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:

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

    Indeed. It’s practically useless as an explanation. May as well appeal to blind dumb luck. One would expect sub-optimal designs from blind dumb luck too.

  2. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: All you need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be piss-poor design.

    How does one go about establishing an if … then? All you have to do is establish that if it is raining, then it is raining?

    And how does one do that scientifically? The science of piss-poor design detection (PPDD)?

    So design is a real possibility. Is that progress? We don’t have to actually first produce the designer?

    Piss-poor designs are commonplace. The presence of piss-poor designs doesn’t invalidate the design inference.

    Do optimal designs invalidate the inference that natural selection diddit? Do optimal designs mean it was really designed and not a fake design created by a fake designing process like natural selection?

    So if I come across an optimal design, all I need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be optimal design?

  3. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: 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.

    Much better explanation, some designers do something and some do another, some are lucky ,some are not. Some are dumb , some are smart.

  4. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Which designer?

    The first one ,of course.

  5. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: 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?

    They were supposed to be for seeing behind you,oops.

  6. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: One would expect sub-optimal designs from blind dumb luck too.

    That strawman must be feeling it by now.

  7. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: So if I come across an optimal design, all I need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be optimal design?

    Having a stroke are we?

  8. J-Mac
    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?

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

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

    J-mac:
    Excuse me?!
    I hope both of you realize that Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment that attempts to explain quantum superposition…
    Quantum superposition doesn’t apply to large objects like cats and remains mainly on subatomic level lol

  9. colewd
    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.

    Exactly. Happy New Year Mung. 🙂

  10. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung,

    Piss-poor designs are commonplace. The presence of piss-poor designs doesn’t invalidate the design inference.

    All designs are piss-poor designs if you can improve them. The design process is based on continuous improvement of prior designs which absolute optimization has currently never been reached.

    If living designs were perfect we would have not have the current financial incentive to understand them and improve them. We are just starting to scratch the surface of being able to reduce variation in animal designs or the result of animal designs exposure to negative reproductive change.

  11. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Let’s see someone try to correct the bad design of the inverted retina..
    Well, nobody can because there is no space to do that due to the fact that

    Space-saving advantage of an inverted retina

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0042698909003162?via%3Dihub
    No need to mention the arraignment and distance between the lens and photoreceptors for optimal sharp image…

  12. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: If living designs were perfect we would have not have the current financial incentive to understand them and improve them.

    You’re just making stuff up here.

  13. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: If living designs were perfect we would have not have the current financial incentive to understand them and improve them.

    I am sure that is comfort to all the people who have become destitute trying to help the designer achieve his goal of having others pay to improve his designs.

  14. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Excuse me?!
    I hope both of you realize that Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment that attempts to explain quantum superposition…
    Quantum superposition doesn’t apply to large objects like cats and remains mainly on subatomic level lol

    Oh, I agree. Surely it does. Yet it was you that wrote those mystifying words:

    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…

    So could you elaborate on what you meant by that? eh … lol.

  15. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: You’re just making stuff up here.

    ex nihilo?

  16. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: Having a stroke are we?

    It happens when I come across a post that is so incredibly stupid that it takes maximum effort to not respond to it in a way that breaks the rules.

  17. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: Corneel
    Ignored says:
    January 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm
    J-Mac: Excuse me?!
    I hope both of you realize that Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment that attempts to explain quantum superposition…
    Quantum superposition doesn’t apply to large objects like cats and remains mainly on subatomic level lol

    Oh, I agree. Surely it does. Yet it was you that wrote those mystifying words:

    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…

    So could you elaborate on what you meant by that? eh … lol.

    Fair enough! I admit that the article linked to my OP can be confusing and even the paper the article is based on because of the possible biases against the interpretation of quantum mechanics that involves consciousness i.e. conscious observer…

    Here just same examples but what superposition means exactly:

    “In doubleslit experiment he odd thing, thointerference occurs even if only one particle is fired at a time. The particle seems somehow to pass through both slits at once, interfering with itself. That’s a superposition.”

    “There is, of course, an elephant in the room: human consciousness. Could conscious perception ultimately cause the collapse of the quantum state, making the photon show up on one or the other side? Prevedel doubts consciousness has anything whatsoever to do with measurement and collapse.

    “Consciousness…arises in our brain as the combined effect of millions, if not billions, of cells and neurons. If there is a role of consciousness in the detection of quantum superposition, it’d involve a really macroscopic object on the level of the entire brain, i.e. a huge ensemble of atoms and electrons that make up the biological cells,” Prevedel says. “From all that we know, this kind of macroscopic object would not be able to sustain quantum [superposition].”

    “While the human observer makes these proposed experiments unique and interesting, we emphasize that
    we do not propose to test whether the presence of a conscious observer plays a role in the outcome of these
    experiments; rather, these experiments take advantage of the unique framework of the visual system to test the
    predictions of quantum mechanics, and may even be able to provide experimental limits on alternative proposals
    such as macrorealism.”

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.08430

  18. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: All designs are piss-poor designs if you can improve them. The design process is based on continuous improvement of prior designs which absolute optimization has currently never been reached.

    That only should apply to non-omniscient beings. No improvement in knowledge is possible. That leaves several options, not an omniscient designer, or a designer who chooses piss poor designs, or someone ate an apple.

  19. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: It happens when I come across a post that is so incredibly stupid that it takes maximum effort to not respond to it in a way that breaks the rules.

    Most of us have built up a tolerance for that by reading your posts.

  20. Allan Miller
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: It happens when I come across a post that is so incredibly stupid that it takes maximum effort to not respond to it in a way that breaks the rules.

    Welcome to my world.

  21. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: Much better explanation,some designers do something and some do another, some are lucky ,some are not. Some are dumb , some are smart.

    Both smart and dumb designers still exist, right?

  22. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Both smart and dumb designers still exist, right?

    Correct, dumb blind luck designers and those that aren’t. Those who understand quantum physics and those that don’t.

  23. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: All you need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be piss-poor design.

    Mung: How does one go about establishing an if … then? All you have to do is establish that if it is raining, then it is raining?

    And how does one do that scientifically? The science of piss-poor design detection (PPDD)?

    So design is a real possibility. Is that progress? We don’t have to actually first produce the designer?

    Piss-poor designs are commonplace. The presence of piss-poor designs doesn’t invalidate the design inference.

    Do optimal designs invalidate the inference that natural selection diddit? Do optimal designs mean it was really designed and not a fake design created by a fake designing process like natural selection?

    So if I come across an optimal design, all I need to do is establish that if that is the result of Design, then the Design must be optimal design?

    It seems painfully obvious that science has no problem identifying designs whether they are functionally optimal or piss-poor designs…
    Science ONLY has a problem with what those designs imply…which brings me to the theme of my OP:

    Bad Design or Piss-Poor Design=No Designer deserves a special recognition…How about some kind of a Prize? Nonlin? Any ideas for the name of the trophy or award?

  24. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: Correct, dumb blind luck designers and those that aren’t. Those who understand quantum physics and those that don’t.

    “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”. – Richard Feynman
    “After you learn quantum mechanics you are never really the same again”- Steven Weinberg
    “Once you realize the implications of quantum mechanics and you bluntly dismiss them it would have been better never to come to this understanding in the first place…”

  25. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: That only should apply to non-omniscient beings. No improvement in knowledge is possible. That leaves several options, not an omniscient designer, or a designer who chooses piss poor designs, or someone ate an apple.

    I choose piss poor designs…
    Is my ability to choose to design optimal designs or piss poor disigns limiting my omniscience? I’m omipotent, remember? I can do whatever I choose…

  26. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: It happens when I come across a post that is so incredibly stupid that it takes maximum effort to not respond to it in a way that breaks the rules.

    Well, it was like that every time J-Mac posted something, but then J-Mac said that plants solve equations in quantum mechanics in order for photosynthesis to occur. That’s so astoundingly absurd that I no longer feel like answering in a way that breaks the rules. It’s just not worth it any more. What can anybody say to someone who truly believes such a ridiculous thing? To someone who thinks that it’s necessary for plants to solve human-made equations for describing some phenomena before the phenomenon could even happen? To someone who thinks that mutations cause the equations to be solved wrongly? Leaving aside J-Mac’s attitude, that kind of mind cannot be reached.

  27. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: Well, it was like that every time J-Mac posted something, but then J-Mac said that plants solve equations in quantum mechanics in order for photosynthesis to occur. That’s so astoundingly absurd that I no longer feel like answering in a way that breaks the rules. It’s just not worth it any more. What can anybody say to someone who truly believes such a ridiculous thing? To someone who thinks that it’s necessary for plants to solve human-made equations for describing some phenomena before the phenomenon could even happen? To someone who thinks that mutations cause the equations to be solved wrongly? Leaving aside J-Mac’s attitude, that kind of mind cannot be reached.

    Are you sure about your counterclaim??? Did you even look it up? Just because you don’t like something it doesn’t make it false, does it?
    You don’t agree with the scientific, experimental evidence that proves quantum photosythesis? Where woud you like me to go from here then???
    Attitude? Cry me a river!!!

  28. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: ? To someone who thinks that it’s necessary for plants to solve human-made equations for describing some phenomena before the phenomenon could even happen? To

    lol… You are late… Plants must have been able to solve the equations (only if they evolved by sheer dumb luck) science has recently realized they apply to photosynthesis …Go to sleep!
    ETA: Can natural processes i.e. natural selection solve mathematical equations?

  29. Kantian Naturalist Kantian Naturalist
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: Well, it was like that every time J-Mac posted something, but then J-Mac said that plants solve equations in quantum mechanics in order for photosynthesis to occur. That’s so astoundingly absurd that I no longer feel like answering in a way that breaks the rules. It’s just not worth it any more. What can anybody say to someone who truly believes such a ridiculous thing? To someone who thinks that it’s necessary for plants to solve human-made equations for describing some phenomena before the phenomenon could even happen? To someone who thinks that mutations cause the equations to be solved wrongly? Leaving aside J-Mac’s attitude, that kind of mind cannot be reached.

    Yep. Basic map-territory confusion.

  30. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    newton,

    That only should apply to non-omniscient beings. No improvement in knowledge is possible. That leaves several options, not an omniscient designer, or a designer who chooses piss poor designs, or someone ate an apple.

    The omniscient being can have an imperfect design as an objective.

  31. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    newton,

    The omniscient being can have an imperfect design as an objective.

    Yes, My inarticulate point. What possible objective could be achieved by children suffering?

  32. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: I choose piss poor designs…

    If that is all you are capable of , is it really a choice?

    Is my ability to choose to design optimal designs or piss poor disigns limiting my omniscience?

    Nope, everything that can be known, you know . However knowing how the build something doesn’t mean you can do it. The physical manifestation is part of the deal. Things exist

    So we could have a dumb powerful designer or a weak smart designer. But since life has been around a long time you better have a long lived one. Or lots of designers.

    Always think it is funny ID people do really don’t seem care about designers or how to design. Only about evolution.

    I’m omipotent, remember? I can do whatever I choose…

    Anything logically possible, though if you are not omniscient you might not know what your choices are. Or how to do it.

  33. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Here just same examples but what superposition means exactly:

    Not clear, sorry.

    Let me for a moment grant that human eyes can detect light photons that are still in superposition, and that a conscious observer is required to collapse the wave function.

    Then our perception of reality is totally wrong about real reality … how?

  34. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Can natural processes i.e. natural selection solve mathematical equations?

    Can a rock falling from a cliff solve Newton’s laws of motion?

  35. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Kantian Naturalist: Yep. Basic map-territory confusion.

    Exactly. Combined with a tremendous resistance to correction.

  36. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    You’re just making my point J-Mac.

    J-Mac:
    Are you sure about your counterclaim???

    You don’t even understand what the counterclaim is J-Mac.

    J-Mac:
    Did you even look it up?

    What for? Oh, sorry, you don’t understand what your problem is, so you assume it’s about some phenomenon, rather than about your fantasizing about plants solving equations.

    J-Mac:
    Just because you don’t like something it doesn’t make it false, does it?

    Just because you’re unable to understand the absurdity of your claims, doesn’t make them true, does it?

    J-Mac:
    You don’t agree with the scientific, experimental evidence that proves quantum photosythesis? Where woud you like me to go from here then???

    Sigh. Whether or not there’s such a thing as quantum photosynthesis, and whether or not there’s evidence for that, neither would mean that plants are solving any equations.

    I leave you to your fantasies now.

  37. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein:
    Can a rock falling from a cliff solve Newton’s laws of motion?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if J-Mac thought so, and made that into another piece of evidence for a magical being in the sky.

  38. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    newton,

    Yes, My inarticulate point. What possible objective could be achieved by children suffering?

    Sure there are possible objectives. I agree as compassionate individuals this is hard to see but without problems to solve learning, growth and progress are impossible.

  39. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: Sure there are possible objectives. I agree as compassionate individuals this is hard to see but without problems to solve learning, growth and progress are impossible.

    Survival of the fittest ,so to say? Some must suffer for the good of the whole school of design?

  40. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: but without problems to solve learning, growth and progress are impossible.

    So, in the future when technology has eliminated what we would today call childrens suffering, progress will then become impossible? Why?

    phoodoo had no answer either.

  41. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Technology will never eliminate suffering.

    If we learn to grow replacement heads, we will be inconvenienced for the duration.

  42. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    newton,

    Survival of the fittest ,so to say? Some must suffer for the good of the whole school of design?

    Free will = probabilistic universe=some must temporarily suffer. Can be solved with determinism but cannot have free will.

  43. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    Rhetorical question:

    Are self-destructing Rube Goldberg machines good or bad design — like say missiles or Terminator Traitor Seeds genetically engineered by Monsanto.

    The answer is irrelevant to whether the things are designed or not.

  44. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova,

    What examples are there of designed objects produced by organisms other than humans? Do bird nests, termite mounds, spiders webs count? Do you think asking who or what is the agent of production of an apparently designed object is relevant? Is it reasonable to assume an immaterial process by default when rejecting other explanations? Is observation and experiment a way to answer questions about “Design”?

  45. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox: What examples are there of designed objects produced by organisms other than humans?

    Good question. Too bad it cannot be answered scientifically, given that science cannot detect design.

  46. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox: What examples are there of designed objects produced by organisms other than humans?

    Mung: Good question. Too bad it cannot be answered scientifically, given that science cannot detect design.

    It seems science has no problem detecting “bad designs”…unless they turn out to be optimal performance designs…
    “Bad designs” causing suffering can also be detected by science, such as pain in the butt…
    Good designs could potentially be detected by science if its focus could be adjusted by using an unbiased Lents… 😉

  47. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: Can a rock falling from a cliff solve Newton’s laws of motion?

    How about climbing up the cliff?

  48. stcordova
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox:
    stcordova,

    What examples are there of designed objects produced by organisms other than humans? Do bird nests, termite mounds, spiders webs count? Do you think asking who or what is the agent of production of an apparently designed object is relevant? Is it reasonable to assume an immaterial process by default when rejecting other explanations? Is observation and experimenta way to answer questions about “Design”?

    Yes, I think bird nests count. I think honey combs and beaver dams count too. 🙂

    “Do you think asking who or what is the agent of production of an apparently designed object is relevant? ” Yes.

    “Is it reasonable to assume an immaterial process by default when rejecting other explanations?” No. One invokes non-material processes if there is evidence of non-material processes. Quantum Mechanics strongly suggests that possibility. So can assume it as a working hypothesis. Of course, one can find one thing more believable than another.

    For example, when Astronaut Charles Duke prayed for a blind girl in the name of Jesus and she got healed, would it be reasonable for the blind girl to believe the Christian God did it? I think so. She has more to lose by offending the Christian God, then maybe just mistaking a coincidental event as a miracle. There is probably some point, at a personal level, one inference is more reasonable to follow than another. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I were that little girl, I would follow Jesus for the rest of my life just for that one event, and I would believe Jesus is the Intelligent Designer.

    ” Is observation and experiment a way to answer questions about “Design”?” Only indirectly. The best confirmation of Design is to see the Designer in action himself. Whether one is willing to believe in a Designer whom they don’t see is up to them. Unlike other ID proponents, I don’t insist that improbable events necessitate design formally, I only say, it looks believable to me and from scientific standpoint, we can say if something is chemically and physically improbable.

  49. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    stcordova: “Is it reasonable to assume an immaterial process by default when rejecting other explanations?” No. One invokes non-material processes if there is evidence of non-material processes. Quantum Mechanics strongly suggests that possibility.

    Such effect before cause? 😉

  50. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Not In my own words, but it’s a matter of interpretation :

    “In the standard setup a half-silvered mirror steers a photon to either the left or the right fiber. The photon then lands on one side or the other of a volunteer’s retina, and the subject has to indicate which by using a keyboard. But it is trivial (using quantum optics) to put the photon in a superposition of going through both fibers, and onto both sides of the eye, at once. What occurs next depends on what one believes happens to the photon.

    Physicists describe a photon’s quantum state using a mathematical abstraction called the wave function. Before the superposed photon hits the eye its wave function is spread out, and the photon has an equal probability of being seen on the left or the right. The photon’s interaction with the visual system acts as a measurement that is thought to “collapse” the wave function, and the photon randomly ends up on one side or the other, like a tossed coin coming up “tails” or “heads.” Would humans see a difference in the photon counts on the left versus the right when perceiving superposed photons as compared with photons in classical states? “If you trust quantum mechanics, then there should be no difference,” Kwiat says. But if their experiment finds an irrefutable, statistically significant difference, it would signal something amiss with quantum physics. “That would be a big. That would be a quite earth-shattering result,” he adds.

    Such a result would point toward a possible resolution of the central concern of quantum mechanics: the so-called measurement problem. There’s nothing in the theory that specifies how measurements can collapse the wave function, if indeed wave functions do collapse. How big should the measuring apparatus be? In the case of the eye, would an individual rod cell do? Or does one need the entire retina? What about the cornea? Might a conscious observer need to be in the mix?”

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