Joined: May 2007
Skeptic, I never used the word design to imply that there is a designer. Design is an abstract concept and can be used without reference to a designer. In my scientific articles, I use often 'engineering', but honestly, I don't think you can study or understand complex systems without referring to design concepts.
Even without a designer, we still have to ask ourselves what the function or purpose of the system is, even of this is not a higher purpose. Survival of the fittest, or the selfish gene concept both imply a goal, albeit a different one. We can only understand the system if we can relate the functions with the goal. I think that the fitness goal (e.g. an insect evolved the larval stages to obtain a higher fitness by food partitioning) is wrong, because the end result can never be the drive for its evolution. I also think that we can deduce why we see certain wing patterns, if we knew the course of evolution.