Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Delusion VII - Chapter 4 -
I didn't design it! It is intelligent artificial selection! I go further than Dawkins in destroying the presumption of intelligent design. The 747 is the end product of the "evolution" of aeroplane designs. Aeroplanes are mainly scaled-up versions/copies/mix and match elements of previous designs with trial and error modifications (mutations) very occasionally put in with thorough testing (extinction of Darwinian failures). 747 sub-components (eg. engines) have also gone through an evolutionary process of their own. The 747 is just well adapted to the human environment of wanting to travel long distances cheaply. Religions have always gone through an evolutionary process also (more about that in other chapters). The amount of duplication of the previous generation in software is quite scary. The "millenium bug" as it affected PC's date rollovers was one such case - I couldn't believe that computers that were sold in the 90's needed to save the 2 digits. However the firmware in question written in assembly language, was rote-copied (with only minor modifications) from previous versions that dated all the way back to the 60's, when the techies writing the code would never have given the millenium a second's thought. Design is an illusion - Intelligent Design doubly so.