On Darwinism and Intuitiveness
What makes Darwinism, i.e., natural selection, so compelling to so many otherwise educated people is that it seems very intuitive. But intuitions can be misleading, especially when dealing with scenarios and phenomena that are far outside the norm of our day to day experiences.
The analogy is often made that the development of complex organisms by way of Darwinian natural selection is akin to a tornado hitting a junkyard and assembling a fully functional 747 jet. This is a poor analogy because, while humans are capable of constructing 747s, we are decidedly incapable of designing and constructing even the most “simple” single celled organisms from scratch.
This should strike us as counter-intuitive. Why? Because natural selection is supposed to be a completely random, unguided process spanning millions of years, yet that process supposedly resulted in lions, bears, fungus, us, etc. On the other hand, human-guided processes, like animal breeding, bio-engineering, computer science, etc., have not come close to, for example, originating a new species.
So, how is it that a blind, haphazard, million year old process can originate a new species, but an intentional, intelligent, human directed, carefully calculated process using the most advanced human sciences cannot come anywhere close to that? How is it that a blind, haphazard process can create full intelligence, i.e., the human mind, but over 100 years of concerted effort by the world’s best and brightest computer scientists and theoreticians cannot produce the most rudimentary artificial intelligence?
Put another way, I can understand how if you put enough chess boards on a beach and let the sea breeze move the pieces, if you wait long enough, one of those boards will play out like a real game of chess. Sure, it might take a billion years. But two elementary school kids could produce the same result in a 15-minute sitting. Using the tornado analogy, yes if you have enough tornadoes and enough junkyards, after millions or billions of years, one of them will produce a working 747 jetliner. But, again, a team of engineers could do the same thing in 10 years of development. The *intelligence* and deliberate planning and intentionality of those engineers is what reduces the development time from a few eons to under a decade.
Point being, intentional processes involving intelligence are *always* *always* more efficient, more effective, more creative than random, chaotic ones, *even when you factor in* a billion years. Literally the only case where this truism supposedly does not hold is with evolution, where dumb luck is presumed to be many orders of magnitude more efficacious than the peak of collective human intelligence.
Nonetheless, for the clear-headed among us, the fact that the intelligent effort of all of humanity cannot even originate a new species, that alone should cast serious intuitive doubt on the preposterous Darwinian fantasy that directionless randomness did the job many, many times over.
All of this is just about intuitiveness. Arguments against the very coherence of Darwinism yet to come…