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The Lack of Intelligence in Intelligent Design: Many Flaws

Updated on August 17, 2019
Lorra Garrick profile image

All-around writer who specializes in fitness, exercise and topics that most writers won't touch.

Why would a perfect God create moths, mosquitos and parasitic worms, not to mention an ecosystem in which nearly all zebras and gazelles die by strangulation from big cats?

The fact that the “design” is chock-full of errors supports the theory of evolution. I’m not an atheist. I just happen to believe that evolution and Jesus Christ can both exist.

The Intelligent Design Model Is Full of Flaws

The evolutionary process is a far better explanation for all the things that go wrong in nature than is intelligent design.

For instance, what master designer would make it so that just about every zebra, impala and gazelle eventually get strangled to death by lions, leopards and cheetahs?

Yes, big cats need to eat, but a master designer would certainly know how to make this possible without the violent deaths of herbivores (e.g., never design carnivores!). If grass can sustain bison, buffalo and elephants, why not a lion?

One notable blunder in the “design” is that the natural lifespan of our beloved dogs is one-fifth that of humans. What a raw deal.

Assuming that God created the universe according to the intelligent design model (six days) vs. the evolutionary model (four billion years), here is the big question:

Why are there so many errors in nature?

The “design” is infiltrated with flies, mosquitoes, gnats, spiders, cockroaches, termites and billions of other pests that infect and frighten people, destroy homes and crops, create major nuisances and even cause death.

  • Every two minutes a child dies from malaria.
  • Every year there are 200 million new cases worldwide.
  • Malaria is caused by a mosquito bite infecting a person with the Plasmodium parasite.
  • Why would God willfully create Plasmodium and mosquitos?

Proponents of intelligent design might argue that pests are the food source for birds, and that deadly microbes are the designer’s way of punishing humans for being so evil, even though many babies and young kids die worldwide. Why aren’t these deadly microbes dropping all the imprisoned serial killers instead?

Examples of Botched Intelligent Design

The Ease at Which Humans Can Procreate

The “design” makes it way too easy for humans to reproduce, thus creating millions of starving, suffering and dying children, and millions more unwanted and neglected babies who were unplanned for.

Even though a woman is “fertile” only a few times each month -- this, in combination with a man’s ability to produce hundreds of millions of sperm per day, means that humans easily multiply far beyond their capacity to take proper care of themselves.

The intelligent design model would have the precise balance of fertility and sperm production to keep the human species alive without overpopulation.

For instance, maybe fertility would be limited in people with violent behavior, sociopathy and drug addiction. And loving, non-violent people would enjoy more fertility. But how would such a brilliant mechanism work? Certainly, a master designer could figure it out – IF there were a master designer.

Physical Design of Men and Women

Men, as a general rule, are much physically stronger than women. This makes it so easy for them to inflict violence against them.

It’s tempting to cast this off as the product of “original sin” rather than a mistake in the intelligent design, but why should an elderly woman, who’s raped by her neighbor, have to pay for Adam’s disobedience?

A man disobeys a rule about eating fruit, and as a result, the entire human race from that point forward suffers? What kind of design is that?

A smart design of men and women would give them equal strength and size (not necessarily equal shape) so that one gender didn’t have physical dominion over the other. This would mean dramatically fewer rapes and abuse of women by men – though same-sex abuse would still occur.

Brain Cells Begin Dying After only Four Minutes without Oxygen

Why would an intelligent designer make it so that gashed skin and fractured bone can grow back so generously, but damaged brain (and spinal cord) cells can’t?

When the heart stops beating, the brain is deprived of oxygen. Why would the mastermind allow only a four-minute window during which CPR can fully restore brain function? Think of all the people who’ve died or were rendered in a permanent coma or vegetative state thanks to this lousy four-minute rule.

If brain (and heart) cells were designed to still be alive after half an hour of no oxygen, so many more people would have completely recovered from their hypoxic brain state.

Human Skull not Thick Enough

It’s so easy to sustain a traumatic brain injury via an impact to the head. Imagine the difference a much thicker skull would make to that man falling off the ladder or that woman whose head hits the windshield.

Though a thicker skull would require more surrounding musculature to support its weight, a master designer would have no problem creating the extra soft-tissue support.


All of the aforementioned mistakes point much more towards evolution than intelligent design. Evolution is based on random genetic mutations. Sometimes these mutations are bad, which would explain the high prevalence of genetic defects throughout the world.

Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that God could not have had some involvement along the way. He may have orchestrated the beginning of all things (“primordial soup”) but then decided to sit back and let the leaves fall where they may. Remember, it's possible that four billion years to God is the equivalent of a 30-minute sitcom to us.

Examples of True Intelligent Design

  • Birds don’t need spiders and moths for food. They feed off leaves and grass.
  • Leaves and grass grow back very quickly.
  • Random genetic mutations that cause birth defects don’t exist.



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    • Jason Capp profile image

      Jason Reid Capp 

      20 months ago from Myrtle Beach, SC USA

      I struggle with the idea of God being good or not. It is hard to honestly see God as entirely good when so much bad happened because of his response to the world. Every religion has stories of God or gods that tormented people or destroyed areas of civilization for petty reasons. The claims that God is a jealous God just sounds like an excuse for poor behavior.

      If I killed people in my community because I genuinely believed they were toxic, would I not be a terrible criminal for my behavior? It seems like God and other gods are excused because of their status. If a sitting president or other world leader did the same thing, would it be acceptable? I believe not, and yet, when we read the Old Testament, for example, it is as if we are reading about an old God who is no longer relevant because a new God came and he's doing much better. Something about this bothers me.

      Which leads to where I currently am. I either see God as this being that is capable of both good and bad like any of us, or I see God as a being who has stepped back from his role of "authority" and is just watching how humans do it on their own (Or basically a passive approach).

      I hope that makes sense. It is such a difficult topic for me, because no one is really willing to dive deeply on it.

    • Lorra Garrick profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorri G 

      20 months ago

      Thanks Jason. The only God I believe in is a GOOD God, one who wouldn't cause collateral damage by bestowing plagues, disease, etc., on a whole population just to get at the tiny percentage who's evil. This is akin to poisoning a major city's water supply just to flush out the evil people there. All the babies, kids and innocent people get taken down too. What kind of loving God does inflicts collateral damage? Furthermore, God would KNOW how to pinpoint where and who the evil people are and strike ONLY them down instead of wiping out babies, children and other innocents with them. I can't believe in a God who's evil; only who's all-loving.

    • Jason Capp profile image

      Jason Reid Capp 

      20 months ago from Myrtle Beach, SC USA

      Thank you for such a wonderful article with lots of great illustrations and examples. I personally agree with you on this topic, and it is honestly a tough one to discuss with people within the walls of the church.

      I actually wrote an article recently about how everything bad is not the result of people not trusting in God enough, as this is a common argument from people within the faith. It is a very Old Testament mentality, and I think the argument against your point would be similar. It would be that disease, plagues, pests, etc were all bestowed upon humanity because of our disobedience to God.

      Granted, this is a very shallow argument, but a lot of people within the Christian faith still hold to it strongly and argue it until their head is about to pop.

      All that to say, I really enjoyed your article, and I look forward to reading more from you!


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