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Intelligent by Design

By Sam Blumenfeld
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #65, 2005.

Is the universe the result of random processes or was it designed? A look at intelligent design.
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Sam Blumenfeld

Back in 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 Louisiana law which mandated a balanced treatment in teaching evolution and creation in the public schools. The Court decided that the intent of the law "was clearly to advance the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind," and therefore violated the First Amendment's prohibition on a government establishment of religion. In other words, the Court adopted the atheist position that creation is a religious myth.

In speaking for the majority, Justice William J. Brennan wrote: "The legislative history documents that the act's primary purpose was to change the science curriculum of public schools in order to provide an advantage to a particular religious doctrine that rejects the factual basis of evolution in its entirety."

The learned Justice seemed unaware that some of the world's greatest scientists were and are devout Christians and, that dogmatic atheism, not religion, is destroying true science. Also, though his job requires him to uphold the Constitution, Justice Brennan willfully ignored the historical fact that, to the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution, an "establishment of religion" meant a state church, such as they have in England with the Anglican Church, which is the official church of England.

Belief in God is not the same thing as establishing an official government-sponsored religious denomination. Belief in a supernatural being who created mankind is not an establishment of religion.

What exactly is the Theory of Evolution? For the answer, we must go to the source: Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, published in 1859. In his book, whose racist subtitle has been suppressed in modern editions for obvious reasons, Darwin claimed that the thousands of different species of animals, insects, and plants that exist on earth were not the works of a Divine Creator who made each of the "kinds" in its present immutable form, as described in Genesis (e.g., frogs produce frogs, not princes), but are the products of a very long natural process of development from simpler organic forms to more complex organisms.

Thus, according to Darwin, species continue to change or "evolve," through a process of natural selection in which nature's harsh conditions permit only the fittest to survive in more adaptable forms. However, while controlled breeding can produce varieties inside the dog species, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, dogs are still dogs. "Survival of the fittest" is incapable of turning one species into another. Whatever external conditions we may provide for a dog, these will not change its basic dog DNA.

Darwin also believed that all life originated from a single source - a kind of primeval slime in which the first living organisms formed spontaneously out of non-living matter through a random process - by accident.

The first false idea in Darwin's hypothesis is that non-organic matter can transform itself into organic matter. Although this belief in "spontaneous generation" was common at the time, Pasteur and others have conclusively disproved it. Life does not arise from non-life at the macro level, and at the micro level all the laboratory experiments that claim to produce "building blocks" of life have failed to do so, in spite of all the hype to the contrary. See the book Icons of Evolution by Dr. Jonathan Wells for some eye-opening debunking of this and other myths still taught in your local school's textbooks.

Justice Brennan called evolution "factual," which simply indicates the depth of his ignorance. There is no factual basis to evolution. The fossil record shows no intermediary forms of species development. We've never seen it happen, either. No scientist has been able to mate a cat with a donkey and get something in between. And modern genetics has shown us that we need complex "programs" to grow from a single cell into a human being. But mutations, which destroy information, can't add more complexity to succeeding generations. So neither Darwin's simplistic belief in the inheritance of acquired characteristics nor our newer knowledge of genetics provides any way species-to-species evolution could ever happen.

The enormous complexity of organic matter precludes accidental creation. There had to be a designer.

There is now a whole scientific school devoted to the design theory. William A. Dembski's book, Intelligent Design, published in 1999, is the pioneering work that bridges science with theology. Dembski writes:

Intelligent design is three things: a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes; an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action....It was Darwin's expulsion of design from biology that made possible the triumph of naturalism in Western culture. So, too, it will be intelligent design's restatement of design within biology that will be the undoing of naturalism in Western culture.

Dembski proves that design is "empirically detectable," because we can observe it all around us. The birth of a child is a miracle of design. The habits of your household cat are a miracle of design. All cats do the same things. These are the inherited characteristics of the species. The idea that accident could create such complex behavior passed on to successive generations simply doesn't make sense. The complexity of design proves the existence of God. Dembski writes:

Indeed within theism divine action is the most basic mode of causation since any other mode of causation involves creatures which themselves were created in a divine act. Intelligent design thus becomes a unifying framework for understanding both divine and human agency and illuminates several long-standing philosophical problems about the nature of reality and our knowledge of it.

So why are the courts and the schools so fanatically opposed to even allowing children to know there are arguments against evolution? Because evolution provides the perfect "scientific" excuse for keeping the God of the Bible out of public education. It's not the idea of design per se that worries them; it's Who the Designer is. That's why the media are showing increasing support for the "life came from outer space" theory and even the "life came from intelligent aliens who seeded our planet" theory. Evolution is tottering, and the search is on for any Designer except the real one.

So, while what the Intelligent Design movement has to say can be helpful, let's just remember that the real issue is not whether there was a Designer or just a bunch of Random Accidents, but whether the God of the Bible created the universe just like it says in Genesis or not.

For more information on this topic, read the books mentioned in this article and check out these websites:

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