Evolutionists are always pointing out that evolution is a lousy process. Our aching backs, useless wisdom teeth, and backward wiring in our retinas are, they say, consequences of evolution's ineptitude. It is hardly the sort of thing that a designer would want to copy. Would you want to fly on an aircraft if its design was inspired by such a haphazard process? Of course not. And who can argue with the evolutionist’s logic. If life is the result of the random interplay of the laws of thermodynamics, motion, electromagnetism, gravity and so forth, then we would hardly expect anything that works very well, if at all. But if all this is true, then what about nature’s dazzling designs? If evolution is a lousy designer, then what can we say about biology’s many intricacies? In fact biology’s designs are not only incredibly complex (so much so we’re still trying to figure them out), they often are quite useful.
Biology is yielding a wealth of designs and structures that find a variety of practical applications. In today's engineering fields there is an emphasis on biologically-inspired designs. Courses, textbooks and conferences increasingly look to biology for design ideas and synergies.
Military researchers, for instance, have been on to this for years. If the bat's biosonar can perform ranging measurements several times more accurately than our best military equipment, then let's find out how they do it. Likewise, if bats can perform synthetic aperture imaging in a few seconds and simultaneously solve complex geometrical equations to optimally intercept their prey, then it is no surprise that the military is interested.
In fact biology offers a wealth of such high-tech productions. Consider the fly's advanced image processing capabilities. As one writer explained, the "pesky fly's eyes hold an important blueprint for creating better video cameras, military target-detection systems, and surveillance equipment." The potential applications are significant and include commercial (e.g., cameras and video cameras), security (e.g., improved detection of movements in shadows), and military (e.g., improved target detection and tracking).
Evolutionists say that evolution created the many biological marvels such as the bat's biosonar and the fly's vision system. They say that a lousy, undirected and haphazard process just happened to outwit the best scientists and engineers in the world—time and time again. According to Darwinists, biological structures with unknown function are useless and an obvious sign of an inept, undirected process. But biological structures with awesome designs are, on the other hand, also supposed to be the product of undirected biological change, such as mutations.
Claiming that the bat's biosonar or the fly's vision system is the result of evolution is more speculation than explanation. In fact, that is putting is nicely. How silly it would be to unequivocally claim that the most advanced, complex designs must have arisen as a consequence undirected biological change. A sequence of mutations just happened to produce the most accurate sonar system known to humanity.
This is so silly, in fact, that Darwinists usually refrain from saying this. It is their theory, but more often than not Darwinists use the less ridiculous-sounding Lamarckian language. The designs, they say, arose as a consequence of selection pressure. This explanation violates their own principle that biological change must not be initiated or crafted in response to need. According to evolution, biological change must be undirected. Selection must play a role only after the biological change occurs, not before.
Nor is gradualism a remedy to the problem. Construction of biosonar and advanced image processing, one undirected mutation at a time, is no better than all at once. In both cases the undirected biological change must hit upon the same phenomenal design. Gradualism, however, has the added burden that there must exist a very long sequence of finely graded useful intermediates, leading to the final design. We know of no such sequence, but we must believe it exists. All very amazing for such a lousy process.