Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design – Birth, Death and Income Tax 02.

Part 2 of the Origin of Life. We look at Creator vs Chance, investigate myths and misconceptions, and discover how some scientists with no Christian agenda support a creationist theory.

The Universe in 3 Questions:

– The Origin of Life.
– The Inevitability of Death.
– The Realities in between – including the dynamics of government, self-determination, and wealth distribution.

ºº Or in simpler terms: Birth, Death and Income Tax.

Intelligent Design or Random Evolution

The beginning of the Bible speaks of the beginning of all things:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen1:1
Ten words that encompass a library of debate.

Creation or Darwinian Evolution

Our prime intent is to explore scripture and discover more about the Creator, rather than concentrating on disproving the Darwinian theory of random chance evolution. That disproving can be left to the scientists – including those with no Christian agenda, who are doing a pretty good job of finding the increasingly obvious weak points. refs and books below.

Central – the Existence of a Creator

Creation predicates the existence of a Creator. The Creator we see in the Bible is caring and pro-active, an intelligent designer of supreme ability and power, a personality involved with every aspect of His creation.

Darwinian evolution removes all the qualities of the personal God. The American National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) once issued a statement of their official position on evolution, describing it as: “An unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent.”

The Contrasts

Unsupervised and impersonal – i.e. No-one existed, no-one was present, and it all just happened.
Gen 1:
– v1: God created the heavens and the earth.
– v3: God said ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.
– v4: God saw the light that it was good.

Create – speak – see – approve: Total up the actions and it equals supervision by a cognisant being who is present.

Support from Surprising Source

When NABT published their statement there was a strong reaction. Churches, theologians and everyday Christians spoke out. But possibly the most surprising rebuttal came from Dr Eugenie C Scott, Executive Director of NCSE.

NCSE: National Center for Science Education.
Stated purpose: ‘Defending the teaching of evolution and climate science’.
Website: ” . . . dedicated to keeping evolution . . . in the science classroom, and to keeping creationism . . . out.”

Dr Scott considered the position of NABT on evolution important enough to address it publicly:

“I agreed with the two theologians who asked NABT to take the words “impersonal” and “unsupervised” from its statement on evolution. An ideology drawn from science is not the same as science itself. NABT was making a philosophical statement outside of what science can tell us.”

[Theologians] Cornell’s Huston Smith and Notre Dame’s Alvin Plantinga, wrote a polite letter to NABT’s board of directors, asking it to delete the two words, saying:
[I]t is extremely hard to see how an empirical science, such as biology, could address such a theological question as whether a process like evolution is or isn’t directed by God . . . How could an empirical inquiry possibly show that God was not guiding and directing evolution?

Dr Scott then comes right out with an unequivocal:
“And they were right.” 1

Keeping Relevant

Scientific and biblical responses have moved on from the Darwinian debates, and it is worth keeping up to date with the reputable authors and the new facts emerging. To keep fresh and relevant, the church needs to be able to present these views calmly and confidently.

The concept of Intelligent Design, for example, is gathering support both from Bible-based believers and proof-demanding scientists, including those with no Christian agenda, who are doing a pretty good job of finding weak points in existing theories.

There are many excellent books on the subject, and I have listed some at the end of the page.

Religion is not Escapism

For too long the church as a whole, and any who would challenge the accepted views, have been compartmentalised. They have been bundled into a heap labelled religious escapists, and told that it is an either/or scenario. Either you accept the one or you are guilty of retreating to an indefensible archaic viewpoint.

º Science or Religion.
º Evolution or the Bible.
º Modernism or Church.

Reality is far from this. Some of the most incisive scientific analysts of today are committed Christians who openly declare their Biblical beliefs. Included in this pantheon are those addressing the Origin of Life and Intelligent Design.

Far Beyond Darwin

We have gone far beyond the evidence available even 20 years ago. Among the greatest assets in the discovery process we have today are the sciences of microbiology and biochemistry, and the capacities of the computer.

º Microbiology takes us to the building blocks of our bodies, the cells. It tells us that in the nucleus of one cell is a database larger in content than the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica.
º Biochemistry takes us into the heart of the cell, to the DNA coil we recognise as the operating blueprint for an individual’s life.

Together these demonstrate that there is a perfectly balanced interaction of molecular mechanisms, a complex information base where the simultaneous function of many elements is essential for total operation.

Michael Denton, a molecular biologist, who is described as neither creationist nor Christian, authored a devastating indictment of Darwin’s evolution theory in his book Evolution: Theory in Crisis.

13 years later he published Nature’s Destiny, where he continues to support design, and proposes a non-Darwinian evolutionary theory based on a fine tuned universe, and a law-like unfolding of life.

Intelligent Design equals Intelligent Creator

Creationism posits that there is an intelligent designer behind the design, that something or Someone directed the energy to bring order from disorder.

It is this Creator, personal and supreme, that we continue to seek after.

Next Week:
The acceptance of the Darwinian theory and its effect on the moral fibre of society. How the Word triumphs.

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1extracts from Dr Eugenie L Scott’s acceptance speech when she was awarded the American Humanist Association’s 1998 “Isaac Asimov Science Award”.

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