Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

Fred Wilson looks at evolving vs. designing a business.

For years, I have been fascinated by the fact that many of the very best startup companies come out of "side projects". They are accidents really. eBay, Google, and Yahoo! are all examples of this mode of starting companies. Delicious was born this way. One of my favorite web services, Sitemeter, started this way. So did Vimeo. I could go on and on, but like a Oscar speech, I need to stop. Sorry to all the "side project" startups I left off this list.

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  • Great link Rob. Big thought there. But I am curious…

    He begins the post with “I am going to refrain from talking about the ridiculous notion that man was “designed intellgently” that many in this country seem to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary.”

    I understand that some people believe in intelligent design and some believe all the evidence is contrary. But there are a lot of notions that some believe and evidence says otherwise. Why are supposedly rational people so up in arms about intelligent design believers.

    A lot of people believe in aliens, astrology, and that if you forget your scarf you’ll catch a cold. They think their spouse is very attractive, that they are above average, and their kids are talented. The list is nearly endless. But rational people don’t spit the word “ridiculous” (or worse) at believers in those notions.

    It’s off the topic but I’m curious…

  • Rob

    Three reasons:
    1)We don’t look critically at the evidence – we look for evidence that already backs up what we want to believe.

    2)Even when we do try to think critically, we sometimes don’t have all the evidence or are missing a key piece.

    3)We think everyone else makes mistakes 1&2, but that we ourselves don’t.

  • Tom

    Can someone explain clearly what the intelligent design hypothesis entails?

    Looking at life from the perspective of a micro biologist what evidence argues in favor or against the intelligent design hypothesis?

    Why do people become so emmotional over a hypothesis?

  • Tom


    Can you explain what the intelligent design hypothesis is and why it is not testable?

  • Rob

    Agreed. Google hopes that 1 out of 1000 makes up for the 990 that don’t go anywhere and 9 that end up being minor tweaks.

    Sorry, but this blog really isn’t the place for this discussion. Why don’t you post your email address so that people Brock or someone else can discuss it offline with you? Or start with the wikipedia entry for I.D. and
    ay%27s_Game_of_Life” rel=”nofollow”>Conway’s Game of Life
    for discussions about algorithmic processes and complexity.

  • steve baker

    People get worked up about Intelligent Design because they suspect that its supporters are angling to teach religion in science classes. I think there’d be an even bigger fuss if science classes packaged astrology with astronomy or aliens with biology. By the way, maybe I’m old fashioned, but… I wear scarves and hats to avoid getting colds.

  • I was taking Echinacea for the same reason (avoid a cold) until my son came home from school and told me I was being ridiculous.