God’s text message

Proponents of intelligent design would have us believe that flaws in our biology are all necessary engineering compromises and trade-offs. Bollocks. There are many glitches in biology that are not remotely “necessary,” and could have easily been avoided by any competent designer.

For instance: the pure molecular evil of the ATP-binding cassette transporter and its role in multi-drug resistance.

The ABC-transporter does a marvelous job of escorting unwanted substances out of cells, but unfortunately it also does this with drugs and other things that we’d very much like to put in cells. It has a rather unnecessary deficit of discrimination, which any engineer would avoid, since this property becomes extremely dangerous in the context of cancerous cells. It’s no surprise that such a system would evolve, but for a designer to build this monster molecule into cells that can grow out of control is kind of like building a heavily armed robot with a mood disorder and no power switch.

The idea that a creator would give us cancer, ABC-transporter powered multi-drug resistance, and the wits to work out the genetic code, is kind of like a sick prank. It’s as though we learned to read the genome and it says:


This was inspired by Dr. Rob Tarzwell’s evolution vs. intelligent design debate last month with Dr. Fuz Rhana (at UBC in Vancouver). After the debate, I spent a lot of time thinking about Dr. Rhana’s very unintelligent idea that all design flaws in biology are necessary, inevitable design “compromises.” I took one of Rob’s design flaw examples and ran with it. This short, snarky rebuttal is the result. It was actually composed as a footnote to a much larger article, discussing another painful biological design flaw: Why Does Pain Hurt So Much?

Update. Dr. Tarzwell suggests Man’s reply to God:

ZOMG u suk. srsly. Kthxbye!