Re: Does God make design tradeoffs?

Dennis Feucht (
Thu, 2 Apr 1998 22:04:00 -0500

Bill Hamilton wrote:

> You wouldn't think
> >God would have to make tradeoffs, but think again. Once he had made
> >one decision about the characteristics of entities in nature, then
> >that decision constrains other designs.

As human designers, we must live within the constraints of natural laws
which were also part of God's design. Imagine trying to optimize a system
(the universe) by choosing the basic forces and properties of matter so
that all of the higher-level features would come out as intended. I agree
that speculation about how well various natural features are designed is a
tenuous enterprise, and can only be assessed relative to what we can
appreciate about design by having done some. Until bioengineering advances
to the point where bioengineers can seriously contemplate the design of
complex biological organs or organisms, it is hard to appreciate the design
trade-offs, no less the design criteria.

Nevertheless, the fact that we cannot even begin to go about designing some
of the familiar functional entities of our world causes me to regard the
Grand Designer with the awe that perhaps only a design engineer can. Life
looks so easy to the biologists, but as an engineer, even a television is a
major feat of design - and have it work right, that is. Well-designed
things look deceivingly simple _because_ they are well-designed.

Dennis L. Feucht
Innovatia Laboratories
American Scientific Affiliation Newsletter Editor
Great Lakes Rocket Society
14554 Maplewood Road
Townville, Pennsylvania 16360