Post by T Pagano
Lastly, the appearance of design in biological entities IS obvious and
denied by no one.
Get real! Based on their appearance, biological entities are
obviously not designed. No objective person familiar with both design
and biology could possibly say otherwise (unless the "design" they are
referring to is the evolutionary design of genetic algortithms or the
Consider an ant. Its mouthparts and antennae are modified legs.
That's how evolution works: it replicates existing parts and tinkers
with them. Consider an airplane. If its design was anything like
biological entities, the antennas and cargo doors on the airplane
would be modified landing gear. But airplanes are designed, so the
parts can be designed separately or adapted from something more
appropriate such as land-based radio antennas and automobile shock
absorbers. The end result is that the various parts of airplanes look
more like parts of other things than they look like other parts of
Consider ants as a whole. There are thousands of species, but they
all fall squarely within the group of ants. The ants themselves,
along with bees and wasps, fall naturally within another distinct
group. That group, together with other well-demarcated groups, forms
a larger group, and so on. And the ants themselves naturally form a
nested hierarchy of smaller groups within groups. Now consider
airplanes. It is not so clear here where to draw the lines around
groups. Do you include the Space Shuttle as an airplane, for example?
How about helicopters, gliders, model airplanes, cruise missiles? And
how do you divide airplanes into subgroups? Propeller-driven vs. jet
seems a logical choice, but there are lots of characteristics, such as
instrumentation, which does not follow this division. This will be
true no matter what division you use. This is not the pattern you see
Consider how an ant grows. It starts from a single cell produced by
another ant. That cell reproduces many times. All the cells contain
the same information for development, but chemical signals along the
axes of the egg cause different bits of information to be expressed.
The signals responsible for this differentiation are so complex that
we understand only a few of them. The same genetic instructions,
presumably under the influence of different signals, produce queens,
soldiers, and workers, which are often very different in form and
function. Consider how an airplane grows. The parts come from all
over. The people who produce the parts do not have the blueprints for
the whole plane, but only for what they work on, so no part is too
complex. Many of the manufacturers make parts for other kinds of
airplanes and even for non-airplane products. A master set of
blueprints guide the assembly of the final plane, but only that plane.
Of course the plane, unlike an ant, may be refitted after it is built.
Why do some people still say life looks designed? Consider ants which
*are* designed, such as those in Disney's "A Bug's Life". Those ants
have four limbs, like people, not the six of real ants. Their mouths
open top to bottom, not side to side. Their eyes and facial muscles
express human emotions. In short, they are anthropomorphized. That
is what people do to make things fit better into their world. Most
people do not understand the mechanisms of how ants grow, much less
how they could have evolved to that point. To fit the origin of ants
into the world they understand, they anthropomorphize; they resort to
the only explanation they have available, which is design. If they
knew more about the biological world, they would see that design make
no sense as an explanation.
Go to the ant; consider its ways and be wise.
Mark Isaak eciton (at) earthlink (dot) net
"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
exposing the country to danger." -- Hermann Goering