ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags biology , intelligent design

Reply
Old 21st November 2017, 07:26 AM   #1
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,278
Unintelligent design

A comment in the Intelligent Design thread has started me thinking.

Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Some people think that humans are very badly designed. But they do not have a better one.
It seems to me that there are many instances where the design of the human body is obviously - not to put too fine a point on it - downright wrong. There are of course different trade-offs in any design, so it's not really a valid criticism to point out that, say, humans are much slower than cheetahs, because we're optimised for a different set of parameters. However, there are obvious instances where either the design of the body is clearly not thought out, or where a superior design element exists in nature. The classic example of the latter is the difference between human and cephalopod eyes; simply routing the nerve connections round the back of the retina in the latter is not only obviously superior but also exists in reality, so one can't realistically come up with an excuse for the blind spot in humans, where the optic nerve is routed through the retina, in claiming intelligent design.

An example of the former, it seems to me, may be the urinary tract. There are two completely separate excretory systems in mammals; the alimentary canal extracts nutrition and water from food and drink, and the kidneys take up some of the water ingested to remove waste products from the blood. The urinary system wastes water; not a problem for an organism living in water, but quite an inconvenience for one living on land, because we're reliant on sufficient water to keep hydrated and to maintain kidney function. If the urinary tract were routed into the alimentary canal, which is already set up to separate waste from water, wouldn't it be a more efficient design, and quite a realisable one?

A couple of questions, then:

From someone whose knowledge of biology is better than mine (I'm a physicist so I admit I don't value understand biologists biology ), does that sound like a reasonable criticism?

And:

What other good examples are there of obviously poor design (rather than questionable trade-off choices) in biology?

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:31 AM   #2
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
The classic for me is the laryngial nerve, which travels from the brain to the larynx (just a few inches apart)........via the aorta!! Yep, it goes down into the chest, around the body's most important blood vessel, then back up into the throat, a journey of a couple of feet or more when 4 or 6 inches would have done it the direct way. That's stupid enough in humans, but get this. It does exactly the same thing in giraffes!! Instead of being 6 inches long, it can be 12 feet long.

The bloody prostate is a damned silly idea, too, wrapped around the urethra.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.

Last edited by MikeG; 21st November 2017 at 07:33 AM.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:36 AM   #3
Peregrinus
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,154
And PS's "they don't have a better one" actually says nothing germane to the matter. PS can consult with any doctor to learn the numerous aspects of the human body which might be "better." But what we have is what we got via the process that brought us here.
Peregrinus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:38 AM   #4
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,950
We have found a number of genes that significantly reduce the chances of getting certain diseases and types of cancer.
Yet only very few people have them when it would be trivial, from the POV of a creator, to give them to all humans.
Luckily, science might soon pick up the slag.
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:44 AM   #5
Peregrinus
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,154
The slag usually runs for elective office. () You mean slack, and that would be a great boon to mankind.
Peregrinus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:46 AM   #6
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
Testicles.

Dangling in harms way outside the body. Vulnerable to attack, barbed wire fences, and thorn bushes. Elephants have in-board bollocks (they're up around their kidneys, giving them a 6 or 7 foot seminal path..........no wonder they make so much noise when they ejaculate!!), so I really can't see why a perfect designer couldn't have found a more sheltered location for the family jewels.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:46 AM   #7
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,416
Maybe God is just a really bad designer.
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 07:48 AM   #8
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Maybe God is just a really bad designer.
Or she has an unexpected sense of humour.....
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 08:12 AM   #9
Lukraak_Sisser
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,004
There are a number of obvious 'design' flaws, most of which have been mentioned in that (and many other threads)

For me two of the more glaring examples are the fact that we (and all eukaryotes) waste energy into making two different sets of ribosomes (one for the cell, one for mitochondria) and don't have the genetic material to make a mitrochondria de novo if they get lost during cell division.

There is also the fact that human cells are repressed from behaving as single celled organisms with a series of complex interactions, a mistake in one of which will lead to cancer, which the immune system cannot recognize in 99.99% of the cases.
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 08:38 AM   #10
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 14,112
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Testicles.

Dangling in harms way outside the body. Vulnerable to attack, barbed wire fences, and thorn bushes. Elephants have in-board bollocks (they're up around their kidneys, giving them a 6 or 7 foot seminal path..........no wonder they make so much noise when they ejaculate!!), so I really can't see why a perfect designer couldn't have found a more sheltered location for the family jewels.
Thermal regulation.

There's always the old sewage plant next to the playground one.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 08:39 AM   #11
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Thermal regulation........
That's what we're always told, but elephants manage OK.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 08:53 AM   #12
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 13,170
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
That's what we're always told, but elephants manage OK.

Yeah, the testicles themselves aren't the bad design; they're a compensation for a more basic bad design, of having a core body temperature several degrees higher than the optimum temperature for our own spermatogenesis.
__________________
A z°mbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 08:54 AM   #13
thines
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 61
Not so intelligent design.

There is an excellent book by A. Hafer titled "The Not So Intelligent Designer" published in 2015 by Cascade Books in Eugene, Oregon that goes over the things that a truly intelligent designer wouldn't have gotten wrong. One that I'd never thought of was that humans don't have the final step in the biochemical pathway used to synthesize Vitamin C. We've got everything up until that last step. Sort of silly to leave out that last bit!
thines is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 09:03 AM   #14
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5,678
We can choke to death, because for some reason our air tube joins up with our food tube for a bit before separating again.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 09:17 AM   #15
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 13,170
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
If the urinary tract were routed into the alimentary canal, which is already set up to separate waste from water, wouldn't it be a more efficient design, and quite a realisable one?

It doesn't detract much from your overall point, but I don't think that arrangement would work.

As far as I can recall from long-ago biology classes, water absorption in the GI tract is mostly passive diffusion of the water into the bloodstream.

Elimination of wastes in the kidneys is also largely passive diffusion out of the bloodstream into the nephrons. The hard-work part of what the kidneys do is the subsequent active re-absorbtion of most of the useful nutrients, salts, and water.

Re-routing the urinary tract into the alimentary canal would be the equivalent of attempting to conserve water by drinking ones own urine. Which people in extreme situations have been known to resort to, but the results are generally poor.

Other species have different ways of breaking down nitrogenous waste products into less toxic molecules (e.g. uric acid instead of urea), making kidney function more efficient in terms of wasted water. Birds, for instance, don't urinate.
__________________
A z°mbie once bit my sister...

Last edited by Myriad; 21st November 2017 at 09:19 AM.
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 09:20 AM   #16
Tolls
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 3,723
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Testicles.

Dangling in harms way outside the body. Vulnerable to attack, barbed wire fences, and thorn bushes.
Voice of experience?
Tolls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 09:50 AM   #17
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 20,469
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
*snip*
An example of the former, it seems to me, may be the urinary tract. There are two completely separate excretory systems in mammals; the alimentary canal extracts nutrition and water from food and drink, and the kidneys take up some of the water ingested to remove waste products from the blood. The urinary system wastes water; not a problem for an organism living in water, but quite an inconvenience for one living on land, because we're reliant on sufficient water to keep hydrated and to maintain kidney function. If the urinary tract were routed into the alimentary canal, which is already set up to separate waste from water, wouldn't it be a more efficient design, and quite a realisable one?
*snip*
Well, that is the system birds and reptiles have. It works fine if somewhat messily. The separated system has various advantages, one of which is independent discharge.

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 09:53 AM   #18
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 20,469
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Testicles.

Dangling in harms way outside the body. Vulnerable to attack, barbed wire fences, and thorn bushes. Elephants have in-board bollocks (they're up around their kidneys, giving them a 6 or 7 foot seminal path..........no wonder they make so much noise when they ejaculate!!), so I really can't see why a perfect designer couldn't have found a more sheltered location for the family jewels.
Well, it is a question of temperature. The testicles don't work well when hot, but that could probably have been remedied (since it works for the elephants).

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:06 AM   #19
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 13,323
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
We can choke to death, because for some reason our air tube joins up with our food tube for a bit before separating again.

I think this has to do with being able to speak


Sinuses are a bit pants, I believe.
__________________
Some seem to think the UK leaving the EU is like Robbie leaving Take That.
In reality it's more like Pete leaving The Beatles.

We are lions, not tigers.
Turns out I don't know a lot about tigers.
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:21 AM   #20
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Voice of experience?
Oh no. If I'd talked from experience I'd have mentioned 90 mph cricket balls, split protective equipment...........and zips.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:25 AM   #21
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 68,642
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
The classic example of the latter is the difference between human and cephalopod eyes; simply routing the nerve connections round the back of the retina in the latter is not only obviously superior but also exists in reality, so one can't realistically come up with an excuse for the blind spot in humans, where the optic nerve is routed through the retina, in claiming intelligent design.
Oh yeah they can. They'll tell you that it's there for a reason, but that that reason is, of course, mysterious. It's a poor excuse, but it convinces a lot of people.
__________________
渦巻く暗雲天を殺し 現る凶事のうなりか

Argumemnon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:28 AM   #22
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 68,642
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Luckily, science might soon pick up the slag.
Wouldn't that hurt? Hopefully, science is wearing gloves.
__________________
渦巻く暗雲天を殺し 現る凶事のうなりか

Argumemnon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:57 AM   #23
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 38,730
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
A comment in the Intelligent Design thread has started me thinking.



It seems to me that there are many instances where the design of the human body is obviously - not to put too fine a point on it - downright wrong. There are of course different trade-offs in any design, so it's not really a valid criticism to point out that, say, humans are much slower than cheetahs, because we're optimised for a different set of parameters. However, there are obvious instances where either the design of the body is clearly not thought out, or where a superior design element exists in nature. The classic example of the latter is the difference between human and cephalopod eyes; simply routing the nerve connections round the back of the retina in the latter is not only obviously superior but also exists in reality, so one can't realistically come up with an excuse for the blind spot in humans, where the optic nerve is routed through the retina, in claiming intelligent design.

An example of the former, it seems to me, may be the urinary tract. There are two completely separate excretory systems in mammals; the alimentary canal extracts nutrition and water from food and drink, and the kidneys take up some of the water ingested to remove waste products from the blood. The urinary system wastes water; not a problem for an organism living in water, but quite an inconvenience for one living on land, because we're reliant on sufficient water to keep hydrated and to maintain kidney function. If the urinary tract were routed into the alimentary canal, which is already set up to separate waste from water, wouldn't it be a more efficient design, and quite a realisable one?

A couple of questions, then:

From someone whose knowledge of biology is better than mine (I'm a physicist so I admit I don't value understand biologists biology ), does that sound like a reasonable criticism?

And:

What other good examples are there of obviously poor design (rather than questionable trade-off choices) in biology?

Dave
I think the -RH factor in blood where a mother cam bear a child with an incompatible blood type is a clear one
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 10:58 AM   #24
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 38,730
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Oh yeah they can. They'll tell you that it's there for a reason, but that that reason is, of course, mysterious. It's a poor excuse, but it convinces a lot of people.
When it actually has to do with the way mammalians eyes form
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 11:26 AM   #25
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 68,642
Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
When it actually has to do with the way mammalians eyes form
Evolution is a hoax, remember?
__________________
渦巻く暗雲天を殺し 現る凶事のうなりか

Argumemnon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 03:00 PM   #26
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 3,030
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
We can choke to death, because for some reason our air tube joins up with our food tube for a bit before separating again.

Dolphins were designed differently evolved beyond this and the food tube goes around the air tube.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 03:32 PM   #27
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 21,829
I would contend that the whole initial premise that nobody has come up with a better design, therefore, etc. ...is a sham to begin with. Of course any consideration of such a thing is predicated on our assumption that a better design would be to make a better human being. That's like arguing about transportation issues by comparing automotive tail fins. It suggests a severely compromised imagination.

A truly intelligent designer would not be under any constraint or obligation to produce anything even remotely resembling what exists today. If, as religious sorts seem to believe, the point of life is spiritual, an intelligent designer could have designed us any number of ways we cannot even imagine, to be spiritually wonderful without the other things that make life interesting for us infidels. Is there any inevitable religions reason we are not built like quartz crystals or elephants or oak trees or something we never imagined?
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st November 2017, 03:53 PM   #28
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 38,730
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Evolution is a hoax, remember?
Whoops, silly me
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 04:29 PM   #29
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 3,030
I think our planet is an example of crapy design.

Why do we have a molten core and tectonic plates, that move against each other causing earthquakes? In addition to this our spinning is slowing down, due to the friction of all that molten stuff, being pulled around by gravitational pulls from the Sun and Moon. I would have made our planet out of solid rock.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 05:13 PM   #30
LSSBB
Devilish Dictionarian
 
LSSBB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: An elusive house at Bachelors Grove Cemetery
Posts: 15,788
Post.
Nasal.
Drip.
__________________
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have." (Eckhart Tolle, 2004)
LSSBB is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 05:57 PM   #31
xterra
So far, so good...
 
xterra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: On the outskirts of Nowhere; the middle was too crowded
Posts: 2,664
I encountered a design flaw several days ago. The right-side temporal mandibular joint has begun to hurt when I chew. That joint is just forward of the ear canal.

If the condition continues, surgery might be necessary. While it is not clear to me how an orthopedic surgeon would get into the joint, one way would be through the canal. I know enough about the whole auditory system to think that this is Not A Good Idea.



(And just to add insult to real injury, the dentist charged me $95 to feel the joint as I moved my jaw, and say, "yep, that's a click in there." And wants me to get a night guard for a mere $600.)
__________________
Over we go....
xterra is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 06:58 PM   #32
Roboramma
Penultimate Amazing
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 10,002
In Richard Dawkins' book The Greatest Show on Earth, Chapter 11 History Written All Over Us is pretty much a treatise on this thread's topic. He mentions the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the blind spot, and other things mentioned in this thread. It's an interesting chapter in a good book.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 07:06 PM   #33
Yeggster
Master Poster
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,700
These units are a primitive structure ... Insufficient safe guards built in ... Breakdowns can occur from many causes. ... Self-maintenance systems
 are of low reliability ...

It serve as me as it is, Nomad. ... Repair it.!
Yeggster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 07:32 PM   #34
gerdbonk
Penultimate Amazing
 
gerdbonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Se˝ora la Reina de los ┴ngeles de Porci˙ncula
Posts: 11,772
Originally Posted by bruto View Post

A truly intelligent designer would not be under any constraint or obligation to produce anything even remotely resembling what exists today. If, as religious sorts seem to believe, the point of life is spiritual, an intelligent designer could have designed us any number of ways we cannot even imagine, to be spiritually wonderful without the other things that make life interesting for us infidels. Is there any inevitable religions reason we are not built like quartz crystals or elephants or oak trees or something we never imagined?
Well, the big guy created man from his own image. I have to assume he has the same flaws and maybe views his creation as a sort of "warts and all" personal expression.
__________________
I'll bet you didn't notice that I was naked when I wrote this.
gerdbonk is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 07:35 PM   #35
LSSBB
Devilish Dictionarian
 
LSSBB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: An elusive house at Bachelors Grove Cemetery
Posts: 15,788
Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
Well, the big guy created man from his own image. I have to assume he has the same flaws and maybe views his creation as a sort of "warts and all" personal expression.
Maybe s/he didn't want us to be a threat...
__________________
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have." (Eckhart Tolle, 2004)
LSSBB is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2017, 08:01 PM   #36
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 21,829
Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
Well, the big guy created man from his own image. I have to assume he has the same flaws and maybe views his creation as a sort of "warts and all" personal expression.
Or a joke. That actually would be one of the few ways you could reasonably assert intelligence in this design.
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2017, 12:16 AM   #37
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 3,030
Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
Well, the big guy created man from his own image. I have to assume he has the same flaws and maybe views his creation as a sort of "warts and all" personal expression.

Yes I have always thought this an interesting question. Does God have sexual apparatus for example? If so what does he use it for - apart from banging Mary 2000 years ago.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2017, 12:42 AM   #38
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,720
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think our planet is an example of crapy design.

Why do we have a molten core and tectonic plates, that move against each other causing earthquakes? In addition to this our spinning is slowing down, due to the friction of all that molten stuff, being pulled around by gravitational pulls from the Sun and Moon. I would have made our planet out of solid rock.
We'd have had to manage without most of our useful metals, then, and without most of our fertile soil. Whether we'd have evolved at all is arguable, as the early earth atmosphere would have been very different without vulcanism. Maybe the dinosaurs would have survived the meteor impact if the Decclan Flats event hadn't been happening beforehand. And with erosion, but only much reduced new land formation, the earth would have looked very different indeed, getting flatter and flatter.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2017, 06:43 AM   #39
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,393
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
We'd have had to manage without most of our useful metals, then, and without most of our fertile soil. Whether we'd have evolved at all is arguable, as the early earth atmosphere would have been very different without vulcanism. Maybe the dinosaurs would have survived the meteor impact if the Decclan Flats event hadn't been happening beforehand. And with erosion, but only much reduced new land formation, the earth would have looked very different indeed, getting flatter and flatter.
...and getting fully submerged by the ocean.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd November 2017, 06:48 AM   #40
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,393
Re: testicles and body temperature and elephants: do elephants maintain a lower temp? Then I suggest out higher temp is a reasonable trade-off to enable something significant in our habits. I have no idea what that is, but higher body temperature means higher base power requirement. Would be energetically wasteful if we didn't really need 36.5 degrees C and heavily selected against.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:48 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
ę 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.