Design is Ambiguous

We need to retire the word design because of its ambiguity. A design can be something planned on a drawing board then constructed, either by a human on an imagined deity. You might also casually also say the eye is designed to accommodate both close and distance division, meaning it has features that work together to provide both functions. There is no implication somebody planned this. It just gradually came into being by evolutionary pressure. You can also say things like red wood tree rounds are perfectly designed for making coffee tables. Even a theist saying that is talking about useful a purpose for redwood rounds, not Yahweh’s foresight. Perhaps scientists could substitute the word evolved instead of designed when they did not mean to imply human planning or intent. Scrupulous avoidance of the word design would avoid unwittingly promoting medieval superstitions. In a like manner, scientists should avoid the use of the word God when they mean laws of nature. Einstein caused so much trouble with that fanciful metaphor.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)