What would human anatomy look like if we WERE designed?

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What would human anatomy look like if we WERE designed?

This is a question for engineers, medical professionals, and whomever else. If you had the chance to play god, how would you design the human body?  Alternately, what would we look like if we had been intelligently designed?

 

Here are a few of the items I might put on a shopping list for god:
Collumnar spinal chord with redundant neural pathways closer to the core of the chest cavity.
Polyphedont teeth, replacing about one tooth a year.
An additional liver and circulatory system, which remain dormant until needed.
Laser eyes.
Some way to keep us from choking to death on our food while still eating and speaking via the mouth.


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Just to name a

Just to name a few...

Thicker skulls. Don't know why Natural Selection couldn't have kept it thick at the same time as increasing cranial capacity. 

Larger birth canal so we can stop doing c-sections.

More efficient lungs or higher capacity to feed the oxygen hog in our skulls.

Better immune system.

More logical brain Smiling


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As Neil Degrasse Tyson said,

As Neil Degrasse Tyson said, "No sewage system through the pleasure center ..."


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Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
As Neil Degrasse Tyson said, "No sewage system through the pleasure center ..."

I have said it before here on the boards and I will say it again. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite proponents of science. That whole discussion where the quote was taken from was classic. He said if they are going to teach intelligent design then he wants to teach "Stupid Design". Eating and breathing through the same hole, sewage system near the entertainment complex... etc. Perfect! I laughed my ass off.


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How about getting rid of the

How about getting rid of the appendix?


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Let's look to a vital

Let's look to a vital system, the CNS, particualrly neuroanatomy.

1) The brain is mainly an inhibitory system.

The brain acts mainly through inhibiting more evolutionary-wise, primitive parts of the brain... A designed brain would be excitatory, and create motive action. Our brains, instead, regulate more primitive behaviors.

2) The brain develops through destructive methods.

Consider the formation of the ocular system (vision). An infant is born with more than twice as many neurons required for vision. Why? Because the neurons connect through a hit or miss system, and neurons that fail to connect properly, die off.

Why would a designer design blindly, using a wasteful, destructive method?

3) In the same vein, consider programmed cell death. This is a similar methodology as refered to in number 2. For example, EPH molecules that grow on axons, are designed to kill off Ephrin ligands (binding sites on neurons) in the meso limbic pathway in the brain. In other words, if a cell attaches to the wrong area, it is killed off. This helps weed out wayward cells.

Why would there be wayward cells in a designed body? Why would there need to be a double negative feedback? Why would it be so wasteful and so destructive, when such a process can and does backfire (leading to problems like autism?)

4) why does the meso-limbic system not provide feedback when damaged?

Ever hear of parkinson's disorder? It occurs when 90% of the dopamine neurons in the meso limbic pathway die off. By this time, it's too late to do anything but medicate such people. Why would a designed system fail to provide an earlier warning? Why is it that parkinson's is only diagnosed once it's progressed too far for anything other than symptom reduction meds?

In fact, in a more general sense: why do neurons die off at all? And why aren't they replacable at a level required to sustain and overcome neuron loss? As we age, we lose neurons, and most of them cannot be regrown. But in the Periphial nervous system, loss of neurons IS overcome by schwan cells....

So why can't astrocytes (the support cells in the CNS) do the same thing? Why do the support cells in the CNS merely eat away dead neurons, and not replace them? Why can my arm regrow motor neurons, but my brain can't regrow sensory neurons?!

I could go on all day.

Again, the only people who debate evolution are those ignorant of it... I'm just a therapist, imagine what I could tell you if I were a neuropathologist... the more you study neuroanatomy and the brain, the more you see how evolution is necessary to biology, and the more you see how ridiculous creationists are...

OH, by the way... do you know how neurons produce their excitatory action? Through minor electrical charges by the action of sodium and potassium..... in other words, our tiny cells are bathed in sea water....

Now, gee... isn't that a coincidence... our cells are bathed in something very much akin to sea water.. .gee, can't see how that's connected to evolution...

 

 

 

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Most likely we would have

Most likely we would have antioxidant glands. From an evolutionary perspective, free radicals as a byproduct of mitochondrial metabolism is not a problem because most people have passed on their genes long before they get cancer. But I'm sure God would have better sense than that.

Actually, if we were designed, we wouldn't need to eat. Energy passes through chains and the standard axiom is that the higher up the trophic levels that we pass, the energy exponentially decreases by a factor of 1000%. That means that if the sun provides energy, the plant can only use about 10% of the energy we recieved. That means that if an animal eats the plant, it can only recieve 10% of that energy, and if a human eats the animals, that means he is only getting 1/1000 of the original energy.

So if we were designed we would be phototrophic. In fact, all animals would be phototrophic. The only possible explanation for God creating the predator-prey scheme is that he is a sadist who enjoys blood sports. However, from an evolutionary perspective, it is necessary.

We probably would have a better system of oligodendrocytic protection. Those things are subject to all sorts of nasty diseases.

No haemite. There are far better molecules to carry oxygen than  haemopoitic cells. In fact, bioengineers have recently designed a blood substitute that can carry oxygen at 50x the efficiency of standard blood.

 

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todangst wrote: OH, by the

todangst wrote:

OH, by the way... do you know how neurons produce their excitatory action? Through minor electrical charges by the action of sodium and potassium..... in other words, our tiny cells are bathed in sea water....

I can hear the ocean when we stand ear to ear. 

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deludedgod wrote: Most

deludedgod wrote:

Most likely we would have antioxidant glands. From an evolutionary perspective, free radicals as a byproduct of mitochondrial metabolism is not a problem because most people have passed on their genes long before they get cancer. But I'm sure God would have better sense than that.

Precisely. Why even allow for the damage that free radicals cause?

Quote:
 

 Actually, if we were designed, we wouldn't need to eat. Energy passes through chains and the standard axiom is that the higher up the trophic levels that we pass, the energy exponentially decreases by a factor of 1000%. That means that if the sun provides energy, the plant can only use about 10% of the energy we recieved. That means that if an animal eats the plant, it can only recieve 10% of that energy, and if a human eats the animals, that means he is only getting 1/1000 of the original energy.

So if we were designed we would be phototrophic. In fact, all animals would be phototrophic. The only possible explanation for God creating the predator-prey scheme is that he is a sadist who enjoys blood sports. However, from an evolutionary perspective, it is necessary.

Again, excellent point. It's incredibly wasteful. And even theists recognize how barbaric it is, which is why they try to claim that meat eating only occured because of the 'fall'. 

A good response is: well then, how would lions survive by eating grass? No answer ever comes.

Quote:
 

We probably would have a better system of oligodendrocytic protection. Those things are subject to all sorts of nasty diseases.

Yes, I alluded to the problems with cell support systems above.

Quote:
 

No haemite. There are far better molecules to carry oxygen than haemopoitic cells. In fact, bioengineers have recently designed a blood substitute that can carry oxygen at 50x the efficiency of standard blood.

 

Another nice point. 

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To add to the

To add to the list:

Increased sensory perception. The eyes are really quite blind to the light spectrum. The ears can only decode certain ranges of frequency. Sense of touch is probably one of the best refined, yet could still do with some work. A far more analytical sense of smell would also be handy. One capable of detecting all elements and compounds and differentiating between them.

Better memory. One of our biggest problems is our memory isn't nearly as accurate as we like to think it is. Now obviously there are some things that remembering could cause trauma, so also add the ability to repress memory as a concious decision.

Which brings to mind the unconcious mind. Get rid of it. It's really useless if you're designing life.

Get rid of sleep. There's got to be a number of different ways of resting without becoming completely inactive and unaware.

Improve efficiency in the digestive system. To 100%. Who needs to waste a 20th of their life sitting on a piece of porcelain anyway?

I'm sure I could name a hundred more, but no point in taking all the possibilities and killing the topic. Sticking out tongue

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Ophios wrote: How about

Ophios wrote:
How about getting rid of the appendix?

Some have argued that the Endocrine cells found in the Appendix do serve a function, though not the function it had in our herbivorous ancestors ... As in, it aids our immune system, esp. as fetuses.  I think the jury might still be out about this, and, yes, the appendix can be extracted, or not be there at all with out any complications, but I'd be interested to see what future insights reveal about this organ.

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BGH wrote: I have said it

BGH wrote:
I have said it before here on the boards and I will say it again. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite proponents of science. That whole discussion where the quote was taken from was classic. He said if they are going to teach intelligent design then he wants to teach "Stupid Design". Eating and breathing through the same hole, sewage system near the entertainment complex... etc. Perfect! I laughed my ass off.

 Where did he say that? Is there a video? On youtube? Got a link?Smiling


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It was a podcast interview

It was a podcast interview "Point Of Inquiry" from last year, here is the podcast:

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/?p=63

There is also a video on youtube from Beyond Belief 2006 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_nqySMvkcw&mode=related&search=

 


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Conn_in_Brooklyn

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

 ... As in, it aids our immune system, esp. as fetuses.

Nice and all but when it gets infected and if left in, causes death.

Not intelligent.

Me and Harry Houdini both had appendicitis around Halloween, the difference is, I lived.

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Vastet wrote: To add to the

Vastet wrote:
To add to the list: Increased sensory perception. The eyes are really quite blind to the light spectrum. The ears can only decode certain ranges of frequency. Sense of touch is probably one of the best refined, yet could still do with some work. A far more analytical sense of smell would also be handy. One capable of detecting all elements and compounds and differentiating between them.

Sort of related: I was told by a theist once that "God" specifically designed us not to be able to detect him with our senses, so we would have to "have faith", rather than just know he was there. Which is kind of stupid when you think of Adam and Eve, and Cain and countless others in the Bible talking to "God"....

Did god remove that feature in his upgrade? Was it Man 2.0?


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Ophios

Ophios wrote:
Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:

 ... As in, it aids our immune system, esp. as fetuses.

Nice and all but when it gets infected and if left in, causes death.

Not intelligent.

Me and Harry Houdini both had appendicitis around Halloween, the difference is, I lived.

I'd imagine appendicitis sucks, but if any of our major organs got infected we could die ... perhaps the intelligent design would be complete immunity to infections to begin with ...

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Quote:

Quote:
Sort of related: I was told by a theist once that "God" specifically designed us not to be able to detect him with our senses, so we would have to "have faith", rather than just know he was there. Which is kind of stupid when you think of Adam and Eve, and Cain and countless others in the Bible talking to "God"....

Did god remove that feature in his upgrade? Was it Man 2.0?

Did you ask what the source on this information is? Sounds rather made up and convenient to me, much like the answers I gave in the FSM thread ... some of them I got from the FSM website, some from the Gospel and others I just invented on the spot making it sound like it was something that should be common knowledge.  To lead people off (or if my creativity wasn't there, or if I thought they might find contradicting information elsewhere) I said it was something I hadn't been made aware of. 

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Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote: I'd

Conn_in_Brooklyn wrote:
I'd imagine appendicitis sucks,

 

It is horrible. 


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I would definitely make

I would definitely make humans NOT allergic to things that grow.  What is that about?  Every spring and fall (autumn) a huge percentage of the population worldwide cough, sneeze and feel miserable from grass, trees, flowers, etc.  And no more food allergies!  It just doesn't seem right that some people die from one tiny peanut. 


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I would definitely ask for

I would definitely ask for three arms equipped with hands. It would make clipping claws and giving pills to kitties much easier.

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I'm not sure that designing

I'm not sure that designing people better would be as easy as we're making it out to be, given the normal, natural limitations of a designer in this universe. One thing my time in automotive manufacturing taught me is that it is almost impossible to anticipate all the niggling little problems that creep in whenever you actually try to build and use any design.

Let's remember the tough spec we are built for:

- moving and hunting across almost all terrain

- high-order communication and sensory abilities

- highly active 8-10 hours a day 

- self-repairing

- self-replicating

- self-fueling from a wide variety of foods

- able to adaptively fight off all manner of viral and bacterial infections 

Now remember the difficulty all those engineers had getting a robot car to complete a 50K course in a relatively flat desert. 

And let's remember one spec we are NOT built for: long life.  After ten years or so of reproductive activity, we've basically done our job as far as the species is concerned and should now die and leave resources for the next generation. Planned obselecence makes sense.

Neural death may be the best way to ensure the highest-possible functioning neural network. By making a bunch of redundant connections in infancy, maybe our brains are able to solve the "salesman's dilemma" and optimize from an unfathomable number of possible configurations. Just a theory.

Photosynthesis would not produce enough energy for us to be as active as we are. Plus there would be the problem of trying to move around with large, floppy solar panels ("leaves&quotEye-wink hanging off us everywhere. Eating other living things is more efficent because the food energy is pre-collected and concentrated.

Here's my speculation on appendixes: in evolution, too much success is as bad as not enough. In a real way, we are part of the the solution to a balanced equation that describes an ecological equilibrium that existed on some African plain a couple million years ago. Maybe in order for that equation to work out just right, a certain percentage of us had to die from an infection in the appendix. Maybe appendicitis served as a population control mechanism that actually sustained the survival of the species when we otherwise would have slowly overran our territory.

I think our body design is a more subtle problem even than Dawkins makes it out to be, and that there may be factors that we still don't understand or are not apparent this far removed from our original environment.

Obviously, none of this is intended as any kind of support for the idea that we are actually designed. I just think that evolution might be a more powerful problem-solver than we even imagine. 

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Tilberian wrote: I'm not

Tilberian wrote:

I'm not sure that designing people better would be as easy as we're making it out to be, given the normal, natural limitations of a designer in this universe. One thing my time in automotive manufacturing taught me is that it is almost impossible to anticipate all the niggling little problems that creep in whenever you actually try to build and use any design.

 

 When you're god, that isn't an issue.


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Spewn wrote: Tilberian

Spewn wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

I'm not sure that designing people better would be as easy as we're making it out to be, given the normal, natural limitations of a designer in this universe. One thing my time in automotive manufacturing taught me is that it is almost impossible to anticipate all the niggling little problems that creep in whenever you actually try to build and use any design.

 

When you're god, that isn't an issue.

 

There's no such thing as god. I'm responding to the idea that there is actually a better, real-world engineering solution for the problem that humans are "designed" (please note quotes) to solve. Obviously, if we introduce the idea that we are created magically by a god, then all questions of economy are moot. In that case we should ask why we aren't immortal, imprevious to pain and completely self-sufficient (which is what most people here are doing). 

The thing is, IDiots usually don't attack evolution this way. They pretend to have no prior bias toward theism and say that they have scientific reasons for believing that humans can't have developed through an evolutionary process. So if I were an IDiot and you hit me with the "weak design" argument, I'd simply point out that human design is not weak, given the parameters, and accuse you of trying to introduce a fantastic omnipotent creator into the conversation. 

I guess that's another reason why I don't like the weak design argument. It puts the atheist in the ridiculous position of arguing about the properties of god. We might as well argue about angels and pinheads. I think it's fine to agree with IDiots that humans are amazingly well suited to the ecological niche they originally inhabited and point out that this is yet another indicator of the awesome power of evolution.

 

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Here's something that

Here's something that bugged me:

If god didn't want us to have anal sex, why did he make us in such a way that it would be easy to do? 

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Ophios wrote: Here's

Ophios wrote:

Here's something that bugged me:

If god didn't want us to have anal sex, why did he make us in such a way that it would be easy to do?

HA!, now that's FUNNY! 


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LovE-RicH wrote: BGH

LovE-RicH wrote:

BGH wrote:
I have said it before here on the boards and I will say it again. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite proponents of science. That whole discussion where the quote was taken from was classic. He said if they are going to teach intelligent design then he wants to teach "Stupid Design". Eating and breathing through the same hole, sewage system near the entertainment complex... etc. Perfect! I laughed my ass off.

Where did he say that? Is there a video? On youtube? Got a link?Smiling

Just checking in, did you check the links I posted? Both discussions are pretty funny. 


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BGH wrote: Just checking

BGH wrote:
Just checking in, did you check the links I posted? Both discussions are pretty funny.

I did check the youtube clip, I still have to listen to that 1h long mp3 (I will today), thank you very much for the links!Smiling


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Not a problem at all!!!

Not a problem at all!!!


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We'd either have tails or

We'd either have tails or just no tail bone at all. Oh no God, you can't have it both ways.

 Also guys would probably have a natural cup protecting their jewels. No one who's ever been kicked in the balls would ever say the human body was intelligently designed.


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AModestProposal

AModestProposal wrote:

We'd either have tails or just no tail bone at all. Oh no God, you can't have it both ways.

Also guys would probably have a natural cup protecting their jewels. No one who's ever been kicked in the balls would ever say the human body was intelligently designed.

When I was in grade 6 I was playing dodgeball and the kid I had a crush on hit me in the face with the ball. >_<
I fell backwards and bruised my tailbone. Couldn't walk for a month. Turns out, I have a strange shaped tailbone, it curves out and you can almost see the tip. When my doctor told me that, being an 9 year old kid who loved animals, I asked excitedly, "Will I grow a tail!?"
Regretfully, he answered no. And that I have a greater chance of breaking it if I ever fall over backwards. Sad

I wish I had a tail.

Oh no, I just outed myself as a mutant!!!! :O 


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Now, gee... isn't that a

Now, gee... isn't that a coincidence... our cells are bathed in something very much akin to sea water.. .gee, can't see how that's connected to evolution...
Pardon my layperson's question, but could more complex organisms have developed from colonies of simpler, specialized cooperative lifeforms? As in the Portuguese man-of-war?
How much of a human body is the human, and how much is symbiotic life passed through the generations, or otherwise acquired?


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[MOD EDIT - duplicate post

[MOD EDIT - duplicate post deleted]

 


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Brain

[MOD EDIT - duplicate post deleted]


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Brain

[MOD EDIT - duplicate post deleted]


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Brain

Todangst, I'm so glad you mention the CNS here! Eyes are a big indicator of the fact that we are not intelligently designed. The inner and outer nuclear cell layers and the ganglion cells all rest atop the photoreceptive layer in the retina and must loop back to the optic nerve head. This is totally counterintuitive. Also, I am glad you mention the redundancy in the brain. Why do we need separate areas for different types of motor movements? Why separate voluntary motor movement centers (cortex) from emotional movements such as facial expression (basal ganglia) from balance and coordination centers (cerebellum) when they could all be lumped into one dynamic unit? The only explanation is the way in which these different functions evolved. The brain is sort of stacked in the order in which structures arose, with the basic necessities (medulla, RAS, cerebellum) at the posterior and ventral end and the most novel arrival at the utmost anterior end (the prefrontal cortex). The more primitive centers of the brain are in the middle (limbic system and thalami, then basal ganglia atop that) and the cortex seems to just stack upon it.


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Halide, please be careful

Halide, please be careful when posting.  Please use the "preview comment" function rather than posting the same thing with minor edits.

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Sorry, I wasn't trying to

Sorry, I wasn't trying to edit the posts, I just kept getting an error when trying to post and thought that they weren't going through. Now I am having trouble finding out how to delete them. The system here is different from any forum I've been on; I've just arrived and need to figure it out.


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Welcome to the forum! Are

Welcome to the forum! Are you a scientist? What field?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Halide wrote: Sorry, I

Halide wrote:
Sorry, I wasn't trying to edit the posts, I just kept getting an error when trying to post and thought that they weren't going through. Now I am having trouble finding out how to delete them. The system here is different from any forum I've been on; I've just arrived and need to figure it out.

Every time you post any response, at the moment at least, you get an error. Just go back twice and you'll return to the topic with your post displayed. Unless you opened a new window when you made the topic, in which case just refresh the original window and close the new one.

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magilum wrote: Pardon my

magilum wrote:
Pardon my layperson's question, but could more complex organisms have developed from colonies of simpler, specialized cooperative lifeforms? As in the Portuguese man-of-war?
How much of a human body is the human, and how much is symbiotic life passed through the generations, or otherwise acquired?

 I remember theory about mitochondria originally being prokaryotes which entered into a symbiotic relationship with eukaryotes.  There are of course also bacteria -- such as in our digestive system -- which are essential to our existence.  When and how this mutualism occurred is certainly interesting.  But I'm sure an intelligent designer would have chosen something other than bacteria to attend to our biological processes.

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I think the most significant

I think the most significant evidence (that I'm personally aware of) that we were evolved and not designed is the existence of inactive genetic code. I mean, what kind of programmer releases a build that has a whole bunch of unused dead code in it? A sloppy one.

I know, it's not very exciting, but it's pretty fundamental. I hope that makes up for it. Still, it would be cool to have some extra arms, maybe the ability to see a wider range of frequencies, but none of that is really necessary.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


zarathustra
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His ways are not our ways...

His ways are not our ways...


Ophios
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zarathustra wrote: His ways

zarathustra wrote:
His ways are not our ways...

Most of his ways are lazy and deceitful anyway.

As shown by most of him followers. 

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


kmisho
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This has been an amusing

This has been an amusing topic so far. Let me jump in with a different perspective and answer the question directly. If I were a miraculous god, what would people look like if I had designed us?

They would have no parts or mechanisms of any kind. If I were a miraculous god, I don't see why the idea of using parts and mechanisms would ever enter my mind. They would move from place to place by magically floating. They would not need to eat or sleep or rest in any way.

However many I made would be all there are. No reproduction would be necessary, since there is no death or disease or hunger. But I would reserve the right to create some new ones anytime just to keep things interesting.

There being no death could be disasterous, so I would have to give my creations the ability to learn forever but I would also have to make it so thay are not capable of knowing everything. All of this without a brain, or a head, these being unecessary. Actually, they would have no arms or legs or appendages of any kind, no streamlining, no internal organs, no shape really. My creations would have a magical sphere of influence (smaller than my own influence, of course. I once made a duplicate of myself, this ability of course being within my power as an allpowerful being, and the damn thing immediately cast a spell making me think I was him and he was me then he melted us into one. Now I can't tell if I'm the original god or if the god I made took over me or if we're a mixture or something. Anyway, no more duplicate gods.) within which they could make things move around with magical powers of the weightless odorless and colorless mind I strapped onto each one of them.

So these would be my people, magical lumps of energy that don't really exist since they aren't made of anything but nevertheless capable of attaining near godhood through an eternity of joyous self-improvement.


zarathustra
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I'd go so far as to suggest

I'd go so far as to suggest equipping vaginas with a retractable set of teeth.  That should solve the problem of rape real fast.

 Voluntary ovulation as well; then women will be in complete control of their reproductive rights from the beginning.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Sodium Pentothal
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another vote for laser eyes

another vote for laser eyes here as well


CrimsonEdge
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Without being humorous,

Without being humorous, there wouldn't be a need for anything that was said if we were intelligently designed. There would be no disease as there would be no reason for it.

You'd figure a creator with infinite power would be smart enough to stop us from spreading. I mean, we're really freaking annoying.


inspectormustard
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deludedgod wrote: Welcome

deludedgod wrote:
Welcome to the forum! Are you a scientist? What field?

 

She's in microbio. You can check out her blog here:

http://think-bomb.blogspot.com/

 

I'm going to try and get her to join in here more.