Dembski misses the point as always with his recent post describing why the vertebrate eye is again evidence of design. You see, the big bad Darwinists used the structure of the eye, which has its photoreceptors in the back behind all the layers of the retina, as evidence that our eye isn’t designed, because what kind of designer would have the light pass all the way through the layers of the retina to reach the receptor cells?
I’m interested in talking about these cranks today because I think this argument is one that exposes the fundamentally deceptive nature of the DI and proponents of the ID movement.
I actually don’t care too much about this argument, because it’s really just too stupid to be engaged. You see, Dembski links this news article which describes the discover of cells that resemble optical fibers that transmit light through the retinal tissues towards the photoreceptors as proof of further evidence of a brilliant design (by the way, I can’t even find this article at PNAS – can anyone find the original article?). He seems to be saying that since Dawkins once mentioned this property of eyes as a sign of bad design that Dawkins was implying the eye as a whole represents poor design. Well, no, nature did quite a good job of forming our eyes, and the fact that they are finding more examples of sophistication in the mammalian eye doesn’t say anything about design. The fact that we had to rig up extra cells to get the light to the photoreceptors shows that, if anything, this system came about by adaptive mechanisms. Dembski is also jumping the gun here, because the implication is that all mammals have these cells in their retinas, and it’s quite possible that some mammals that are more evolutionarily distant never developed this mechanism.
But that’s not my point in this post at all because with these arguments Dembski always proves again the deceptive nature of the DI and the ID creationist movement. They say, they’re not proposing that the designer they hypothesize is the god of the Bible. They say, ID is a “scientific” movement that has predictive power. But it should be clear, immediately, that these two arguments are fundamentally incompatible unless you make inferences about the nature of the designer. And the nature of the designer that they always advocate is a perfect one.
This begs the question why is their assumption always that the designer is competent unless it’s because they’re talking about Jehovah? Why couldn’t they accept the possibility of an incompetent or at least imperfect designer? Why can’t the Raelians be right? Why isn’t it possible that none of them are right and our designer was kind of stupid or at least highly imperfect?
This is where the deception comes in. If they are being totally open-minded about the designer, then why is it so important that things be perfect? The reason is, and as their wedge document makes clear is they’re only interested in promoting one specific designer. Guess which one.
Just for fun, let’s think about some more things that are stupid about the human body which would indicate an incompetent designer. I nominate our urogenital system. Only a freaking moron would connect the sewage system to the reproductive system, then make childbirth so painful and dangerous. A moron, or a designer that hates women…wait a minute, maybe it is the god of the bible?
(and ten points to whoever gets which joke I was referring to – hint, it’s about engineering)