Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Updating My Views: Insights from My New Expertise in Automotive Design

Back in the young and naive stage of my life, sometime last year, I made this statement on my Mormon Answers page of facetious questions:
"God does very few things the way I would, from the design of trees to the color of the sky, and especially the lifespan of certain individuals (let's leave politics out of this). When He chooses the lifespans (or allows others to choose them) of those in particular armies, cities, or population groups, it's rarely according to my will. But I'm getting used to it. I have to remind myself that I am not the Creator, do not know everything, do not understand His eternal purposes, and can't even change the oil in my own car. With that in mind, I don't think I have any right to second guess and nitpick His decisions."
A lot has changed since then. I now know how to change oil - saw a whole TV show on the topic - and let me tell you, what a ridiculous design flaw there is in the whole oil thing for automobiles. Who in his right mind would put the oil plug at the bottom of a car, forcing you to get underneath a car just to change the oil!? Ridiculous. Any half-way intelligent designer would have put the oil plug thingy and the oil filter in an easily accessible location at the top of the car to make oil changes fast and easy. No wonder most of us, even after learning how to change the oil ourselves, prefer to let specialists at MasterLube do the job.

And now that I've gained automotive expertise in a variety of other areas, including some hands-on field work exploring key aspects of my car, let me tell you that the whole thing is riddled with design flaws. Like the body itself. It's all super thin sheet metal and plastic. The tiniest bump with another object - sorry about your mailbox, Mrs. Wilson - will put unsightly dents or cracks in the body. Each surface should be thick and virtually indestructible, like armor, so the car can hit a mailbox and not have to worry about damage, or hit a large deer at 75 mph without risk of injury - any intelligent designer wold have thought of that. Further, the tires should be solid rubber so they don't go flat. And why have the gas tank all the way in the back of the car when the place that uses the gas is in the front? Hello? It's not that I'm a genius or anything, but I do have a Ph.D. and can state with substantial authority that I could have done a much better job designing the whole thing.

And if you want to see DANGEROUS and truly STUPID design flaws, just dig around in the dashboard area of a car. Good grief, that thing is loaded with dangerous explosives connected to some kind of bag, just waiting to explode! The darn thing nearly blue my head off as I was prying into the strange and unnecessary "vestigial organs" in the dashboard. There was this explosion and suddenly a huge bag inflated, filled with hot and dangerous gases, knocking me backwards and giving me a horrible bruise - lucky I still had my head on to even write about this. Talk about an accident waiting to happen! Turns out there was one for the passenger side and for the driver's side in my Japanese car (a Camry). Who would have imagined there'd be two of these? Nearly lost my head twice.

Explosive air bags locked inside the dashboard or steering wheel - how insane! Who knows what purpose these ghastly relics might have served in past days - perhaps vestiges of the early days of World War II when FDR may have mandated hidden explosive devices in the cars of Japanese Americans for a secret attack during some rush hour? If so, they soon became unnecessary when he switched plans and settled on simply locking them up in concentration camps "for their own protection" instead. And I've heard modern apologists for the automotive industry continue to say these explosive devices are actually for our own protection. Right! That's the kind of "protection" that no intelligent or even partially sane designer would have added! I've driven that car for years and they never "protected" me once, thank goodness. Like the appendix in humans, it serves no useful purpose and would make us a lot safer if it were removed.

Well, I could go on and on, but if you have any doubts, turn on the TV and study up on oil changes and other aspects of automotive maintenance to get some basic expertise on the topic - and then you'll understand. Intelligent design in cars? What a joke. I could have done ten times better with half my brain tied behind my back. And I say that in all humility.

So if I can nitpick Detroit or Tokyo for the flawed ways they do things, maybe I have the right to get a little more vocal about my disagreements with the way other things work in the Universe. Sounds reasonable, right? Maybe I'm a whole lot smarter than I've given myself credit for, eh? Wow, I like this feeling!

6 comments:

Zera said...

To think I thought this would be something deep and introspective. Oh well your still one of my heroes.

JAY said...

You betcha--my kinda guy!
JAY

Michael Jay said...

Your sarcasm is noted.

cold pizza said...

Yeah, it nearly "blue" my mind too. Now I'm feeling blew. Who needs spellcheck? I right the way I want--I is intelligent that way. -cp

Anonymous said...

The link to the story on the appendix was interesting and maybe was the point of the post. Jeff's (pretend?) arrogance in using a little automotive education to declare design flaws is the same arrogance that leads people to find design flaws in the human body or other parts of Creation. As if the scholars actually knew that their 'improved' design was even possible, much less truly advantageous for that species throughout its lifecycle. Related to design flaws is the "sure testimony" of educators who teach everyone that the appendix is the perfect example of a vestigal organ - having no function now, just the remnant of a chance evolutionary process that needs no God. It's only our ignorance that makes it seem vestigal. In fact, it has a valuable purpose, though with the advent of sanitation systems in the past couple hundred years, it is no longer needed for most people. It actully plays an intelligently designed purpose after all.

Anonymous said...

Science is only now starting to appreciate the appendix as a storehouse of healthy bacteria that serves to repopulate the colon after ingestion of an antibiotic may partially sterilize the colon which could allow harmful bacteria a chance to overgrow and take over.