Imagine you and some friends are walking in the hills of South Dakota and you see some rock formations with four faces on it. At this point, you are all staring in awe and you say, "I wonder who carve these formations?" This prompts one friend saying, "Nobody carve them. That's just a natural occurrence over millions-no make that billions of years. The forces of nature – the wind, water and erosion – made those rocks appear to look like faces."
"You can't be serious," you reply. "There's no way those rocks look like real people by accident. The likeness is too specific and too complex, to have been formed by blind forces of nature. Some guy with a vision, some dynamite, and really big rock-cutting tools purposely made those rocks look like famous Americans." The point of the story is to lay out the design argument, traditional called the teleological argument. The key feature of this argument is: specificity, complexity, and purpose-descriptions normally assigned to an intelligent agent rather than a natural cause.
The Design Argument
The design argument the point of the story and the focus of this chapter are to lay out the design argument, traditionally called Teleological ( telos, meaning "end" or "purpose") argument. The key features of this argument, which is another in our cumulative case for the existence of God, includes specifically, complexity, and purpose – descriptions normally assigned to an intelligent agent rather than a natural cause.
William Dembski, a major voice in intelligent design movement has to say about the design argument:
The design argument begins with the features of the physical world that exhibit evidence of purpose. From such features the design argument that attempts to establish the evidence and attributes of an intelligent cause responsible for all those features.
Unlike the moral and ontological arguments, which are philosophical, the design-teleological-argument (like the cosmological argument) is scientific. So before we go any further let's look at the nature of science in how science and God once went together like peas and carrots.
What is Science Anyways?
Science isn't evil. "Scienta" – simply means knowledge. Jay Richards makes this comment:
The essence of natural science is the search for knowledge in the natural world. Knowledge is an intrinsic good. If we are properly scientific then we should seek to be open to the natural world and not decide beforehand what it's allowed to reveal.
That being the case, we should be able to have productive and civilized discussions with people – scientists, philosophers, theologians, artist, even lawyers – about origins and whether God was responsible for the beginning of the universe. One side would present its arguments for no God being involved, and the other would explain its reasons for believing that God was involved. The question of God's existence would get discussed from both unnatural and also a supernatural perspective.
But that's not the way things are. Such discussions usually get a little heated, and they aren't even welcome in the public square, especially public schools. The supernatural explanation for how the universe got here isn't given a fair hearing. In fact, it's decried as superstitious, mythical, and just plain stupid. The only accepted view is a naturalistic worldview.
Science is King
Theology was once called the "Queen of the sciences" because it addresses the whole person – emotional, intellectual, and spiritual – and seeks to bring the natural and the supernatural together. For the past 150 years, science has successfully challenge the notion that there is a God who created the universe. Today, science leads our culture and stands at the forefront of intellectual integrity, while theology has been relegated to the realm of philosophy and personal preference. Science gives us technology and cures are diseases. The findings and benefits of science are universally applicable to the peoples of all countries, ethnic visit these, and faith. Science seems to be the only universal constant in our lives upon which we can reply science is King. Even more, for many people science is God. So what happened? How did things go from God to know God so quickly? 150 years in the span of history is pretty quick.
A Brief History of Darwinism
Charles Darwin became fascinated the observations from selective breeding experiments. From these observations, he developed a set of innovative theories that form the basis of two books, the Origin of Species (1859), and The Descent of Man (1871). Darwin once identified himself as a Christian but as a result of some tragedies that took place in his life, he later renounced the Christian faith. Darwin's goal was not to disprove God's existence, but that is one of the end results of the theory of evolution. Evolution is an enabler of atheism. Evolutionary scientists likely would not admit that their goal is to give an alternate explanation of the origins of life, and thereby to give a foundation for atheism. Here are the main theories of Darwinism:
- Random mutation. All plants and animals – any organisms that exist are the product of the random interplay of the known process of heredity.
- Natural selection. Differential reproduction in organisms occurs as weak traits give way to stronger ones in other words, survival of the fittest.
- Common descent. All living creatures on earth including those that went extinct, share a common ancestor.
- Abiogenesis. All life originated from nonlife naturally.
To say that these theories were revolutionary for both faith and science is an understatement. Here's what Darwin was saying:
- Life started on its own as a tiny cell but developed over time and to all life forms including humans.
- Nature acted like a breeding machine and produce biological changes as useful new traits appeared they were passed on to the next generation. Harmful traits or those of little use were eliminated by balance mechanism of natural selection.
- These changes were small, but over time and generations the accumulated until organisms develop new limbs, or organs, or other body parts. Given enough time the organisms change so much that didn't resemble their ancestors anymore.
A Quick Look at the Terminology
Naturalism also known as scientific naturalism is the philosophy or worldview that denies the supernatural. Scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomenons.
Evolution describes a process (some would say an unplanned and undirected process) that combines elements of random genetic change or mutation that are accumulated through natural selection. It is important to distinguish between two types of evolution:
- Microevolution, microevolution is evolution at and below the species level. Generally refers to relative minor variations that occur in a group over time.
- Macroevolution is evolution above the species level. It generally refers to minor innovations such as new organs structures or body parts.
Darwinism (also known as neo-Darwinism and evolutionism) is the belief that undirected mechanistic processes (primarily random mutation and natural selection) can account for both microevolution and macroevolution, and us for all the complex living organisms that exist. A key philosophical component of Darwinism is the assumption that evolution works without either plan or purpose.
Creationism usually refers to God creating the universe and everything within it. But there are two major views within creationism:
Young-earth creationism holds old creationism holds that the days of Genesis 1 are literal six 24-hour days. It says the Genesis account refers to literal six 24-hour days, and the creation event took place 10,000 to 25,000 years ago.
Old-Earth creationism holds that the days of Genesis 1 are not six literal 24-hour days. The creation event did occur in the same order specified in Genesis, but it took place billions of years ago.
Intelligent design is a theory that says that the universe and all the life in it owed their existence to a purposeful, intelligent designer.
Darwin Murders God
Darwin couldn't prove his theories because he didn't have any fossil evidence to back them up, but he wasn't worried. He believed that as science and techniques of paleontology progressed, the fossils will be found to prove his theory correct. However, he expresses doubts in On the Origin of Species:
The number of intermediate varieties, which must have formally existed on the earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation in every stratus full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely grated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.
The jury is still out as far as fossil evidence is concerned, but the central debate over whether Darwinism is a credible theory has shifted from paleontology to the other branches of science, especially biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics.
Despite Darwin's own doubts, Darwinism was what some people were waiting for. Darwin's theories gave scientists and philosophers the ammunition they needed to remove God in the conversation about origins. In England Thomas Huxley became "Darwin's bulldog" and devised along with other brother naturalist and aggressive campaign to wrest nature from theology and to play scientists at the head of English culture. Huxley coined the term agnostic and was instrumental in redefining science. To most people, no longer did it refer to knowledge. After Darwin and Huxley, science was equal to naturalism.
Darwin is presented and believed as a scientific theory. But it is also a view that explains the world strictly naturalistic terms. Time magazine recognized this when it wrote, "Charles Darwin didn't want to murder God, as he once put it. But he did." Philip Johnson said, "The whole point of Darwinism is to explain the world in a way that excludes any role for a creator. What is being sold in the name of science is a completely naturalistic understanding of reality."
The Bible and Science
Some Christians are concerned that recent efforts to bring God back into the scientific conversations about origin don't include the Bible in their discussions. There are two reasons for this. One, intelligent design doesn't concern itself with identifying the identity of the designer. That's up to the theologians. To, the Bible isn't a scientific textbook. It was primarily written to reveal God's plan to establish a relationship with humankind. So it is more focused on who God is and who we are from a relational point of view.
The Bible does contain some scientific information – but no scientific absurdities – it isn't intended to explain scientific intricacies and mathematical formulas. You don't expect science to describe the way a shepherd cares for his sheep, and you shouldn't expect the Bible to explain how to clone a sheep.
How Do We Get God Back in the Picture?
There's no question that the theistic worldview has been marginalized in a culture that worships at the altar of science. Faith and reason will never contradict each other. Truth will always win out. If science is about knowledge and truth about the natural world that it will inevitably point to the one who created all despite the efforts of people who want to take God out of the picture.
In fact, remarkable advances in three areas of scientific discovery are pointing to an intelligent designer and it's all happening right before our eyes were going to look at three areas. In the process, were going to find evidence from a fine-tuned universe from life's intelligent design, and from the molecular level. These evidences show at least three things:
- Specified complexity
- The Reducible complexity
- Biological information.
Specified complexity: A Perfect Place to Call Home
Imagine yourself as a superhero traveling through space. You are flying around the universe looking for a planet that is just right for life. Some planets are just too cold. Some are too hot. The planet Earth seems just right. Now, is it a coincidence that the earth is perfectly suited to our needs and desires? Are there other planets you could choose? As it turns out, the list of what you require for a comfortable existence is quite intensive. And a just right earth isn't the only requirement. You also need a special solar system and the fine-tuned universe.
A Fined-Tuned Universe
Scientists have determined that there are more than 100 parameters in the universe as a whole that must be fine tuned his life is to exist Earth. Here are just a few:
- The gravitational force. If it were stronger than it is, the stars would be too hot, and it would burn up quickly and evenly. If it were weaker than it is, stars would remain so cool that nuclear fission would never ignite.
- The ratio of the number of protons to the number of electrons. If the ratio were either greater or smaller electromagnetism would dominate gravity, preventing the formation of stars and planets.
- The expansion rate of the universe. If it expanded at a faster rate, no galaxies would be able to form. If the rate were slower the universe would have collapsed prior to star formation.
- The velocity of light. If light traveled faster, the stars would be too luminous for us to tolerate. If light traveled slower, the stars would not be too luminous enough.
- The electromagnetic force. With a force either stronger or weaker, there would be insufficient chemical bonding.
- The mass density of the universe. A greater mass density would have produced too much deuterium – a form of hydrogen – from the Big Bang, resulting in stars burning to rapidly. With smaller mass density, there would be insufficient helium from the Big Bang – so to few heavy elements with form.
- The nuclear force. If the strong nuclear force were just 0.3% stronger or 0.2% weaker, the universe would never be able to support life.
A Special Solar System
Our solar system is also fine-tuned. Here's a sampling:
- Only one star. It's a good thing our solar system has only one star: the sun. We had more than one title wave interactions with throw the Earth's orbit out of whack. This factor alone eliminate 60% of the solar systems in the universe as candidates for a place that would support life.
- The age of the sun. When stars are newly formed their burning rate and temperature are not stable. The only begin to maintain a stable burning phase after they have matured a bit. If I star is too cold or too young, then the luminosity of the star changes too quickly to allow life.
- The size of the sun. If the mass of the stars to large than the luminosity changes too quickly, and it will burn to rapidly if the star sizes too small then you have another set of problems: the range of distance necessary for life to be too narrow tidal waves would knock the planets rotational. Out of sync, and there wouldn't be enough alter violet radiation for plants to make sugars and oxygen. 99% of all stars don't have these characteristics.
- The sons distance from the Earth. If a star is too far away from an orbiting planet, the planet temperature is too cool to permit a stable water evaporation cycle. If a star is too close, the climate would be too warm for a stable water cycle. If the distance from the Earth to the sun differs by just 2%, no plant life would be possible. This parameter alone eliminate 99% of all stars from consideration.
- Jupiter is big for a reason. A solar system that is conducive for life must have more than just a star. Other planets are necessary to serve a very useful purpose. Take Jupiter as an example. We all know it's the "800 pound gorilla" of planets. In fact, Jupiter is 2 1/2 times the size of all planets combined. Why is it so big? Well, as it turns out, Jupiter is a kind of Earth's protective big brother. How is this so? Because it's so huge, Jupiter's gravitational force draws comments to it like moths to a flame, or it repels and the flex comments out from our solar system. If it weren't for Jupiter, scientists estimate that comets would strike the Earth 1000 times more frequently than they do now.
The Just-Right Earth
Now let's look at the Earth. A change in the Earth's parameters with either prevent the existence of life on earth or make it extremely unpleasant.
- The orbital pattern around the sun. A change would produce extreme temperature changes that would make life impossible.
- The tilt of the Earth's axis. The precise angle keeps the differential in the surface temperature from becoming too extreme.
- The speed of the Earth's rotation. This keeps temperature changes in wind velocities from becoming too great.
- The age of the earth. The Earth would rotate to fast were too young or too slow if it were too old.
- The ratio of oxygen to nitrogen in the Earth's atmosphere. Life functions would be severely impacted by any change in this ratio.
Even some events on earth that we consider disasters, such as earthquakes are actually necessary for sustaining life. Without plate movements that cause earthquakes essential nutrients on the continents would erode into the ocean. And let's not fail to appreciate the importance of the precise size of Earth. The mass of the Earth determines its gravitational force. If the Earth were much smaller, the gravitational force wouldn't be strong enough to hold the necessary atmosphere. If you were to large the gravitational force would give us an effective weight of 700 to 900 pounds.
What Are the Odds?
Dr. Hugh Ross, a renowned astrophysicist, has calculated the odds of having all the necessary parameters for life on one planet. The analyzed 41 factors in the probability that each feature would fall in the required range. He concluded that "the probability of finding, without divine intervention, a single planet capable of supporting physical life is much less than 1 in 1 trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion."
In on the origin of species, Darwin made a wager of sorts when he wrote about his concerns for "specific functions" and what came to be known as the reducible complexity, a feature of intelligent design. Here's his Wager:
Darwin said: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
Irreducible Complexity: Signs of Intelligent Design
Arguments for God's involvement in nature have been around for centuries, but these arguments were always in the realm of theology and philosophy. Science wasn't yet able to demonstrate any connection between God and the natural world.
As far back as the fourth century, Minucius Felix reasoned that nature exhibits features that's nature itself cannot explain and that require an intelligence beyond nature. Arguments for intelligent design were articulated by the likes of Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Perhaps the most famous intelligent design argument belongs to William Paley from his book Natural Theology, published in 1802. Paley came up with the analogy of the watch and the watchmaker.
Suppose you were walking through a field and find a watch, which has a function – telling time. You can be sure that the watch is the result of an intelligent – the watchmaker – and not the result of undirected natural process. The watch, with all its intricacies, delicate parts, didn't just fall into place by itself. Paley saw the watch is analogous to the eye of a mammal. The eye has a specific function, which must be the result of an intelligent designer because the parts are too intricate and delicate to have fallen into place by themselves.
This concept, known as the irreducible complexity, lies at the heart of the theory of intelligent design. And the reducible complex system is one that cannot be reproduced directly by gradual, successive modifications or refinements. In a biological system, and irreducible complex system cannot be reproduced gradually; it would have to arise as a complete unit, or it couldn't exist in the 1st place. The best explanation for such a system is that it was designed.
The arguments of Aquinas and Paley were theological and philosophical so when naturalism became the predominant worldview of science in the mid-19 century the theory of intelligent design was kept out of scientific mainstream because it was no precise methods for distinguishing intelligently caused objects from unintelligently caused ones. That is, until the second half of the twentieth century, when discoveries in the scientific disciplines of chemistry, physics, astronomy, and biology clearly showed that complex systems were at work that could not necessarily be explained by natural causes.
In 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the now famous double helix of DNA, where the "language of life" is stored. Nearly half a century later Francis Collins, head of the human genome project, would refer to DNA as "the language of God."
In the 1960s and 1970s, scientists work in the area of physics began to uncover data that suggested certain universal constants of physics seem to be finely tuned for the specific purpose of maintaining complex life upon seeing these results, Fred Hoyle, astrophysicist and ardent atheists grudgingly said, "a hyper super intelligence seem to be monkeying with the physics."
In the 1990s, Michael Behe, taking on Darwin's Wager in his book Darwin's Black box, demonstrated the fundamental claim of intelligent design: that intelligence causes are necessary to explain the complex, information – rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable. There exist well-defined methods for observing the world and reliable distinguish intelligent cause from undirected natural causes.
Intelligent design approaches science from the opposite perspective of Darwinism. Darwinism is all about on undirected natural causes rather than intelligent causes. Intelligent design is concerned with demonstrating that intelligent causes can do things that undirected natural causes cannot such as carving Mount Rushmore or making a watch.
What Intelligent Design Is
One of the leading scientific scholars involved with intelligent design is William Dembski. Here's how he describes the role of intelligent design:
Intelligent design is a science that studies signs of intelligence. Note that assigned is not the thing signified. Intelligent design does not try to get into the mind of a designer and figure out what the designer is thinking. It focuses not a designer's mind – the thing signified – but the artifact due to a designer's mind – the sign.
Intelligent design is controversial because it proposes to find signs of intelligence and biological systems. This puts intelligent design theory in direct competition with the prevailing naturalistic theories of Darwinism, which explains how "The organized complexity of organisms could be attained without a designing intelligence."
The intelligent design scientist do not think that Darwin was totally out to lunch. They acknowledge that Darwin's mutation selection mechanism constitutes a respectable concept in biology that merits continued investigation. But Darwin is so much more than just random – natural selection mechanism. Darwinism is the all encompassing claim that this undirected mechanism accounts for all the diversity of life in the common dissent of all life forms. Intelligent design movement contends that the evidence does not support this broad claim. In their examination intelligent design scientist find that:
- The evidence of naturalism supports only limited variations within fixed boundaries (microevolution).
- The random ability of organisms to diversify across all boundaries (macroevolution) even if it's true – cannot be attributed solely to the mutation selection mechanism.
What Intelligent Design is Not
Intelligent design does not speculate or theorize about nature, character, or purposes of the intelligence responsible for the design. Intelligent design leaves to theology the task of figuring out who the intelligence is – whether God in the Bible or some other God, or some other form of intelligence. Intelligent design examines the evidence for design. It doesn't try to figure out the designer's profile or who the designer is.
This is similar to what happens when archaeologists find a tool crafted by some unknown tribe. They easily identify that intelligence was involved without knowing the purpose for which the tool was made. They may speculate that the tool was designed as a weapon or forearm or cultural purposes. The fact that the purpose is unknown doesn't detract from the determination that intelligence was responsible for the object.
Nonetheless, the scientific community has resisted intelligent design theory primarily because of the last three misconceptions about intelligent design as it relates to science: that it stifles scientific investigation, that it is an unscientific activity, and that is outside the scope of science. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Intelligent Design Does Not Stifle Scientific Investigation
Darwinists are quick to claim that intelligent design flies in the face of extensive scientific investigation. Why do research when you know that some intelligent designer is responsible? But Darwinists are wrong. The answer don't stop when it is determined that an object was intelligently designed. If anything, the issue of how something works stimulates investigation.
William Dembski uses the illustration of the Stradivarius violin to explain how intelligent design actually encourages in-depth scientific investigation. We know that a Stradivarius violin was designed, and we know who the designer is luckily he put his name on the final product. But we don't know how Antonio Stradivari did it, since no one today can manufacture a violin as nearly perfect as he did.
Because we know the Stradivarius was designed, we can employ reverse engineering to figure out how it was designed. If we assumed that the violin fell together by random chance, we have no need for reverse engineering. Therefore the criticism that intelligent design stifles scientific inquiry is unjustified.
Searching for Design is Not a Unscientific Activity
Darwinists like to attack intelligent design of the basis that looking for design is unscientific. Really? Science recognizes the search for intelligent design in many fields:
- Many industries depend on being able to distinguish accident from design: Insurance fraud investigation, criminal justice, cryptography, patent and copyright protection. No one accuses these industries of being unscientific simply because they look for evidence of design.
- Some scientific disciplines such as an anthropology and archaeology could not exist without the detection of intelligent.
- NASA's $100 million SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) search for signs of intelligence in outer space. Your tax dollars pay for the world's largest satellite dish than attempt to pick up any communication from intelligent life forms in the cosmos.
Intelligent Design is Not Outside the Scope of Science
Darwinists contend that intelligent design doesn't belong in the scientific sphere because it's theory is more suited to theology. They believe the theory of evolution addresses the scientific question, whereas intelligent design addresses a religious question. This false distinction is the reason Darwinism is taught in the schools that intelligent design all the promotional religion is prohibited from classroom instruction on the fallacious argument that if it constitutes the establishment of religion by state, which is prohibited by the Constitution. By defining science as a form of inquiry restricted solely to what can be explained in terms of undirected natural processes, the Darwinian establishment has ruled intelligent design to be outside of science and therefore on acceptable scientific theory that cannot be taught in public schools.
By contrast, intelligent design view science as broad enough to seek an explanation that may involve intelligent input and direction in addition to – not instead of – undirected natural causes. There is no danger that science will get sidetracked arguments about religion from the intelligent design scientist. Darwinists are the ones who raise the issue of religion in the debates with intelligent design supporters. They're the ones who ask questions like these:
- Do you really believe the whole universe was created in six 24-hour days?
- Could Jesus really be God?
- If there is God, why does he allow evil?
Intelligent design tries to keep everything on a scientific level. There's no talk about the character and nature of the designer as William Dembski says, "It detects intelligence without speculating about the nature of intelligence."
The current climate of the scientific and academic communities is hostile to the theory of intelligent design and the intelligent design proponents, the point that legitimate scientists and professors are being pressured to keep their ideas out of the public conversation. Some credentialed professors have been denied tenure at public universities because of their views on intelligent design.
Biological information: It's in Our DNA
So far we have looked at two components of the design argument – specific complexity and the reducible complexity – both of which seem to point to an intelligent designer. When you seriously consider the fine-tuning of the universe it seemed a bit far-fetched to conclude that undirected McKenna stake causes were responsible for its specific complexity. When you look at the interlocking intricacies of biological systems, it seems unsatisfying to conclude that the only option for their you reducible complexity is random mutation and natural selection. If anything, it seems more reasonable to conclude that there was an intelligent agent behind the design of the universe and the life it contains.
Now we're going to look at the third component of design: Biological information. Stephen Hawking's explanation that the confirmation of the Big Bang creation event was the most important discovery of the 20th century. Well, some would argue that the discovery of the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which contains the unique genetic information is equally if not more important discovery.
DNA is formed by pairing up two of the four nucleotides found in DNA. In order for DNA to work the nucleotides must be arranged in a precise and incredibly complex way so that information contained in DNA is meaningful from a natural perspective the only explanation for how DNA generates and stores this information is through a series of physical occurrences of chemical reactions. This may explain information, but not the meaning it conveys. Nor can the law of physics and chemistry explain the origin of DNA. The information contained in a DNA genetic code of a single human being is staggering. J.P. Moreland suggests that the amount of information is more than all the information in all the books in the library of Congress combined.
The bottom line is the information contained in DNA is too specific, too complex, and to order to have come about through undirected mechanistic and chemical causes. A more satisfying explanation is that DNA was intelligently designed.
The Validity and the Power
One of the more prominent examples was the movement of Anthony flew, the professor from Oxford who for the past half-century has been one of the world's most eloquent and persuasive defenders of atheism. His argument was essentially unchanging during that time. Flew didn't believe there was enough evidence to believe in God. Then in 2004, at age 81, Flew acknowledged that he had been persuaded to move from atheism to a mild form of theism. He stated that he didn't know how to make of Jesus and he wasn't even sure that God relates to the world of personal level, but he was convinced that there was an intelligent designer behind the universe.
Specifically, Anthony Flew pointed out three cumulative cases arguments presented in this chapter as the reason for this change: The fine tuning of the universe – specific complexity, the intricacy of biological systems – irreducible complexity, and the information rich DNA, biological information. As expected his intellectual shift was met with skepticism by the naturalistic community, in particular the ardent atheist who once considered him a role model. But there is no denying that design argument had a major influence on one of the worlds foremost intellects. That in itself speaks volumes about the validity of the argument and the power of the designer behind it all.
- The key features of the design argument include specificity, complexity, and purpose – descriptions normally assigned to an intelligent agent rather than a natural cause.
- For the last 150 year science has successfully challenge the notion that there is a God who created the universe. Today, science leads our culture and stands at the forefront of intellectual integrity, while theology has been relegated to the realm of philosophy and personal preference.
- Darwinism was what some people were waiting for. Darwin's theories 1st proposed in 1859 in his landmark book, the origin of species, gave scientists and philosophers the ammunition he needed to remove God in the conversation about origins.
- If science is about knowledge and the truth about the natural world, then it is inevitable will point to the one who created it all, despite the efforts of people who want to take God out of the picture.
- Remarkable scientific discoveries in specific complexity, irreducible complexity and biological information are pointing to an intelligent designer.
- A fine-tune universe, a special galaxy, and they just right earth are examples of specific complexity. That our planet is perfectly suited for life is best explained by an intelligent designer.
- Intelligent design examines the evidence for design in the natural world, and from this evidence it infers a designer. It doesn't try to figure out the designers profile or who the designer is.
- Unlike Darwinism, intelligent design view science as broad enough to speak an explanation that may involve intelligent input direction in addition to – not instead of – undirected natural causes.
- Information contained in DNA is too specific, too complex, and too ordered to have come about through undirected mechanistic and chemical causes. A more satisfying explanation is that DNA was intelligently designed.
Reflection and Discussion
- Why are so many Christians suspicious of science and scientist? Why are so many scientist skeptical of Christians? What are some specific things you could do to foster civil and productive dialogue between these two groups?
- What is specified complexity? How do our universe, our solar system, and our planet show evidence that they have been designed specifically for life on Earth? What is irreducible complexity, and how does it point to an intelligent designer?
- Why is intelligent design a legitimate scientific enterprise? Give some examples that are based on distinguishing between accident and design. Why has the Darwinian establishment fought so hard to keep intelligent design out of mainstream of public education?
Bickel, Bruce and Stan Jantz. Evidence for Faith 101:Understanding Apologetics in Plain Language. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2008, 91-113