There are several objections to that line of argument: philosophers have criticised the underlying logic (why should there be any relationship between complexity and design?), while Darwinian evolution by natural selection has provided an alternative mechanism for the development of complicated things. Another line of argument is that nature isn't actually that wonderfully designed (the human knee, for instance, is rubbish, as well as generally unsightly).
This is where the giraffe comes in. Giraffes, as demon-strated in Wildlife on One (Sun BBC1), are barely workable contraptions. Because their heads are so far above their bodies, they have to have enormous hearts generating very high pressure to get any blood up to their brains. But gravity means that the pressure gets even higher down below: so, to stop them getting swollen ankles, they have to have phenomenally tight skin on their legs, like built-in support tights.
Another possible consequence of their high blood-pressure is an enormous surge of blood to the brain if they dip their heads (as when they drink). Strong valves in the blood vessels in the neck stop that happening; but the problem here is that when they raise their heads again, they could find their brains starved of blood, and pass out. So every time a giraffe raises its head, its heart must race.
Other problems associated with giraffehood include the risk of doing the splits in wet weather; a chronic lack of sleep, because lying down is such a kerfuffle (they manage on a Thatcherite 20 minutes a day); and the calves have to be enormously tall at birth, in order to reach their mothers' udders. On the plus side, their strong tongues, hairy lips and rubbery innards enable them to swallow acacia thorns whole and pass them out intact at the other end. (Children! Never play with giraffe pooh!)
Looking at a giraffe's face, and especially its eyes, innocent orbs bulging out from underneath dark lashes, it's tempting to see signs of some benevolent spirit at work in nature. But no deity in his right mind would have design something like this - a bag of spare parts on stilts, ready to explode at any moment. The giraffe can only have come about through trial and error.
In Unzipped (Sat C4), Graham Norton camped and smirked his way through a history of football scandals. Among other revelations: George Best drank a lot and had sex with numerous women; Paul Gascoigne drank even more; and Vinnie Jones had a poor disciplinary record. In between, we got a lot of cheap puns about shooting and dribbling. More tackily, Norton accompanied a pair of football groupies to a nightclub, where they hoped to score with Leeds players. On the way, one got a message on her mobile phone: "Next time I shag you I want to see your tits." If there really was a God, surely he wouldn't allow brainless, degrading rubbish like this to exist.
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Spectre: Director Sam Mendes teases clips from upcoming James Bond movie
Indian Summers recommissioned: Channel 4 confirm a second series of British Empire drama
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut