Using Humor to Show Up Delusions

There is a well known example that supporters of science use when refuting the idea of a perfect creator.  The example is the laryngeal nerve.  This nerve supplies motor function and sensation to the larynx.  What is unusual about it is that, even though the larynx is located in the throat in most invertebrates, it follows a path down from the throat, into the chest, and back up to the brain, rather than the shorter and more obvious route of going straight from the throat and up to the brain.

In referring to Richard Dawkins use of the laryngeal nerve argument, Wikipedia states:

“The extreme detour of this nerve (over fifteen feet in giraffes) is cited as evidence of evolution as opposed to intelligent design. The nerve’s route would have been direct in the fish-like ancestors of modern tetrapods, traveling from the brain, past the heart, to the gills (as it does in modern fish). Over the course of evolution, as the neck extended and the heart became lower in the body, the laryngeal nerve was caught on the wrong side of the heart. Natural selection gradually lengthened the nerve by tiny increments to accommodate, resulting in the absurdly circuitous route now observed, which, if designed, could only be described as unintelligent.”[1]

I’ve heard this argument against intelligent design given many times and in different ways, some more effective than others, but as is often the case, humor and satire can serve to drive the point home much better than any physical evidence or well articulated argument can.

Jonathan Rosenberg draws the funny, topical, and skeptical Scenes From A Multiverse.  Today’s installment address this particular augment with great hilarity and precision.  It is a perfect surgical strike against the idea of a perfect creator, and leaves us with the conclusion that god either does not exist or, if he does, is just plain stupid.  The next to the last panel says it all.

1. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2009). “11. History written all over us”The greatest show on Earth. New York: Free Press. pp. 360–362. ISBN 9781416594789. Retrieved November 21, 2009.

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