CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Why Can't God be a Creative Creator?
Another angle on the "bad design" argument.

Over the past few weeks I have been focusing on the Argument from Design, and will shortly be adding more responses for detractors. However, I have also found that the argument from design has been, at least in part, the subject of discussion at other excellent blogs. I have previously pointed out that Prothesis Blogspot wrote on the subject of "bad design", i.e., the idea that imperfections in the universe suggests that there is no designer. It's akin to saying: "If I were God, I wouldn't have done it this way."

Imago_Dei blog has also taken up the same "bad design" issue (apparently, it was the blog that led Prothesis Blog to take up the argument). His initial thoughts are found at Perils of Bad Design which sets forth some very interesting thoughts on the topic. But more interesting to me is his latest post on the topic entitled Tiny Engineer or Creative Artist? Consider the following:

"The Naturalist's argument is based on the assertion that if God exists, and if he designed biological organisms, he would have designed them (and us) in ways in which optimized all aspects of our physical bodies. That would be his main and most important consideration. If there exists characteristics in biologic organisms that are consistent with sub-optimal design, that would indicate that God did not do the designing.

"A problem with this argument is that is completely ignores the fact that optimal design may not be the goal of a creative designer. We see that constantly in human design. The design of the VW bug is very sub-optimal. It sacrifices certain things (like passenger room) for esthetics, and was very popular. Human beings actually freely choose to purchase a car because of its beauty and 'cuteness' (a term used by a staff member of mine who drives one) than by its optimal engineering efficiency."

"Why shouldn't a benevolent, transcendent designer choose to sacrifice some design characteristics to increase the beauty of his design? Where is the room for creativity? Why should we believe that we know his mind enough to know how he should design us?"

Right on. This is a great insight into this issue. Why can't God, if He is the creator, be a creative creator? Why can't He choose beauty over function? Why can't He decide that between efficiency and aesthetics that the aesthetic shouldn't be control the design? Why should we assume that if He makes such a choice that God is a bad designer?

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