What about unintelligent design?

‘As the theory of intelligent design again hits the news with President Bush's encouragement this week that the theory be taught in schools alongside evolution, I have one question: What about unintelligent design? Take rabbit digestion, for example. As herbivores, rabbits need help from bacteria to break down the cell walls of the plants they eat, so, cleverly enough, they have a large section of intestine where such bacterial fermentation takes place. The catch is, it's at the far end of the small intestine, beyond where efficient absorption of nutrients can happen. A sensible system — as we see in ruminant animals like cattle and deer — ferments before the small intestine, maximizing nutrient absorption. Rabbits, having to make do with an unintelligent system, instead eat some of their own feces after one trip through, sending half-digested food back through the small intestine for re-digestion.

Horses are similarly badly put together: They ferment their food in a large, blind-ended cecum after the small intestine. Unlike rabbits, they don't recycle their feces — they're just inefficient. Moreover, those big sections of hind gut are a frequent location for gut blockages and twists that, absent prompt veterinary intervention, lead to slow and excruciating death for the poor horse. The psalmist writes: "God takes no delight in horses' power." Clearly, if God works in creation according to the simplistic schemes of the intelligent design folks, God not only doesn't delight in horses, but seems positively to have it in for them.’

—Lisa Fullam, "Debate over Intelligent Design" (H/T Aric)


Interestingly, D.W., I am considering a series on my blog about evolution, creation, and "intelligent design." It is one of several options. Be sure to vote for the series option you like best and spread the word!
Vance said…
My own rejection of intelligent design came from a similar train of thought--only jellyfish with excellent but non-functional eyes were the subject animals.
Brad said…
"I wouldn't have designed it that way, therefore God didn't."

Now that's funny.
Kevin said…
Dave, I used to like rabbits, but now that I find out they eat their own s%$t I'm not so sure anymore.