Natural Selection or Intelligent Design?

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“You put your signature on the whole Universe,

but they still can’t read your handwriting.”

Natural scientists who believe the Darwinian theory of evolution are living proof that you can have intelligence without common sense. However, intelligence without common sense is nonsense.

With regard to natural selection: how can there be any form of selection without some form of intelligence? How could something without any intelligence be expected to make the infinite number of choices in order to evolve from absolute nothingness to the present human condition?

After all, without intelligence, what inspired the so-called progression of random variations? And how could any non-intellectual force select which of the variations is best suited as the next evolutionary step?

Simply put, if it is indeed random, the law of average would take effect. So even if it got lucky and “chose” the best once or twice, it would eventually choose a destructive path.

After all, without intelligence there is nothing to base the decision on. It could not possibly know what is or isn’t the best choice to evolve. In fact, why would it even be trying to evolve if it has no intelligence to realize it needs to?

In other words, how can anything without some form of intelligence even know what condition or state it is presently in? It would have no reason to think it needs to evolve, or how to act upon that need. — And, without intelligence, what would have instituted the natural law in the first place?

Consequently, I do believe in a modified form of natural law, it is one that was set in motion by an intelligent Creator. 

 

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 © JW Thomas

 

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Evolutionary Goliath: Refusing to Evolve to Play Fair

Not all Old Boy networks have gone the way of the dodo bird. Some of these ancient bodies are so deeply entrenched that parts of them have fossilized, and other parts have petrified. Unfortunately, they are not always seen for what they are until something or someone comes along that scares them into believing they may have to relinquish some of their power. The Darwinian sect has held court so long that their far-reaching roots have extended beyond the science community, gaining influence, sway, and even strangleholds within the education, judicial, and political communities. This power-wielding fact may seem rather benign until we observe how Goliath-like and prejudicial they become when faced with the prospect of allowing equal access to their uncontested domain to any school of thought unlike their own. When the David-like contenders of intelligent design dared to step foot within a realm evolutionists consider “private,” they were not even given the lesser biased option to “ride in the back of the bus,” they were told to stay off the bus entirely. The evolutionist’s actions mirror the prejudicial responses to the physically disabled, minorities, and women during bygone days when they were unfairly restricted from advancement in education and careers. There are very few reasons that can justify biased actions, though wisdom demands we make an effort to understand. In our attempt to understand, we will evaluate the four predominant contentions evolutionists hold against intelligent design. However, even if a better understanding is gained by evaluating the evolutionist’s contentions, it does not negate the fact that the education system should not wait for the natural scientists to rediscover morality and equality before allowing intelligent design on campus and in the curriculum, because it is a legitimate scientific concept, and it is the proper, non-prejudicial action to take.

Prejudicial responses have plagued this issue from the beginning. For instance, when President Bush was questioned about this controversy he wisely stated, “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” and he believes that “both sides ought to be properly taught” (Edna DeVore). Had the President made those comments regarding race, gender, or sexual orientation he would have been applauded, but because he made them regarding evolution and intelligent design he incurred an immediate backlash from the science and education communities. Beginning with Dr. John Marburger III, the President’s Science Advisor, and continuing with representatives from some of the most powerful science and education organizations like the American Geophysical Union (comprised of 43,000 Earth and Space scientists), the American Institute of Biological Sciences (representing 80 professional societies and over 240,000 scientists and educators), the National Science Teachers Association (over 55,000 members), and the American Federation of Teachers (representing 1.3 million teachers), all choosing to publicly criticize the fairness and equality in the President’s statement. This backlash took less than a day to begin, and gives us just a hint at the size and resources available to the proponents of evolution. Similarly, as the Bush Administration gave way to the Obama Administration it strengthened the evolutionary Goliath’s resolve to retain its effective push to keep classrooms and curriculums segregated against all other schools of thought but its own.

Fred Spilhaus, of the American Geophysical Union, claimed, “Advocating that the concept of intelligent design be taught alongside the theory of evolution, puts American children at risk” (DeVore). He further contends that “It is essential that students on every level learn what science is, and how scientific knowledge progresses” (DeVore). Coincidentally, Spilhaus, like every evolutionist who makes this claim, fails to explain how students would be hindered in learning science by learning two scientific theories instead of one. After all, will students only learning basic math be better mathematicians than students equally learning algebra, geometry, calculus, and trigonometry? Nearly every subject within the education system has wisely included various theories, concepts, formulas, or styles. Sadly, however, we have seen how the evolutionists will say or do anything to maintain the status quo.

Another example is by Live Science writer Ker Than, who claims, “Darwin’s theory of evolution tells us… humans are not the products of special creation and that life has no inherent meaning or purpose” (Than). Common Sense asks, “What is riskier for children, to promote segregation and prejudice by locking out viable alternative schools of thought, and telling kids they are not special and their life has no inherent meaning or purpose?” Or is it riskier for children if we come to our collective senses, and allow optional schools of thought in order for our children to gain a sense of acceptance, tolerance, and greater diversity in knowledge?  Biologist Jonathon Wells points out, “In the absence of evidence that natural selection and random variations can account for the apparently designed features of living things… students should also be taught that design remains a possibility” (Wells). Charles Henderson, author of God and Science, concurs with a combined education, but for a different reason. Henderson claims, “Those who will make significant contributions to understanding and knowledge in the future will not come from the ranks of those who see this as a confrontation between two opposing and largely contradictory views of reality” (Henderson). He further asserts, “What the world needs now is not more confrontation and debates, but rather more frequent opportunities for people of different… traditions and intellectual disciplines to engage in the constructive exchange of ideas through which real learning becomes possible” (Henderson). When common sense pops into the equation the rest of us can see a glimmer of hope. Assuredly, the science community would reach the truth a lot quicker through professional tolerance, acceptance, and collaboration then if allowed to continue this scientific version of the Hatfields and McCoys.

Feuds are kept alive through unresolved conflict. Unfortunately, many feuds have arisen and thrived even when the contentions were illogical, unreasonable, or untrue. Bearing that in mind, we need to establish the specific contentions evolutionists hold onto to justify their actions. After deleting the slurs and rants, the remaining contentions of evolutionists can be placed into four main points: 1. Evolution is proven so we do not need another theory. 2. Intelligent Design is not a scientific concept. 3. ID proponents are not engaged in scientific research. 4. ID proponents have no peer-reviewed acceptance by the science community.

Proponents of evolution admit they still have a lot to learn, but the majority of their ranks believe natural selection is a proven fact. Thus, many contend that allowing another school of thought would only muddy the scientific waters. Though we must ask, is evolution undeniably proven? Michael J. Behe, professor of biological science at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University, points out that “Biochemistry textbooks and journals describe the workings of some of the many living molecular machines within our cells, but they offer very little information about how those systems supposedly evolved” (Behe). He further claims, “Many scientists frankly admit their bewilderment about how they may have originated, but they refuse to entertain the obvious hypothesis” (Behe). Ker Than claims that ID proponents, “[exploit] disagreements among biologists, pointing out gaps in their understanding of evolution” (Than). Though logic leads us to conclude that if evolution was undeniably true, there would be no gaps for evolutionists to squabble about. Likewise, how many untrue theories have scientists supported throughout the ages? It was scientists and educators who claimed the Earth was flat, and the sun revolved around the world. Though, in all fairness, a lack of technology contributed to a fair portion of those early failures.

Behe reminds us that “To Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, the living cell was a black box because its fundamental mechanisms were completely obscure. We know now that, far from being formed from a kind of simple, uniform protoplasm (as many nineteenth-century scientists believed), every living cell contains many ultrasophisticated molecular machines” (Behe). Truthfully, proponents of both evolution and intelligent design are surprised by a large variety of complexities which have come to light within our lifetime (especially within the last decade) which cannot be readily explained by natural causation. Behe refers to these ultrasophisticated systems as “irreducibly complex, because such intricately designed systems are highly unlikely to be produced by numerous, successive, slight modifications of… prior systems, because any precursor that was missing a crucial part could not function” (Behe). Natural selection can only pick from pre-working systems, so systems that are irreducibly complex create an insurmountable obstacle for Darwin’s theory to overcome. After all, it was Darwin himself who set the standard for testing his theory when he acknowledged, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down” (qtd. in Behe). Could that be an unspoken reason why natural scientists and educators apparently fear another school of thought in the classroom? Actually, rational individuals realize that the gaps within evolutionary concepts, though numerous, do not in themselves disprove natural selection. However, it does show that evolution is by no means a proven fact as the natural scientists profess. In the same respect, proponents of intelligent design have an equally hard road ahead to prove their theory. Therefore, since both evolution and intelligent design remain disputable theories, they both should be allowed in the classroom. — Which brings us to the evolutionist’s contention that ID is not a scientific concept?

When Marburger III began the backlash against President Bush, he proclaimed, “evolution is the cornerstone of biology” and “intelligent design is not a scientific concept” (DeVore). This sentiment was mirrored by many proponents of evolution. Dr. Marvelee Wake, of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, claimed, almost word for word, “Intelligent design is not a scientific theory” (DeVore), and a representative for the American Federation of Teachers attempted to evolve the contention by claiming intelligent design is a “discredited, nonscientific view” (DeVore). Fortunately, claiming something in blanket statements and proving the claims are two different things. The claim that intelligent design is not a scientific concept revolves around the fact that proponents of evolution view “design, as the action of an intelligent agent, is not a fundamental creative force in nature” (Dembski), choosing instead to believe “blind natural causes, characterized by chance and necessity and ruled by unbroken laws, are thought sufficient to do all nature’s creating” (Dembski). However, as previously pointed out, evolution has never been indisputably proven. Furthermore, just because evolutionists claim that a concept is not scientific simply because it contains the element of intelligent design does not hold true. It is simply another biased contention attempting to support their view to segregate alternative schools of thought. After all, various legitimate sciences are already taught in our schools that include elements of intelligent design. William A. Dembski, author of The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities, claims, “in special sciences ranging from forensics to archeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable.” He further claims that in these various sciences there are tried and true techniques for identifying intelligence, and “Essential to all these techniques is the ability to eliminate chance and necessity” (Dembski). In the article “Can Intelligent Design (ID) be a Testable, Scientific Theory?” Rich Deems adds anthropology to Dembski’s list, and points out how each of the sciences, “use evidence of ID as the major or sole means of study.” If these well-known, and for the most part, respected sciences function unhindered with elements of intelligent design the science and education communities have no legitimate reason to claim ID is not a scientific concept. — Bringing us to their next contention, another blanket statement, insisting ID proponents are not engaged in scientific research.

The evolutionist’s third contention implies that ID is just a shrouded version of creationism, packaged in a way to sneak it into schools, and that ID proponents have no intention to perform scientific research. Barbara Forrest, associate professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, proclaims, “It was suppose to be their first goal and the foundation of the whole strategy, and that’s doing science… [but they] haven’t done any because you can’t do science in such a way as to test for the supernatural” (Forrest). She then tries child psychology on the American public by claiming the proponents of ID are “taking advantage of the fact that Americans like to be fair, but it’s really grossly unfair” (Forrest). A spokesperson for the Goliath side of the issue — the side that is using all its money, power, and political influence to forcefully keep the smaller group of ID proponents away from any equal playing field — is calling the David side of the issue “grossly unfair.” Unsurprisingly, the rest of her contentions are equally inappropriate.

Let us look at a few of the ID proponents Forrest claims are “not doing science.” Michael J. Behe received his Ph.D in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978. He is a professor of biological sciences at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University. His current research involves the roles of design and natural selection in building protein structure, and he is the author of Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution and The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism. Jonathon Wells has two Ph.D’s, receiving one from the University of California, Berkeley, and one from Yale University. He has worked as a postdoctoral biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and taught biology at California University, Hayward, and he is the author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong. Instead of continuing with a list of hundreds of individuals and their credentials, I will round it off by including various groups like the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, along with the Discovery Institute, and the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design that are attempting to advance the theory of intelligent design. How can evolutionists continue to claim ID proponents are not doing science? Sadly, one of the reasons is because they know the deck is heavily stacked in their favor, which leads us to their fourth contention.

Evolutionists claim the proponents of ID are untested in terms of peer-review within the science community. Ker Than points out, “In modern science, a theory must first undergo the gauntlet of peer-review in a reputable scientific journal before it is widely accepted” (Than). Forrest claims ID scientists “have no empirical research program” and “have published no data to peer-reviewed journals (or elsewhere) to support their intelligent design claims” (Forrest). What the evolutionists fail to mention is that the evolutionary Goliath controls, directly or indirectly, every so-called reputable scientific journal. Case in point, although Forrest claims no ID proponent has been published in a peer-review journal, that’s not true. Stephen Meyers had his article “Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington” published in 2004, but the journal that published it immediately made a retraction. The Goliath influence has far-reaching effects.  Equally untrue was Forrest’s claim that ID proponents have not been published anywhere else. Since the science and education communities do not control all the publishing houses, ID proponents have opted to go that route to get their research out, and they have been fairly successful considering the comparatively short time they have tried. Ker Than even admits “ID proponents have… successfully [pitched] their idea to the public” (Than). A good reason for this success is because more concerned citizens are becoming aware of the magnitude of prejudicial abuse being perpetrated by the science and education communities, who are unjustly locking out a legitimate school of thought in order to maintain the monopolized and dictatorial status quo. With consideration to their biased claims, it is ironic to view Forrest’s claim that ID proponents are “investing most their efforts in swaying politicians and the public, not the science community” (Forrest). As a woman in this generation, has she forgot the end-around plays feminists took in order to get their claims noticed? For instance, journalist Gloria Steinem sneaking into the male-dominated world of Playboy by donning a bunny outfit for an expose’.

Naturally the ID proponents would prefer accessibility to peer-reviewed journals, but if they are forced to do the modern version of the political bunny-hop, what honest American can condemn them for trying to get an even break? We Americans often make the mistake of taking things at face value. Our history is littered with evidence showing how this gullible trait has allowed too many injustices to breed and thrive longer than they should have. However, history equally shows that when enough of us get wise to the injustice we are not afraid to confront and resolve the problem.

The main contentions by evolutionists have been clearly defined within this text, and shown that the only way a rational person can accept those claims is by taking them at face value only. As soon as common sense and evidence are placed in the equation all four contentions by the evolutionists melt like butter as the sunny illumination of knowledge strips away the false solidity of injustice. All Americans, especially parents, should want our education system to partner with parental efforts to inspire our children by encouraging curiosity, building their skills of critical thought and reasoned arguments, unafraid to dive into the rivers of knowledge and find the currents that will carry them to their destinations. Sadly, our education system will never reach such a lofty ideal as long as it remains in partnership with an organization that uses its Goliath-like power to unjustly lock out legitimate schools of thought. Fortunately, it is up to us, the American people, how long we will allow any form of Goliath-like bullying to continue before providing the David-sized opponent with the proverbial sling.

 

Works Cited

Behe, Michael J. “The Challenge of Irreducible Complexity: Every living cell contains many ultrasophisticated molecular machines.” “Intelligent Design?” Natural History magazine. Reprinted. ActionBioscience. April 2002. Print.

Deem, Rich. “Can Intelligent Design (ID) be a Testable, Scientific Theory?” 22 July 2009 Web.

Dembski, William A. “Detecting Design in the Natural Sciences: Intelligence leaves behind a Characteristic signature.” “Intelligent Design?” Natural History magazine. Reprinted. Action Bioscience. April 2002.

DeVore, Edna. “Intelligent Design and Evolution at the White House.” 18 Aug. 2005

Forrest, Barbara. “The Newest Evolution of Creationism: Intelligent design is about politics and Religion, not science.” “Intelligent Design?” Natural History magazine. Reprinted. Action Bioscience. April 2002.

Henderson, Charles. “Intelligent Design vs Evolution: A False Dichotomy.” GodWeb. 22 July 2009.

Than, Ker. “Intelligent Design: An Ambiguous Assault on Evolution.” Live Science. 22 Sep. 2005 Print.

Wells, Jonathon. “Elusive Icons of Evolution: What do Darwin’s finches and the four-winged fruit fly really tell us?” “Intelligent Design?” Natural History magazine. Reprinted. Action Bioscience. April 2002.

(Article is a reprint of a 2009 post. Some of the characters mentioned may now hold different job descriptions; but it was all factual at the time it was first printed.)