Joined: Mar. 2005
Modularity is something human type engineers (both hardware and software) use to make it easier to swap parts from one place to another. From what I've read on PT and this BB, biological systems have a conspicuous lack of modularity in their systems.
Re "and when you try to understand how a machine works, you study its design."
Yes, and I rather expect that to be exactly what biologist do - study how the parts are arranged and how they interact with each other and their surroundings, and how all this affects the species. Is there some reason to think that's not what they do?