Don Wise and Incompetent Design

The idea that evolution is best exemplified in silly or stupid adaptations is an idea with a rich history. Quoting from the late, great Stephen Jay Gould in the essay that provides this site’s namesake (PDF link):

Thus, the paradox, and the common theme of this trilogy of essays: Our textbooks like to illustrate evolution with examples of optimal design - nearly perfect mimicry of a dead leaf by a butterfly or of a poisonous species by a palatable relative. But ideal design is a lousy argument for evolution, for it mimics the postulated action of an omnipotent creator. Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution - paths that a sensible God would never treat but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce.

Following in this tradition, professor emeritus of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Don Wise has written a little ditty (WMV video link) on “Incompetent Design.”

He’s interviewed in Seed Magazine, in an article called The Other ID.