39. Why does the Tasmanian Devil have 20 offspring but only four nipples?

In the creationist video series Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution they discuss the features of insects and animals that don’t seem as if they could’ve arisen from gradual change (I’ll explore a couple of these claims later on). Unfortunately, there’s no counter-series titled Incredible Creatures that Defy Intelligent Design. But if there were, it might feature animals like the Tasmanian Devil.

According to National Geographic, Tasmanian devil “mothers give birth after about three weeks of pregnancy to 20 or 30 very tiny young. These raisin-size babies crawl up the mother’s fur and into her pouch. However, the mother has only four nipples, so only a handful of babies survive.”

So these Tasmanian-devil-raisin-babies (or “joeys”) claw their way from their mother’s vagina up to the pouch. Once there, they attach to a nipple, which becomes engorged and clamped inside the newborn’s mouth, ensuring it does not fall off. But since the female only has four nipples, the majority of her offspring will die.

The unlucky fifth Tasmanian Devil probably arrives at the pouch and thinks to itself, “Wait a minute… one, two, three, four… f@*k! Where the hell are all the other nipples?” The other Devils arrive close behind and ask the same question, “What the hell is going on in here? Why are they only four nipples!?” “Everyone calm down,” says one religiously-minded devil, “There’s no way the designer would create all of us just to let us die here, everything will work out, you just wait and see!”

Unfortunately, these poor little devils will spend their short meaningless lives searching for nipples until they die (not unlike human males).

Design vs. Evolution

From a design perspective, it would obviously make more sense to give the Tasmanian Devil smaller litters, or more teats.

From an evolutionary prospective, nature doesn’t care about dead offspring, so long as the animal continues to reproduce. This race from womb to nipple may also help to select the most viable of the offspring.


God apparently dislikes all devils.

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44 Responses to 39. Why does the Tasmanian Devil have 20 offspring but only four nipples?

  1. Matthew says:

    The conclusion is hilarious!

  2. Aradia says:

    “God apparently dislikes all devils.” NICE!!! This post is another excellent addition to your 500 questions. Another issue with intelligent design is the concept of a Liger and/or Tion. If tigers and lions were intelligently designed, why are they able to interbreed, but create sterile offspring. Sounds more like evolution than intelligent design to me.

    • patrickfriar says:

      The same goes for Mules (horse + donkey = sterile offspring)

    • geaeri95 says:

      Hey, I can put a Chevy engine in a Ford, that doesn’t mean all the parts are going to work right.

      On that basis alone your argument can be used to say that automobiles are not intelligently designed. (They aren’t, but that has more to do with stupid people having access to engineering degrees).

  3. Matthew says:

    I guess the Good Lord needed another Tasmanian-devil-raisin-baby. Or, uh, 16 to 26 of ’em.

  4. I n I says:

    Maybe God is just giving the devils a chance to learn how to share.

    • Aradia says:

      Are you serious?!?!?!? God starves freaking NEWBORNS to teach them how to share!?!?!? Did you miss the part where the nipple engorges and is stuck in the newborn devils mouth? If your God wanted them to learn to share, why did he make it inpossible to do so?

  5. This was a brilliant read 500Q. Before I show you that your inference does not follow from the premises(non seqiutur) and has questionable premises, I would like, avoiding emotional langauge that may cloud our reasoning, present your case in a logical outline(with my add on, so please do correct if I misrepresented your case in logical outlined form)

    1. God created mama Tasmanian devil
    2. Mama Tasmanian has four nipple and does give birth of 20–30 babies Tasmanians after three weeks’ gestation.
    3. Only few babies Tasmanians survive because Mama Tasmanian cannot feed the all its babies( often Mama T eat some to increase the survival of the other)
    4. Nature does not care
    5. If designed, then mama Tasmanian should have been designed to be able to feed all its babies
    6. Tasmanian is not designed to be able to feed all its babies
    7. Therefore not designed
    8. God dislike mama Tasmania devil(perhaps you deduce this from a poor design?)
    9. God dislike all devils.

    Before I attempt answer your question, did I present your case correctly 500Q?

    Your blog follower and reader,

    • Hi Prayson, that’s pretty close.

      #1: I would say God or Nature (though these certainly aren’t the only two possibilities).
      #7: I wouldn’t go so far as to say it disproves design, only that the process appears more consistent with an indifferent nature. But if it could be shown that this process is absolutely necessary for the TD, in a way that sets it apart from other animals, we could certainly challenge the conclusion.
      #8 & #9: The more literal conclusion is that the Tasmanian Devil’s reproductive cycle is wasteful and illogical, and therefore less likely to be the result of intelligent design. The “God dislikes devils” conclusion is just a play on the “devil” homonym. But if I have to explain the joke…

      • O thank you 500Q.

        If 8-9 are simply a joke, then I believe it does not fall under non-sequitur. Some of a curious questions would be, why is the process appears more consistent with an indifferent nature and not say poorly designed? Moreover, is it possible we are anthropomorphizing mama TD and babies TD? Is it possible that mama TD and babies TD lack an advanced prefrontal cortex that would spare them suffering?

        The only stand I believe one can draw from your case 500Q, if one can show that TD ought to keep all its babies, is that mama TD is poorly designed. But poor design is stll design, thus one would need to work more, to show that poorly design some how leads to not designed(blind nature).

        I think though that a Bible trained Christian ought not be affected by this case because she knows that God is the creator and can do whatever He damn pleases with it. Example Moses in Deuteronomy recorded that “See now that [God]I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.”(32:39) Paul of Tarsus echoed Isaiah in showing that God is like a potter and He can damn do whatever He pleases with His pots.

        Only Christians who hold to a rosy-cant-hurt-a-fly god of their own creation would find this question challenging.

        Your blog follower and reader,

        • Aradia says:

          I don’t really agree with the entire concept of god made us, he can kill us if he wants and it is still right. What if I created a human myself, (still science fiction currently but we are a lot closer than we have ever been). Would it be moral for me to bring such a creature into being, emotionally, sexually, and physically abuse it? Then kill it? To me that is horribly immoral and most would agree. But by your logic, I made it so I can do what I damn well please with it.

          • Thank you Aradia.

            I think it would be moral given that we make our creatures entirely from our own materials ( Which sadly is immpossible since the embryo or other cells or materials in universe are already made material, supposedly God’s, if He exists that is) We, unlike God, if He exist, do not make life, but use life(in cell) to make “life”, thus your example will make us immoral if we create a human just to kill it and make it alive unless we make our own life from our own material.

            Moreover,if God exists and that he has made Himself known in Jewish history, then unless I make a god out of my mind who would fit my view, the God of Christian claim to give life and take life as He damn pleases. So if this question is asked to a Bible trained Christian, then a simple answer is that God gives and God takes away. If we like it or not, think it is moral or not, does not really matter Aradia. 🙂

            Your fellow blog reader,

            • Aradia says:

              I was talking about a situation where were able to actually create life. Not artificial insemination. Not even cloning, but literally assemble a living being from nothing. Even in that situation, such abuse of the created being would be immoral. If the bible is 100% true, even then I would choose not to worship the christian god. I would rather spend an eternity in torment than support such an immoral being.

              • Aradia, we still face the problem because we cannot make something from nothing. From nothing nothing comes. If Christian God exists then He made everything the entire universe.

                C. S. Lewis made a brilliant observation when he wrote “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.” (Mere Christianity p.145) If Christianity is true, and this question is posed to them, then I believe that is their answer namely God can do whatever He see fit with his creatures. Whether we like it or not, would worship Him or not, rather spend eternity in torment or not, it does not really matter. 🙂

                Your fellow blog follower and reader,

              • Matthew says:

                Prayson, how does the complexity of a religion prove or disprove it’s validity? I can think of religions both more and less complex than Christianity, can you not?

                As for the “God always existed” argument, couldn’t it also be possible that matter and energy always existed in a state of perpetual expansion and collapse?

                Now, may I ask how you know the Bible to be true?

                • Anonymous says:

                  Hej Matthew 🙂

                  The difficult in x does not prove that x is true. My point was that Christian,if and only if true, then no matter how difficult is the notion that God gives life and take life as He sees fit that does not make the notion false.

                  I believe I have not argue that God exists in our comments area Matthew. I used “ifs”. But for knowledge, modern cosmology strongly affirm the beginning of space and time in finite time ago thus an eternal universe or multiverse does not fit all the evidence that cosmologists have. See Stephen Hawkins 70s birthday lectures given by leading cosmologists for current position on this topic.

                  Your fellow blog reader,

                  • rautakyy says:

                    Right, or wrong is not defined by who is acting, but by what is being done. Correct?

                    • Yes and No. Example it is wrong for me to kill a murderer but not so with the pointed body of state. Or it is moral right for a soldier to kill an enemy soldier in battle, but not so with me. I, not a soldier, cannot kill an enemy soldier in battle.

                • Matthew says:

                  Hello, Prayson.

                  I am quite familiar with the “brilliant” C. S. Lewis as I was a Christian for 30 years. The quote of his you used was written to make a logical argument in favor of the existence of God, or more accurately, the validity of Christianity. I didn’t realize you were quoting Lewis to make an out-of-context point. And I’m not trying to say you’re wrong for doing so, it just confused me.

                  I have great respect for Hawking and his “leading cosmologists” (and even his cosmetologist), but I find the evidence to be inconclusive on whether or not we’re in a second, third, or infinite iteration of the universe. If I build a Lego town and call it Praysonville, then I take it apart and build a new town and call it Matthewtopia, what evidence is there that your town ever existed? Hopefully a hilarious stop-animation YouTube video, but if not, perhaps fingerprints. There are competing ideas and I respect your faith in one but I tend to be a little more agnostic in the matter.

                  • Hej Matthew,

                    I am sorry to have confused you. If you read I wrote a brilliant observation not a brilliant observer. Lewis could be brilliant but that was not the case. The quote comes from his case for doctrine of Trinity and not on the validity of Christianity. Many people find the doctrine hard to grasp( who can blame them) so Lewis explain to them. I used Lewis because many find the notion of a God who kills and give life as He pleases hard to swallow.

                    We cannot expect to ask Christians this question at the same time deny them the notion of God they believe in, namely a God who gives and takes away as He sees fit to His plan.

                    So if this question is suppose to question the God of the Bible, then I believe it fall short.tBible trained Christians who knows what they believe and why the believe it to be so would not be shaken by the idea that God, if exists, gives life and take life as He damn will.

                    Remember the question is not if the Bible is true, or if God exists but why Tasmanian devil is not designed to feed all its young paused to Christians. So I assumed what Christians could answer to this charge, if Christianity is true.

                    Fellow blog reader,

                    • rautakyy says:

                      Perhaps we could continue at the bottom of the comments area, because the column is becoming increasingly harder to read.

    • rlnoris says:

      Humans are also imperfect, but was the original tasmanian devil designed with only four tits?
      Gd sent his son to regain authority here on earth, to rescue the human race, he needs our asistance also.
      So the authority that had gained partial control here, from all evidence desires suffering , i must attribute such unloving un merciful percersions and predations to the dark force that resists such goals as “the lion lying down with the lamb ”
      Possibilities are endless, , if you can believe evolution without any evidence you cold believe anything.

  6. rautakyy says:

    The problem of wether a creator god has the right to abuse the creation, or not, lies in what we are prepared to call moral and how we come to our definition of the word. In many traditional religious societies the social morals of the society has been alledgedly derived from the divine commands of an absolute authority of a god. In patriarchal societies this authority has been strongly resembled with the role of the patriarch of a family group, or even a nation. In reality, we form most of our social morals by natural ethics. Not by blindly trusting into the divine and absolute resolution of something we cannot verify, such as a god, but by determining the actual harm, or benefit of certain action, or inaction.

    In most cases of human history when arguably really bad decisions have been made, it has not been based on natural ethics, but on dogmative commands from authority, wether the command came from a dictator, religious demagogue, or from an interpretation of a holy scripture, does not really matter. A fact is, that a great number of people acted without applying ethics of compassion and felt they were excused to do so, because someone else had done the thinking for them.

    Now, Christianity is one of those many religions where there is actually a straight forward command from authority to use the natural ethics, wich is based on our capability for empathy as social animals. Usually this is paraphrased as the “golden rule” as it was suggested by Jesus and by many philosophers and mythical originators of religious movements like Laozi and Buddha long before the advent of Christianity. Wether Jesus learned it from someone else or not is not even important. What is imoportant, is that we all are able to come to the same simple conclusion of what is basicly right, or wrong by our natural ability as social beings.

    The designers right to act upon sentient creations is comparable to the “golden rule”. If it is not, then a creator, that sets the rules for morals different for itself, than to the creations, may have the right of might to do so, but ethically it is not showing empathy, nor compassion and hence such actions have no ethical grounds. To call such an entity “benevolent” is a macabre folly. This has nothing to do with where did that creator get the material to make such creations in the first place. The created has then no alternatives, other than to hope that the creator is benevolent, since the created is allready subject to the right of might of the alledged creator. But that does not make the creator benevolent, nor compassionate. Quite the opposite.

    The problem in the ID thinking of the forming of the universe lies in the, honestly rather childish, hope to expect design and order where it does not appear. Design by intelligence is a loaded term, that screams for a definition of the word design. Humans desing all the time crappy stuff. That does not refute the fact, that it is more or less “intelligently desingned”. May we expect such inadequancy from the alledged creator of the entire universe? The universe is manifest of crappy design by our own standards, like the fact, that the TD babies have too few tits, or that most planets we now now are devoid of life, wich seems so valuable in our human perspective. But we can allways move the goalposts by claiming, that since we do not know the final purpose, we are unable to judge wether these “flaws” in the design of the universe reveal wether it is designed, or not. But in that case, to assert the assumption, that it is designed by intelligece comparable to ours, is futile and ridiculous.

    When ever I have run into the adherents of ID, who are trying to oppose the theory of evolution, it has allways been that these people have some profound misunderstanding about evolution, wich is the real reason why they are unwilling to accept it. Most often these are the results of scientific illiteracy. They percieve it “only as a theory”, or they project some fascistic social and cultural ideal of individualism on the idea of the survival of the fittest. Then there is the basic problem that it challenges the reliability of the Bible or some other holy scripture. Many of these people feel their base values are threatened by the fact that as scientific knowledge grows the supernatural explanations and the authority of some particular supernatural claim diminshes. This is a cause to civil unrest, wich is not good, but wich is good, is that as scientific verifiable knowledge grows, we have better information and with better information as more informed people we are able to make better evaluation of reality and hence also better judgement. As a result there is still hope for humanity and all life. That is if the age of authoritarianism of humans and gods will end.

    It is a psychological and sociological question why human mind and culture is so prone to seek out anropomorphic explanations, to what are obviously just natural phenomenons, and then to call them gods.

    • Aradia says:

      As always rautakyy you are able to read my mind, take the half baked ideas in there, and turn them into a coherent logical argument. I would tell you to get out of my head, if you weren’t such an excellent wordsmith 😉 Seriously though, you I wish I was as nearly articulate as you are. Once again you blow me away. Thank you for your intelligent and astute contributions to this discussion.

      • rautakyy says:

        As allways you are so very polite. I must say, I blush at your praises. English is not my native tongue, so it takes a bit of effort to translate my thoughts to this beautifull language. Besides, I do tend to write too long comments.

        I would like to say that this blog by the 500 Questions is a marvellous forum of thoughts. The conversation could not be very fruitfull, if the topic posts were not so well thought out. Even people who do not agree with our host write the best possible commentaries and defences for their god (who remains unwilling to answer these questions). Without our Christian friends who also come to comment here, our conversation could too easily turn into just an echobox. I think it is important to understand why people think as they do, before making any assertions, or assumptions wether if they are right or wrong about something.

        Also, I would like to thank you Aradia personally, for having come to many of the same conclusions as I have. This may sound funny, but the fact of the matter is, that most people in this world do not think about religion much. Yet it weilds so much power in what kind of ethical choses people make. Those who do think about it, either have a profound faith in a particular superstition, or system of understanding the supernatural, or they are atheists. Most people are indifferent agnostics, or indifferent believers. Culturally tied to their traditional set of values and hardly ever having questioned them in any way, but all too easily led by a talented demagogue using that tradition of values. We skeptics and atheists who think this way about the supernatural are a small minority indeed. It is important to come to know, that one is not alone with ones own thoughts and that people with completely different cultural backrounds can come to the same logical conclusions.

        Let logic and compassion prevail!

  7. rautakyy says:

    @Prayson Daniel, I see your point, but I disagree. Right or wrong is never defined by who is acting. It is still about the deed, not about the purpetrator. An executioner has no right to go executing random citizens. The justification of his deed comes from social morals of the particular society, that sees it justified to kill the particular sentenced criminal. The deed of killing, not the doer, is where the justification for the act is derived from. Does it make it ethical? No. You see, most western countries have given up on executing criminals as it has been seen as unethical. That the harm to the society by allowing executions has been understood to be greater than the benefits.

    A soldier has no right to go on a killing spree in an enemy village, even if he suspects the villagers support the enemy army. It is the act of killing an enemy soldier, or fighter, that is seen as morally acceptable, not because the killer was a soldier, but because the act is seen as acceptable. The fact that the purpetrator was a soldier makes it no more moral, nor immoral. Most of the men who fought in the US war for indepence on the American side were not soldiers, but just common men called and volunteered to do the fighting against British troops. What you would call “guerillas”, “illegal fighters”, or “terrorists” by todays terminology. However, they had and are percieved to have had every right to fight for their indipendence. It is not who they were, that gave them the justification, but what they did and especially why they did it.

    Is war ethical? A war of agression is very hard to prove to be beneficial, while to defend the sovereignty of ones own nation has universally been seen as not only the right of every man, but also the responsibility of every able body. Correct?

    A god can not set itself outside moral codes it gives, or it will totally undermine those codes. Threat of violence (hell) is the worst possible way to convince good willing people to follow those orders. Second worse is to insinuate, that there is an unverifiable reward in some form of afterlife. Adult people should know to do the right thing regardless of threats, or rewards. They should be able to judge what is right by their ability for compassion (as Buddha, Laozi and Jesus and several others suggest) and logic of what follows from their deeds. The knowing that you have done right should allways be a higher motivator, than any other personal reward. Authority is not gained by violence, but by moral leadership. Good leadership requires moral example. If the morals of a society is based not on how I act as a leader, but on what I tell people to do, then it is just cheap moralism.

    Morals is not some objective truth that we are privy to through some ancient and mystical scriptures, if we happent to interprete them according to some great plan by a god. Morals is the social code agreed upon by a society formed of humans with their collective subjective views. That is the exact reason why we choose to live in a democracy rather than in dictatorship, or theocracy, if we have the choise. Ethics is the means to get as close to objective truths in this matter. Ethics is about evaluating what harm, or benefit our actions, or inaction may cause. If it is not based on scientific knowledge and compassion, but on unverifiable magical preassumptions about the supernatural, it is most likely about to go wrong. This is so regardless, if there is a god, your god, or someone elses god, or goddes, or gods, or goddesses.

    • Thank you Rautakyy.

      I think it is very complex, but I believe we are going away from what is at the heart of 500Q’s concern and challenge to Christians. We could discuss if God is bound by objective moral values and duties or His being, nature, is the ontology of objective morality but that is not the issue here. Perhaps 500Qs could write an article on that topic and we could enjoy discussing it together 🙂

      Here 500Qs seems to contend that since God(designer) wouldn’t have done it that way, namely creating a four nipple mama TD who cannot keep all its youngs; therefore nature is a more plausible explantion is nature, which is indifferent. So nature did it.

      I think a Bible trained Christian can reasonably contend that God does what He see fits with His creation according to His plan. Thus 500Q’s question, if it is to challenge Christians, I believe it fails because what he observe does align with Christians understanding of reality. Though it would challenge Christians who do not know what they believe and hold to a rosy-nicy-pink god of their own creation.

      Yours fellow blog reader,

      • rautakyy says:

        @Prayson, you are absolutely right, that we should not avert too much from the topic at hand. I do tend to get diverted by the flow of a conversation when commenting blog texts.

        I think, that the 500 Questions are actually here playfully adressing the image of a god wich is shared by the great majority of people who call themselves Christians. Most people do not choose their religious affiliations by evaluating, or studying their religion, nor comparing it to any others. They are indoctrinated as children and their image of a god remains often that of a child. I believe it is commonly referred to as the “childs belief”. So, no wonder if their image of a god is a bit “rosy-nicy-pink”. It is not so much their own creation as much as it is the god that has been offered to them, so it would be easier for them to swallow the notion.The point being, if more people with common sense of compassion and sense of justice studied the religions in this world, less people would be actual belivers. You know what they say, “the first step of becoming an atheist is to read the Bible”.

        The point here is that if we are to assume a god is the perfect designer, why does the design not manifest that? For example like the TD having too few tits in comparrison to the TD babies. If there is a scientific explanation as to how things are as they are, that contradicts the perception of the world view offered by some ancient scriptures, should we go for the scientific explanation, or the religious one? If science claims that the universe and nature are indifferent, is that not what we can observe, or do we observe a “benevolent” and interrested god somewhere? Should we try to look for healing for the lepracy from science, or from the Bible? Or should we just define “benevolence” according to how nature manifests itself and then claim, that proves a “benevolent” god?

  8. Anonymous says:

    hi guys,

    I’ve pretty much been a silent reader for a while, but to 500Q, congratulations on your well thought out and presented posts! Most sites questioning religion take a biased view, leaving out important parts.

    To rautakyy, I wholeheartedly agree with you in that most people never get to choose their religion by evaluating them all. Being taught from birth with values that their family holds, it is almost impossible to let go of. I’ve read that when humans are young, their brain ‘mode’ (so to speak) is ‘learning and absorbing information’: important survival skills, right and wrong, etc. and it is at this young age that everythinhg they learn stays with them the most (similar to how your native language is always your best). Which means that if they are taught to believe in the ‘one and only’ God they will usually never let it go, although some do, with difficulty.

    Going on a tangent here, I have a Christian friend who was taught to believe from birth, and wrote in a testimony that God shapes her personality to who he wants her to be. It puzzled me just reading that. God doesn’t have to instrumental in a change in personality. You learn from experience and interaction, (as you said) what causes harm and hurts others, hurts yourself etc.

    As to the topic of the TD, I think that showing that it is a poor design does favour the evolutionist/naturalist view, beecause God said that he was perfect and therefore nothing he makes is wrong. But then again a Christian could argue that there is a purpose we do not know about, which would be impossible to disprove.

  9. Thanks Anonymous, Prayson, rautakyy and Aradia.

    Anonymous and Prayson make a fair point, Christians CAN simply argue that “God does what He see fits with His creation according to His plan.”

    Sure, God may have had some reason for designing the TD in this way, all I’m saying is that such a design is more consistent with evolution. It’s similar to the question of why a designer would want to fill our oceans with saltwater. Sure, he could do this, but why on earth would he want to? How absurd does a design have to be before we finally say, “Well now hold on a minute, THIS thing over here, THIS thing is just SO absurd that it couldn’t possibly be the work of intelligence.” There is an inferior intelligent designer called evolution. Evolution is a fine designer that “learns” by trial and error, but it lacks the foresight and ability to reason that a truly intelligent designer would have.

    Evolution may be blind to what it’s making, but it is intelligent enough to select good traits over bad. If it a mutation helps, it eventually gets passed on to all of a species, and every species that might arise after that one. Generation after generation, evolution stumbles upon many different designs that exploit many different niches, but none of them were ever intentionally designed.

    But whether life on earth was designed by God or evolution, there should be clues.

    Clues to an evolutionary history are things like: countless microorganisms covering the entire earth, fossils, shared DNA, shared flaws in our DNA (such as the inability of all great apes to produce Vitamin C), atavisms, design flaws, and designs that make more sense from an evolutionary perspective. Take birds, bats and pterodactyls for example. All have wings in place of arms, which is something we would expect if those arms gradually turned into wings. But if these animals were designed, then the designer should’ve given them wings AND arms, just as he gave arms to so many other creatures.

    Clues to intelligent design include foresight and design beyond anything capable by evolution. It would also be nice to find examples of this kind of complex design in things other than life.

    My main objection here is that this mother’s body has consumed resources to produce far more offspring than she could ever nurse. Evolution makes thoughtless mistakes like this, not thoughtful designers.

    Thanks all!

    • Hej 500Qs. Thank you for seeing that God may have had some reason for designing the TD in this way” and as I contended earlier we take a huge metaphysical position to claim that such a design is more consistent with “blind” evolution to which I state need to be defended. Christians may be warranted to contend for a unblind evolution.

      The question would be why is it not more consistence with intelligent design given that God may have reasons for designing TD that way?(the answer depends on which metaphysical position one holds)

      It is to that I think It fail to challenge or give the punch to make Theists or Deists, who knows what they believe and why they be it to be so, doubt their positions.


    • Daniel H says:

      Evolution is indeed a fine designer if you give it a few million years, but its design objectives are not yours. The reason Christians dislike evolution is that they insist God is more than minimally intelligent and that He is benevolent. If they were willing to let go of these requirements, they would realize we’ve gotten as close to finding God as we can, It’s just not very Godlike in the traditional sense. See http://lesswrong.com/lw/kr/an_alien_god/, which I do not know how to turn into a regular link in this comment. In fact, see the whole website (especially the Sequences), which is very good for finding answers to difficult or mysterious-seeming questions.

  10. Pingback: 42. Why does God allow animals to suffer? | 500 Questions about God & Christianity

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  12. Dantheman says:

    Obvious proof of “natural selection”. The strongest devils get to feed but the weakest starve off, leaving a stronger future gene pool. Nothing more than evolutionary process here. If God’s involved, then creating an animal with many mouths to feed and little chance of feeding them all would seem a little cruel, but either way, it would likely progress the species. In the “human arena”, whereby 20,000 children starve to death daily (worldwide?), I am undecided as to whether this advances the gene pool or if it’s just “luck of the draw”.

  13. Anonymous says:

    God does exist

  14. Lee G says:

    Your statement assumes that natural selection is not a part of intelligent design. An argument can have a valid point and still have a false premise leading to a false conclusion. But if a valid argument has a true premise, the the conclusion had to be true.

    The Bible states that the natural order was thrown into chaos when the first humans given authority over the created order violated the instructions they were given. It was stated that, because of their transgression, the earth had fallen into disorder.

    If the argument is that God created the natural order to function in a certain manner, and the premise is that because someone violated the conditions required to maintain that order that the relationship that man had with the earth and its creature inhabitants would now become dysfunctional, the Tasmanian devil becomes evidence that the original argument had merit.

    Therefore, any natural designs that one would consider “intelligent” by human assessment becomes understood within the context of the dysfunctions that occur because the care for the natural order of things had been violated.

    We can see instances of this dynamic repeated in the way that humans now pollute the earth and how natural disasters and ecological dysfunctions continue to increase. The Tasmanian devil does not refute intelligent design it supports it in the proper context.

    Instead of showing disdain for intelligent design, we should take notes from the true premise behind the fall of creation into chaotic order to learn how to be more considerate of the earth and its resources. Instead of arguing about why the faucet is leaking, we need to work together to fix the faucet.

  15. ?? says:

    what do Tasmanian devils have to do with the bible?

    • The Bible says in Genesis that God created all the animals. If this is true, then God has made some bizarre design choices. If we have evolved, then this bizarre design is just an unfortunate side-effect of evolution.

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