Which Is Better? To Be Designed by God or Evolved?

Which Is Better? To Be Designed by God or Evolved? October 29, 2020

This is a speculative question, of course, because we didn’t really have a choice either way — but if you did have a choice, which would you prefer?

Let me break it down in a more alluring way: Would you rather have been built with the skillful hands of a creator who designed your mind and body to function in a masterfully crafted universe? Or would you rather have evolved from a lower life form to your present form, with the option of becoming a better and more advanced species?

If you were created and built, you are merely a sophisticated robot. / Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

You’re probably thinking, “When you put it that way, who wouldn’t want to have been created perfectly and with a purpose?”

Before you decide, consider this:

Imagine that you have just rolled off the computer assembly line as the most advanced robot ever. You’ve also been programmed with one, serious upgrade: You are AI equipped with artificial intelligence. But you’re not just the best engineered robot with the most advanced AI capabilities in history. You represent the end of the line. No other robot will ever be more capable and intelligent as you.

You are so advanced in fact, that built within your circuitry is a program that allows you to think and act as an independent being in the world you were built to inhabit. Even better, you were programmed to think you have the freedom to rebel against the designer who built you.

This may sound like the stuff of clichéd science fiction, but it is in fact, the best example I can offer as to what it means to be created.

To be created means that everything you could conceivably think about, and any action you could plausibly perform, would have been hard-wired options your brain was built to perform. Furthermore, the world that you were placed in would also have been specifically designed to allow your mind to function within the parameters in which it was also designed.

And as if this were not sobering enough to think about, this creator would have also programmed you with the capacity to worship itself. Or if you prefer, it could have easily created the illusion that there was an evil power which you could serve instead – just to test your loyalty. Either way, the charade is self-evident. No supreme creator with an ounce of self-worth and confidence would need or desire to build a race of creatures to worship it.

To put this in practical terms, this would be like you building a computer from scratch, and programming it to tell you what a wonderful builder of computers you were … every Sunday.

What all this boils down to is that as a created being you are merely a robot — albeit a highly sophistical robot made of flesh and blood — but a robot, nevertheless. The created life as you know it, is one filled with smoke and mirrors. There’s nothing you can say or do, in a world especially built for you, independent of what a creator had designed.

What’s better than being created?

Having evolved; evolution. We may have started out low on the evolutionary tree of life, but the sky’s the limit. As an evolving species, we have already developed the intellectual skills to both care for and to control our environment. Understanding this responsibility – of taking care of mother earth and our species – offers us real choices that will permit us to evolve into beings far more spectacular than our present form.

I’d even argue we don’t have a choice but to evolve. If religion is not going to transform us into better people and magically recreate our world, then it is up to us to save our planet and ourselves.

“If abuses are destroyed, we must destroy them. If slaves are freed, we must free them. If new truths are discovered, we must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if he hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of people. The grand victories of the future must be won by humanity, and by humanity alone.” Robert Ingersoll

About Scott Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is freelance writer and the author of the novel "Blind Guides and “Picking Wings Off Butterflies.” Thinkadelics is about discussing the benefits of being a freethinker with insightful tips, newsworthy posts, and in-depth features. You can read more about the author here.

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15 responses to “Which Is Better? To Be Designed by God or Evolved?”

  1. Being evolved explains much better why things are as they are (how it is our body and it ages, etc) than a legend from the Bronze Age that was taken out of context. And it is deeper.

  2. I would prefer to be designed by an AI that was running on the 10,000th generation of its self modifying type which project was started by a civilization that had spent millions of years perfecting AI.
    That way the snack bar would not be so close to the restrooms… if ya catch my drift. O_o

  3. (About some future AI-containing robot) “No other robot will ever be more capable and intelligent as you.” Ridiculous.

    (Ditto) “To be created means that everything you could conceivably think about, and any action you could plausibly perform, would have been hard-wired options your brain was built to perform.” Ridiculous. Humans have created lots of computer programs (among other things) that have surprised us.

    You need better dilemmas.

    Someone once said some years back (probably much earlier than the search result of David Hurst), “Evolution is smarter than we are.” And we have barely scratched the surface of the things that can be artificially evolved.

  4. If I were actually “designed” by a god, I would be very upset. My body has so many flaws, starting with my poor eyesight.

    Then there are those people who are born with more serious physical and mental deformities. “Perfect designer”? Who, apparently, hates them. He had the ability to design them better but chose not to. Thanks.

    Evolution provides an explanation for imperfections in our bodies. The only explanation in the “designed by god” model is that god is cruel.

  5. Having read The Scars of Evolution, I’m glad I don’t have to blame anyone. I’ve no idea why “gods” like God are worshipped, knowing I was created would lead me to hate the creator.

  6. I do catch your drift. If we are speculating, the sky is definitely the limit! What I know for sure is that in 10 minutes time and using a napkin I could design a better human than the one I see in the mirror every day. I’d personally start with a pair of wings.

  7. I had to draw the line somewhere … Of course, robots and AI intelligence will get progressively advanced as time marches on. My point with this post was to help Christians understand that no matter how far advanced they think God has created them it would still mean they are built to perform certain functions in an equally manufactured environment.

    As to the limits of AI intelligence, I don’t see it advancing to the stage of the human brain for a very, very long time.

  8. All true … On the one hand, Christians think men and women (Adam and Eve) were created perfectly, but we have become less perfect because of sin. On the other hand, they also point towards how magnificently God has made us. You wonder why a god would have given us poor eyesight, and some serious physical and mental deformities. Likewise. Lots of animals see far better than humans. And why is it that god thought it better to give the common dog a better sense of smell?

    “Evolution provides an explanation for imperfections in our bodies. The only explanation in the “designed by god” model is that god is cruel.” You are right evolution does explain our imperfections, which I find enlightening. It humbles me to know I’m not perfect, but at the same time there are things I can do, and humanity can do, to make us better.

  9. I have not read that book. Would you recommend it?

    “Hating” the creator, is probably a good initial emotion a Christian should go through when they begin to understand how poorly they are actually built. Evolution, though, is a better way to understand the human species. It give a person the sense of how far we have become in the evolutionary process, and it offers both optimism and hope for what we could evolve into in the future.

  10. Like so many here, I see myself and those around me as proof that there was no intelligent creator…just a series of minor changes that were good enough to get life to the next change. The human body is a horrible kluge of barely-functioning systems. I’m currently in the midst of managing frail senior parents with a whole host of issues that would never have been part of a creator’s design and also managing my own (lesser but still need attention) design flaws.

    P.S. I also think wings would be really cool.

  11. We evolved and continue to do so. I am not the person I was when I was 18, or 20, or even 30. I hope that over the years, working, speaking with others, including co-workers that I have become a better person, one who is more compassionate, kinder, and less judgemental. I hope in the ensuing years this evolution will continue. Will I ever be “perfect?” No, I am a human and no human I have ever met is “perfect.” I just hope that I continue on the road to being a better human being.
    From working I learned that others, too, have become better people. I knew a young woman who at 22 thought that she “knew all there was to know.” She especially took delight in trying to embarrass me in front of others. Today, as she heads toward 60, she is kinder, more soft-spoken, and tries to be a calming influence as we tread these uncertain waters of politics.
    I still have a tendency toward being outspoken, but I do try to never “call out” someone in public if I disagree with what they are doing unless it is a “life or death” situation.
    Embarrassing one’s coworker usually makes the person who is verbally unkind needlessly cruel in the eyes of others and can mean that you lose a needed coworker as that person will move on if he or she finds that person intolerable.

  12. I’m a pretty hardcore anti-theist (with about a hundred anti-Christianity and pro-science videos, like these two: https://youtu.be/HcHYsieoQK8 and https://youtu.be/HhMn0Pt_Otk ), but I would choose to be created over evolved. Why? Because if we are evolved, we can expect to possess all sorts of inefficient and problematic products of chance mutations coupled with selective forces…like a left laryngeal nerve that travels from the brain down the neck, loops around the aorta, and travels back up to the larynx, adding three unnecessary feet to the journey. Or birth through the pelvis instead of through the lower abdomen, causing women to have more knee problems and limiting the size of offsprings’ brains. Or eyes with backward photoreceptors that necessitate a blood supply that slightly blocks vision. Or a skeletal structure, musculature and organ system easily damaged and destroyed by impact, rending or disease. Or a lifespan that is primarily determined by the length of a species’ reproductive age range. And so on. In short, evolution can only work with and make the most of the hands it is dealt.

    I’d rather be a perfectly designed robot created using the most advanced molecular manufacturing technologies possible, with all of the advantages of a human and none of the disadvantages. We may yet get there…but if we do, it’ll be our design, not some god’s: https://youtu.be/tBKYVwQl3RQ

  13. Those are some thoughtful words of advice, Salina. It’s interesting that when we are young we think we know everything, but settle down and get a lot wiser as we turn older. About the woman you spoke about … sometimes as people turn older they get ruder and more intolerant. Having a healthy perspective about ourselves, than we are not perfect and still make mistakes, us a great attitude too.

  14. Derek, thanks for sharing the videos. I didn’t have much time this a.m. to check them out in detail, but enough to conclude that they are quite good. I’m glad to see they are getting watched and commented on, judging from the number of views and comments.

    You also lay out a few good points here about our evolution. Clearly, when anyone cares to really study the human body, they’d see we are riddled with flaws. If we are created, we were built quite poorly. But if we evolved, well, it’s amazing we function as well as we do!

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