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Friday, January 16, 2009

That's Some Watchmaker

The blind watchmaker argument is one of the strongest the Intelligent Design movement makes. Don't bother telling me that's 'Creationism masquerading as science.'*

But dig it: I get the Oxford 'Fact of the Day' in my email every day and today it was something really interesting. Ever hear of the Honey Guide? Me either, and I've dabbled in beekeeping. It's a bird that likes to eat bee larvae and beeswax. When it finds a hive, it notifies the first Honey Badger it can find, another creature that's news to me. If it can't find a badger, it finds people.

For real. The Oxford article concerned symbiosis, but symbiosis is one of those things like blood clotting that is so complex it seems to require something in the way of an architect. Or maybe I underestimate the power of the random.

My links are Wiki, not Oxford. I don't subscribe to Oxford's stuff, which is best described as pricey but good. I subscribed to the OED Onlne a few years back when I was reading Thomas Pynchon's magnum opus, Mason & Dixon. Unless you have the kind of vocabulary that can make short work of the New York Times Friday crossword puzzle in ink plus a PhD in American History, I doubt if that book is much fun without an OED.

*Lighten up, for crying out loud. Saying life seems more like something designed than something that just happened is not necessarily saying it went down verbatim according to Genesis. The Hindus, the Budhists, Sikhs, etc., all have their own versions of the mystical origin, and any of them could use this argument as easily as a Christian, Jew or Muslim.

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