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Episode 48: Abby Hafer – Unintelligent Design

Gabe and Erik chat with Dr. Abby Hafer about how the human body does not show the hallmarks of intelligent design. Plus, plenty of examples of better designs from the animal kingdom. And if you’re a fan of the intelligent design movement, be warned: they don’t come out on top in this episode.

Listen to this episode

Thanks again to Dr. Hafer for taking the time to chat with us!

Show outline:

How Abby got involved in criticizing the intelligent design movement (4:00)

  • Rebranding creationism as intelligent design
  • Abby emails her minister about testicles, which he reads over the pulpit
  • The human body provides a good vehicle to talk about biology to non-biologists

Intelligent Design does not do science; it is a political pressure group (12:20)

  • Science is a method of investigation, not a collection of facts
  • Science is really hard to do: experimentation, predictions, results, falsification, statistics, replication, peer-review
  • The quantitative difference between evolutionary biology and intelligent design papers
  • Hey, does anyone have a microscope? I’m trying to find my p-values!
  • Why scientists are bad at politics and debating

Unintelligent design in the human body, and animals with better body parts (26:20)

  • Bad design in the testicles
  • Traveling to Maine by way of Utah
  • Bad design in your throat
  • Choking on a hot dog isn’t just sexual innuendo, it’s a serious design flaw!
  • Bad design in your eyes
  • Squid can see polarized light, and you can’t. Some pinnacle of creation you are…
  • Bad design of the human birth canal
  • Pain during childbirth isn’t from Eden-era punishment; it’s because you aren’t a kangaroo or a centaur
  • Bad design in the fertilization process
  • God is the world’s busiest abortionist

The implications of bad design in the human body and some common responses (1:05:25)

  • These designs couldn’t really be better
  • The design flaws are a result of the devil fiddling with the plans!
  • God works in mysterious ways

Abby’s forthcoming book (1:18:45)

  • “The Not So Intelligent Designer: Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not”
  • Why Soviet agriculture failed
  • The politics and history of intelligent design
  • Bad body parts
  • Way more cool stuff!

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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Guest, New Episode, Science


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