Researchers analyze implications of 'intelligent design' for human behavior

Apr 13, 2010

Although evolutionists and creationists strongly disagree about the role that intelligent design plays in the origins of bodies and brains, they curiously agree about the role that intelligent design plays in the origins of human inventiveness. However, both camps would do well to focus less on perceived foresight and purpose and more on the actual origins of behavior.

That is the message of an article published in the May-June issue of American Scientist and written by University of Iowa psychology professors Edward Wasserman and Mark Blumberg.

The authors note that even such grand engineering achievements as suspension bridges and the space shuttle evolved through a process that owes more to lessons learned from failure than to foresight and purpose. Similarly, close examination reveals that such behaviors as Olympic high jumping and jockeys' thoroughbred riding styles can also be found to have originated through trial-and-error learning, in which the inventor may be blissfully unaware of the achievement until only after it has emerged.

Wasserman and Blumberg urge contemporary evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins to move beyond the arcane argument over where to draw the line between things that "really are designed" and "things that only appear to be designed." By doing so, they note, we will better appreciate the actual forces that unite the processes of change across both evolutionary and developmental timescales.

Explore further: Researchers use computer-based treatment for children with anxiety

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quantum dots as midinfrared emitters

Feb 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- “People are interested in the mid-infrared,” Dan Wasserman tells PhysOrg.com. Infrared light has a wavelength longer than visible light, and many molecules have numerous very strong optical resonances in the ...

'Freaks' help scientist unravel nature and nurture

Feb 26, 2009

In 1940, a Dutch goat born without front legs learned to walk upright. So did Faith, a two-legged dog in Oklahoma. Johnny Eck, a "half-man" born without legs, grew naturally into a graceful hand-walker.

Intelligent design again stopped by court

Jan 18, 2006

A California school district has reportedly decided to stop offering an elective course that includes discussion of religion-based alternatives to evolution.

Med students to study dinosaur ailments

Mar 01, 2006

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is launching a unique program to teach medical students the evolutionary history of humans and animals.

Recommended for you

New book examines the known and unknown about OCD

17 hours ago

A new and thorough overview of a disturbing behavioural condition that will affect 2.3 per cent of the UK population in their lifetime has been written by University of Sussex researchers.

Ibuprofen relieves women's hurt feelings, not men's

19 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—For years, researchers have known that physical pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help ease emotional pain, but new research suggests that ibuprofen has contrasting effects on men ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
For those wanting to read more on their ideas
http://www.psycho...?id=2072
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Those who believe they can fix the planet from whatever they think ails it would be wise to take heed.
JayK
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Marjon, why are you trolling this thread? You added nothing except confusion and your own special brand of ignorance.

Squirrel, that was a horrible article. Thanks for sharing so I know that these guys aren't really all that useful for cognition studies.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 14, 2010
Marjon, why are you trolling this thread? You added nothing except confusion and your own special brand of ignorance.

Squirrel, that was a horrible article. Thanks for sharing so I know that these guys aren't really all that useful for cognition studies.

Just pointing out that humility is a virtue.