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Intelligent Design
07-14-2011, 02:56 PM
Post: #1
Intelligent Design
The probability of there being a creator or designer

In debating these issues it’s very easy to knock the burden of proof onto the theist and say you explain everything but No! In this world we’re not in a position where there is only one explanation contending but there are rival explanations. The theist explanation, the God explanation and there is a non-theist or atheist explanation and we have to way the two against each other. My view is that the atheist explanation flounders when confronted with all these facts. The complexity of the cell, the fine tuning of the universe, the fact of morality, the depth of human evil and the evidence for Biblical truth.

My intention is to show you that one requires more faith in not believing there is a God than believing there is a God and yes everybody ultimately needs faith, as I will point out. I also want to try and show you that the theory of evolution is not contradictory to science and in fact the more science has progressed the more it has pointed towards a divine creator. No in depth Biblical passages will be used at this stage only certain references I think appropriate to the argument. Please read with an open mind.

An Intelligible Universe and the presupposition argument

It’s quite clear that when observing the universe in any scale you like, whether macro scale or an infinitely small scale, the universe is fine tuned for life so even the hard nosed physicists find it extraordinary that the forces of nature e.g. the forces that hold atoms together could have been other than they are, but the way they are is just right for life e.g. the creation of carbon molecules and for life to exist at a molecular level. This fine-tuning is something that has challenged atheists and agnostics like Hawkins.

This is what he says; Our universe with it’s laws appear to have a design that is both tailor made to support us and if we are to exist leaves little room for alteration. That is not easily explained and raises the natural question why it is that way. The discovery of the relatively recently fine tuning of so many of the laws of nature could lead some of us back to the old idea that this grand design is the work of some grand designer.

The universe has hundreds of constants and scientists have asked what if one of these constants were changed (on which evolution depends) a fraction, what if the speed of light were a little slower or faster. Stephen Hawkins addresses this question in his book a brief history of time. He says if you change these constants of nature at all e.g. the rate of expansion of the universe not 10% or 1% but 1 part in a hundred thousand million million we would have no universe and we would have no life.

Scientists have to suppose that there are other things involved to support their argument.
Example, they have discovered that gravity is not a strong enough force to hold the galaxies together and so scientists pre-suppose that there is some other form of matter which they call dark matter that must be there exercising a gravitational force so even though we can’t see this dark matter and detectable by no instrument it explains what we do see. The pre-supposition of dark matter clarifies the dark matter that is invisible and undetectable!
Because of the latest developments in science they now have to make the presumption that this universe is perhaps one of a number of infinite universes, each one being slightly different and that there are so many universes that by chance one of them will be just right for life and that happens to be the one we are on.
So you take away the improbability of things being just right on earth by chance by saying there are infinite number of universes out there that are not just right.
Because these other universes can’t be seen or touched and there is no way of knowing that they are there.
John Polkinhorne who is a theoretical physicist turned creationist who rejects the multiverse. “Let us reject these speculations for what they are, that they are not physics but in the strictest sense metaphysics. There is no scientific reason to believe in an assembly of other universes. By construction these other worlds are unknowable by us. To my mind there is greater economy and elegance to believing there is a creator.”

Physicists now say that the universe does look as if it was designed to support life.
Isaiah Ch. 45 That God created the heavens and earth not in vain. He created it to be inhabited.
So rather than science being a barrier to accepting what the Bible says, it actually echoes or shadows the truth mentioned in the Bible. This is just one of many examples.

Stephen Hawkins says in his book The Grand Design – “If the universe has come out of nothing, all we are is star dust, it is hard to say how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.” He says this honestly and boldly.
He carries on. “M-Theory evokes something different, a prime mover; a begetter of created forces everywhere and nowhere.”
This force of gravity, which has caused the universe to come into existence out of nothing and says it, is a created force. This force cannot be identified by instrument or examined by comprehension-able mathematical prediction and yet it contains all possibilities. It incorporates omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence and it’s a big mystery. In other words what they have done is create God and called him the M-Theory and said that he is this law of gravity, which has created all these possibilities.

As John Lennox professor of mathematics at Oxford University has pointed out in his book that physical laws on there own cannot create anything so the law of gravity cannot create anything. They are merely a mathematical description of what normally happens under certain given conditions. He says in fact the laws of physics are not only incapable of creating anything but they can’t even cause anything to happen, therefore Hawkins statement is wrong.
Romans Ch 1 v. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.

The ancient Hebrews asserted uniquely of all religions that God made the universe out of nothing. Incidentally the idea that God, or gods made the universe is a very old idea, but in every other religion God or gods fashioned the universe out of some other stuff. The Hebrews said No! There was nothing and then there was a universe. I would like to suggest that modern science proved this to be 100% correct. As a direct consequence of the big bang, not only did the universe have a beginning, not only did all the matter have a beginning but space and time also had a beginning in other words first there was nothing, no space, no time and then there was a universe based on space and time. Suddenly the Christian concept of eternity for God being outside of space and time which for centuries was scientifically unintelligible is now not only coherent but right in along side the most cutting edge discoveries in modern physics and modern astronomy.

So if we see a fined tuned universe, what’s more likely someone fined tuned it or it fine-tuned itself?

A Brief View of the Complexity of life

In Franklin heralds book, the way of the cell, he describes the cell as a kind of super computer. Even Richard Dawkins describes the cell as a kind of digital computer.
Now the cell can’t have evolved because evolution presupposes the cell. Evolution requires a cell that already has the built in capacity to reproduce itself.

So how did we get a cell? The very idea that random molecules in a warm pond through a bolt of lightening assembled a cell would be akin to saying a bolt of lightening in a warm pond could assemble an automobile or a skyscraper which is of course preposterous. Richard Dawkins knows it’s preposterous and therefore when asked how did we get life originally he says well maybe aliens brought it from another planet. It’s ridiculous but the best explanation he could come up with other than intelligent design.
There are many physicists that have computed, if you look at all the particles of matter in the entire universe, the chance of them randomly assembling to produce a cell is essentially zero.

Richard Dawkins believes that the most primitive living thing the bacterium came together as an entity by chance at some point in the distance past and that it’s flagella which is a 40 part exquisite electric motor came together by chance in a short period of time evolutionary speaking. Engineers that have looked at this flagella motor have marveled at its design.
We are led to believe that this exquisitely designed motor is the product of chance. This motor is so impressive even the hard-nosed scientists have had to try and come up with an explanation of how it could have evolved and they do it in such general terms that they are left of the hook.

Morality and human evil

Evolution cannot explain the death of human evil. Evolution presumes cruelty, presumes harshness but is a harshness tempered by necessity.
The lion wants to eat the antelope because it is hungry but have you ever heard that a lion wants to wipe the antelope off the face of the earth. No, So how do we explain this human evil that far outruns necessity and reaches depths that seem almost unfathomable. Evolution cannot account for rationality because evolution says we are programmed in the world to survive and reproduce. Our minds are organs of survival, not organs of truth so if we believe in rationality we require something outside of evolution to account for that. Evolution can’t even account for morality, which requires a little bit of explanation.

A few simple moral facts
1/ Getting up to give your seat to an old lady on a bus
2/ Donating blood
3/ A famine in Africa, you volunteer to give your time or you write a cheque.

If we were evolved primates who are programmed to survive and reproduce why would we do these things? There is much literature on this and basically it comes down to this. The advocates of evolution say evolution is a form of extended selfishness. If a mother jumps into a burning car to save her two children that’s because she and her two children have the same genes so what seems like an altruistic and noble deed is actually merely a cunning strategy on the part of the mum to make sure her genes make it into the next generation. Or evolution can be thought of as reciprocal advantage. These two common strategies used to explain morality don’t explain the examples above. Evolution does not have the answer for these simple facts of morality and if there is one I would like to hear it.

So could we not argue that the morality we all feel even when it works against our advantage is because perhaps there is a moral law giver who gave it to us.
If we truly accept that there is a moral law giver that has given us the free will to which we can make choices, we can then accept that we have the choice whether to believe in a creator and decide if we ought to learn about our creator and find out what the purpose of life is. As mentioned to be an atheist there is no purpose. Consider these 3 questions:

1/ What is the purpose of life?
2/ Why are we here?
3/ Where are we going?

The Scientific or atheist answer to all three is Don’t have a clue. The Bible explains in detail answers to all of these in remarkable detail and demonstrates if given a chance that there is hope for this damaged world for mankind.
So what is wrong in looking to religion to supply explanation in a domain where science is utterly inert, inarticulate and in fact mute when questions like these are asked?

When the gospel message or truth has been understood in the Bible, there is no disputing that religion does not stamp out morality. It purely teaches it in such a beautiful way. It is obvious in the world that mankind needs direction and more often that not when there are so many minds, with differing views and ideas we experience conflict and suffering. Is it not plausible to think that there can be no other way for mankind to survive than to follow a creator with perfect righteousness and infinite knowledge?

An Evolved Planet

Worlds most famous paleontologist Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University wrote not so long ago – When discussing organic evolution, the only point of agreement, it seems to have happened, thereafter there is little consensus. So people distinguish the fact of evolution. It’s obvious that we are all related from a common ancestor – our DNA code is the same as the chimp, the same as the cucumber, same as the bacteria. How could you explain that if we are all derived from a common designer perhaps! Who teaches us that man in his best state is like the beast that perish (Psalm 49:12).
I ask why would God have to use a different code to make man?
The unity of the creation is testimony to the One True God who made it all (Romans 1:23)

Richard Dawkins says the universe is nothing but a collection of atoms in motion. Human beings are simply machines for propagating DNA and the propagation of DNA is a self sustaining process, is every living objects sole reason for living, nothing but a collection of atoms.

If this is all there is, what’s the point in anything. Every ambition is just a byproduct of this machine, has no meaning, An Illusion of purpose.
You your joys, your sorrows, your memories, your ambitions, your sense of personal identity, your feeling of love, your feeling of kindness, your feeling of worthwhile-ness, your concept of something being true and beautiful and free will are in fact no more than the behaviour of the vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. All this is just a whirring of a biological machine. There is no value in itself because all we are is stardust in a certain temporary configuration.

So the believers’ position is no less than the atheist in an attempt to grapple with the facts, to make sense of the data, to illuminate rationally the world we live in. Faith is not a substitute for reason; faith only kicks in when reason comes to an end. When there are explanations and they stop.

Example – I date my fiancée for 3 years and then I decide I want to propose, I put in reason, I try to see where it goes but then I say what is life going to be like with her for the next 50 years and there is no way to know. I can say I’m going to be an agnostic; I’m going to wait for the data to come in. If I do that she’ll marry someone else or we’ll both be dead. The data will never be in. At some point rational knowledge has to give way to practical action and faith is the bridge between limited, always limited human knowledge and the inevitability and necessity of human action. That ultimately is something that knowledge can teach us.

In my mind it takes more faith to not believing there is a creator.

Thanks for listening
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07-14-2011, 03:55 PM
Post: #2
RE: Intelligent Design
Atheism/rationalism does not DENY the existence of supernaturalism, it just does not see any evidence for it at this time, or at any time in human past history.

Show us the evidence, we’ll consider it and evaluate it and possibly accept it.

We are waiting.

Try to be similarly open minded to good evidence.

Evolution by natural selection and random mutation is a good place to start ,accepted as fact by the scientific community and the Roman Catholic Church , a view held by several billion Christians and Jews , but obviously not your belief .
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07-15-2011, 11:04 AM
Post: #3
RE: Intelligent Design
Just read the post!
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07-15-2011, 01:07 PM
Post: #4
RE: Intelligent Design
It would be easier to state the facts than to pick through assumptions ,the facts of evolution ever since Darwin: the facts of common descent and natural selection. Most scientists agree that evolution is no more a “theory” (in the popular sense) than is gravity. Evolution is based on a collection of facts that—like gravity—challenge Biblical notions of the nature of the universe and our very selves. The National Academy report on “Evolution and Creationism” reminds us that “In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science” .

The “theory” of evolution is based on six sets of facts that contradict any number of scriptures, and these facts alone should dictate what is taught as science in our schools:

The earth is 4 billion years old .

5.7 million years ago we descended from an ancestor we share with chimpanzees .

Homo erectus (our immediate ancestor) is anywhere from 1.8 to 0.3 million years old and people more or less like us (homo sapiens sapiens) arose in Africa 100,000 years ago . The fossil evidence for these observations has been validated by newer techniques of molecular biology, capped by the human genome project .

Natural selection of random mutants (in portions of the genome that may or not be “hot spots”) accounts for the emergence of new strains of viruses (influenza, HIV), microbes, and tumors. Natural selection and survival of the fittest has been demonstrated for the resistance to antibiotics by bacteria, to herbicides by plants, and to chemotherapy by tumor cells .

Natural selection is the basis of immunity .

Natural selection and survival of the fittest has been observed in humans as well. Ever since Rochelle Hirschhorn first described reversion to normal (both in DNA and clinical health) of a child with inherited adenosine deaminase deficiency , reversion to normal via somatic mosaicism has been shown in several disorders in which the revertant cells have a selective advantage .

These facts of life science, directed by the physics and chemistry of DNA, turn out to obey laws as universal as those of Boyle’s perfect gas. Just as pV = nRT describes the behavior of gases in a rocket to the moon or an RPG in Fallujah; the ratios of G:C and A:T are equal in the DNA of fly and earthworm, mouse and microbe, prelate and president. The clock that sets the time to copy DNA was figured out in quahogs; the truth of molecular evolution is that we are such stuff as clams are made of .

It would be reassuring for many were the lessons of Darwinian evolution simply a collection of tall stories we could take or leave at will—a tale of comfort or terror, of promise or warning, but tales after all of the mind, texts without bite. Marianne Moore described the world of poetry as composed of imaginary gardens with real toads in them. Well, I’m afraid that the facts of evolution are those of real gardens with real toads in them. They are not the baubles of one race, one gender, one class, or one Reich. They have been worked out by the buzzing of eager minds despite complaints by the pious, the zealous and the herbally inspired. Yes, of course, evolutionary theory may be only one explanation for life on our planet, but it’s the only theory that has held up against disproof. And however much we think we know of evolution today, it must be a minute fraction of what remains to be discovered tomorrow. Finally, I’d argue that the facts of evolution impose a kind of necessity on the chance of our imagination, they cut short many a tall tale. Experimental science is our defense—perhaps our best defense—against humbug and the Endarkenment.
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