Intelligent Design: An Alternative to the Theory of Evolution
The Intelligent Design Movement began in the mid 1990’s with the establishment of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. The Discovery Institute is a conservative think tank promoting the concept that there are alternative theories to the Theory of Evolution (ToE). They point out that teaching the ToE exclusively is tantamount to indoctrination. This is an especially cogent argument seeing that the ToE is usually presented without any critical analysis permitted.
Intelligent Design states that what we see in living organisms is exquisitely designed and could not possibly have evolved. One of the most famous quotes concerning this fact is made with regard to the evolution of the DNA molecule, “…the odds against DNA assembling by chance are 1040,000 to one (according to Fred Hoyle, Evolution from Space, 1981). Although those who espouse confidence in the ToE do not dispute this quote, they take pains to note that natural laws, e.g. the law of natural selection and physics, coupled with random mutations and time can produce the miracle of the DNA molecule.
Evolutionary proponents claim transitional changes necessary for macroevolution to arise supposedly occurred numerous times in the past. This mechanism is described in the following quote from evolutionist Michael Denton in his controversial book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1985 when commenting on whale evolution: “ . . . we must suppose the existence of innumerable collateral branches leading to many unknown types . . . one is inclined to think in terms of possibly hundreds, even thousands of transitional species on the most direct path between a hypothetical land ancestor and the common ancestor of modern whales . . . we are forced to admit with Darwin that in terms of gradual evolution, considering all the collateral branches that must have existed in the crossing of such gaps, the number of transitional species must have been inconceivably great.
Not only are these transitional species missing from the fossil record; there is no indication that these transitions are taking place today. Although standard evolutionary dogma states that these changes are taking place so slowly that they are virtually invisible, the modern revolution in molecular biology has laid to rest these “just so” stories of evolution, e.g. scales to feathers, light sensitive pigment to the compound eye, dinosaurs to birds, fish to fishermen, etc. Molecular biology is proving that the diversity we see in living systems is no random accident of evolution. Each structure of these unique and complex compositions must have been designed for the purpose in which they function. Similarities in structures, the ID movement would say, are dependent upon the function of these structures and are not the result of some hypothetical common ancestry.
The ID movement also points to intricate micro rotary engine machines that have been discovered powering the flagella of certain types of bacteria. These, and other discoveries in biology, tend to falsify the ToE. This is without mentioning the fact that natural selection, coupled with random mutation and millions of years, fail to produce a mechanism for generating the new information necessary for upward macro-evolutionary change.
Opponents of Intelligent Design (ID) and Creationism often resort to two avenues of attack when defending their worldview. A worldview that alleges only a materialistic and naturalistic view of origins should be taught in the science classroom. Coupled with this narrow view and ignoring the fact that all theories of origins have religious implications; those espousing the ToE desire to exclude any evidence that might cast doubt upon their worldview including the concept of ID.
First, the ToE proponents often claim that no reputable scientist believes that the ToE is not the gospel truth of how life began and has advanced to its present state. Secondly, they claim that Intelligent Design is really Creationism in disguise and that Creationism is really just an attempt to get the Bible into public schools. They hope to protect their theory from any critical scrutiny by making certain that no examination of competing theories will be allowed.
In an attempt to deceive the public at large, the defenders of the ToE claim that no competent scientist questions the validity of the ToE. This is a typical argument by which evolutionary scientists can refuse to answer the legitimate concerns of others while they slander thousands of reputable scientists who have earned their graduate degrees from accredited institutions of higher learning. Rather than answering the questions posed by opposing scientists, the evolutionary faithful say these dissenting scientists don’t qualify as ‘real’ scientists at all. Hence, only real scientists know that the ToE is true. If you refuse to get in line, you will be ostracized and stripped of any credibility.
What the elitists of evolutionary dogma fail to mention is that great scientists of the past such as Isaac Newton (1642-1727) invented calculus, discovered the law of gravity and the three laws of motion, developed the particle theory of light propagation, invented the reflecting telescope, etc., Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), founder of physical astronomy, Robert Boyle (1627-1691), father of modern chemistry, and Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), an early great mathematician who laid the foundations for things like hydrodynamics, differential calculus, and probability theory, as well as dozens of other pillars of science, were all devout Bible believing Christians. Men and women who believed the Genesis account that God spoke the universe into existence in six (24-hour) days. A fact, I might add, that seemingly disqualifies a person from being called a ‘reputable’ scientist by the evolutionary science establishment.
Another fact that is surprised by the opponents of the ID movement is that the Discovery Institute’s scientists are not all Bible believing Christians. The Discovery Institute scientists come from various backgrounds and take great pains to avoid bringing God or any theistic personage, deity or not, into the primary discussion. ID states that everything we can observe in the past and present indicates that all living things are intricately designed and these complicated designs could not have arisen by random processes. As to the identity of the designer, the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture leaves that question open to discussion as a secondary issue of lesser importance.
It is the position of the Creation Studies Institute that the ToE’s contention that molecules can be transformed by natural selection, coupled with random mutations, into men over eons of time cannot be scientifically supported. Macroevolution (vertical changes in life-forms, e.g. cosmic organic soup à bacteria à invertebrates à fish à amphibians à mammals à men, etc.) cannot be observed as having taken place in times past (all living things appear abruptly in the fossil record, fully formed) nor can it be observed as taking place presently. It is neither verifiable nor is it falsifiable by means of the scientific method. Yet, it is held up as a sacred cow, towering far above any critical scrutiny and protected from competing theories with the religious zeal of a secular inquisition.
The Creation Studies Institute (CSI) has been exposing the deception, brainwashing and censorship that have long been the bastions of evolutionary science. The Bible makes a clear distinction between true science and science falsely so called. CSI supports the ID movement’s insistence that we clearly define the concept of science, not based upon the current evolutionary dogma, but on the proper long-standing definitions of science. Science that tests and verifies results is completely harmonious with the biblical model. A model that is congruent with what we see in nature and confirmed in the DNA of every living cell. This truth, that everything in nature has been designed or programmed to reproduce ‘after its own kind’ just as it states in the Book of Genesis, is perfectly analogous to what we observe today and confirms what appears in the fossil record of the past.
The ID movement challenges its opponents to “teach the controversy.” Let the students hear all the evidence, pro and con, with all the alternate theories and let the chips fall where they may. When did an open examination of all the evidence become something to be feared? This is indeed a subject of tremendous importance. Are we going to indoctrinate our children, programming them by telling them that it has been scientifically proved that they are really just hairless apes, cosmic accidents, and the results of random mutation? We have been doing this for several generations now and the bitter fruit of the ToE is incontrovertible. Racism, communism and fascism can be directly traced to the ToE. Tell people they are just animals and they will behave like animals. Tell them all the facts and teach them to think for themselves and perhaps they will come to a different conclusion.
Teaching all facts, pro and con of both the ToE and ID, will produce a generation of men and women who can think for themselves, critically analyze data and come to conclusions based upon an open and uncensored examination of the facts. Bible believing people are only asking that the truth be examined in the light, without the brainwashing, deception and censorship that has accompanied the ToE since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859. We are confident that when the truth is examined in the light of academic freedom, that truth will set us free by pointing us to the Creator of the universe who happens also to be the Savior of mankind.