Hearing–The Intelligent Design


Friends of Intelligent Design are often called IDiots, and much worse. But actually, ID is a position that should be embraced by clear thinking people. It’s what we experience in ordinary life all around us as common sense observations – by the highly educated Evolutionary Biologist as well as the ‘man on the street’.

An example, among many, is the hearing phenomena most of us fortunately experience. Let me walk you through a couple of features and functions of the inner ear from my own very practical and experiential background.

The inner ear contains a couple of key components that make life not only livable, but often times extremely delightful, while failure in either of both can cause much distress. And, these features have direct analogies to several significant phases of my life which lead me to understand the validity of Intelligent Design in nature.



First is that part of the inner ear having to do with balance (see picture above). The inner ear has those semi-circular canals which monitor motion in the three-dimensional space of x/y/z and provide the body with a sense of ‘attitude’. In technical terms – roll, pitch and heading (i.e. where I’m pointing at any given milli-second). This part of our inner ear keeps us on the straight and narrow and tells us up from down and left from right when navigating this often topsy-turvy world.

For many years I worked on a system that tracked dozens of highly maneuvering and very fast fighter jets. A key component of this system was a pod, hanging on the aircraft, which contained a strap-down inertial reference system called the IRS. This IRS measured accelerations in all three axis of roll-pitch-heading, and gave the system a sense of what the aircraft was doing, and along with a geographic x/y/z position allowed inter-aircraft interaction for such things as running missile simulations between a fighter and a target.

When things were working well we had a complete capture of the training missions, both in real-time and later debrief. However, when there was a problem with the IRS in a pod, we saw wildly spinning aircraft on the screen or an aircraft that was stuck in a weird attitude until such time as the system could try a re-initialization. If that didn’t work, the pod was written up for off-line maintenance.

In similar fashion, when the inner ear mechanism for balance goes whacky, as it did for me when I suffered from what was diagnosed as Meniere’s Disease, my personal world spun wildly as severe vertigo and nausea set in. The only solution was to take myself off-line for several hours of absolute stillness until the episode passed.

So my personal experience along with a knowledge of the design of my own Internal Reference System points me to a Design Inference rather than some sort of randomly put together material assemblage of parts over some nebulous ‘Deep Time’.

See the previous picture to get a feel for the analogies in context.


The other component of the inner ear is, of course, the hearing phenomenon. And again I will relate to my personal experiences with hearing – or more accurately, it’s degradation over time.

In short, my hearing has degraded in recent years to the point where hearing aids are very helpful, but not near the quality of the ‘original equipment’. Thus, I am now pursuing a technology called ‘cochlear implants’.

Cochlear Implants are different than hearing aids in that they are an implant that place a wire along the path of the natural inner-ear Cochlear, a spiral shaped device which, when healthy, detects the full range of sound frequencies entering the ear and converts these frequencies to electro/chemical inputs to the auditory nerve which are then sent to the brain for further processing. By the way, that is the same nerve bundle used by the balance system I described above.

What the Cochlear Implant does is two-fold; (1) sound frequencies are detected by an external device attached to the skull. (2) Those frequencies are then transmitted down a wire and the appropriate signals are transmitted to the nerve bundle in a fashion analogous to what the healthy Cochlear would do.


An amazing part of the Cochlear is a liquid filled tube (see above) containing thousands of tiny hairs, each tuned to particular frequencies. Those hairs closest to the sound caused pulsating liquid wave are the stiffest, and handle the higher frequencies, and those towards the tail end of the moving liquid wave are more flexible and respond to the lower frequencies.


The implant places a wire alongside the cochlear tube as seen above and sends the audio signal into the hearing nerve bundle.  An analogy would be a high end stereo system where complex audio signals are sent down wires to the various speaker types, each tuned to particular frequency ranges. 


As to how this all relates to Intelligent Design — consider that the scientists, designers and engineers developing these implants must first research and understand how the original (natural) design works. Then they must model the human designed and engineered device to replicate as close as possible, the natural design. To put it into other words, the makers of these implants – scientists, designers and engineers, work in an environment of Intelligent Design.

So I would ask the materialist, the evolutionary biologist — how does evolution explain the two phenomena I have described above. How does evolution in any way come to the aid in developing an understanding of how these phenomena came to be, let alone finding a ‘fix’ for when thing in these designs go bad?

There are many things in the human body, such as the hearing phenomena, which provide physical evidence, and validate Intelligent Design, and creation. These same things also invalidate Darwinian Evolution.

Don Johnson – August 2017


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