Monday, September 26, 2005

Design 'Flaws'

I remember years ago a friend of mine arguing against the existence of God because if He’d been such an astute Creator as I made Him out to be, then He’d have created elbows that would go both ways, forwards and backwards. I didn’t have an answer for it at the time – I’m never much good with off the cuff responses – but as I remember it again in the light of other so-called flaws in the Creator’s handiwork, I’m surprised that I didn’t see how silly the statement is. Elbows that worked both ways would require arms and a body that could support them working like that; it would mean a complete overhaul of the whole system. Perhaps my friend was baulking at the limitation of forwards-only elbows. (Though for the life of me I can’t see what good they’d be working behind you anyway!)

There seem to be quite a few scientists, of the popular sort usually, who have these ideas that the human body hasn’t been well put together, or that it has particular flaws. I can’t remember who the tv scientist is who’s always presenting series on the body. He claimed that babies were born too soon and therefore had to be nurtured longer because they were quite incapable of looking after themselves, as other non-human animals are almost from birth. The reason for this was that women’s hips were too small to sustain the growth of a bigger baby, and the birth canal not big enough for a bigger baby to move down. This was therefore a flaw in the woman! Good grief, how many women would want to carry babies any bigger than 10 lb at the best of times; smaller babies are already a considerable strain on the woman’s whole system while she’s pregnant. Similar assertions are made in Bill Bryson’s book, though at least he doesn’t claim to have made them.

He mentions that some scientists think the human eye isn’t well-designed (and therefore we don’t have a Designer) because something in it is back to front to what would be more practical…according to their lights. But often these scientists, it seems to me, get stuck on one ‘problem’ and fail to see that that particular ‘problem’ is there in order to avoid other problems.

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