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More on the Advantage Physicians, Engineers Enjoy Compared to Evolutionary Biologists

David Klinghoffer

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Thoughtful reader Dean in Ohio comments on Howard Glicksman’s article this morning introducing our new series, "The Designed Body." ENV noted there: “Engineers and physicians have a special place in the community of thinkers and scholars who have elaborated the argument for intelligent design.” Why? Dr. Glicksman wrote:

Some people believe that life came into being by chance and the laws of nature alone. Darwin was an excellent observer of nature but he had no idea how life actually works at the cellular or molecular levels.

Dean observes:

Yep, that’s pretty much it. Many of today’s Darwinists have little or no idea how a software-intensive integrated system works at the component and sub-component level either.

He also writes:

That may be why scientists are much more prone than engineers to posit a chance origin for a complex system. The most likely reason for this disparity is that the overwhelming majority of scientists have never had to conceive, specify, design, test, field and maintain such a system themselves. In the real world of complex digital and analog systems, one wrong bit, in one message, in one interface, in one component of the system may bring the whole thing to a screeching (or smoking) halt.

Design for robustness and fault tolerance hopefully minimizes the probability of this, but that is, of course, design. There are infinitely more ways to get it wrong than to get it right.

Yep, it could not be said more cogently, or more briefly. And ditto for physicians who, in contrast with evolutionary biologists, may not design but do specialize in maintaining such systems. Another good reason why invocations of “science” in the evolution debate — “Science says!” — should be greeted with the question, “Oh, what branch of science?”

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David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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