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Malignant Design: A Factor in Evolution


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/02/07

As noted by linguist and prominent general atheist — in general terms with specifications based on what is exactly being denied — Noam Chomsky, the nature of the Young Earth Creationism and Evolution controversy simply remains within the sociopolitical realm, in which the controversy should, in fact, shift to that which has a large number of evidence: unlike Young Earth Creationism, which has none.

The shift of the conversation should be into Malignant Design, for which, by some metrics described by Chomsky, has much more evidence than some aspects of either theory, of which the former, Young Earth Creationism, has none and the latter, Evolution by Natural Selection, has plenty.

Malignant Design has more evidence in terms of the level of suffering in the world, whether by human machinations, e.g., conspiracy, war, bad medicine, apparently anti-vaccination now, and so on, or strictly non-conscious mechanical processes of the natural world, e.g., storms, tornadoes ripping through communities, pestilences, deadly diseases, infections, and so on.

Chomsky, in the Khaleej Times, stated, “Unlike Intelligent Design, for which the evidence is zero, malignant design has tons of empirical evidence, much more than Darwinian evolution, by some criteria: the world’s cruelty. Be that as it may, the background of the current evolution/intelligent design controversy is the widespread rejection of science, a phenomenon with deep roots in American history that has been cynically exploited for narrow political gain during the last quarter-century. Intelligent Design raises the question whether it is intelligent to disregard scientific evidence about matters of supreme importance to the nation and world — like global warming.”

The issue of the world’s suffering is tracing the motivations and consequences of the pain and misery seen throughout the world due to human actions and decision, policies, initiatives and programs, and failures to plan ahead and prepare for likely disasters, but also having appropriate scientific investigation and widespread-enough comprehension of the reasons for actions of the material world and then how certain disasters can impact human livelihood; each of these angles is important in order to, in a rational manner, deal with the problems confronting us. The reasons may be irrational, as in human motivations and fear, but the consequences and investigations of the irrationalities can be rational; with the natural world, it is simply not fooling ourselves and having specific tools in place, including the scientific method, to properly know the world to respond in a rational way to the likely consequences of natural phenomenon of the world impacting us.

Malignant design, if one is to notice the world’s suffering, akin to knowledge about mutual aid, is an important adjunct to knowledge of evolution, as a factor in evolution.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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