Proof of God: Intelligent Design
Why do we see design everywhere?
This sort of argument is of wide and perennial appeal. Almost everyone admits that reflection on the order and beauty of nature touches something very deep within us. But are the order and beauty the product of intelligent design and conscious purpose? For theists the answer is yes. Arguments for design are attempts to vindicate this answer, to show why it is the most reasonable one to give. They have been formulated in ways as richly varied as the experience in which they are rooted. The following displays the core or central insight.
The universe displays a staggering amount of intelligibility, both within the things we observe and in the way these things relate to others outside themselves. That is to say: the way they exist and coexist display an intricately beautiful order and regularity that can fill even the most casual observer with wonder. It is the norm in nature for many different beings to work together to produce the same valuable end—for example, the organs in the body work for our life and health. (See also argument 8.)
Either this intelligible order is the product of chance or of intelligent design.
Therefore the universe is the product of intelligent design.
Design comes only from a mind, a designer.
Therefore the universe is the product of an intelligent Designer.
The first premise is certainly true-even those resistant to the argument admit it. The person who did not would have to be almost pathetically obtuse. A single protein molecule is a thing of immensely impressive order; much more so a single cell; and incredibly much more so an organ like the eye, where ordered parts of enormous and delicate complexity work together with countless others to achieve a single certain end. Even chemical elements are ordered to combine with other elements in certain ways and under certain conditions. Apparent disorder is a problem precisely because of the overwhelming pervasiveness of order and regularity. So the first premise stands.
If all this order is not in some way the product of intelligent design—then what? Obviously, it "just happened." Things just fell out that way "by chance." Alternatively, if all this order is not the product of blind, purposeless forces, then it has resulted from some kind of purpose. That purpose can only be intelligent design. So the second premise stands.
It is of course the third premise that is crucial. Ultimately, nonbelievers tell us, it is indeed by chance and not by any design that the universe of our experience exists the way it does. It just happens to have this order, and the burden of proof is on believers to demonstrate why this could not be so by chance alone.
But this seems a bit backward. It is surely up to nonbelievers to produce a credible alternative to design. And "chance" is simply not credible. For we can understand chance only against a background of order. To say that something happened "by chance" is to say that it did not turn out as we would have expected, or that it did turn out in a way we would not have expected. But expectation is impossible without order. If you take away order and speak of chance alone as a kind of ultimate source, you have taken away the only background that allows us to speak meaningfully of chance at all. Instead of thinking of chance against a background of order, we are invited to think of order-overwhelmingly intricate and ubiquitous order-against a random and purposeless background of chance. Frankly, that is incredible. Therefore it is eminently reasonable to affirm the third premise, not chance, and therefore to affirm the conclusion, that this universe is the product of intelligent design.
Question 1: Hasn't the Darwinian theory of evolution shown us how it is possible for all the order in the universe to have arisen by chance?
Reply: Not at all. If the Darwinian theory has shown anything, it has shown, in a general way, how species may have descended from others through random mutation; and how survival of these species can be accounted for by natural selection—by the fitness of some species to survive in their environment. In no way does it—can it—account for the ubiquitous order and intelligibility of nature. Rather, it presupposes order. To quote a famous phrase: "The survival of the fittest presupposes the arrival of the fit." If Darwinians wish to extrapolate from their purely biological theory and maintain that all the vast order around us is the result of random changes, then they are saying something which no empirical evidence could ever confirm; which no empirical science could ever demonstrate; and which, on the face of it, is simply beyond belief.
Question 2: Maybe it is only in this region of the universe that order is to be found. Maybe there are other parts unknown to us that are completely chaotic—or maybe the universe will one day in the future become chaotic. What becomes of the argument then?
Reply: Believers and nonbelievers both experience the same universe. It is this which is either designed or not. And this world of our common experience is a world of pervasive order and intelligibility. That fact must be faced. Before we speculate about what will be in the future or what may be elsewhere in the present, we need to deal honestly with what is. We need to recognize in an unflinching way the extent—the overwhelming extent—of order and intelligibility. Then we can ask ourselves: Is it credible to suppose that we inhabit a small island of order surrounded by a vast sea of chaos—a sea which threatens one day to engulf us?
Just consider how in the last decades we have strained fantastically at the limits of our knowledge; we have cast our vision far beyond this planet and far within the elements that make it up. And what has this expansion of our horizons revealed? Always the same thing: more—and not less—intelligibility; more—and not less—complex and intricate order. Not only is there no reason to believe in a surrounding chaos, there is every reason not to. It flies in the face of the experience that all of us—believers and nonbelievers—share in common.
Something similar can be said about the future. We know the way things in the universe have behaved and are behaving. And so, until we have some reason to think otherwise, there is every reason to believe it will continue on its orderly path of running down. No speculation can nullify what we know.
And, anyway, exactly what sort of chaos is this question asking us to imagine? That effect precedes cause? That the law of contradiction does not hold? That there need not be what it takes for some existing thing to exist? These suggestions are completely unintelligible; if we think about them at all, it is only to reject them as impossible. Can we imagine less order? Yes. Some rearrangement of the order we experience? Yes. But total disorder and chaos? That can never be considered as a real possibility. To speculate about it as if it were is really a waste of time.
Question 3: But what if the order we experience is merely a product of our minds? Even though we cannot think utter chaos and disorder, maybe that is how reality really is.
Reply: Our minds are the only means by which we can know reality. We have no other access. If we agree that something cannot exist in thought, we cannot go ahead and say that it might nevertheless exist in reality. Because then we would be thinking what we claim cannot be thought.
Suppose you claim that order is just a product of our minds. This puts you in a very awkward position. You are saying that we must think about reality in terms of order and intelligibility, but things may not exist that way in fact. Now to propose something for consideration is to think about it. And so you are saying: (a) we must think about reality in a certain way, but (b) since we think that things may not in fact exist that way, then (c) we need not think about reality the way we must think about it! Are we willing to pay that high a price to deny that the being of the universe displays intelligent design? It does not, on the face of it, seem cost effective.
We know that design necessitates a designer. In fact, in accordance with this fundamental axiom, design detection methodology is a prerequisite in many fields of human endeavor, including archaeology, anthropology, forensics, criminal jurisprudence, copyright law, patent law, reverse engineering, crypto analysis, random number generation, and SETI. And how do we recognize intelligent design? In general, we find "specified complexity" to be a reliable indicator of the presence of intelligent design. Chance can explain complexity alone but not specification -- a random sequence of letters is complex but not specified (it's meaningless). A Shakespearean sonnet is both complex and specified (it's meaningful). We can't have a Shakespearean sonnet without Shakespeare. (William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, 1998.)
Proof of God - Nature
So where's the proof of God's existence? In accordance with our familiar axiom and in light of the tremendous advances we've made in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and information theory, the proof of God is all around us!
Through the microscope, we observe the E. coli bacterial flagellum. The bacterial flagellum is what propels E. coli bacteria through its microscopic world. It consists of about 40 individual protein parts including a stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, and propeller. It's a microscopic outboard motor! The individual parts come into focus when magnified 50,000 times (using electron micrographs). And even though these microscopic outboard motors run at an incredible 100,000 rpm, they can stop on a microscopic dime. It takes only a quarter turn for them to stop, shift directions and start spinning 100,000 rpm in the opposite direction! The flagellar motor has two gears (forward and reverse), is water-cooled, and is hardwired into a signal transduction (sensory mechanism) so that it receives feedback from its environment. ("Unlocking the Mystery of Life," video documentary by Illustra Media, 2002.)
When we apply the general principles of detecting specified complexity to biologic systems (living creatures), we find it reasonable to infer the presence intelligent design. Take, for example, the bacterial flagellum's stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, and propeller. It is not convenient that we've given these parts these names - that's truly their function. If you were to find a stator, rotor, drive-shaft, U-joint, or propeller in any vehicle, machine, toy or model, you would recognize them as the product of an intelligent source. No one would expect an outboard motor -- much less one as incredible as the flagellar motor -- to be the product of a chance assemblage of parts. Motors are the product of intelligent design.
Could the real reason why Dawkins does not believe in God be found below?
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."
n Richard Dawkins, "God's Utility Function," published in Scientific American (November, 1995), p. 85
Could it be that the math, science and design of the universe is not the problem for many but rather a sense of there being a problem with fairness? As an ID'er I don't think of these things but rather the math, science and proof of design. But I will take issue with much of his statements.
He starts off spending some serious time complaining about the plight of animals this is rather telling coming from a man that doesn't have a problem with putting a two year old down. But I love animals too but I realise something He does not:
Everything survives off of something else. Its the way the Universe was designed. Everything is connected and dependent. The connectedness and dependency is beyond what we would expect to find in a universe where life could start from a single source hence the reason many scientists even Dawkins are now acknowledging that a single ancestor seems unlikely. But the problems of multiple origins of life only increase the Atheistic problems of origin of life to Impossible squared.
The next problem comes with talking about electrons and in the same sentence saying no purpose hahaha. Sorry but that's ridiculous. As you will see on this site everything has a purpose because everything is connected. We may not like how its connected or why. But it is what it is.