Re: [asa] Darwin only biological evolution? (can anything exist without evolution?)

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Thu Jan 15 2009 - 05:02:10 EST

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 9:38 AM, Murray Hogg <> wrote:
> Hi Iain,
> All this you know, of course, and I rather suspect we're on the same page in
> thinking that the differences between the formation of pigs and of
> Volkswagens are significant enough that use of a single overarching concept
> to describe them is not particularly helpful.
> Blessings,
> Murray

I agree - and that was my point in trying to get Bernie to describe
the supposed evolution of something that was clearly designed/created
(Beethoven's Ninth). If one blurs the distinction so that both the VW
and the pig are supposed to have evolved, then one misses the whole
point e.g. of Dawkins's lecture on "Designed" and "Designoid" objects
- from the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1991. See the
following link:

The VW is designed (NOT evolved) but the pig is designoid. As Dawkins
points out later in the lecture, Designoid object contain flaws that
properly designed objects by an intelligent engineer, should not have.

I have argued elsewhere that the hallmark of great design is
simplicity and modularity - a fault in the system can be fixed by
repairing the relevant subsystem (or modifying it), without affecting
anything else.

The above is patently not true for living creatures. Drugs have
side-effects. For example, the hay-fever drug Terfenidine was
withdrawn from the market because it could cause fatal heart
arrythmias. A fix for the respiratory system has a bad effect on the
heart. Ergo we're "designoid".

By contrast if the battery's flat on a VW you just charge it up, and
nothing else is affected. That's because it was designed so the
electrical power system wasn't so inextricably linked to the rest of
it that to mess with it caused other parts to play up.


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Received on Thu Jan 15 05:02:29 2009

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