Bill from Wausau, I take exception to your remark that the IGI was a “misguided early effort to crowdsource relationships out of raw data.” The IGI was meant only as an index of completed LDS temple ordinances, no more, no less. It was simply a record of temple ordinances done by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in accordance with their beliefs based on a passage in 2nd Corinthians and revelations obtained by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was never intended to be any sort of family tree or even a genealogical research tool.
Members of the Church were originally encouraged to build their own personal family trees, first on paper and then after the introduction of personal computers on a program (app) called PAF. There were other programs within the church’s workings to assist members to build their trees: The Ancestral File (which IIRC predates the IGI), the Pedigree Resource File and the Four Generation program (which was a feeder to the PRF). These all started long before the day of the Internet and personal computers and were recognized by the Church as being less than ideal.
Members of the church researched and contributed to the PRF by the old way of ordering microfilms and spending hours with their heads buried in a microfilm reader looking at records and then mailing their findings to Salt Lake. Individual names were also submitted (by mail) for temple ordinances to be performed. After each ordinance was done, the name and relationship were added to the IGI. Because all of this was done by hand and by mail it could take up to 18 months for a name and relationship to appear in the IGI. Duplication was inevitable.
Many members of the Church were and still are doing genealogical work for doctrinal reasons rather than as a hobby or passion. They are also at many different levels of expertise (as here on Wikitree) and make the same sorts of mistakes as members here on Wikitree do. That includes the popularity of the myth amongst the less informed of being able to trace lineages back to Adam. It was never any sort of official goal espoused by the Church, although some members accepted it as so and proceeded with their fairy tale genealogy.
The original intent of FamilySearch was not as a public website either. Initially, it was designed as a sort of online IGI meant to consolidate the IGI, the AF and the PRF, along with name submission into a single system accessible only to members to check for duplicates and submit names to the temple for ordinance work. In fact the original name of the system was Temple Ready. To seed this program, the IGI, the AF and the PRF were all dumped into the database. Duplication was irrelevant since duplication did not interfere with its purpose. The concept of turning it into a one-tree family tree came a couple of iterations into the ancestors of today’s FS website. Later, someone got the bright idea of opening it to the public.
All of this, of course, results in a lot of unsourced nonsense in FS (like here in Wikitree) The advantage of Wikitree is, of course, both in methods of dealing with uncooperative, uncommunicative, unruly members and clearer (somewhat) guidelines and standards. FS has not caught up to us in that respect. Those of us who do a significant portion of their genealogical work on FS spend a lot of our time merging duplicates and fixing errors.
All of that being said, the primary purpose of FS remains to provide a method for Church members to track and submit names of their ancestors for temple ordinance work. If one is a member of the Church an additional tab appears on each profile detailing temple work needed/done. This tab does not appear if the user is not a member of the Church.
Temple ordinance work is the overreaching reason for FS’s existence and the driving force behind the millions of dollars spend on the website, microfilming and other research materials gathering and the granite mountain vault. It is also the reason why FS will remain perennially free.
In any event, calling the IGI a misguided anything is a mistaken conclusion, based on a misunderstanding of the only purpose of the IGI. The errors and duplication within FS are there not only because of the development history of the site but also because the aims of the majority of the users of the site are somewhat different than those of us with a passion for accurate genealogical research.