Where “No” Means “Keep Pushing”
Intelligent Design (ID) has gotten a bad rap, in part because a judge in Pennsylvania a few years back laughed the “theory’s” proponents out of court, correctly guessing that their “Of Pandas and People” book, intended to be used as educational “science” material in public schools, is nothing more that creationism repackaged. Creationism, as you may recall, was found in violation of the Establishment Clause in a 1987 SCOTUS ruling on a Louisiana case, but Creationists, ever stalwart and tenacious, continue to storm the secular school doors.
ID has also gotten a bad rap because it’s crazy talk, plain and simple, lacking any semblance of scientific evidence or muster.
Asleep at the Wheel?
It’s obvious that God (or, for you polytheists, the Gods) would have gone to greater lengths to design more-perfect humans if, in fact, It had created us. Unfortunately, it appears that God did, in fact, leave our design up to time, chance, and environmental happenstance. Any engineer who would build a gizmo as messed up as the human being is would surely get fired, and the human retail stores would be overwhelmed with everyone returning themselves for a refund. The evidence is overwhelming that we’re not intelligently designed.
For instance, if gravity (or “intelligent falling,” if you like) were weaker, we’d perhaps all be taller, and if gravity were stronger, fewer of us would fall off the edges of this flat Earth – these being environmental factors affecting our overall development over time.
And we can’t re-grow limbs, like starfish, crayfish, reptiles, and amphibians do – and they do this apparently without having to resort to prayer. We can’t even get prayer to man-up and regenerate a missing leg.
What up wit dat?
We’re also prone to a wild plethora of maladies, from diseases to food intolerances to allergies that make us break out in hives and/or sneeze uncontrollably, to missing parts and organs that fail or break down or came factory-defective.
Over time, we lose hair in desirable places and gain it, in length and noticeable quantity, where we don’t particularly want it (nose, back, ears, etc.).
Why wouldn’t an intelligent designer make humans out of the best of all other creatures? It makes intuitive sense. So here’s a modest proposal of how God likely would have created us if It really did take the time out of Its busy schedule to grab some dirt and a rib to start that first nudist colony:
Let’s start at the top, with the hair. On men, it’s really just an afterthought. God would make all males bald, thereby leveling the playing field, making our present-day, worst-case, middle-age look “the norm.” Women would have lots of hair, of course; it looks great on them. But face it, most guys aren’t all that excited about getting their hair “done” every week or so by some gossipy hairdresser named Percival or Doris. No, we’d rather be watching guys beat each other to spongy pulps in cage-fighting competitions or something. Oh, and cage-fighting is just one more argument against ID, when you think about it. Plus, we look like total goofballs when we wake up in the morning, our hair – or what’s left of it — all wild and nutso; and most of us forget to comb the hair on the backs of our heads anyway, perhaps because we can’t see it in the mirror. So hair just makes most men look dorky. Lose the hair on guys, God.
God would design our head shape more akin to the overall shape of a fish, thereby allowing us to cut the air better when we’re running or swimming away from the marauding dinosaurs we earlier were living among, according to the Creation Museum located on 49 acres (or 20 hectares, for those of you in the Way Back Machine) just outside that academic and scientific and intellectual hotbed of Petersburg, Kentucky.
If I Only Had a Brain
Speaking of the noggin, many theists believe God gave us a brain. Given the state of the human mind and all the absurdity and atrocities it is capable of conceiving and carrying out, this may be the most blasphemous claim of all. Suffice to say that, if we were really intelligently designed, God would make some very serious changes in the grey-matter design – for the far, far better.
Eyebrows can go, too. They really do nothing. Social scientists think they contribute to facial expressions that communicate important non-verbal things, but most guys would rather that their facial expressions not rat them out to their women any more than other parts of our goofy faces already do; we prefer big, looming, false words and phrases for our lies, not knit and shifting eyebrows and darting eyes and such.
Long Lashes are Lovely
Eyelashes do seem to help keep extraneous stuff smaller than baseballs, fists, and tree branches from messing with our eyeballs, and they look nice on most people. These would be at least twice as long as they are in our present form, because long lashes look great on the ladies, and hilarious on men. God should have a sense of humor, don’t you think? Besides, if God didn’t give us eyelashes, we’d all be freaking out at how weird the other person looks without them, much like we regard the eyelashless now, so… may as well keep those on the ol’ lids.
The Eyes Have It
The eyes. These would have to be adjustable for a broad spectrum of light conditions, from bright sunlight to pitch blackness, the latter so fewer frat boys would run straight into tree trunks and lamp posts on college campuses nationwide at night after pulling those pranks on the girls’ dorms. A zoom feature would be pretty cool, useful for reading those highway exit signs from two miles back. Underwater vision would be useful, too, so the men can better see the women, and women can better see what the men are looking at. And they’d always, always be in focus, eliminating the need for “corrective lenses” like most of us need now for our allegedly “intelligently designed” eyes.
Longer arms would be great, maybe just for the guys, since girls would look like apes (whereas men are mostly there anyway), so we guys can get more torque out of that lawnmower-starting rope. Another long-arm advantage would be reaching for beers in the mini-fridge positioned near the football-watching couch in the man-cave, and tying shoes without having to bend over with that beer gut all the time. Our backs would last much longer without having to bend over all the time to pick stuff up. And if God made our arms long enough, we could mount fishing reels at the shoulder and use an arm as a long-casting fishing pole, not to mention being able to reach higher to catch that game-winning pass in the Superbowl. Boxing would be interesting, that’s for sure.
Wings would be out of the question, given that cartilage likely would not support such structures.
As for teeth, what can you say? They generally suck. Most of us have been through more drilling and root canals and crowns and extractions and abscessed this and cracked that than we care to admit. Kids lose teeth in everyday clumsiness and carelessness and hockey games and playground fights. This is why if God created us, It would give us shark teeth. That’s right; row upon row of auto-feed, fresh-when-worn-or-broken mouth scissors. And why shouldn’t we have a mouthful of razorblades? Sure, this would eliminate teen make-out sessions, but that just means your kid will return home at a reasonable hour on those date nights, instead of staying out all night like a cat, steaming up the car windows. Also, such angelic behavior would please our intelligent designer.
And while we’re on the subject of sharks’ superior features, God would surely give us cartilaginous skeletons, instead of this bone stuff, given that sharks apparently never get cancer, a phenomenon scientists tend to attribute to sharks not having bones. Or because they have cartilage instead. Or something. And just think how flexible you’d be! Bash your finger with a hammer? No problem! Just a little mashed cartilage (that would regenerate to normal, of course), no compound fractures or other such brittle-bone nonsense. Kiss osteoporosis goodbye. And a skull made of cartilage is the perfect growth environment for those razor-sharp teeth. With those meat-grinder teeth and that mushy head, boxing would be interesting, that’s for sure. Mike Tyson could take off an opponent’s whole ear in one bite – and it would grow back.
Ya Gotta Have Guts
Our innards weren’t intelligently designed, that’s for sure. A truly intelligent design would give us the digestive tract of the best stuff from a sewer rat, a mangy dog, a crow, and an earthworm. Think about it. Who’s sick of getting sick from botulism, e-coli, hepatitis, and all those other food-bourn illnesses – raise your intestines? The Centers for Disease Control says that annually, 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick from, and 3,000 die of, food-borne diseases. Tough guts are a must.
A gizzard would be helpful given that we wouldn’t have molars, the latter presently and apparently mere structures designed to keep dentists wealthy through drilling and filling those failed features with mercury-silver amalgam, and grinding them down to nubs for expensive crowns.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Lungs. Would it be too much to combine gills, to eliminate the problem of humans drowning, with maybe the breathing apparatus of a dolphin or sperm whale? How cool would that be, to be able to dive to incredible depths, or to just be able to swim across a large lake or small sea without breaking a sweat?
Birds vs. Bees
As for reproductive organs, I don’t even want to go there, except to say that I’m not complaining, and God, if It intelligently designed us, would make them bullet proof, again, maybe like a dog’s parts to some extent. Consider: Who’s ever heard of a dog getting herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, and all that crazy stuff? No one, that’s who. And look at all the action a dog loose in the neighborhood gets. Well, my neighbor’s dog, anyway, the one that’s knocked up pretty much all the bitches in the ‘hood, and likely miles beyond. An all-loving God would protect us from, or do away with, this STD and VD ridiculousness, and pregnancy would happen only if a woman wanted to be pregnant. God wouldn’t need to change the butt, except to make it perhaps more uniform, so we can ALL fit comfortably in those airline coach seats.
Is God a “Leg Man?”
The legs have plenty of room for improvement. Whose tired of schlepping along at 30 inches per step – raise your calloused feet and swollen ankles? God would design us to travel quickly and effortlessly, with legs combining the long-distance leaping of a kangaroo with the zippy agility and speed of a cheetah. On a bicycle, a person could actually “burn rubber,” getting the rear wheel to spin freely and produce an impressive cloud of rubber-stink smoke, like boys do with their parents’ cars when showing off to the girls. The joints would never need human intervention to correct flaws using artificial whatnot. Football would be a lot more interesting, that’s for sure.
Our feet could be mountain-goat hooves, for sure-footedness everywhere, and webbed, for better swimming. God would surely want us to be sure-footed, if nothing else. Kiss shoes goodbye. Trimming your nails would be accomplished in the healthy sport of going for a run on asphalt roads.
Yes, God would make some big improvements to the Human Condition – if It really wanted to intelligently design us.
Mark Forseth is a regulatory technical writer with the Federal Aviation Administration in Seattle, Wash. His career has centered on public-broadcast journalism and technical writing for such industries as GE Medical; ABB Robotics; Harley-Davidson Motorcycles; Allen-Bradley Motion Controls; Johnson Controls; and Imago Scientific instruments, among others.