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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site

The Purpose of Life is a Beach Part 1

By Pim van Meurs

Posted April 21, 2004

I am starting what I intend to be a regular contribution in which I will share some of my almost spiritual experiences and insights gained when I was on the beach.

It was this unforgettable moment late summer, the first time that I realized how special the beach really is.

I finally realized that the beach shows a remarkable CORRELATION between HABITABILITY and PLEASURABILITY.


Isn't a beach well adapted for sun bathing, digging holes in the sand, beach volley ball and wading. Isn't it miraculous that we go to beaches, which provide for easy access to the ocean, with sand allowing us to spend our sun bathing in relative comfort. In addition what better place to play beach games.


A slowly deepening bottom allows us to wade in the ocean without the immediate risk of drowning. As icing on the cake, the waves seem to approach the beach in perpendicular to the coast line adding to our enjoyment.

And in addition to all the beach, which by now must appear to the reader to be an almost miraculous environment, also provide us with protection from flooding (dunes).


One cannot escape the conclusion that these beaches were designed with a purpose in mind. A sceptic reader may object to the use of correlation to infer purpose but I intend to use a "cumulative case argument" to strengthen my case. By showing not only complexity but also a meaningfull pattern I will show how design is an INEVITABLE conclusion.

Posted at April 18, 2004 12:34 PM

Part 2


This is a very interesting post, and I feel I must add an important point (at the possible risk or preempting part 2). If you take out any of the constituent parts of a great day at the beach - warm sea, clear sky, clean beach, not too crowded - the day ceases to be a great day at the beach entirely: ALL of the constituent parts MUST be there for a great day at the beach.

Long-shore drift has long been a theory in crises: Isaac Newton was never a LSDian, and I'm sure I can find a quote from Richard Dawkins, an prof at Oxford no less, about saltationism which proves the transportation and deposition hypotheses wrong.

Posted by: Steinsky at April 18, 2004 03:57 PM

Thanks, Pim. Now I've gotta spend the rest of the evening listening to Quadrophenia.

"A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real..."


Posted by: Art at April 18, 2004 04:06 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Yes there are many interesting directions in which to take this. As a scientist I intend to explore as many as I can. I think in the end we may come to a conclusion not too surprisingly namely that our need of faith for purpose/design need not be at conflict with science.
But one can take the argument in various directions that show how one may be using ‘self selection' or cherry picking to obtain the conclusion one wants.

Posted by: Pim van Meurs at April 18, 2004 04:57 PM

Moreover, geographers have found no credible transitional forms between beaches and other localities - it is impossible to conceive of an intermediate state between the beach and the ocean.

Posted by: Sean Foley at April 18, 2004 07:20 PM

Following up on the critial insight made by Sean, and Steinsky (is that a True Fightin' Fundy name? seems kinda' furin) beach qua beach is clearly IC (iruduesidnessible complihood for those nonum igcognisintitites). For there is no beach without water, sand, rocks, shells and other beachy stuff.

Posted by: Dr.GH at April 18, 2004 08:02 PM

No one has ever seen a beach form!


Posted by: Reed A. Cartwright at April 18, 2004 08:04 PM

On the other hand, "nothing is planned by the sea and the sand".

Posted by: Art at April 18, 2004 08:35 PM

What good is half a beach?

Posted by: Frank J at April 19, 2004 03:09 AM

Once again this reminds me of Douglas Adam's analogy he often used in those debates: a puddle of water admiring how well the depression in the ground, in which it is situated, is well-suited to its existence. In fact, it fits so well that it could only deduce that someone designed it for its enjoyment!
Found in This wonderful book.

Posted by: Matthew at April 19, 2004 03:36 AM

Hold on. Are you sure this is a beach or merely something that appears to be a beach? If it's the latter, you're all wet.

Posted by: DaveS at April 19, 2004 05:24 AM

Naturalistic mechanisms provide no means for sand to appear from simple molecules coming together by chance.
Weathering and erosion, supposedly the mechanisms which provide the raw material for beaches, serve only to remove beach material (as the National Trust for England, a notorious materialist organisation admits, here (near the bottom of the page)).

Sorry, I'm stealing your joke. Anyway, the nickname was inspired by the Sugarhill Gang (who have a member named Steinsky) song that was on the radio about 5 years ago when I needed an IRC nickname. It wasn't chosen for fundy bashing.

Posted by: Joe Dunckley a.k.a Steinsky at April 19, 2004 11:06 AM

This morning I was calculatin' the distance from the tip of my nose to the pillow when I had a bran storm. Returning to bed from that difficult momment or two, I had a brain storm. I had discovered the newest ID high EF concept "calculatin' thingy" the Sum of the Beach sums (SOBs).

I can promise no more false negatives cus' it only worked for positive numbers (I got to get a new hand calculator at the bank to try negitveities).

And as to that Steinway fellow, I knew he was furin, nad he even addmits being in an English gang. Somebody call Asscroft, quick.

Posted by: Gary Hurd at April 19, 2004 12:29 PM

Some additional thoughts:
The beach is composed of three main elements: the sand, the hot sun, and the cold water. Each of these is held in equilibrium by the other two. If you remove the cooling effect of the water, the heat will turn the sand into glass. If you remove the warming effect of the sun, the cold, water, and sand will combine to form a glacier. Removing the sand will result in the negation of the cold water by the hot sun, leaving you with nothing. Clearly, all of these elements must have originated at the same time, or the beach could not have come into being.

Sean Foley at April 19, 2004 03:02 PM

I can imagine nothing more perfect than a tropical beach with my fiancee, some grub and a six-pack of beer. Something cannot be perfect if it does not exist - it would only be the creation of an imperfect mind. Therefore if I can imagine such a perfect beach then it must exist.

Posted by: Tom Frank at April 19, 2004 04:36 PM

I think the beach is there so we can have this sublime conversation (logos) about it. Every quintessence is a leverage point for realization, a teaching only apparently waiting for comprehension, but in truth a hinge about the still point, its almost inaudible squeak the rasp of the maker's pen on the canvass of wind. The fact this is happening now is proof positive it was always already intended.

Posted by: Alex at April 19, 2004 07:58 PM

Originally posted at The Panda's Thumb.