The idea that humanity is the epitome of design comes from the notion that God designed us, and given his OmniPowers, his design skills will be awesome (perfect, even). The perfect designed designs perfectly. God designed us, and so there must be some quality design going on.
But we are a bit shit at a lot of things. I am not very good at breathing underwater, for example, and it is easy to choke on our food because our breathing and eating apparatus are partly shared.
In Ficino’s recent post on Natural Law Theory, Robert Templeton said this:
If humans were created by some extra-universal being and, as many tout, we are the epitome of that creation then why do we not have the ultimate of everything that we lack in nature. Humans do not have the best hearing, taste, smell, sight, touch. We are not the fleetest of foot nor are we the strongest. Raptors have vision that far surpasses ours. Canines can smell more discretely and precisely than any human could imagine. Birds fly unaided while we need to invent science and learn how to achieve the same thing using machines. Fish live in the water whereas we require ‘apparatus’ to assist. Seems that this god didn’t design us so well after all…
There are plenty of lists and websites that detail the suboptimal design features of organs and organisms, but what I like about this comment is the general skill sets that he talks about. We are mediocre at a lot of things, and particularly excel in manual dexterity and vocal communication (that together lead to written or virtual communication and information storage).
So, evolution deniers, how do you best explain this?