A Designers take on Intelligent Design

Van Mensvoort
February 23rd 2008

A typographical film on the term 'Intelligent Design' and its relation with design. Created by Christian Bramsiepe from the Köln International School of Design for All-Media Foundation.

Watch YouTube version. See also: Intelligent Documentary making.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1


Posted 04/03/2008 – 02:46

Evolution is not random, but an unguided process. I think your missing the central point of the debate. The debate is there agency guiding evolution? This is a pretty simple distinction. Did or does an agent design the living entity in question OR does the living entity change over time? Is there and agent involved in the process? ID'ers and creationist claim there is. They have yet to present any evidence for this claim.
What we have found is that natural selection plus many other factors causes things to change into better adapted states. This is what we can biological evolution and there is lot's of evidence for this. No external agent is required for this natural process.
This is where I strongly disagree with you. In your point 1-5 you are not clear where the changes are coming from , agent or process. This relaxed reasoning is exactly why the design community is not in the arena for this debate. We aren't clear enough. We allude to creativity as something magical and supernatural.
Point 4 - This is where your wrong. The processes seem similar, but who's (agent (god/human) or natural process) doing the changes is the key point and you have that mistaken.
The entire science of evolutionary biology has shown us why "living things have the illusion of design."
I sorry but the only way I see designers helping this debate is by explaining the faults in living systems and if they were designed how they would not have those inherent problems.

Posted 24/02/2008 – 12:38

I’ve have always found it quite peculiar that designers have never bothered to take a position in the intelligent design debate (as far as I know). I think the clip by Christian Bramsiepe is a good first step. Let me try to make five more steps so we can finish off with the debate soon.


1) The scientists and the creationist –that have dominated the intelligent design debate so far– are pretty naïve on what it means to design; they both tend to see ‘design’ as a very rational conscious activity. I don’t think this is the case at all.


2) The act of ‘designing’ is all about tinkering with material, combining, recombining, trying things, trail & error… And it is fun, because while you are doing it, you get to know about things and you get to know about yourself. Now, this is called: developing an identity as a designer (we learn that to art & design students all the time).


3) So what is 'design' then? Well, it is a process that you can maybe direct to some extend, but only up to a limited level. Now this is what is called a 'creative process' folks! Every good designer knows this and has a modus of operating that allows creativity to happen (If I can speak from my own experiences: the best things I've designed in my lifetime didn't come out in pre-planned; they were discoveries. Better than what I was planning for. Only the mediocre stuff I did was preplanned).


4) See where I am getting at? If you ask me: designing is very much like an evolutionary process (combining, recombining, trying things out, evaluating, survival of the fit ideas).


5) So what is all the fuss about this intelligent designer and trying to prove or deny it? Those opposing camps of the intelligent design debate are much closer than they think. And they should have hired a designer much earlier to bridge the gap between their camps!

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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