Here’s a hint from the field of mathematics. It’s called the Traveling Salesman Problem. And no, there are no off-color details.
Pick a map – your state, the USA, whatever. Throw thirty darts at it. Nudge each one until it hits a town or city.
Tie a piece of string to one pin, then connect all thirty with that one piece of string such that there is no shorter way to do it. In other words, optimize the salesman’s trip so he drives the fewest possible miles. It sounds easy, but the actual number of different routes turns out to be 29 * 28 * 27 * – – *3 * 2 * 1. For N cities, the total possible routes are (N-1)! also called the factorial of N minus 1.
The quickest way to find a solution is via a technique called “numerical inequality” and it’s been too long for me to remember it fully – ask Uncle Google – but in stead of the utter absolute optimal route it allows one to “sneak up on” a very very good approximation, and it doesn’t take all that long. Way way way faster than trying the nearly 9 times (10 to the 30th power), or 9,000,000, . . . (until you have thirty zeroes) different possible paths.
Evolution works the same way – gradual steps that “sneak up” on the absolute utter optimal awesome design. Along the way you pick up some odd side effects because a swath of DNA (a.k.a. a gene) can wind up getting “repurposed” seven ways from sasquatch. Fact – dog breeds which are lovey-cute have short noses and dogs which have “I am smiling” Sam the Eagle serious purpose to their natures, like bloodhounds, german shepherds, doberman pinschers, etc. all have long noses. It turns out that suppressing a certain kind of emotional maturity also suppresses development of the nose – – – same gene(s) involved.
Taking a gimlet eye to the primate design / DNA will show fascinating things about the way our eyes work [until you look at the eyes of soaring birds like hawks and vultures] – – the complexity of our chemical balancing act just to keep the exact correct acid balance and degree of salinity in our blood no matter what we eat or drink – – three billion pairs of DNA can do a lot!
And the better part of that has accumulated during the six-tenths of a billion years since some kind of fish gained the added function of taking oxygen directly from air.
What works, well, fine, it works. Is it optimal? Good merciful sakes, no. Can it be improved upon? Just watch GOD’s machinery roll on, a mighty tide of unfolding marvels.
GOD invented DNA, so is it evolution or intelligent design? Thunderously, YES. And did He make little pushes here and there? I haven’t heard His answer yet, but either wayit wouldn’t surprise me, simply because He has known every word I would ever speak, and ever will. In short, He knows – that’s all I need to be reassured.