Monthly Archive: September 2011

The First Rule of Propagatability

complexity-300x300Creationists (known as Intelligent Design proponents) propose that since biological entities and their environments seem “designed”, there must be a designer (presumably a sky god of some sorts). It may at first seem to be an argument made from an ignorance of biology, but I started to wonder, why do things look as if they were designed?

We humans design things with a purpose but we often overlook how we come to a design in the first place. Ideas in our minds tend to be the foundation, but what’s interesting is that ideas themselves go through a process of selection before ending up being part of an “end design”.

We discard or change bad ideas that don’t work and continue with the ones that do. We select ideas that end up becoming designs. Our designs are the end products of logical, natural selections that have taken place in our minds or in the minds of others. And once our designs are turned into products, they compete with other products. The selection continues.

Of course, the same thing happens in nature. Any poorly equipped species either mutates and adapts to become successful at living or goes extinct. Well equipped species continue to propagate their successful genes, and so on. The selection is performed not by a mind, but by the very logic that underlines the entire selection process.

Natural selection is a rule of logic for the creation of propagatable complexity -what we would consider a good “design”. It is biological in nature and since we are part of that natural history, the same logical rules apply for our thinking processes. It’s just that we call it neurological when it happens in our minds.

This remarkably simple rule of logic, The First Rule of Propagatability, that those that can survive, will survive, does not only apply to the construction of design, but to the propagation of all “living” things.

Any physical or conceptual construct that continues to exist -that is, fit to continue to exist- is both the inheritor and the custodian of natural selection. Thus life does not only seem well “designed”, it is well “designed”….by natural selection.

There are no constructs that would be considered “designed” that are NOT the result of some evolutionary process.