What is intelligent design?

Perhaps you have heard debates about intelligent design, and whether it is scientific.

The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia sums it up briefly, as follows: “In the late 20th century many creationists advocated a view known as intelligent design, which was essentially a scientifically modern version of the argument from design for the existence of God as set forth in the late 18th century by the Anglican clergyman William Paley.”

The term itself is rather new, popularized only in the 1980’s or 1990’s. Several books were published (e.g., Of Pandas and People, by Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon, 1989; Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael J. Behe, 1996; etc.).

As noted above, the basic idea that the existence of things with complex design demands (or is a proof of the need for) a designer – or Creator – was written about in detail by William Paley about 1800. Many ancient thinkers, including the Greeks, had come to the same conclusion. (See also Creation Stories and Myths on this site.)

Some proponents of Intelligent Design (if not most) try to distance their approach from any god, and especially the God of the Bible. That is probably because of two reasons (since if one believes in creation or creationism, it is obvious that design was involved!):

• They do not want to be classified along with creationists (e.g., since many will not listen to them, since they allegedly are “not scientific”), and/or

• They do not want to have religion be obvious as a reason for their position, because of reasons having to do with the current legal climate in the United States of America.

You probably can understand the second reason, considering developments such as the following:

In late 2005 a U.S. District Court Judge in Pennsylvania ruled against a York County, Pennsylvania school district that had adopted a policy that intelligent design would be taught as an alternative explanation to that of evolution, in terms of the origin of life. Several parents in the district objected. The judge ruled that teaching intelligent design was unconstitutional (because of alleged violation of constitutional separation of church and state), forbidding it be taught. He also forbade the district’s requirement that a statement be read in class telling students that intelligent design is another option to the explanations given by evolution. (The case is Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. [400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688].) The school district decided not to appeal.

The “core” of intelligent design

Intelligent design argues that things of great complexity, and that function so beautifully and well, such as an eye or a bird wing, are just too good (intricate, complex) to have come into being by blind chance. –There had to be a designer.

Additionally, look at the great number of balanced, interactive and interdependent “systems” in, say, a bird: It not only sees with eyes, it also flies, with wings. –And of course that is not all. It has and does many other things, including: • Eating/digestive system; • Breathing/respiratory system; • Instinct-“thinking”/cognitive abilities (e.g., go toward food and away from an enemy).

And that is not all: Here’s “the clincher”: One bird is almost “nothing” (but still cared for!) to a God Who has created the universe! Think about all the hundreds and thousands of species and individual microscopic life, animals, birds, fish, and plants that are in an interdependent environment. --Some give off carbon dioxide and need oxygen, and some give off oxygen and need carbon dioxide.

How did everything evolve fast enough to function together?

And what about the marvels of gender: It takes male and female to have a baby kangaroo, elephant, dog, llama, hamster, and human being. Just exactly how did they all evolve soon enough to copulate and survive as different kinds?

Yet, those who (correctly, I would add) see Intelligent Design as Creationism, argue that it is UN-scientific. That is because, they say, it cannot be scientifically proven. (Thus there are books such as Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism.) But who has the real science backing them: The evolutionists, who say you cannot run an experiment and prove creationism/creation science/intelligent design . . . or the Creationists, who say what we see and know to be true (the earth and the living things on it) simply cannot have evolved?

QUESTION: If it takes 1,000,000 years (or even 100!) for one eye to evolve, how much time would it take for the ecology we see on earth today to evolve?

ANBSWER: Take your pick. Any number you choose between one year and 1,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000 years (or even 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years) simply makes no difference. Creation (or what we know to be in the universe) is NOT a matter of time and chance! There simply is not enough time, and the “chances” become above-astronomical when you start multiplying complex systems and ask them to come into being close enough to the same time together for them to survive in an interdependent ecology.

Who decides what is “law”?

“Science” has some “Laws” that say how things must be, in the universe. Supposedly they are (become) laws because a logical/systematic thinker comes up with an explanation for how things work (as can be seen/replicated in an experiment). That hypothesis is tested, and if the evidence supports it, it becomes known as a theory. If additional observation/experiment seems to show that it always does work as has been hypothesized – without exception (at least under many possible scenarios) - so that almost all scientists agree, it now is (becomes) a “Law”.

Interestingly, some things that are commonly accepted by the public as “facts” are still scientific theories – not yet “laws”. Examples include the Theory (or theories) of Evolution and the Theory (or theories) of Relativity.

But we ask: Where is the scientific proof for evolution? How has it been verified by experiment?

Albert Einstein is reported to have said (approximately; this is not stated to be an exact quote) that: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” (Calaprice, Alice (2005) The New Quotable Einstein. USA: Princeton University Press and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. pp. 291. – from note 16 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability )

One day, Jesus Christ will return and show the proof. In the meantime, you can find Genesis Creation Proof on this site. (And I dare say that a truly unbiased critical thinker would be convinced by the discussion above, about the likelihood that evolution is false and the likelihood that Intelligent Design/Creationism is true. Intelligent Design/Creationism is scientific, if you believe in the laws of probability.)

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