Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Stupid Designer - Oak Joke

It always amuses me how creationists often resort to "It's all around you! You only have to open your eyes and look!", when asked for evidence of design in nature.

The simple truth is that if you really open your eyes and look, you find abundant evidence of stupidity in 'design' in nature. Even leaving aside the obvious evidence of callous indifference to suffering which if it were evidence of intent, would also be evidence of grotesque malevolence, there is abundant evidence 'all around you' that there is only dumb, unthinking and unplanned... I was going to say stupidity, but even that implies some sort of inept intent and culpability. It's just unthinking; literally mindless!

Walking our grandson to school this morning we came across this tree in the photographs. From the leaves and bark it looks to me like a species of oak. It's not the usual English oak, so I don't know what species it is, but the species isn't important. What is important is the fantastically wasteful method is uses to reproduce. Who in their right mind would regard this as an intelligent design?

Over it's lifetime, a tree needs to produce just one tree for the population to remain stable. Just a single tree over a lifetime of maybe a couple of hundred years!

You would expect good design to be efficient design. Who in their right mind would buy bread from a baker who is so bad at baking bread that you need to buy two, let alone tens or hundreds of thousands of loaves, just to get a slice that's fit to eat?

Yet, if we are to believe creationists, their presumed designer is even more incompetent than this hypothetical lunatic baker. If this hypothetical baker was as inefficient as the creationists' designer you would need buy tens of millions, maybe billions of loaves every year just to get an edible slice of bread every few hundred years. Is it possible to think of a less efficient design? Well, maybe the giant puffball's method of reproducing giant puffballs is marginally less efficient. If all its spores germinated and grew into giant puffballs, pretty soon they would weigh more than Earth. But then creationists believe their assumed designer even designed the giant puffball!

It's late spring here and trees like this oak are just coming into flower - not that you normally notice oak flowers - but the male flowers are particularly noticeable on this one. The top photograph is of some of the long racemes of male flowers, each having perhaps a hundred or so little male florets. Each of these florets will produce several hundred, maybe thousands of pollen grains, each with the potential to pollinate a female flower and produce an acorn and eventually a new oak tree.

There are tens of thousands of these racemes on this one tree, probably upward of a million florets with the total potential of hundreds of millions of pollen grains, possibly a billion or more.

This is repeated every year for the lifetime of the tree.

But it just needs one pollen grain to pollinate one flower and for the resulting acorn to produce one tree for this tree to have served its biological 'purpose' and replaced itself during its lifetime. It's entire raison d'etre is to replicate oak tree genes.

It's hard to think of a less intelligent way for a supposed omniscient, omnipotent creator to create new trees, or even to create trees which renew themselves without its help. But creationists will even tell you that their supposed designer intends that particular new tree with exactly those genes to be reproduced at exactly that time in that place, because nothing happens by chance in their assumed designer's universe. Everything is part of a plan! They will even tell you their designer has always intended that new tree to grow there and then and even knows which of its pollen grains is going to produce the next acorn... and so ad infinitum.

So why doesn't this designer do the sensible thing and cause the tree to produce just a single pollen grain to pollinate just the one chosen flower to produce exactly the intended acorn? Why the massive waste of resources and energy?

Any creationist willing to have a stab at an answer which explain how this is the most intelligent way to produce that one tree, and why this explanation is better than the one science has developed by observing the evidence - evolution by natural selection. A mindless, unplanned process that has no regard at all for efficiency provided an inefficient method produces more trees than any other method?

Any creationists willing to explain why this sort of evidence that you can see all around you if you really open your eyes and look, never seems to support the idea of an intelligent designer?

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1 comment :

  1. I alway say that ID is a verified creationist' scam. Usually zero rebuttals ensue.


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