Faults in mankind


#1

No, I’m not talking about original sin.

I’m interested to know how you would answer the argument that bipedalism is an inefficient form of locomotion and comes with serious drawbacks, thus would hardly seem to be the creation of a supreme, omnipotent deity.

Wether you believe in evolution or not is irrelevant to this argument.

Some of the medical drawbacks of bipedalism include:

Fallen arches
Shin splints
Hernias
Lower back problems
Hemorrhoids
Circulatory problems
Slipped disks
Arthritis

All these ailments can be attributed to our adaptation of bipedalism, a locomotive form that we obviously were not orginally designed for.


#2

Yes, those are quite serious. One very small and almost ironic “misdesign” is our… toenails. The toes themselves might be somewhat useful but the toenails?


#3

Our toes are used for balance whereas before our bipedal adaptation they were also used for grasping. Toenails = claws.

Lack of balance is another problem I didn’t mention. Unlike our quadruped cousins we can not change direction quickly while running without toppling over. A severe drawback when running from carnivores.


#4

Sorry to burst your bubble but Original Sin is where your problem is, not the design. Christians believe before the fall Adam was incapable of dying, a design doesn’t get much more “efficient” than that.

Further, those pains you list above could only be eliminated if man were a blob of some sort, or a slug or something…but then I’d bet you would be asking why an all powerful God made man in the form of a blob-slug. :knight2:


#5

Christians believe a lot of things… so do Muslims, Mormons and Hindus, so did the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans… how relevant are those beliefs to reality?


#6

Sure. But instead of having five appendages, one flexible one would have served just as well. And the toenails serve no useful purpose at all.

Right on! Also our diaphragm, which pushes down on the abdomen, causing all sorts of troubles.

The lowly planaria can regrow into two identical beings, even if cut in half. Now that would be a useful feature… no more industrial accidents, and instant cloning. What a great design feature that would have been.


#7

A classic Strawman argument. Nice.

A quick lookup of planaria shows it is also a hermaphrodite receiving it’s oxygen by diffusion. How cool would that be!

We were discussing the drawbacks of bipedalism in Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

It would appear the evolutionary advantages of bipedalism must have been important enough to outweigh all the disadvantages.

Still, the medical problems we are saddled with because of this adaptation make it hard to fathom that this was the best an intelligent designer could come up with.

Another item I could add to the list is the small pelvic opening caused by the necessity of having both hind limbs (legs) close together to enable bipedalism. This coupled with the increase in brain size equals excruciating pain during child birth.


#8

Well then clearly Natural Selection can’t be correct, can it? Those problems clearly should have worked themselves out in the past 10k years, eh?

But really, your argument can only stand against the theory of Special Creation. For those of us Christians who subscribe to evolution, perhaps we just need to be more creative in thinking up an evolutionary trade-off for those problems.

You’ve also made two other errors. First, dismissing right off the bat the reason of original sin. That is the source of much pain and suffering. Second, giving this life more importance than it deserves. We don’t need to be physically perfect now, since we wait patiently for the Resurrection.


#9

It seems I am of a different opinion than that of you in regards to what should be regarded as a drawback or fluke in design. You perceive faults; I see ways of finding humility, ways of slowing us down, to really think about the important things.

My large breed 15 year old dog is dying at the moment; she lived a very good long life in dog years. 105 years, according to the perceived notions of science. Is it a flaw in design that a creature of less intelligence and size than myself die earlier?

She could run faster than me when she was at the top of her game, but right now… when she tries to walk, she just crashes to the floor… It is the natural consequence of living that our bodies give up at one point or another.

Honestly, I don’t see your point; these “drawbacks” are nothing more than you seeing pain as evil itself, whereas I see pain as something which can help us learn some empathy for others.

Physical pain is always referred to by the saints as a way of being more like Christ, who was whipped and then crucified on the cross. There is joy to be found in suffering, but only to those who understand it.

Being designed in God’s image isn’t about physical appearance, or the even the body itself, but what the whole of what the body can accomplish, which includes our most potent feature, the mind.

A spiritual healthy person can use these “flaws” to bring themselves closer to Him, doing exactly what they were meant to do. The results are that they are more like Him, even if it is only in a miniscule way.

In reality, the quality of life depends on the perceptions of the mind, not merely the abilities of the body or its deterioration. In this regard, we are head and shoulders above other animals.

I believe that you may understand.

I enjoyed this question.


#10

Oh, nothing and everything, I guess.

Their, and our, beliefs may not be relevant on what reality is, but those beliefs over the millennia have shaped how man has looked and perceived reality.

Including your look on reality, I’d wager.

But I guess this has nothing to do with the original topic. The OT is about what our opinions on the “faults of mankind” are, not whether anyone’s opinions are valid/relevant or not.

Anyways, I guess my opinion on the OT would be like Micholos’s.

And goodness! I would have thought a lot of questionable adaptations on the human body, but toenails and fingernails?! I am so thankful to God that I have those, numerous times my fingers and toes where saved by them from cuts and crushing blows.

Yes I am very clumsy :stuck_out_tongue: And thankful to the Lord for being so :gopray:


#11

“Design flaw” approaches are absurd from the outset because any trait that appears too “flawed” to be the product of a Designer is also too flawed to represent survival of the fittest. If we living critters actually mutated often enough and had good enough accidental timing to get where we are by happenstance alone, surely thousands of opportunities to be born with no toenails would have occurred by now. Missing horn cell structures are one of the most common mutations. Why haven’t such become the majority trait yet?


#12

Well, actually, you are talking about evolution so it isn’t irrelevant.

Although I do believe in evolution, classical evolution does not include man.

We didn’t evolve from anything. We were created as Human Beings, upright walking, toenails and all. Also, we were created perfectly - as was mentioned above - so all those deficiencies you bring up only came about after the fall. In fact, the narrow birth canal you mention is specifically mentioned in Genesis as a result of the fall.

Also, our fingernails and toenails are not former “claws” for grasping and such. They are there so that the fingertips and the tips of the toes, have protection and a firm support - enabling the bones to be further away from the tip so that we can have a more developed sense of touch, in comparison to other species, with our fingers and less pain in our toes and better balance when we walk.

so…thoughts?

Peace

John


#13

It was not clear that you wish to restrict this discussion to the bipedalism of humans. It seemed that you wish to talk about the “design flaws” in general - as your chosen title indicated. And there are many features of animals that a designer would deem worthy to incorporate in the “crown” of his creation.


#14

working out okay for me so far, tried walking on my knuckles and swinging from trees but I developed arthritis, carpal tunnel, and blew my elbows out.


#15

But really, your argument can only stand against the theory of Special Creation. For those of us Christians who subscribe to evolution, perhaps we just need to be more creative in thinking up an evolutionary trade-off for those problems.

“Design flaw” approaches are absurd from the outset because any trait that appears too “flawed” to be the product of a Designer is also too flawed to represent survival of the fittest.

We didn’t evolve from anything. We were created as Human Beings, upright walking, toenails and all. Also, we were created perfectly - as was mentioned above - so all those deficiencies you bring up only came about after the fall. In fact, the narrow birth canal you mention is specifically mentioned in Genesis as a result of the fall.

These three arguments are similar. Wether they refer to evolution or special creation. If I understand correctly you are admitting that modern homo sapiens have medical difficulties specifically related to bidepalism, but this is just how it is. This is how the Creator made man, defects and all. In essence you are saying, to put it politely, God is an underachiever.

Honestly, I don’t see your point; these “drawbacks” are nothing more than you seeing pain as evil itself, whereas I see pain as something which can help us learn some empathy for others.

So not only did God create homo sapiens with defects, these defects which cause us all pain were created to bring us closer to God.

working out okay for me so far, tried walking on my knuckles and swinging from trees but I developed arthritis, carpal tunnel, and blew my elbows out.

That’s because you’re probably too old. Go to a children’s playground and watch them brachiate (swing using their arms).
“Because of anatomical modifications at the shoulder joint, apes and humans are capable of true brachiation.” (Jurmain R. 2008, Essentials of Physical Anthropology).
And if you observe even younger human infants you can watch them walk on all four limbs like -]God/-] nature intended.


#16

All the ailments you mentioned above can be accounted for by the fall. Catholic doctrine states that humans did not have to suffer before the fall. These ailments cause suffering so would not have existed.

Aside from ailments that cause suffering by what standard do you say we have design flaws? It is impossible for us to be perfect as we are created beings. We could never be as perfect as God.


#17

I’ve seen this claim before on this forum. It was agreed by most posters that what was meant was “spiritual death”. Surely pain, suffering and death have always been constant companions for all species on earth.

Aside from ailments that cause suffering by what standard do you say we have design flaws?

The examples I listed are a consequence of homo sapiens adapting to bipedalism. If God intended mankind to walk on two legs why start with a quadruped and then bend it out of shape resulting in severe handicaps?

It is impossible for us to be perfect as we are created beings. We could never be as perfect as God.

So again you’re reinforcing the premise that this is the best that an omnipotent God could create?


#18

Well not exactly…we also said that you’re blaming God for something that natural selection was not able to weed out. Also, “underachiever” can only describe someone who tries for a certain level and fails. I accept that God is omniscient, and so He must be ok with my current physical condition.

That’s because you’re probably too old. Go to a children’s playground and watch them brachiate (swing using their arms).
“Because of anatomical modifications at the shoulder joint, apes and humans are capable of true brachiation.” (Jurmain R. 2008, Essentials of Physical Anthropology).
And if you observe even younger human infants you can watch them walk on all four limbs like -]God/-] nature intended.

So Annie’s too old to swing. Do monkeys ever get too old to swing? This argument again can be turned around on evolution and natural selection. Let me say again that I accept evolution and natural selection, but you’re not being intellectually honest here.
As for infants on 4 limbs…no. My dog walks around on 4 feet. my niece uses 2 hands and 2 knees. The human legs are simply too long for quadripedal locomotion.


#19

Not according to Catholic doctrine.

Adam and Eve were immortal and free from suffering

A list of Catholic dogmas extracted form Dr. Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma can be found here:

jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

The examples I listed are a consequence of homo sapiens adapting to bipedalism.

These disorders do not effect everyone, how do you know that they are not brought on by the ageing process or bad diet/natural factors?

So again you’re reinforcing the premise that this is the best that an omnipotent God could create?

No, I am saying that an omnipotent God cannot create something that is perfect, in the sense that God is.


#20

My example of the physical drawbacks from bipedalism is probably part of a larger question that is always churning away in the back of my mind.

Everything I observe in nature; geological formations, plants, animals, weather processes, fossil remains, volcanic activity, astronomical behaviour,everything., seem to form and develop just as you would expect they would if there was no God. So why postulate a deity?

I don’t get it.


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