Creationists often cite the human body as evidence of intelligent design.

However, this is a poor piece of evidence. The human body contains numerous flaws that most people could have done a better job at design.

The retina of the human eye is inside out - there are blood vessels in front of it, blocking light, instead of behind it like in some other animals.

And there's the nerve responsible for the sensation of hitting your funny bone. The nerve goes along the outside of your elbow, exposed, when it should be located more internally.

In the male, the urethra passes right through the prostate gland, one prone to infection and enlargement. How many people would put a collapsable tube in the middle of something that tends to expand?

Books to read on this subject

Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box"

This book is a biochemist's attempt to provide argument for God using the familiar 'Pocket Watch' method devised by William Paley (who wrote 'Natural Theology - or Evidences of the Existance and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature'). He argued that a watch is more intricate than a stone. Therefore, 'works' of nature are obviously designed objects since they in turn are more complex to '..a degree which exceeds all computation'. Another famous argument is the airliner-from-a-junkyard one invented by Fred Hoyle.

However, Behe's book relies almost entirely on 'I can't understand it so it must be down to God' principle. Although I would love to use this in exams ('I would answer this question, but unfortunately only the Supreme Being has the answer') It doesn't really pass muster.

A better read by far is, of course, Richard Dawkin's 'The Blind Watchmaker'.

As for Squid being the chosen species, I prefer to think Octopi are the Maker's choice since they are highly intelligent but have 8 arms. How cool would that be?

These three engineers signed up for an anatomy class as their cross-disciplinary science requirement. One night they were studying together and started to theorize about God.

The electrical engineer said that God must be an electrical engineer. "After all," he said, "look at the nervous system. It's all electrical."

The mechanical engineer said, "No, God has to be a mechanical engineer. Who else could have designed this kind of skeletal and muscular system?"

The third guy, a civil engineer, said, "You're both wrong. God was a civil engineer."

The other two looked at each other funny and finally asked why.

"Well," said the civ E, "Who else would run the sewer through a recreational zone?"

Is there any direct evidence for lack of intelligent design? No. Not only is there no direct evidence for lack of intelligent design, but it is inconceivable that a set of beings on a planet could consititute direct evidence for lack of intelligent design. However, we do happen to have a set of creatures which allow either an intelligent-design or evolutionary interpretation. The latter is an incredibly heavy constraint on the structure of the creatures, and that it has been satisfied suggests that it is the case... but this indirect evidence is in no way convincing to those who do not wish to believe it.

Here is a storage for an old rebuttal which worked so well that what it was rebutting disappeared:

It has been proposed that the flaws in the Human body are because God wished to be efficient, and kept in mind the maxim, "The perfect is the enemy of the good". This is ridiculous, in that it implicitly proposes that God, the Omnipotent, had a budget and time constraints. The argument that getting something to work at all is better than aiming too high and getting nothing, is a good one for mere mortals.

Ford made some design compromises in the Model A, as do thousands of lab students every year in an effort to get something working for their instructor.

However, suggesting that God be bound by the practical is claiming its nonomnipotence. And suggesting that God intentionally made an imperfect body is disturbing in itself; to assuage that, what purpose can be attributed to it? On the other hand, claiming to know that is tantamount to claiming knowledge of the ways of God, which is often considered theologically untenable, and for good reasons (not insurmountable).

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. It should be obvious to anyone who has argued with a creationist that there is, in fact, no evidence for lack of intelligent design in humans. Nor is there evidence for the nonexistence of God. Or evidence for the nonexistence of the Pink Unicorn. Or, for that matter, Unicron.

What many people have been claiming to be "evidence for the lack of intelligent design in humans" is simply a list of the imperfections in various species.

The person claiming the existence of intelligent design would simply immediately reply, "God moves in mysterious ways. We cannot guess at His psychology." His opponent might then say, "But the eye of man, the prostate, the wings of the African locust. . ." And then the proponent would simply say, "God wanted it that way. We cannot guess at why he does the things he does because he is infinitely greater than us, and therefore we have a complete lack of the ability to psychoanalyze him."

Or something. It is quite simply impossible to disprove the existence of an entity claimed by His supporters to be omnipotent and omniscient, and, for that matter, it is quite simply impossible to disprove that He has his hands in everything. The proponents can always hark on His arcane nature, inscrutable mind, and ubiquitous doings to throw out any argument the opponents have. It shouldn't be the burden of the opponents to disprove Him because, as I've said, they can't, but rather it should be the onus of his proponents to prove Him.

While reading this node, something that Oneiromancer said hit me, 'Lab students'.
Now I'm far from religious myself, but I still have an interest in the various religious texts and customs, ever since I noticed the many similarities between them.

One of those similarities that keeps coming back is that the live we lead on earth is a test, to test if we as humans are ready to go to heaven or wherever your religion's good guys end up, usually this is in the form of spiritual tests like the 10 commandments.
Now the 'lab students' triggered a memory of a type of test that was popular with several teachers and professors back when I was still learning and doing those tests myself.

In that test, a case is presented where something is missing or broken and your task is to fix it so it works perfectly. For example a piece of code with a command missing, so that it looks like it would work, but when you tried to run it, it wouldn't.

What if the God of your choice gave us a similar test?
"Here's your body, if you don't fix it, you'll die young, if you do eventually manage to fix it, you'll become godlike yourself. And if your done with your own body, there's also extra points to be made by fixing nature and that planet earth your standing on."

That 'heaven on earth' could become quite literal then, a planet like the garden of eden populated by plants, animals and humans that don't or rarely get sick, know little suffering and live in harmony with each other.

Judging by the current level of medical, biological and other technology, we're well on our way to graduating, if we can just make it before the global warming and pollution catches up with us.

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