Argument from poor design

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Judging the intelligence of a designer who created the natural world would not lead to the conclusion of a perfectly intelligent one. There are a large number of rather stunning defects in nature that a competent designer wouldn't make, the human eye for example certainly relies on the principles of optics, but the ganglion cells are situated such that the nerves and blood which feed the eye are backwards and run across the light sensing cells of the eye, then feed through a hole placed in the center such that humans and other mammals have a blind spot. Appendices serve no purpose and get infected and need to be removed. The human jaw is too small to properly fit wisdom teeth. Embryos sometimes implant themselves outside of the uterus and without abortion would kill the mother. If you were to conclude design, you would need to conclude an idiotic tinkerer rather than a divine perfect creator.  
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The Dysteleological argument, or argument from poor design, is an argument against the existence of [[God]] - specifically a creator God. (Dysteleogology meaning unintelligent.)
  
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The argument typically goes as follows:
  
== Examples of poor design ==
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# An [[omnipotent]], [[omniscient]] and [[omnibenevolent]] God would create organisms with an optimal design.
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# Organisms, especially humans, have features that are suboptimal.
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# Therefore, God either did not create these organisms or is not omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
  
We conclude that this argument efficiently proves the non-existence of God. If the natural world is perfect then God exists. If it is imperfect then the the counter-argument- if it's bad design, it's a result of the Fall (Genesis 3:16 has God saying to Eve "I will increase your trouble in pregnancy")- leads to the unfalsifiability of ID theory.
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The argument is usually not proposed as an actual argument, but as a weaker [[Reductio ad absurdum]] of the argument from design - the bedrock argument for the [[Intelligent design]] movement.
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Some of the suboptimal features often touted includes:
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# The eye (including the human eye, as the retina is backwards -- among other imperfections).
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# The Laryngeal nerve (seen most spectacularly in the giraffe with a multiple metre detour to reach a displacement of mere centimetres).
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[[Category:Arguments]]

Revision as of 15:58, 21 September 2010

The Dysteleological argument, or argument from poor design, is an argument against the existence of God - specifically a creator God. (Dysteleogology meaning unintelligent.)

The argument typically goes as follows:

  1. An omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God would create organisms with an optimal design.
  2. Organisms, especially humans, have features that are suboptimal.
  3. Therefore, God either did not create these organisms or is not omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.

The argument is usually not proposed as an actual argument, but as a weaker Reductio ad absurdum of the argument from design - the bedrock argument for the Intelligent design movement.

Some of the suboptimal features often touted includes:

  1. The eye (including the human eye, as the retina is backwards -- among other imperfections).
  2. The Laryngeal nerve (seen most spectacularly in the giraffe with a multiple metre detour to reach a displacement of mere centimetres).
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