Being a software engineer who works on large projects I find quite amusing how creationists look at a living thing and conclude it’s too complex to have evolved, therefore it must have been designed in a similar way to how humans design technological artifacts – intelligently, that is.
Clearly these people have never designed anything of significance in their lives – and no, putting together a display for the Creation Museum does not count.
If they had, they’d realize that the process of designing complex things intelligently looks a lot more like Evolution than the clean, purely top-down idealization of a guy that sits at a desk and draws the complete plans for something anew out of pure inspiration. On the contrary, design is a dirty process that involves a lot of experimentation, discovery, creativity (i.e., randomization), refinement and selection.
For instance, humans didn’t come up with today’s modern computers in a single try. If we look at the history of the computer we’ll see a progression from simplicity to complexity where each new machine was built on previous successful technology. More importantly, we’ll see lots of failures that were quickly discarded, and even more failures that never saw the light of the day. Of course if we look only at the successes we may get the wrong impression of intentionality and predictability. However, if we look at the failures too we’ll see a different picture, we’ll see that the technological progress is quite random and unpredictable, and that it happens mostly through the selection of the random ideas that worked.
Some people can’t see how one can arrive at functional complexity through evolution. I have quite the opposite feeling, I can’t see how one can get there otherwise.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Quote of the Time Being #26
This one's a comment posted by thalesc on Neurologica.