Stupid design is a counter-argument to intelligent design which does not depend upon establishing the validity of the supposedly-controversial theory of evolution.
Instead, it re-examines the core premise of ID, i.e. that the design of living organisms "looks intelligent". This premise is often stipulated in discussions between science advocates and creationists, since it is essentially true; the subsequent argument "...and therefore there must have been an intelligent designer" is usually countered by proposing non-intelligent ways of arriving at the same intelligent-looking results.
This completely overlooks the fact that organism design is, in many ways, not only unintelligent but colossally stupid. ID proponents have yet to explain how an intelligent designer could have done so well in some ways and yet committed these bizarre lapses:
- inability of higher life-forms to regrow limbs and other kinds of tissue
- aging & death
the human appendix
- 2007-10-05 Purpose of appendix believed found: "Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut." (Note, however, that this possible purpose was not found by researchers following ID research principles, if such a thing exists)
- the human tonsils
- ...although one scientist's reaction to the appendix discovery was to suggest that we may find a similar purpose for tonsils
- disease microorganisms, especially the really unpleasant ones (including AIDS; if AIDS is supposed to be a message from God that homosexuality is a sin, couldn't he have just written a note? And why does it also infect heterosexuals -- is homosexuality such a terrible sin that anyone coming into close contact with someone who has been involved with it should also die?)
- toenails on humans
- systemic (not known to be caused by an external agent) diseases: Alzheimer's, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis...
- diseases, especially those which don't operate for the benefit of some other (micro)organism:
- Deer being "hypnotized" by car headlights
- Squirrels who run towards an oncoming car
- human menstruation (unless, perhaps, the Designer works for companies producing feminine hygiene products)
- hiccups and hernias (for which there are actually evolutionary explanations), and for that matter what intelligently-designed being would need to burp and fart?
It should be noted that these apparent "oversights" generally do make sense from a Darwinist perspective, which is just one of the reasons why most scientists see evolution by natural selection as being fundamental to our understanding of biology.
- the human eye: the photoreceptors face backwards, and the blood vessels are between them and the light source; neither of these features is necessary, as other species have eyes which are much more sensibly designed.
ID is sometimes loosely applied to the design of the universe at large; the intelligence of the universe's design is also highly questionable.