What is Intelligent Design?

Intelligent Design is a theory of beginnings that views the complexity and order of the Universe as evidence that things were made on purpose (e.g. by a "designer"), not by random chance (as is assumed by Darwinism).

Evolutionary theory, in contrast, proposes that our Universe began apart from any intention or intelligence - that a "big bang" or similar event brought into existence all matter and energy accidentally, and that natural laws and processes can explain our existence.

Typically Intelligent Design is distinguished from "creationism," which is a religious understanding of beginnings.  While many intelligent design theorists are also creationists, the two are not intrinsically related.  Intelligent design theory seeks truth regarding the history of the world based on observable data -- not based on religious conviction.

(Full disclosure: I'm an Intelligent Design proponent, and I also happen to be a creationist.  Surprise, surprise.)
Does evidence exist for intelligent design?

Absolutely. However, one must understand that each set of scientists (Darwinists or Intelligent Design Proponents) are looking at the same evidence -- it is a matter of the interpretation. Evolutionists filter the evidence they see through their assumptions about random chance creating the universe; intelligent design theorists filter the evidence they see through their assumption that a purposeful being made or guided the formation of the universe. Good evidences (such as irreducible complexity) have been presented indicating a designer must have been involved in the creation of life. Such evidence can be studied in detail in the book "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds" by Phillip Johnson.

Evolutionists will often say that "no scientific evidence exists to support intelligent design", but it must be clearly understood that such statements are not rooted in fact, but rather opinion. Because these people don't believe in the possibility of an intelligent designer, they are unwilling to see that any evidence could support such a being. This only proves again that evolution, too, is based on presuppositions, not empirical data.

(Note: watch what happens when evidence does arise that would naturally lead someone to conclude a designer was behind the universe.  Rather than address the evidence itself, Darwinists are likely to "define" science in such a way as to exclude that evidence from consideration.  In other words, "since the idea of a designer is outside the realm of science, we must..."  This is a clever way of keeping the upper hand in the debate and never actually answering critics.)

Why does it really matter? Aren't we just splitting hairs over this?

The desperate attempts of evolutionists to crackdown on academic freedom and keep the evidence for intelligent design under the radar shows how important evolution is to their philosophy of life. (Evolutionary philosophy assumes that life is meaningless and that there is no ultimate moral accountability.) On the other hand, intelligent design is also used as the basis for a philosophy of life (this philosophy states that life has meaning, guidelines, and purpose as determined by the designer).

It matters because, in a personal sense, we won't know who we are or where we are going unless we can get a clear picture of where we came from (and why, if that question proves to be valid).  What are we as human beings?  Accidental?  Purposeful?  Animal?  Important?  Temporal?  Eternal?   The answers begin at the beginning. 


Clayton Hudiburg said...

Random chance? How is natural selection random?
Evolutionists assume life is meaningless? Really? I know a lot of evolutionists and I don't think any of them would agree with what you say evolutionists believe. And you really shouldn't use the word "believe" for evolutionists a better word would be "conclude," or "rationalize"
Evolutionists see unanswered questions for what they are...unanswered questions. A supposed irreducibly complex system is not evidence of a creator because assuming a creator does not offer any sort of answer or mechanism. In effect it makes the whole thing a lot more messy.
On the beach near my parents' house the stratigraphy is sediment based. Sandstone etc. Although, there are erratic boulders of granite randomly situated. A geology 101 student would be a little perplexed by this because he would undoubtedly have just learned that granite is an intrusive igneous rock, which forms from processes entirely different than sandstone. Which is misplaced, the granite or the sandstone? Since sandstone forms from the processes we can observe at this particular location it is logical to conclude that the granite is misplaced.
So how did the granite get there? Was it washed there in the biblical flood for which there is no evidence? Did people bring them? Nope, there is no evidence or motive. Oh wait, God put it there right?
Actually the boulders were carried from far-off locations by the process of glaciation (for which there is a lot of evidence) and as the glaciers retreated they left the boulders behind as glacial erratics.
Just because something seems to be out of place under somebody's current understanding of a subject area does not point to a supernatural influence. It just creates the opportunity to ponder and seek answers to another question.
You speak of the "desperate attempts" of evolutionists but I would argue that the theists are desperate to exploit any avenue that will allow them to corrupt the nature of science so that their ultimate agenda of creation being taught in the classroom can be achieved. So desperate indeed that they will completely overhaul a website called "absolute truth" to gain some credibility. Yes, I do remember the old site that discussed the simultaneous existence of dinosaurs and humans and the discussion of a teenage T-rex on Noah's ark. If that was all the "absolute truth" why did you feel it necessary to hide your message behind the supposedly benign arguments of Intelligent Design. Is it because the claims were absurd and you needed to refine the "truth?"

DanJ said...

Enjoyable comments here, Clayton.
First, the reason the rest of the
site isn't here yet is because I haven't gotten to it yet.(Thanks for the reminder :-) I still hold to all the crazy stuff you mentioned. I'm willing to change my mind, and I freely admit my suppositions are faith-based. Either way, if you're right and I'm wrong, neither of us can help what we think - after all, evolution leads inescapably toward determinism. We are what our environments have made us, right?
I do hope that, someday, honest discussion and critical thinking is allowed in the classroom. I'm not arguing that they teach religious creationism. I don't think that's the right approach. I'm holding out for some academic integrity, though. If evidence against evolution exists, students have a right to see it. Censoring such data is no different than the academic crime you're accusing me of.
I do see a difference between intelligent design (non-religious) and creation (religious). You probably disagree, or assume that ID was developed as some sort of cloaking device for creationism.
P.S. By the dictionary definition, the word "believe" is the best way to communicate the way evolutionists hold to their assumptions.

Clayton Hudiburg said...

What is the actual evidence against evolution? You elude to it, but I would like to see it or read a scientific paper on the subject. Can you point me in the right direction?

DanJ said...

Well, obviously, the answer to that discussion could last quite awhile - haggling over which evidence supports which theory (everyone has the same evidence *reality* - just different interpretations of it).
Here are a few links that provide a starter for what you're looking for:
Basic summaries of evidence:
Scientific research papers/discussion/debate: http://creation.com/journal-of-creation-223 (This is actually an ongoing publication that creationist scientists report research in, etc.)
Some of the supporters of science from a creationist perspective: http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-scientists.html
Of course, I do recognize that the organizations that put this stuff out have a declared bias. Because I am a religious creationist, most sources I am familiar with come from that perspective. However, I am aware of that "intelligent design" scientists without the religious tilt are also out there. The links listed, though, would give a reasonable start to seeing the other side.

Clayton Hudiburg said...

Censoring data? I went to the above links and all (yes all) of the "data" they say supports creationism has been refuted scientifically. It is a closed book in terms of science. There is no censoring going on. Those questions have already been addressed. The trouble is that most people won't go through the effort to look it up. If the data was presented to a classroom in the context of the above links it would be an insincere representation of what is already understood by the scientific community.
At face value the arguments are extremely convincing and it would definitely convince an already skeptical high school kid that scientists are in denial about creation. If I were allowed to show students these websites I would actually be guilty of the censoring you speak of because it would be an inaccurate representation of the current understanding of each of these subjects. You can read the refutations if you like. Just go to talkorigins.org. There is an index page with links to all of the "data" against evolution and information on the actual scientific understanding for each.
As for ID not being linked to religion...well I really would like to meet somebody from that camp who does not already have a strong belief in God.
As for the question of how did something come from nothing? That is a great question that still has no scientific answer. The Big Bang is only an explanation of what has happened since.

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