I collect examples of KludgesLuis Rayo has sent me a very nice one.

In mammals, for instance, the recurrent laryngeal nerve does not go directly from the cranium to the larynx, the way any competent engineer would have arranged it. Instead, it extends down the neck to the chest, loops around a lung ligament and then runs back up the neck to the larynx. In a giraffe, that means a 20-foot length of nerve where 1 foot would have done. If this is evidence of design, it would seem to be of the unintelligent variety.

Apparently, some evolutionary biologists take this to be evidence of our fish ancestry.

“The circuitous path of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve in humans is evidence for their evolution from a fishlike ancestor… because the nerve remained behind this arch but still connected to a structure on the neck, it was forced to evolve a pathway that travels down to the chest, loops around the aorta and the remnants of the sixth aortic arch, and then travels back up to the larynx. The indirect path does not reflect intelligent design but can be understood only as the product of our evolution from ancestors having very different bodies.”

The latter quote is from “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry A. Coyne.

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