All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human contrivance; of human designs, thought, wisdom, and intelligence. Since, therefore, the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble; and that the Author of Nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man...One should logically draw this conclusion. The author of nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man. Somehow about the time Darwin looked behind the curtain and determined that the author of nature is nothing more than compounded dumb luck, blind chance distilled into the miraculous, where life cheats at thermodynamics and only collects on the winning bets and forgets it even made the losing ones. That design is the product evolution by natural selection sufficed to give cause for forgetting these previous conclusions. Why should we accept a logical conclusion of the sort that "the author of nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man"? When we know full well how the author of nature writes? Sure we don't have a flipping clue how the mind of man works, but certainly we can be justified to ignore the logical arguments above out of hand, without explaining it. After all when one considers the amazing nature of human minds, it ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. And equivalences somehow only go one way, to say that the author of nature is similar to the mind of man, certainly it true but to be disregarded because we now have Darwin to explain the authorship of nature. And why should anybody bother taking that one tiny extra step of saying that perhaps the mind of man is somewhat similar to Darwinian evolution? -- I would argue that they should because it explains the vast majority deep mysteries about intelligence. But that's just me.
There was a somewhat influential essay within Economics, which some are coming to understand is Darwinian in nature, called I Pencil. Which argues, that the markets are such that nobody really knows how to make a pencil. That we cannot fathom how trees are made and so we conclude that it must be God. Only God can make a tree. But, nobody really knows how to make pencils. We know they are wood, graphite and brass (now aluminum for the ferrule) but who knows how to mine graphite, who knows how to make the mining equipment, who knows how to drill for oil to power the equipment, who knows how to make the lighthouse for the shipments of tin, or to power the saws. The division of labor by the markets is so profound that nobody really knows all the steps. You could set no person on a massive island filled with resources for the taking and have them make a pencil, because nobody knows how to do it.
There is a fact still more astounding: the absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.
Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make me. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring me into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.That evolution plays a distinctive role is nothing new, to economics. It's gaining some steam but isn't a rather widely understood point. Evolution is decentralized and doesn't require that particular part know the whole. It's just not needed. And though, Read here seems to suggest that God is behind the invisible hand rather than the same blind watchmaker behind the tree. And also concludes his essay with a presumption of laissez faire faith.
The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.
Neglecting that the blind watchmaker does better for humans when humans gum up the works. Everything in nature is on a knife's edge. Nature's red in tooth and claw. And filled from the foot fungus to head lice with parasites. We shouldn't have faith in the markets, we should recognize that they are the single most powerful economic tool we have but are far better off domesticated than dominating.
In any event, the invisible hand of the markets, the blind watchmaker, the homunculi that live in the pituitary gland are really just different sides of the same process. A decentralized process that doesn't require knowing anything to know everything, to design without understanding, to arrange without forethought, to create without a creator. Is it any wonder that religious people the world over have been saying intelligence is behind the designs of nature? Darwinian evolution looks exactly like intelligence, because intelligence is likely the same process at its core. Intelligent design is trying to replace the cranes (in the Dennett sense) of evolution with the skyhooks behind intelligence often wrongly attributed to God, but really if one takes the arguments seriously, the universal acid of evolution flows the other way. It doesn't save God from the clutches of evolution, it allows the universal acid of the explanatory power of evolution to explain away that meek idol of that He who made the lamb made thee. It ends up splashing acid in the face of God. Because yes, you can argue for intelligent design in nature, but the intelligence, like all intelligence, is just another face of Darwin. The illusion of design, and the thoughts of intelligence behind nature, which even Darwin noted tend to come and go, are the other side of the same coin.
Within research into intelligence, we haven't produced anything even remotely intelligent and fail to produce anything, there is an utter lack of something we could confuse for intelligence. Within biology we have gobs of intelligence, it's all over the place infecting ever facet of what biologists do, and a seeming effort to call it an illusion of design, a mirage of intelligence. On one side of intelligence, we have no intelligence and deeply want something we could confuse for intelligence and no understandable processes and on the evolution side, we have lots of intelligence and a process we understand and all the while deep in the vaults of human intellectual history we have valid arguments which say these are the same thing. It was a mistake to disregard the equivalence of the Author of Nature with the contrivances of human minds, just because Darwin fully explained nature. We should have, at the time, and in the years since, realized that Darwin also explained human minds. It isn't that intelligence in nature is an illusion or that the design is a mirage, it really is there. It's actually completely really deeply and truly a part of nature. God is the illusion. We see the intelligence in the essence of nature and claim that it must belong to somebody, but that's just not the way it works. You can worship the Author of Nature as God, the Intelligent Designer as a divine being, but really if you look behind the curtain you'll find that you're just worshiping what Darwin so aptly described. But "It's intelligent!" one might insist, rightfully I concede, but that's not a contradiction. Darwin's process is behind that curtain as well. Intelligent Design doesn't save God from evolution, it meekly attempts to call evolution God. Somehow I don't think that even theists who find Paul Tillich's God (a theism as close to atheism as twilight is to night) palatable could manage to swallow that bitter idolatry when properly unmasked.
Properly, the argument for design has been touted as the greatest argument for God ever devised, but really, when you get down to the core, and a dollop of universal acid is splashed on it. We find that much of theological effort, has been, over the years, engaged in worshiping Darwinian Evolution. Insisting on the false distinction that because it's intelligent, it can't be evolution.