Biological designs that appear to be inefficient or useless are, not surprisingly, explained by evolutionists as a consequence of the blind, happenstance process of evolution. But it is also easy for evolutionists to explain profound designs and complexity, such as the immune response discovered by this new research.
This immune response begins with the viewing and processing of symptoms of infectious disease. These are complex visual scenes that easily can be confused with scenes having nothing to do with disease, infectious or otherwise. Other research suggests that persistent priming of the immune system is not good, so this visual processing needs to be reasonably accurate.
Next in line is a link to the immune system. Once the visual processing identifies a scene as containing signs of infectious disease, then signals need to be sent to the immune system to trigger an appropriate response. Of course, the response should not be too aggressive.
Certainly this immune response to the sight of sickness is not a trivial design. But divining an evolutionary explanation is a simple matter. Why? Because the design works. And anything that works is said to be a consequence of selection, for if it works, then of course it would be selected. Useless junk is due to evolution’s ineptitude—profound designs are due to evolution’s efficiency. As one science writer put it:
Having this immune response may have had its advantages in the days of early humans - even though they may have recoiled at the sight of other sick people too, their immune responses would have helped them live in proximity with others.
There you have it—evolution happens. But such facile explanations are too easy. For while it certainly seems obvious that selection would select what works, it is not obvious how what works arises in the first place. This is the elephant in the room that is so often conveniently ignored in evolutionary just-so stories.
In fact, there is no scientific reason to think that this incredible physiological response would just happen to arise occasionally, and then patiently await selection’s nod. But scientific reasoning is not the driving force.