Intelligent Design versus Humanist Dogma
Intelligent Design theory infers the existence of an intelligent designer of creation based on evidence. This evidence comes from intricate study of microbiology and other sciences, probability theory, and simple logic. By that deductive process it supports theism and questions the claims of Darwinism. Intelligent Design lends scientific and intellectual support to theistic religious faiths, including Christianity and Judaism, and makes many of the claims of Darwinian evolution look highly improbable and silly.
Looking at cells under a microscope in 1859, Charles Darwin concluded that these tiny jelly-like blobs must be the lowest building blocks of life. All life, including mankind, he thought, must have evolved from a single cell. The method of this evolution was random mutation of cells plus natural selection—the survival of the fittest. The gradual evolution of the cell progressing over many millions of years eventually became fish, reptiles, birds, insects, animals, apes, and men. No Almighty Creator, he thought, was necessary to life, only random mutations and the unguided, pitiless, and indifferent fortuities of nature. Darwinists believe that similarities in the anatomy of marine and animal life, and especially apes and men, must be due to common descent from distant ancestors. Two frequently cited examples of evolutionary evidence are from studies that showed that the color of moths and the beak size of birds could change over a few generations of natural selection under different environmental conditions.
The electron microscope has revealed a much more complex reality within the cell. The cell is not the basic unit of life. Within the cell is an amazing diversity and complexity of cellular machinery and coded genetic information ( DNA). This was brilliantly described in Michael J. Behe’s 1996 book, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The “black box” in the title of Behe’s book is a term used by scientists to indicate phenomena that they observe but cannot understand or explain. To many people a computer is a black box. They know it works but do not understand how and why.
Darwin thought the cell was the basic unit of life, but it was really a “black box” to him. Darwin’s whole theory of the chain of evolution is punctuated with many theoretical black boxes. There are numerous points in Darwinism’s theoretical chain of life that cannot be explained. For example, unless there is some intelligent guiding agent, what would cause a genetic line of fish to start developing lungs and survive long enough to become a genetic line of reptiles, or what on earth would cause lizards, who survived falling out of a tree, to start having baby lizards with wings. Why wings and why two wings? Just lucky? Why not bungee cables?
The irreducible complexities of micro-cellular biology, along with common sense logic and an elementary understanding of probability, are smashing Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
At almost every step in Darwin’s theory of evolution someone has to pull a rabbit out of a black box. Darwin’s theory of evolution might as well be called Merlin’s theory of evolution. It is long on fantastic narrative and magic tricks and short on empirical evidence. So far no substantial and enduring evidence of one species evolving into another species has ever been produced.
But Darwin’s theory pleased many men. It freed them from guilt and fear of a God they preferred to ignore and reject.
Many others, however, found Darwin’s theory implausible. They just couldn’t accept Darwin’s fantastic creation narrative of fish flopping on a sandy beach until the fittest developed suitable lungs and became reptiles or of lizards falling out of trees until the fittest developed wings and became birds. They just couldn’t see how unguided mutations resulted in lungs or wings instead of dead fish and lizards. It did not mesh with common sense and a basic understanding of probability. Still others recognized that the theological implications of Darwinism were incompatible with revealed religion and any solid anchor of right and wrong.
Behe describes the inner workings of the cell as being irreducibly complex. A biological system is irreducibly complex if it has a number of different components that must fit together and work together to accomplish a task, but if you remove one of the essential components, the whole system fails.
Beneath the electron microscope, these inner workings look something like man-made machines—varied and incredibly complex machines. If you remove only one of many critical parts of such machines, they become useless. Darwin’s theory cannot explain irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity makes Darwinism look absurd.
As a simple example of irreducible complexity, Behe uses a mousetrap. Most basic mousetraps have five parts: a platform for attaching the other parts, a metal hammer to crush the mouse against the platform, a spring, a catch that releases on pressure by an unfortunate mouse, and a metal bar that holds the hammer back when the trap is set. All the parts must fit together. If you remove one part, you do not have a mousetrap that is 80 percent efficient. You have a pile of useless parts and many still healthy and unmolested mice.
How probable is it that all this microbiological machinery working at its purpose is only the result of random mutation and natural selection of the fittest cells or most mobile bacteria? Intuitively, it is about as possible as a tornado sweeping through an auto junk yard in Knoxville and leaving a fully assembled 2019 Lexus containing two sets of car keys on my driveway in Clayton, North Carolina. Common sense and rudimentary probability deny the plausibility of Darwinian evolution at both the micro and macro biological levels.
Behe and a growing number of other microbiologists believe that the incredible complexity and coordination of many life systems is strongly indicative of Intelligent Design. For example, the human eye and the human blood-clotting system require breath-taking coordination, design, and wisdom. Indeed, even the tiniest human infant is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Another logical fault of Darwinism is that it always sees similarities among species, such as between apes and men, as deriving from a common ancestral origin. Common design does not demand such a conclusion. Common design can mean a common intelligent designer or Creator
Darwinism, however, has become such an entrenched political ideology that its adherents prefer wrong answers to any truth outside their materialist dogmas.
However, hundreds of the best scientists in America and Britain have become extremely skeptical and critical of its presuppositions, speculative narrative, and unsubstantiated claims. Darwinism is crumbling intellectually. Objective science has discovered King Darwin is naked. The King now holds the throne of secularism primarily by the brute force and chains of political correctness. But like a desperate, ferocious, cornered animal, it is striking out against its detractors with every political and social weapon in its arsenal.
While Intelligent Design can shed important light on the awesome works and nature of creation’s Designer, the full revelation of the Designer’s nature and purposes must be sought in His divinely inspired Word.
Christians should not be surprised that Intelligent Design is vigorously denied, slandered, and attacked. Paul explained in Romans 1: 20-22:
“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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”
Those who seek truth do well, but to find truth and wisdom, they should seek first the Author of Truth.