The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics
I decided I’d break from the True Love’s Kiss series for a bit after this article about newly discovered “pandoraviruses” caught my attention. They’re enormous in virus standards, with 250 times the genes of an average virus- that’s like your seven year old cousin standing next to the Eiffel Tower. However, the most amazing aspect of this discovery is how unrelated these organisms are to anything we know; we can only figure out where 7% of their genes came from. The other 2300 genes are completely new to us- when did their ancestors split with ours, why did they evolve to be so large? I am left completely in awe of the remarkable things our world produces, like us Homo sapiens.
And that inspired me to write about some of our wonderfully stupid flaws that should make even the most devout question the idea of some intelligent designer. WWCT: What Would Creationists Think?
Too many teeth. Like, seriously. We have way more than we need, and it’s kind of a problem. We have to remove them or they go all crooked and make it hard to eat.
WWCT: Obviously God gave us extra teeth because in the old days they were always getting knocked out by barbarians and we needed to be able to fill the space. Nowadays he doesn’t take the extra teeth away because they make sure dentists and orthodontists have jobs. God is a job-creator. How many jobs has Obama created?!!
Science: Our ape ancestors have huge jaws and large teeth to grind with. When humans started to cook and eat softened food, the energy that went into making these jaws was better spent elsewhere, perhaps brains. Thus, our jaws and teeth began to get much smaller, but it never caused a large enough problem to give individuals with fewer teeth a disadvantage. We simply never evolved to have fewer teeth, and it’s a nuisance now.
My back is a hot mess. We humans have super fucked up backs. They curve in funny ways and cause chronic pain and are super easy to injure.
WWCT: I’m pretty sure slouching is what makes your back hurt, so God gave us bad backs to encourage good posture and standing up straight to get really close to Heaven. Yep.
Science: This’ll be easier with a picture.
Ok, so we share an ancestor with chimps. That ancestor had a spine like chimps do today, where it’s a curve in the same direction all the way along. Our ancestors had some variation where the lower spine started to curve the other way, and that allowed them to have the advantage of standing up. Wooh, bipedality! The spine in our neck also had to curve backwards so we could hold our heads up straight. While this is a mechanically viable option, it puts a lot of weight stress on certain parts of our backs, so they hurt sometimes.
Our eyes are pretty much backwards. Light passes through several layers of cells before it actually gets to the part of our eyes that detect light. Blood vessels and stuff are in the way, which give us blind spots. Super inefficient.
WWCT: Well… ok, I’m not sure exactly…. The eyes are really complicated and there’s no way they could have evolved because I don’t understand how that could have happened, therefore God! Showed you, huh? *smirk*
Science: You’re using the God of the Gaps, but you aren’t even using it right because we’ve already shown how eyes could evolve in steps. First came light sensitive cells, then those cells dipped inwards and allowed for some directional sense. The rest of the steps– the aqueous and vitreous humor, retina, lens, iris, pupil, cornea- all gave greater detail and clarity and developed over time.
Problems with longevity. We’re just not very good at living. Our bodies fall apart and organs fail and it sucks nugget.
WWCT: God didn’t intend us to live so long, because He wants His children back in Heaven with him sooner and also longer life means more time for sin. Modern devil-science extended our lives, but that is against His plan.
Science: Nah, bro. With modern medicine, our species hasn’t been forced by selective pressures to evolve with longer-lasting organs. The elderly are cared for and have already passed on their genes anyway, so there’s nothing for evolution to even act on.
So if God really did design us, he did a pretty bad job. I don’t think he even went to engineering school first. A much more reasonable explanation is evolution. What do you think?