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Suboptimal design (EvoWiki)

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Response Article

This article (Suboptimal design (EvoWiki)) is a response to an evolutionary or anticreation assertion that was published on the EvoWiki website.

In many organisms examples of suboptimal design or jury-rigged design can be seen. These features can be explained easily by evolution, the "blind watchmaker", which can only act on what it's given to act upon, but not by creationism, or intelligent design (except by the Theory of "God created it that way to test our faith") which states that a designer God created all organisms with a clean slate. Suboptimal design is generally not discussed in evolution, but there is some examination of the nature of evolutionary constraints. Public defenders of evolutionary theory like to keep it prominent anyway, as an answer to intelligent design's organized complexity and irreducible complexity. It is significant to observe that a single example of a suboptimal or otherwise imperfect design instantaneously falsifies the idea that a master designer has created by its intervention all life specifically tailored to fit its particular niche. The Fall has to be offered as an explanation if ID is to be internally coherent for evidence suggesting an error in the design of life by an allegedly flawless architect.[1]

The failure to grasp the separate foundations within the interpretation of the natural world is a common theme by evolutionists enabling a blurred line that does not see a difference between philosophy or logic and empirical conclusions. On one hand there is philosophical or religious creationism which would indeed follow biblical history of a fallen world submissive to sin that degrades overall original optimal design. On the other hand just as evolutionists should rely upon actual scientific observations that fulfill predictions so does creation science, without philosophical conclusion or involvement needed in any way. The observations like speciation and natural selection that produce diversity and mutations that usually aid in diversity can also create suboptimal design, by introducing disease for example. The moment you go beyond the scientific observation and extrapolate known present processes into the scientifically unobserved distant future or past, philosophy is more often then not invoked, creationists would agree with that.

Logical Fallacies

The top three logical fallacies in the above text include:

Straw man

Creationism says that life must be optimal. Life is not optimal. Therefore creationism is "instantaneously falsified.

Creationism does not require that life be optimal. It requires that life show the result of a fallen world if following the philosophical arguments being made by Evowiki. Through a proper exegesis of the Bible, God originally created optimal design, but sin or struggle for life in which the weak die, entered into nature. Observations of how survival of the fittest functions within many aspects of life remains consistent with the claims of philosophical creationism.

The question is whether survival of the fittest functions consistently and if it, along with mutations, could produce the information and ecology presently seen.

Value-laden definition

Creationism requires that life be optimal. Life is not optimal. Therefore creationism is "instantaneously falsified.

Following their philosophical arguments the assumptions are made. Conclusions about creationism are made in relation to 'optimal' life without defining the word optimal or showing how creationism does not produce optimal life and intentionally combining contradictory philosophical and scientific grounds.

Philosophers have generally decided that an attack on theism by referring to suffering is not productive since many kinds of suffering can have good results. There is no way to show that present suffering cannot result in the best result[2]. The Evowiki statement relies on the force of the phrase 'Life is not optimal' to promote personal opinion over critical study about the subject.

Double standard

Creationism requires that life be optimal. Life is not optimal. This is evidence that there is no intelligence behind life.

On the contrary, it provides the creationist community another opportunity to demonstrate the willing capacity of EvoWiki editors to continuously commit logical fallacies.

Thus, suboptimal design forces ID proponents to decide whether they want to be scientists and acknowledge that their argumentation does not work, or pseudoscientists who invent excuses, making their hypothesis unfalsifiable.

It does not require an ultimatum, but merely a note on the biased approach towards interpretation of the scientific observations all creationists and evolutionists seem to but should not do.

Life has been interpreted through certain worldviews of which evolution follows a very secular, anti-religious path that some think scientifically contradicts creationism, in reality it philosophically contradicts creationism. This contradiction does not invalidate creationism but merely presents an opposing philosophical outlook within the practicing of scientific disciplines. Unique and separate approaches from which proper study is done regarding the origin of life, such as abiogenesis or supernatural creation (both equally unobserved phenomenon) and the diversity of that life which many natural mechanisms are observed, needs to be recognized. It is true that the abiogenesis process is completely natural which fits with the guiding philosophy of modern science, but its occurrence in nature is still unobserved, thus making it unscientific in the most critically fundamental way. The evolutionist must take a logical leap of blind faith by adopting a philosophy of science when trying to understand the fossil record and biology from a completely Darwinian framework of the origin of life.

Either strict naturalism or Intelligent Design as natural inferences underpin separate worldviews that enable evolutionists and creationists to determine conclusions from observational facts of biological diversity. These facts should be presented without philosophical bias. Recognizing the many disciplines that help divide up conclusions and theories on the origin and diversity of life is exceptionally important. Evolutionists should recognize this need and approach science a like manner, perhaps by reconsidering its dictated path of disallowing any other philosophical assumption in its ranks. This exclusion of other philosophical views inherently limits the realization of observational science because it does not allow otherwise competent scientists to conduct true science. This doesn't mean evolutionists must teach the creationists' own philosophical bias in the science classroom, but mainstream evolutionary science should represent its conclusions honestly by declaring its positions on the origin of life as a rationale based strictly in a type of philosophy by extrapolation.[3]


  1. Suboptimal design Evowiki
  2. Good question…Why didn't God stop the process before it started, if He knew of the massive amounts of suffering that would befall many of His creatures?? Christian Think Tank. Accessed 28 July 2010.
  3. Intelligent Design as Science? Watch the Debate Between Michael Behe and Stephen Barr

See Also