator’s whim—UNLESS you think that creator’s whim was to fool us into thinking that life had evolved. And who wants to believe in a god like that?

Category: Evolution


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