Bad Design = No Designer?

I have been thinking about the highlights of the year 2018 especially about which idea or claim really astonished me the most in its lack of logic, absurdity or it itself being an oxymoron… While there have been many candidates, Dr. Lents’ claim about the so-called human errors based on his book, where he claims Bad Design = No Designer and therefore evolution must be true, made the top of my list as the most outrageous claim of 2018…

Here is why: 

  1. Do we even assume by analyzing bad or a faulty designs that there was no designer?
    Imagine an engineer analyzing some sophisticated optical device who finds an error in its design. Does he automatically come to a conclusion that the optical device had no designer? Of course not. He logically comes to the right conclusion that there had to have been a designer who made an error or mistake. 
  2. Now let’s just assume that the engineer who has found that error in the optical device contacts the designer about the error but  the designer disagrees and says that there are no errors in the design because the optical device was design for the optical performance. How could such a disagreement be resolved? The designer of the optical device tells the engineer who thinks he has found the error in the optical device to design a better one with a better performance. Wouldn’t that be reasonable? Anybody can come up with claims that the design or the device has errors but unless that it is proven by some empirical, testable evidence, like in this case a better device with better optical performance, the claim of faulty design remains solely in the relm of speculation or the opinion of the engineer, doesn’t it?  

Dr . Nathan Lents has recently published a book on the supposed body human errors. I haven’t read it but he has been very outspoken about his claims that the human body has many design errors and therefore could not have been designed by an Intelligent Designer. The claims like that are not new, including the supposed bad design of the human eye…

So, by applying the same analogy as in the case of the supposed faulty design of the optical device above, let’s see if Dr. Lents could prove his claim other than assuming that “bad design = no designer.

Could Dr. Lents design a better, more efficient eye than the human eye? We all know he is not going to even try it. But let’s assume that he claimed that he could but he is too busy reviewing Behe’s new book “Darwin Devolves”… Could he even design a better, more efficient human eye? Unfortunately not… because recently it has been
experimentally proven that the human eye easily detects 1 photon of light and therefore its design is optimal…

So, unless Dr. Lents is able to design a human eye that can detect a half of the photon of light, and be able to process it as such by the human brain, whoever designed the human eye can rest assured…

But this is not the end of the human eye design story…

The same experimental data that has proven that the human eye can detect even one photon of light suggests that the human eye could possibly “detect or see” the light photon in the quantum superposition…If this data is verified, as it looks it is going to be, what would that really mean? Well, without trying to sound overly dramatic, this very fact could mean that our perception of reality was totally wrong…just to put it lightly…

This very fact, if verified by further experiments, would not only drive another nail into the coffin where Darwinism has been buried for many years…

Dr. Lents claim that human erros = bad design = no designer, especially in case of the supposed bad design of the human eye deserves to be nominated, in my view, as the most illogical and absurd claim of 2018 by any of the Darwinists.

Has anyone found a more outrageous claim?

100 Replies to “Bad Design = No Designer?”

  1. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Dr . Nathan Lents has recently published a book on the supposed body human errors. I haven’t read it but he has been very outspoken about his claims that the human body has many design errors and therefore could not have been designed by an Intelligent Designer.

    Given that you have not read the book, how do you know Lents has made these claims?

    Elsewhere he has claimed that he is not making a “bad design” argument in his book.

  2. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s a theological question more than a biological one. What we need to hear from ID/creationists is why there are suboptimal designs, and why these designs fall into a nested hierarchy. The lack of an explanation is quite telling.

  3. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: It’s a theological question more than a biological one. What we need to hear from ID/creationists is why there are suboptimal designs, and why these designs fall into a nested hierarchy. The lack of an explanation is quite telling.

    If it’s a theological question why do you need to hear anything from ID/creationists?

    There’s a nested hierarchy of sub-optimal designs? Where has it been published?

  4. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: If it’s a theological question why do you need to hear anything from ID/creationists?

    Because for ID to be logically viable one must have an undesigned designer at some point , and such an entity is among the proofs of a deity.

    There’s a nested hierarchy of sub-optimal designs? Where has it been published?

    Good question.

  5. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: If it’s a theological question why do you need to hear anything from ID/creationists?

    There’s a nested hierarchy of sub-optimal designs? Where has it been published?

    ID/creationism is based on theology, so we would expect to hear something on why a supposedly omnipotent designer would use sub-optimal designs.

    As to the nested hierarchy, there are thousands of phylogenies published in various scientific journals. I found over 1 million hits for the search term “phylogeny” at Google Scholar.

  6. Acartia Acartia
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t think that the argument is that bad design means non designer. It is that if the designer can design something as complex as the universe, why would he design life forms with so many sub-optimal features?

    And then, of course, since we all know that the designer that IDists are really referring to is their inerrant God. Admitting that there are any errors in the design of living organisms would require them to admit that their God was not inerrant, and that is something that they cannot do. The alternative is to admit that their God intentionally designed us with numerous flaws.

    Now, I am going to rest my myopic eyes, pack up my bags carefully so as not to aggravate my hernia and scoliosis, and drive home before it gets dark and my night-blindness kicks in.

  7. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Acartia:
    Now, I am going to rest my myopic eyes, pack up my bags carefully so as not to aggravate my hernia and scoliosis, and drive home before it gets dark and my night-blindness kicks in.

    Don’t forget to flex that extensor coccygis muscle that spans a fused joint in your tailbone. 😉

  8. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    Usually the response of creationists and ID advocates to a “bad design” argument is to declare that we cannot know the objectives of The Designer. so the argument is invalid. Until you bring up junk DNA. Then they get very upset at the idea that there is any junk DNA. Why? Because the Designer that they have in mind wouldn’t allow any, because that would be bad design.

  9. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein:
    Usually the response of creationists and ID advocates to a “bad design” argument is to declare that we cannot know the objectives of The Designer. so the argument is invalid.Until you bring up junk DNA. Then they get very upset at the idea that there is any junk DNA.Why?Because the Designer that they have in mind wouldn’t allow any, because that would be bad design.

    Joe,
    Would you put your reputation on line and commit to an evolutionary prediction that Dan Grour made by saying about junk DNA?
    “If ENCODE is right (about junk DNA being less than 20% in human genome) evolution is wrong”….something like that…

  10. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: Don’t forget to flex that extensor coccygis muscle that spans a fused joint in your tailbone. 😉

    If this claim turned out to be false, what would you do as a seeker of truth, as I presume you are?
    You wouldn’t decide to move on to another… possibly false claim, would you?

  11. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Given that you have not read the book, how do you know Lents has made these claims?

    Elsewhere he has claimed that he is not making a “bad design” argument in his book.

    Have you been banned from reading the Peaceful Science and Evolutionnews?

  12. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: If this claim turned out to be false, what would you do as a seeker of truth, asI presume you are?
    You wouldn’t decideto move on to another… possibly false claim, would you?

    The human extensor coccygis muscle is even found in Gray’s Anatomy. It’s existence, origin, and insertion are fact.

  13. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung,

    Even Swamidass thinks that the “bad design” argument is foolish…
    I was going to give him credit for some kind of rational thinking but unfortunately his ego took the best out of him…

    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/09/critic-of-intelligent-design-acknowledges-bad-design-arguments-dont-work/

  14. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Joe,
    Would you put your reputation on line and commit to an evolutionary prediction thatDan Grourmade by saying about junk DNA?“If ENCODE is right (about junk DNA being less than 20% in human genome) evolution is wrong”….somethinglike that…

    ENCODE is correct when they say 80% of the human genome does something, according to their criteria. The problem is that their definition of “does something” includes junk DNA. Junk DNA can do something and still be junk DNA.

  15. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: The human extensor coccygis muscle is even found in Gray’s Anatomy.It’s existence, origin, and insertion are fact.

    I had hoped you haven’t had any comprehension issues…

    Gray’s Anatomy? Isn’t it some kind of a show on HBO?
    You probably don’t get it what is going on at TSZ…

  16. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: ENCODE is correct when they say 80% of the human genome does something, according to their criteria.The problem is that their definition of “does something” includes junk DNA.Junk DNA can do something and still be junk DNA.

    Read my question to Joe again or do not interupt!!!

  17. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: I had hoped you haven’t had any comprehension issues…

    Gray’s Anatomy? Isn’t itsome kind of a show on HBO?
    You probably don’t get it what is going on at TSZ…

    J-Mac: I had hoped you haven’t had any comprehension issues…

    What comprehension problems? Look at what you quoted. The human extensor coccygis muscle does span a fused joint in your tailbone. This is fact.

  18. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Read my question to Joe again or do not interupt!!!

    I read your question, and I pointed out the flaw in your question. ENCODE didn’t measure the amount of junk DNA in the genome. They measured the percentage of the human genome that does something, which is different than being functional. Even Dan Graur pointed this out, which you can read here:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3622293/

  19. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Acartia: I don’t think that the argument is that bad design means non designer

    I have to agree. At best it means a sloppy designer or the design is fine but it wears out like my car tires and it breaks down…Unless intelligence intervenes and replaces the parts of a well designed system, it will break down…

  20. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus:
    What comprehension problems?Look at what you quoted.The human extensor coccygis muscle does span a fused joint in your tailbone.This is fact.

    What if I happen to somehow prove this fact to be wrong?
    You have dignity, right? You are not some kind of naive person who thinks that truth is being taught at universities and in text books, right?

  21. Kantian Naturalist Kantian Naturalist
    Ignored
    says:

    The crucial point is that positing evolutionary mechanisms actually explains why some functional structures are nearly optimal and others are sub-optimal. Positing a designer does not explain that.

  22. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: What if I happen to somehow prove this fact to be wrong?
    You have dignity, right? You are not some kind of naive person who thinks that truth is being taught at universities and in text books, right?

    If you prove that the extensor coccygis muscle spans a joint capable of flexing then I will happily withdraw my claim.

  23. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Would you put your reputation on line and commit to an evolutionary prediction that Dan Grour made by saying about junk DNA?
    “If ENCODE is right (about junk DNA being less than 20% in human genome) evolution is wrong”

    No, I would not go that far. I could be wrong about how much junk DNA there is in the genome, and Dan could be wrong, without common descent (“evolution”) being wrong.

    Now, let’s get back to the topic in the OP. Do you have any comment on the point I made, about how creationists and ID advocates are wildly inconsistent in their response to Bad Design arguments, when you compare their response for most characters with their response for Junk DNA?

  24. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: Because for ID to be logically viable one must have an undesigned designer at some point, and such an entity is among the proofs of a deity.

    Interesting. I’ve read a plethora of ID related material and I’ve never read in it that ID requires an undesigned designer. Do you have a reference?

  25. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: As to the nested hierarchy, there are thousands of phylogenies published in various scientific journals. I found over 1 million hits for the search term “phylogeny” at Google Scholar.

    I only asked for one. The one that published the nested hierarchy of sub-optimal designs. If you can’t point me to anything specific please just say so.

  26. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I only asked for one. The one that published the nested hierarchy of sub-optimal designs. If you can’t point me to anything specific please just say so.

    The most obvious one is the nesting of suboptimal eye designs. Everything with a backbone has an inverted retina while everything without a backbone (e.g. squid) has a forward facing retina.

  27. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: No, I would not go that far. I could be wrong about how much junk DNA there is in the genome, and Dan could be wrong, without common descent (“evolution”) being wrong.

    Fair enough! Let’s not mention it again! We have been wrong many times before… lol

  28. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: Now, let’s get back to the topic in the OP. Do you have any comment on the point I made, about how creationists and ID advocates are wildly inconsistent in their response to Bad Design arguments, when you compare their response for most characters with their response for Junk DNA?

    You are probably right… There is a fair bit of inconsistency on the theme and I feel your frustration…
    So…on this very point, I sympathise with you… If it makes you feel better, you win! 🙂

  29. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: Usually the response of creationists and ID advocates to a “bad design” argument is to declare that we cannot know the objectives of The Designer.

    My response is that if you can scientifically identify the presence of poor design you can scientifically identify the presence of design.

  30. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: My response is that if you can scientifically identify the presence of poor design you can scientifically identify the presence of design.

    Of course! I don’t think that is what Joe is trying to say…I might be wrong though…

  31. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Kantian Naturalist: The crucial point is that positing evolutionary mechanisms actually explains why some functional structures are nearly optimal and others are sub-optimal. Positing a designer does not explain that.

    Some designers are better than others. If the alleged designer substitute of evolutonary theory is natural selection, well, now you’re in the position of having to explain why natural selection is both a good designer and a poor designer, and that is what is incoherent.

    Is natural selection great at designing eyes and not so great at designing knees?

  32. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: The most obvious one is the nesting of suboptimal eye designs.

    You didn’t provide an example of a nested hierarchy of suboptimal eye designs. Aren’t you an actual biologist?

  33. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Some designers are better than others. If the alleged designer substitute of evolutonary theory is natural selection, well, now you’re in the position of having to explain why natural selection is both a good designer and a poor designer, and that is what is incoherent.

    Natural selection is can produce both good and bad designs because natural selection only selects for what is good enough. Therefore, sub-optimal designs (e.g. Rube Goldberg systems) are expected.

  34. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: Natural selection is can produce both good and bad designs because natural selection only selects for what is good enough.Therefore, sub-optimal designs (e.g. Rube Goldberg systems) are expected.

    It’s your client Mung! I’m soooo glad…

  35. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: My response is that if you can scientifically identify the presence of poor design you can scientifically identify the presence of design.

    All you need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be piss-poor design. So if a Design advocate wants to call it Design, they have to face up to the poorness of the design. There is no step needed where the evolutionary biologist has to conclude for Design first.

  36. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    The same experimental data that has proven that the human eye can detect even one photon of light suggests that the human eye could possibly “detect or see” the light photon in the quantum superposition…If this data is verified, as it looks it is going to be, what would that really mean?

    It means that all the cats we see may actually be dead!

  37. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Kantian Naturalist: The crucial point is that positing evolutionary mechanisms actually explains why some functional structures are nearly optimal and others are sub-optimal. Positing a designer does not explain that.

    Exactly.

  38. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    OP: The same experimental data that has proven that the human eye can detect even one photon of light suggests that the human eye could possibly “detect or see” the light photon in the quantum superposition…If this data is verified, as it looks it is going to be, what would that really mean?

    Corneel: It means that all the cats we see may actually be dead!

    Nah, it means that all cats are actually both alive and dead when we our retinas first detect them.

  39. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Interesting. I’ve read a plethora of ID related material and I’ve never read in it that ID requires an undesigned designer. Do you have a reference?

    Every come across where it says it doesn’t require one when it discusses the attributes of the source of design?

    Care for me to lay out the logic? It starts out: there are two kinds of intelligent designers those that are intelligently designed and those that are not.

  40. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Hey J-Mac,
    Does the human eye perform calculations of quantum mechanics in order to detect those single photons?
    🤣😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂🤣

  41. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Interesting. I’ve read a plethora of ID related material and I’ve never read in it that ID requires an undesigned designer. Do you have a reference?

    the-who-designed-the-designer-argument-demolished-in-three-easy-steps

    reminder-about-who-designed-the-designer

    who-designed-the-designer-part-trente-deux

    who-designed-the-designer-the-mirrors-of-infinite-regress-facing-off-against-each-other

    /answering-the-who-designed-the-designer-objection-yet-again

    intelligent-design/who-designed-the-designer-vs-a-burning-matchstic

    does-the-designer-need-to-be-god

    miracles

    With this in mind, asking “Who designed the designed the designer?” is as pointless as asking, “Where is an airplane on the ground when it is in the air?”

  42. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s not as it it’s hard to find this stuff. I suspect it’s simply that the most reliable way of not finding out things is to not look for them in the first place.

    Dembski:

    Who is the designer? As a Christian I hold that the Christian God is the ultimate
    source of design behind the universe (though that leaves open that God works through
    secondary causes, including derived intelligences such as angels or teleological
    processes).

  43. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    There is a very simple answer to this question. If time came into existence at the birth of the universe, its cause transcends time. It therefore has no past (a quality of time), and therefore no history. That which has no history has no point of origin, and therefore no designer.

    Undesigned designer is required by UD, even if they don’t know the identity they know it’s undesigned.

  44. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung,
    Why don’t you ask at UD, especially KF, if the designer was designed?

    16 –> That is, we see here the possibility of a being that has no external, necessary causal factors. Such a being would have no beginning, and no possibility of ceasing from existence.

    So, then the who designed the designer objection and infinite regress claim actually point to the heart of the design theory issues, and inadvertently expose the gaps in understanding, [too often willful, at minimum by culpable negligence] misrepresentations of design thought, and question-begging that are so often the basis for the most commonly encountered objections.

    It’s clear from KF’s screeds that even asking the question is illegitimate.

  45. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Is natural selection great at designing eyes and not so great at designing knees?

    Apparently its great at designing eyes, and also bad at designing eyes.

    Same with knees.

  46. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Apparently its great at designing eyes, and also bad at designing eyes.

    Same with knees.

    Indeed. There are many obvious improvements that we can see but evolution cannot:

    Problem: As Latimer says, “You take the most complex joint in the body and put it between two huge levers—the femur and the tibia—and you’re looking for trouble.” The upshot is your knee only rotates in two directions: forward and back. “That’s why every major sport, except maybe rugby, makes it illegal to clip, or hit an opponent’s knee from the side.”

    Fix: Replace this hinge with a ball and socket, like in your shoulders and hips. We never developed this type of joint at the knee “because we didn’t need it,” Latimer says. “We didn’t know about football.”

    http://nautil.us/issue/24/error/top-10-design-flaws-in-the-human-body

  47. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Apparently its great at designing eyes, and also bad at designing eyes.

    Out of interest, do you have any ideas why your designer choose a backwards retina sometimes and most of the rest of the time did not?

  48. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: Nah, it means that all cats are actually both alive and dead when we our retinas first detect them.

    That explains a lot.

    picture from here

  49. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: Why don’t you ask at UD, especially KF, if the designer was designed?

    Which designer?

  50. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: Natural selection is can produce both good and bad designs because natural selection only selects for what is good enough. Therefore, sub-optimal designs (e.g. Rube Goldberg systems) are expected.

    And experience tells us that designers don’t always latch on to the optimal design on the first go round and some methodologies even encourage doing only just what is good enough. Therefore, sub-optimal designs are to be expected.

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