Response to video...
The below response covers the first 20 minutes of the video. I honestly don't have time to watch the entire thing because I'm busy finishing up a recording project, but here are my notes on the first 20 minutes. This is similar to how I would take notes if the lecture was given to me in college, by a minister or a "progressive" author (if it was a speech about progressive agenda).
I often come across to some people as sounding overly critical because that's the way I have learned to think over time. I used to accept a lot more at face value what people stated and I paid a heavy price because of it. I have learned to try and pry apart the flaws of what people say until I can't find any more flaws in their reasoning. When I can't find any more obvious flaws, then they are someone I begin to listen to more closely, as I conclude they are someone who can help me learn more.
Because you don't know me, I assure you that I am neither a religious conservative, nor a believer in what most people refer to as "Darwinian evolution" or "intelligent design". I do believe in God and thus, by default I believe in some form of intelligent design, but I assure you it is not to be confused with what religious conservatives refer to when using this term.
1) Author states many animals have vision, but we are alone in having language. This is patently and fundamentally false, based on much fairly recent evidence. It appears that many insects and even small micro-organisms have a type of communication system that allows them various individual choices and functions. We might be alone in having language as this author would define "language", but there are many species who communicate with various sounds, gestures, smells and apparently in the case of insects and micro-organisms, in many not entirely explainable ways. Consequently, who are we to say that songs of whales and cries of birds, for example, are not "language"? I have yet to hear a very good explanation of how ducks can be seemingly randomly spread around a small lake one minute and the next, in the air in formation; I've watched birds in "V" formation and have seen one at the tail end of one of the wings, take off and fly faster to the front of the formation and then, all of the rest on that side of the "V" bump one down; this all done while the rest remain in formation. I don't know any science that can explain that and I don't believe that human beings are capable of anything remotely like it, even with all of our theoretically "advanced" language skills.
2) Author talks about what he calls "kluge", which represents something that gets the job done, but not necessarily very well and compares that to the human spine. This is my opinion of Darwinian evolutionary theory, in that it is a theory that appears to have some facts correct, but it doesn't rationally explain origins. Compare Newton's theory of gravity, which works for most earth-based applications and yet, is fundamentally incorrect from a larger perspective; that is, it is correct in predicting reality as far as large objects have stronger gravitational attraction than smaller ones, in somewhat mathematical proportional (but not exactly according to Einstein) to the square of their distance from each other, but his theory is grossly inadequate about explaining why. Even Newton admitted this about his own theory. What bothers me, is that modern Darwinists, who have a far less adequate theory of origins in comparison to Newton's theory of gravity, pretend that their theory is based on evidence, while it is fundamentally based on a non-proven irrational assumption, that the universe is a product of "natural" designerless processes, for which there is no evidence or human experience to make such an abusrd, grand assumption.
3) Author is not necessarily correct about the human spine being an example of an evolutionary "kluge". The human spine is a highly adequate mechanism if it is cared for properly; his claim that something as heavy as the human head and brain doesn't belong on the top of an erect spine is absurd, as a human being properly caring for their back might live their entire life and never experience any back pain at all, such as my grandfather, who took very good care of himself. What causes a lot of pain in most cases regarding the human spine, is improper lifting and otherwise, abusing it and using it for things it was probably never designed for, such as loading 120 lb sacks of Borax into trucks in the harbor, as I did as young man. I inherited a curvature of the spine which tends to cause severe back pain over time and this curvature is probably a result of generational abuse of the spine, rather than an evolutionary flaw as this author pretends. There is no evidence I am aware of that the spine is anything but a very greatly and intricately designed part of the human body; to pretend that all of the nerves in the spine can act in co-ordination with the human brain, muscles, back, arms and legs by a process of random selection is preposterous in my opinion and there is zero evidence this is true. Because jobs that human beings have created for themselves in pursuit of capitalist enterprise gain tend to cause back pain does not in any way disprove either design or prove that designer-less evolution, if there was such a thing, is itself flawed. So, I don't know what the author's point is, other than to bend the evidence towards a pre-conceived bias.
4) His "reasoning" from this point is fundamentally flawed because of the incredible bias of the above statement. He says evolution is "blind" and "in a hurry" and can't stop to figure things out, which is why we don't have four spines instead of one. What kind of weird creature would we be if we had four spines instead of one? How would four spines function effectively in the case of us having to run fast to avoid predators, for example? Imagine how we might try to lumber down the road with four spines. And how would that effect our proclivity for back pain, if we had that many more nerves and chances to abuse them? It is rather foolish to assume that having four spines would somehow, be a better over-all advantage than having one. I guess anyone could argue that being able to lift 10,000 lbs would be an advantage over being able to lift the 100 or so most humans can lift, but that is pretty-much an absurd road to travel down. Why would the Creator necessarily design an optimum species that could not possibly be topped by another species, if the Creator has a mind to create species differently, some inferior in strength to others? That's about as silly as asking, why aren't there only tall sky-scrapers and no other buildings? Why would we as human designers, make a small house if we have the ability to build skyscrapers, that could obviously house a lot more people? Again, his entire "theory" is coming from a pre-conceived bias, that there is no Creator who can do whatever the Creator wants to do. Just as we, in our tiny by comparison ability, create inferior and superior objects, so can the Creator design us "a little lower than the angels", as the Bible claims is true, or "higher" than the angels if he wanted to--even if you don't believe in angels, the example is a good one. I believe that there are other beings, many perhaps inferior and many much greater than us; whether one calls them "angels" or not doesn't change in my mind, the probable fact of their existence, given the vastness of the universe. This is what happens when someone tries to construct a theory based on an incredibly flawed assumption, for which there is no evidence. As long as evolutionists try to construct a theory based on the pretend assumption there is no Creator, they are going to continue to look like they pulled their conclusions out of a monkey's ass, at least that's my opinion.
5) He goes on to say that pregnant women have a little more curvature of the spine, which helps support the weight. This strengthens my point above, that back pain is a result of abuse and the curvature of the spine I inherited probably comes down through my father, whose relatives were mostly overweight, as was he and as now, which I am as well. Overweight humans for many generations very likely produce inherited curvature of the spine. Which, as is in my case, can result in severe back pain after 30 years of blue-collar labor. This doesn't prove anything, other than the fact that human beings make bad choices about how we treat our own bodies that God may well have created correctly, if we only treated ourselves correctly. Disease is a very tricky thing to analyze over thousands of generations and it remains a great mystery how much disease is a result of the "sins of our fathers", as most modern scientists now believe. We don't know where cancer came from and it could well be a result of thousands of generations of human beings eating improper food and otherwise, improper care of the human body. The truth is, we don't know very much at all about disease or apparent "imperfections" in creatures; we don't really know why some people are born blind. And, there is no evidence that the human body was not originally designed perfectly correctly for whatever it was originally designed for, however far, way back when.
6) Author makes a fundamental scientific error in saying, "once evolution sets something in motion". There is no evidence that evolution has ever set anything in motion. In fact, there is no evidence that evolution exists, as far as a "blind", designer-less, process. However creation works and however anything else works in the real world, all known evidence indicates that it takes a Designer to set something in motion. There is no evidence that a fictional process called "evolution" can by itself, set anything in motion, nor is there any evidence that anything that is in motion was put in motion by anything other than a primary cause, somewhere up the chain. You can argue terminology all day long and call creation "evolution" and call "sin" improper behavior or lack of education, but at the fundamental cause end, there is 100% evidence in favor of Design and sin and zero evidence otherwise. There is overwhelming evidence that human beings have very calculatingly and very deliberately and very irrationally, sinned against each other (i.e., violated each other's human rights) ever since the record of human civilization has existed. There is zero evidence this is not true and overwhelming evidence, including Hiroshima, where highly educated human beings who are supposedly high up on the evolutionary advance chain, very calculatingly and deliberately, created an incredibly destructive weapon that destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives and has left the planet in dire peril ever since. Bad human choices remain what they are and the results of bad human choices can't be dismissed as "blind" evolutionary "kluges", by any known evidence. Again, we have an author pretending to be scientific while inventing, bending and otherwise, ignoring the known evidence.
7) His claim that the panda's thumb can be "only explained by evolutionary accident" is just plain silly. Just because our modern knowledge can't explain something doesn't prove that it has no purpose or rational function (such as the human appendix, for example). Consider how many times science has changed it's mind just in our lifetime, now calling what the Bible has long claimed "science", while previously calling the very same biblical claims, such as the sun and the moon going dark due to a great space object hitting the earth, "absurd", which is now known to be scientifically accurate, as is almost every prophecy in the Bible now known to be. Like a lot of science lectures I hear, this author, though he may be knowledgeable regarding some human psychology and biological sciences, quite obviously knows very little about history and/or, science from a general overview. Nobody who has studied a lot of science and especially, nobody who has studied the history of science, would say that a panda's thumb can "only be explained by evolutionary accident". Just because he can't explain it or our modern science can't explain it proves nothing, based on the known history of science, which has a very long history of calling things in the past "absurd", what are now considered to be known science, (such as the moon and sun going dark if an asteroid were to strike the earth, as noted above).
8) His rather lengthy comparison of human memory with a computer only indicates to me that he is not a very deep thinker. For example, someone like Socrates might reply that human beings aren't designed to be like machines, they aren't designed like robots to do whatever the Creator wants us to do or, to call up every memory on cue. Human beings have individual choice, something computers so far thankfully, don't really have. We have conscious awareness and we have the ability to be lazy or to be creative, to be nice or evil towards each other and the rest of creation, according to our own choices. Nobody has any idea how great the human mind could be if someone from birth made all proper choices, was never lazy and was always kind, respectful and generous to everyone. One might consider Jesus, who was obviously way smarter than anyone else who ever lived, as the very highly educated Will Durant very strongly argued, as an example of just how good the human brain could be. There are known cases of human beings who can remember way more than most people and these humans tend to be plagued with all manner of neurosis as a result. I just saw a woman on CNN a few weeks ago, who could recall the events in her life on any date the reporter mentioned. She said it was a horrible "gift" to possess, as she often had to relive mundane details that she wished she could just forget about. There are arguably many, many good reasons why human memory is what it is. If I could remember everything, I would probably have a nervous breakdown, as probably would anybody else. While it may from my perspective be helpful to be able to remember where I put my keys, I really don't wish to be able to remember where I put them for the last 50 years of my life. Maybe there are good psychological and emotional reasons why we don't remember everything and why we can't categorize and call up memory at will, the same as a machine like a computer can.
I can't speak for this author, but I don't want to be a robot with no will of my own, like a computer. Many theorists forget about the obvious things, such as human choice, for example. This is why their conclusions, such as "if there is a God, why do people suffer?", are often fundamentally flawed.
Wonderful to see some of our systemic cognitive flaws brought to light. Flaws in the system have been written about before in psychology, around processes like decision making for example. It's extraordinary to consider how good thought is at disguising its limitations. Or rather, how unaware we are of how thinking operates and therefore rarely question the veracity of our ubiquitous interpretations.
While I may agree on that biological systems may incorporate "kludges" (as per your definition), they are *tolerant to failures* within some ranges. Also, if you consider that biological systems show a high dispersion in any of the features we may measure, "kludges" may be more of a "feature" than a "bug", that is: for instance, a mutant may be "highly kludgy" individual bu as external conditions may (drastically) change, survival and off spring of the mutant may be highly successful.
W/best wishes from Canary Islands,
Aldo P. Solari