Friday, October 8, 2010

Intelligent Design: Do We Need a Laboratory to Detect it?

One atheist protested that there is no scientific evidence for intelligent design (ID):

• “What is this evidence for ID? You say organisms and physical laws provide such, but you don't explain how.”

If I were a mathematician, I would show you that mathematical precision can be applied to the specification of ID. However, I’m not a mathematician – far from it – and so let me refer you to the work of William Dembski for that. However, I do have two eyes which enable me to see and recognize ID all around me.

ID is patently obvious. When my wife sends me a loving email, I correctly assume that this communication is not the result of a computer malfunction or the laws of nature conspiring to produce previously un-thought-of effects. In fact, it’s very clear to all of us when we see the products of intelligence. Although gravity can attract, that’s all it can do. It can’t write poems or even scramble my eggs in the morning. Yes, computer can simulate the writing of poetry or music, but they can’t go – nor should they – beyond what they have been intelligently programmed to do.

Even the evolutionist and physics research scientist Randy Isaac admits, “Importantly, the scientific community does embrace the concept of design detection. It is a common practice in many fields of science.” However, he seems to arbitrarily say that ID shouldn’t be applied to the question of God.

Why not? If we can distinguish ID from non-ID, whether the ID is a product of a woman or a man, an Eskimo or a Pigmy, whether present or two thousand years past, why is it that we can’t make a judgment about the heavens, the physical laws, or the various life forms? If we know that non-ID can’t write sonnets, why should we suppose that non-ID can produce the universe with all its fine-tuning – something far more intricate and glorious than a sonnet!

There are some things that are so patently obvious that they don’t require experimentation. It is obvious that I’m sitting at my keyboard now. No scientific experiment or treatise can add anything to this observation. Demanding laboratory evidence would be like demanding that my wife bring to our wedding a notarized statement saying she loves me or demanding a scientist’s statement that she is really human. Such a requirement is absurd to the max!

That the glory of ID surrounds us is also the message of Scripture:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3)

The voice of ID is heard from every direction, wherever our eyes might roam. If this is true – even Richard Dawkins admits that phenomena give the “appearance” of design --why then the argument? Scripture claims that the denial of ID isn’t evidentially based, but is the product of our heart’s commitments:

“What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
(Romans 1:19-20)

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