The problem of design

Posted by Dan on Apr 21st, 2009
2009
Apr 21

evolution-of-primate-color-vision_1 So I’m reading in Scientific American about the differences in color vision between African primates and South American primates.  The authors present a plausible explanation involving common ancestry, followed by genetic isolation 40 or so million years ago when South America and Africa drifted apart, followed by different random mutations on each side of the Atlantic.

All of which got me thinking about the Argument from Design.  I understand why people find deliberate design more plausible than a series of random accidents.  But suppose you frame the question in a different way:

Which is more plausible, a series of random accidents, or a deliberate plan to make things look like a series of random accidents? 

Because that’s really the Creationist alternative: on a Thursday afternoon 6,000 years ago, God created primates in South America and Africa and made their DNA just similar-but-different enough to look like they had a common ancestor 40 million years ago and had different random mutations since.

So: randomness for No Reason, or the appearance of randomness for a Hidden Reason?  Either way, you end up at Just Because.  I prefer the simpler version.

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