This is intelligent design?

Yesterday I had the good fortune to find myself visiting the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. For those unfamiliar, the museum was originally a place to educate doctors of the future about anatomy; today it’s a museum of medical history, with what I understand to be one of the most comprehensive collection of medical oddities to be found anywhere.
It quite easily stands as the most disgusting and grotesque places I have ever seen in my life. The items on display are at once fascinating and deeply disturbing. The museum includes such gems as a woman whose body was turned into soap, a five foot colon, numerous examples of extremely deformed human skeletons, deformed genitals, a bust of the siamese twins, and graphic examples of all manner of skin diseases and deformities that could possibly afflict someone.

The one thing it makes you realize (or makes me realize, anyway) is just how many things can possibly go (deeply) wrong with the human body. A genetic error, a bacterial infection, an environmental factor during development… can all lead to some truly sickening results. The museum may have only featured the most extreme cases, but less extreme deformities are all too commonplace. Even today, with the advances of science, cancer and birth defects still plague us; there are people alive who suffer unimaginably due to a simple quirk of fate.

A more poignant argument against creationism and intelligent design is hard to imagine. What’s on display in that museum is not perfection by any stretch of the imagine. It doesn’t show the body as a designed system (let alone a well designed system), nor is there any evidence of a loving creator. Instead, in displaying what can go wrong, it shows nature exactly for what it is: cruel, random, and progressing without a conscience, let alone any sort of plan. I’d love to see any creationist try to argue his point of view when standing in that room.
The place isn’t for people with a light stomach, but it’s well worth a visit if you have a high tolerance for grossness and want to gain an appreciation for just how miraculous life is when it goes right.

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