I saw a Youtube clip recently of the astrophysicist and atheist Neil deGrasse Tyson arguing against the notion that the efficiency and intricacy of the design in the universe that we observe must be attributable to a divine creator. There are many ways that opponents of the design argument attempt to respond, but this one was new to me. Tyson pointed out that human beings eat, drink and speak all using a single hole in their head. How much more efficient would it be if we had been blessed with two holes, one for gestation and one for communication. Imagine! If only Neil deGrasse Tyson were the creator of the universe, what a wonderful world this would be.
Eating and talking at the same time, without any interruption of the constant inane chatter that fills our lives. Seriously, what a lovely thought! The creator of this universe must have been smoking something when he decided it would be a good idea to make us occasionally stuff our yap-traps with sustenance. Did he not realize that we only have a limited time on this Earth, and that if we waste a great deal of it chewing, swallowing, maybe even thinking in silence, then we'll be unable to fulfill our purpose for this life which certainly must be to maximize our number-of-words-per-lifetime ratio? How shortsighted and foolish of him! No, an omnipotent being couldn't make so obvious and egregious an error, so I'm forced to conclude that no such being exists. My reasoning is exquisite, wouldn't you agree?
I believe that I have surpassed my mockery quota for the day. Suffice it to say that this argument is not only asinine, but is so in such a self-satisfied, unreflective, and arrogant manner as to be quite loathsome. Hopefully my abusive mockery made plain the ways in which the argument is utterly nonsensical, but if not, allow me to elucidate.
Tyson's argument assumes that humans are designed in a suboptimal way because our design prevents us from being able to speak incessantly. Undoubtedly Tyson also believes that the fact that the human body requires 8 hours of sleep a day is an epic tragedy--after all that's one-third of his life that is doomed to wordlessness. I know of very few humans who would admit without shame that they believe that their own words are so precious that they should never meet an occasion where they are forced into silence. Indeed there's many a fine proverb, from both East and West, that speaks of the wisdom and virtue to be found in silence. Listening, meditating, thinking, praying and, yes, eating. Not only is our value as humans not measured in the number of words we are able to utter, but there's some good reason to believe that a human's wisdom is often inversely proportional to the number of words they produce. As much as that pains me--a wordy person--to admit. If we are going to speculate as to the wisdom and efficiency of the creation then, if anything, this observation by Tyson bespeaks a profoundly thoughtful and efficient design plan of the creator. God may in fact have devised the human body in such a way--with a single hole for the dual purposes of gestation and speech--specifically to give the world some respite from the incessant, inane jabber of the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Who, in between meals, still managed to find the time to use his tragically limited number of words to formulate this preposterous argument.