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New Book Offers a Fresh Test for Human Origins: Explain Your Own Body

David Klinghoffer
Photo source: Discovery Institute.

Whatever other challenges it may introduce in our lives, money has this virtue: it doesn’t lie. Bioengineer Stuart Burgess made this excellent point at the recent Westminster Conference on Science and Faith. The amount of money that investors are putting into biomimetics research — the quest for engineering solutions inspired by biology — is remarkable and telling. 

These investors don’t seek to make a philosophical statement about intelligent design or evolution. They’re trying to turn their money into more money. That’s all. The highest tribute to biological design is their recognition of the genius behind the design of life, most notably human life. Unlike Darwinists, in the grip of ideology or of group think, investors put their money where the solutions are. Money doesn’t lie.

A “Panorama” of Errors?

The new book Your Designed Body (Discovery Institute Press), by engineer Steve Laufmann and physician Howard Glicksman, is a powerful, highly substantive, and delightfully written rebuttal to the ideology of “poor design.” The latter is the notion that our bodies are a “panorama of glitches,” as one Darwinist, biologist Nathan Lents, put it in the title of his own book. Such a conclusion is dictated to evolutionists by their premise that all life is only a product of chance winnowed by death. Of course, then, it follows that humans are a “panorama” of errors.

As Laufmann and Glicksman summarize in the introduction to Part Six of their book, “In these pages so far, we have gone beyond how the human body looks, to examine how it actually works. We find coherence, interdependencies, and finely tuned dynamics everywhere we explore. These characteristics present a vast array of formidable causal hurdles, sufficient to test any theory of human origins.” 

Laufmann and Glicksman, in other words, are proposing an evolutionary test: Does the evidence of our own bodies argue for a designed, or an undesigned origin? Evolutionary biologists ask this question, too, but without the professional background that these authors can bring to bear. Physicians know things that evolutionary biologist don’t appreciate in the same way, not remotely: “The body must follow the rules.” “The body must take control.” “The body must possess exactly the right functional capacities.” “The body must be finely tuned.”

Similarly, unlike evolutionary biologists, engineers are highly attuned to certain realities about complex systems: “Systems require many parts.” “Systems must be coherent.” “Systems of systems usually exhibit complex interdependencies.” 

No Equivalent of Malpractice

Evolutionists who are neither physicians nor engineers can get away with failing to understand why things work in life. They can be satisfied by surface appearances. That’s a luxury that Howard Glicksman, Steve Laufmann, and their respective colleagues don’t have in their work. When systems fail, those who practice medicine and engineering know they can be held responsible — not just morally but legally. That tends to clarify your thinking. Imagine driving a car in a place where you could never get pulled over by the police or be issued a citation. That is evolutionary biology, with no equivalent of malpractice or negligence, in a nutshell.

Bringing these professional sensibilities, and sensitivities, together is the unique contribution of Your Designed Body, an important new addition to the debate about intelligent design. We’ll say more about that in coming weeks as we look more closely at the book. Meanwhile, you can get your copy here.