Dennis Campbell
July 15, 2007
The frightening specter of Intelligent Design
By Dennis Campbell

If you were to ask a committed Darwinist why he fears the Intelligent Design movement, he would simply laugh at you and deny that Intelligent Design offers any threat whatsoever.

"Darwinism is a fact," he would say, "a matter of science and a settled issue."

There is a highly technical philosophical phrase for this: Whistling past the graveyard. Just as the superstitious person walking past the graveyard whistles to put on a false front, so the Darwinist bravely shrugs off Intelligent Design as non-threatening and irrelevant.

What is clear, however, is that Darwinism indeed is threatened as science delves into the complexities of life and matter, which increasingly become unexplainable by natural selection and a self-creating universe.

For the mind that considers the issue dispassionately and rationally, all that we observe cries out for a designer. The finest example of this, perhaps, is the unfathomable complexity of life, best portrayed in the human genome. The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, identified 20,000 to 25,000 genes in human DNA and determined the sequences of the three billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA (for detailed information go to http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/home.shtml).

And still, scientists stubbornly maintain that this marvelous complexity happened by accident. If I told you the computer I am using was plucked fully developed from a field in Silicon Valley, you would declare me mad, yet the difference in complexity between the machine and life borders on astronomical. Life not only cries out for a designer, it demands one.

This quite simply is a matter of rationality and, conversely, irrationality. It is rational to think that something with a seemingly infinite complexity required intelligent guidance. It is irrational to think that perfect order came unguided out of utter chaos, that something came from nothing.

The law of causality denies that something comes from nothing. Rather, every material effect must have an adequate antecedent cause. This computer had that designers, programmers, manufacturing processes. To say otherwise is lunacy.

You ask, "What caused the designer?" The designer is the "uncaused first cause," and as a non-material entity requires no antecedent cause. And whether you believe in Darwinism or Intelligent Design, you must accept the premise of pre-existence, either of matter or the designer.

To posit that life occurred on planet Earth through random chance, and not only survived as a single cell but thrived, somehow finding sustenance and living for vast periods of time before "learning" to multiply, is irrational.

But if design, conversely, is rational, why do so many scientists reject it? Because this is not an issue of science, but of religion. Their religion is that of materialism and naturalism, and they are under no illusions as to the implications of design.

Mathematics also works against the Darwinist. British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, greatly esteemed until he challenged Darwinism, calculated that the chance occurrence of the enzymes necessary for the simplest of cells was one in 10 to the 40,000th power 10 followed by 40,000 zeroes. This is a number enormously larger than the total of all the atoms in the known universe.

Hoyle maintained that if the entire universe had consisted of the so-called primordial soup, the idea of life occurring by chance remains "nonsense of a high order."

Hoyle did not believe in God, but rather believed that an intelligence of a vastly higher order than man sent protoplasmic material throughout the universe, seeding it, so to speak, with life, coming to fruition on Earth. Hoyle did not address whether this higher order of intelligence was caused or uncaused.

In the Intelligent Design movement, adherents are free to determine for themselves who or what the designer may be. They simply agree that design clearly is evident in the cosmos.

But what of the original question: Why do Darwinists fear Intelligent Design? That they do is evident, most obviously manifested when it is suggested that students in elementary and secondary school be informed of the competing theories. They engage in furious efforts to prevent Intelligent Design from even being mentioned in state schools, insisting it violates the so-called Constitutional separation of church and state, thus casting it in a strictly religious light.

Perhaps the greatest fear of Darwinists is that students, say ages 10 or 12, not previously indoctrinated into Darwinism would have no difficulty discerning the obvious rationality of one theory over the other.

Just as they would scoff at the notion that their laptop computers were plucked fully developed from a field in Silicon Valley.

© Dennis Campbell

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

 

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