The secret of Intelligent Design!

The rabbit, familiar to all of us, is a famous example of un-Intelligent Design, perhaps because its digestion is more than a bit disgusting (literally) to humans. (See, for example, this discussion.)

But some creatures are beautifully “designed”. monado is (as she’s posted below) working her way through Pearse and Buchsbaum’s Living Invertebrates. She read me this passage about medusas (what I call jellyfish; p. 103 of the 1987 ed.):

The mass of mesogleal substance [a.k.a. “middle jelly”] in the bell provides bulk and tensile strength. Yet the water content of a medusa … is about 96%. … This watery mesoglea is rigid enough to serve as a firm bed against which muscles can pull, plastic enough to allow for the muscular contractions of the bell, and elastic enough to restore the bell’s expanded shape between contractions.

So what if there isn’t one Intelligent Designer, but several—an Intelligent Design workshop, as it were? The guy in charge of medusas, well, he got a good performance review. The guy in charge of lagomorphs, perhaps he was an apprentice; or perhaps he got fired, or demoted to mould.

The notion of a workshop or engineering office with different Intelligent Designers of varying, uh, Intelligence is, you have to admit it, kind of amusing.


One Response to “The secret of Intelligent Design!”

  1. monado Says:

    That’s a great idea. Imagine the job reviews: “Sorry, Ahalolaben, you’ve limited spider growth forever by routing their esophogas through their brain! What were you thinking? Try a tunicate next time.”

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