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Does God exist? Intelligent Design

Updated on February 4, 2016
lawrence01 profile image

Loving God and loving mankind is an important part of who I am, in these hubs we explore what it's like to really follow Jesus.

Is this the new kid causing arguments?

The 'New kid' throwing the arguments 'out the window' Our very own DNA
The 'New kid' throwing the arguments 'out the window' Our very own DNA | Source

The existence of God.

The question that has been debated down through the millenia. Right from the time of Socrates down to present time the debate has been raging, and while it's 'ebbed and flowed' over the centuries and seems to have no intention of abating.

In the early twentieth century it actually looked as if there was an answer to the debate and it looked as if science was indicating that the theologians had been wrong all along! It was looking strongly that the atheist was winning the argument as the evidence against the idea of God began to mount!

Back in the 1820s it had been shown that Organic material can occur naturally from non-organic material, then in the early 1850s Charles Dawrin, an ex Anglican minister and avid botanist put forward his theory on 'the origin of the species' that claimed life came about through an evolutionary process that was governed by undirected chance and God wasn't needed anymore to "explain the unexplainable"

In the early 1950s breakthroughs were made though that were to change the way we see our world. What were they?

What is 'Intelligent design?'

Basically intelligent design is the proposal that life is so complex that it can not have come about y accident and therefore must be the work of an intelligence, some claim that intelligence to be God but not all proponents of 'ID' or intelligent design believe in God!

Now, before people fall off their chair in laughter at the statement above lets take a look at a few things.

Firstly the best known proponents of the 'ID' argument are Evangelical Christians, if you look up websites like the Discovery Institute you'd see that the people there are mostly Christians, but they're not the only ones, in fact some of the most 'groundbreaking' work done in this area has actually been done by atheist and agnostic scientists!

Up until the mid 1950s science seemed to be leading us to the conclusion that life occured on earth three billion years ago as a result of random processes that eventually accumulated until chemicals were eventually able to form what became the building blocks for amino acids that in turn became proteins and in turn developed into either DNA or the simpler RNA molecules that finally formed into the first living organisms.

But in the early 1950s two scientists were collating work done by others in the field of molecular biology that they were able to form into a model that would change the way we understand how life started forever, the two scientists were James Watson and Francis Crick.

This book isn't popular with the scientific community (it's written by a scientist!)

Breakthroughs

From the early part of the twentieth century scientists had struggled to find the 'source of life' what was (is) it that causes inorganic material to organize itself in such a way that it was able to transform into organic matter that could then build into living creatures?

There was a suspect, one that was kind of known about but no one had worked out its structure, it was called 'diribonucleaic acid' or DNA as we know it, but no one had worked out what it even looked like.

In 1953 two scientists who were working with research that others had done came up with a model of what DNA actually looked like, but they also came up with the solution as to how this strange substance worked to store the information for building life and it was far more simple than anyone every dreamed, but the problem they discovered was that it only worked one way and could only work when the complete system was 'up and running'

With the discovery of DNA science was literally turned 'on it's head' as all of a sudden instead of 'shutting God out' there was something in the first building blocks of life for which there was no explanation and sixty years down the track there still is none!

What is DNA?

Why talk about this?

Ask any evolutionary scientist what the theory of Intelligent Design is and they'll tell you "It's just re-hashed creationism!" and they'll dismiss it as such, to be honest if it was then they'd be right to dismiss it but it isn't!

The argument does have some similarities to the Cosmological argument and the arguments from design from Newtons time, but the similarities stop there as most of those have been refuted to various degrees.

Intelligent design starts with the scientific position that we can't actually explain how life started and science encourages us in situations like that we need to take all possibilities into account, and that includes the possibility of an intelligent designer!

But the question comes who is that designer? This is the question that we ask next and being totally honest the theory of Intelligent Design can't actually tell us! What it can tell us is that this universe didn't happen by chance!


A good explanation of the theory of intelligent design

The 'New kid on the block'

Take a look at the complexity!
Take a look at the complexity! | Source

What is 'Intelligent design'?

What the theory isn't!

Okay, before I go on I'll admit that most of the material I've used for this hub is by Christians that believe the 'designer' is God, but I'd be remiss to point out some startling facts that the atheists and agnostics have contributed to the debate.

In 2004 in Dover Pensylvania there was a court case that (by what the media writes) almost split America on both sides as Christians on the school board of the local high school wanted theories that differ from the standard theory of evolution taught in school, there was uproar as both the local school teachers and the scientific community felt that it was the local evangelicals trying to get 'creation through a back door'. They wanted Intelligent design taught alongside the theory of evolution with the caveat that evolution was only a theory and other theories should be taught.

Along with this around the same time the Smithsonian ran an article in one of it's publications by a Dr Stephen Mayer that suggested that Intelligent design should be given thought to as a possible alternative to evolution, within weeks the editor of the journal was sidelined and moved away, the message was clear, no ID papers were to be published in mainstream scientific media

Sir Fred Hulme was a noted and famous Astronomer who was highly critical of the Big bang theory when it came out, he actually coined the phrase 'the big bang' as a way of ridiculing the theory as to him he thought the theory was too close to Biblical creationism.

Mayer, in his book 'Signature in the cell' tells that he got the chance to meet with Hulme in the mid 1980s and talked with him about the possibility that life on earth was just too complex to have started by chance.

Hulme, it turns out had calculated the chances of life being able to 'evolve' naturally and the odds were so high that it 'shook his atheism to the core'

He'd calculated that just to make the first amino acid and DNA is made up of four proteins that have tens of thousands of possible combinations binding to each other and each protein is the made up of approximatly four hundred amino acids all sequenced in exactly the right order (get one wrong and you go right back to the start as the whole thing unravels) the odds were greater than the sum total of all the atoms in the known universe!

Hoyle's conclusion was that life on earth had to be started by an outside intelligence, where he differs from classic proponents of the theory is he actually taught that the universe is eternal with new galaxies spiringing into the void created by the receding other galaxies (giving the impression the universe is expanding) and life on earth was actually 'seeded' by Alien life forms from other galaxies

Richard Dawkins on God and Intelligent Design

Non believers who accept the possibility

First of all I'll apologise for any toes that I'mm stepping on as this debate starts to cross over the traditional boundaries and gets into some serious debate as to where we came from, I was stunned to hear Dawkins in the interview above admit to the possibility of some form of Intelligent Design, and he's not alone in the atheist camp.

Francis Crick was a strong atheist all his life, yet he held to the view that DNA was too complex to have come about by natural processes. Not only that but his own discoveries subesquent to DNA and unravelling how it works suggested that for DNA to be able to work, and for the cells of the most basic life form to work you have to have everything fully functional and working at the time of the first cell forming (they can't happen by a gradual process).

Numerous computer simulations have been run to try and understand how the first cells formed and every one of them (including the one Richard Dawkins himself ran in 1987) have come back with the same results. The variables are just too great for the small timespan! (fourteen billion years is too small a timespan for even the first molecules to form let alone proteins, and that's before you get to the amino acids and the DNA!)

Alternative Hypothesis

You're probably going to think it really strange that a Theist is going to write the following part, but I wouldn't be being fair if I didn't tell you that there are those who accept the theory of Intelligent Design but with a different outcome and different designer!

Sir Fred Hulme

Was a British astronomer ,and astrophysicist who rejected the 'big bang' theory for a number of reasons.

  1. Too close an idea to Creationism! As an atheist he rejected the Bible and anything to do with it. To him the idea of a universe with a beginning and and end spoke too much like the Bible.
  2. The chances were so small as to be impossible. Sir Fred knew that to form the first protein you had to get the molecules in exactly the right order, not one could be out of place, then you had to have a molecle chain four hundred molecules long (for the most basic cell) and each has to be in exactly the right order! The chances of this happening even once he calculated were greater than the sum total of all the atoms in the known universe to one!
  3. Where do you think Hollywood gets the plots for their movies about man being created in the labs of Alien races? Sir Fred Hulme developed the theory (not Ron L Hubbard) that has the universe being eternal but the galaxies receding from each other and new galaxies formed in their place (thus in keeping with what we see) and earlier alien life forms came to earth 'seeding' life here. Just like Star Trek said!

He was the one coined teh phrase "Jumbo jet in a Junkyard' arguing that belief in the big bang is like gonig to a Junkyard and believing that given enough time the parts will assembe themselves into a Boeing 747 without the help of an engineer!

Anthony Frew


Noted atheist who studied under CS Lewis and wrote many books on atheism such as 'There is no God' but it 2004 caused uproar when he stated that he was abandoning atheism and had become a 'theist' (he never accepted the 'god' of any religion though) because the evidence from intelligent design was so compelling!

Ben Stein


A proponent of Intelligent Design who put together the documentary "Expelled" that covers the story of what happened at the Smithsonian. Ben is Jewish and blames the Nazi Holocaust on evolution (Let's not get into that argument plese, it's merely the view of the person I'm mentioning)

Here's an interesting one. I haven't read it but just had to put the book in as it's by an atheist and supports Intelligent design!

This was a surprise to find (maybe I should read it!)

What do you think?

Does an argment like Intelligent design 'prove God' to you?

See results

What do you think?

leave a cooment below
leave a cooment below | Source

Conclusion

Now that I've just about confused everyone (and upset both camps!) it's time for me to draw some conclusions.

Pretty early on I realized that the Intelligent design argument only really proves what I want it to prove in that area, but only to me!

On the net you'll read everything from 'it's proof of God' and totally scientific to 'It's totally BS and kills science as you get to the point where you can't go further and it tells you to stop looking' (Sorry but I never found that on any of the ID sites I went to!)

The reality is the argument for Intelligent Design can't prove God exists because all it says is that life is so complex that it must have had a designer but stops short of saying that the 'designer' is God!

To the Christian it proves that "God did it" (and a large portion of ID proponents say that in their opinion it was God, but that's their opinion and not science they're reporting) but the agnostic might also be intrigued by the scientific theories and Hypotheses coming out that our univese might not be the only one and might think the the idea of aliens isn't too far fetched!

With ID one thing is clear though, it says that science says that random chance is not a viable theory.

I welcome your thoughts on this.

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    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      100001

      Amen to that. Thanks for the visit

      Lawrence

    • 10000001 profile image

      madugundu krishna 18 months ago from Yemmiganur

      great God. faith in God.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Mel

      You've got the intelligent design argument straight away! What you suggest is actually what a lot of the scientists who accept intelligent design as a concept believe!

      One of the things that Darwin's argument for evolution hung on was that the birds he encountered in the Galapagos looked different but we're all finches! He argued that all birds came from one common ancestor but so did all other animals!

      The issue is that for evolution between species to happen there often has to be an 'infusion' of DNA where we've only ever observed (in nature) changes within a species by 'deletion'.

      Evolution is right that species diversify to adadt to environmental situations, but what's not told is that when it happens no DNA is added which would be needed to have species changing.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub.

      Lawrence

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 18 months ago from San Diego California

      Lawrence you have written a splendid argument for your case. I believe in God, I read the Bible and value it for what it is, a religious text, not a science or history book. Could it be that God created the DNA, left it alone, and the forces of evolution took over from there? I think the creation story is a parable, designed to teach a religious lesson. I study nature so I see so many creatures that are different species but must have had a common ancestor. A crow and a Raven, for instance. I see no conflict between faith and science. I think the answer lies somewhere between intelligent design and evolution.

      Once agsin, beautifully articulated piece of work and even though we might differ in our points of view I hold your right to your opinion sacred.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 18 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Wholeo

      From one ex serviceman to another welcome here! I'm Ex Army myself. Glad you enjoyed the hub and ended up here. I left my replying until the weekend so I had time to write a slightly more full reply, hope you don't mind!

      I'm not surprised by what you say about the Creation versus Evolution debate as many of the ones I've come across only seem to be interested in undermining the other and not really dealing with any substance or evidence.

      I found Stephen Meyers book quite different when I read it as he focuses on the evidence for what he's claiming and how it fits the idea of an intelligent designer!

      Recently I read a book by a prominent atheist physicist who claims ID to be a pseudoscience, I wanted to find out what he believed and what kind of answers he had in his 'groundbreaking book' (as it was heralded on the cover) I was sadly disappointed as the science he explained in the book actually undermined what he was trying to say and at the end you have to have greater faith to believe what he was saying than to believe that it was Created by God!

      With regard to the age of the earth I do have another hub you might be interested in called "Young earth Distant Starlight" that deals with the fact that since 2012 we've known that the speed of light isn't constant but can actually be shown to have slowed down over time!

      This is not something you'll find in any science book, but it is a fact and there are some interesting theories that are accepted by the wider science community that if proved correct would drastically reduce the age of the universe, however I'd encourage you to read it and follow the links there especially Barry Setterfield and what he has to say!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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      Wholeo 19 months ago

      Hello. I just happened upon this post. Started out looking up an old buddy from the Marines, found some Hubble site, and eventually wound up here. Did I mention ADHD? Even at 61 it still catches me by surprise.

      :-)

      I've always been fascinated w science. Short of it is, after being saved in 76, I came across a book by Dr Hugh Ross titled "The Fingerprint of God." To this day I still haven't finished it...did I mention ADHD? But it made me aware of the young earth vs old earth creationists. For my part I've gone w the old earth view, tho I do not totally agree with all of Dr Ross's views (such as the local vs global flood, but I do understand his reasoning).

      More recently I've been reading Dr Meyer's books, tho as is part for the course, I've not finished either. At 61, between the VA & grandkids it's challenging.

      :-)

      I'm glad I happened upon this. As I've studied a little about the ID issue, it brought back memories of a creation/evolution debate I saw eons ago at the UW, Madison. I was glad it was going to happen. Unfortunately, at least for me, I was disappointed. I don't remember if it was Dr Morris or Gish (I cd be wrong on both accounts). Anyways, the evolutionist presented nothing convincing. However, despite his statement to do otherwise, neither did the creationist. Instead of focusing on the scientific evidence, he proceeded to try & undermine the evolutionist. While I can understand this for part, I could not accept it for the whole.

      Since then, I have watched, at least in my opinion, far better debates. And I'm sorry if I step on toes, but much as I have tried, I have found it almost impossible to follow the logic of most evolutionists. Their assumptions, which alone are ofttimes more incredulous than those expounding simple faith in God (or at least some form of intelligent design), are simply...well, let's just say that they require much more faith to believe than the mustard seed of faith Jesus spoke of.

      I'm not against the theory (& despite all their gainsaying it is still just that, a theory, for as we all know, while evidence of microevolution exists, there still fails to exist evidence of macroevolution, one kind changing into another) being presented as just thst, a theory, but along side other theories, including ID. Students should be allowed to decide for themselves. To prohibit other theories not only denies what education is all about (my late 2nd stepfather taught at the UW Madison. He loved teaching. Got his PhD at University of Chicago, after his high school teacher told him he'd never make it. His motto was, he'd tell me, "the job of a teacher is to bring the students up to where they're at, so that they can go on from there. He died in his classroom right in front of his students, exactly where he wanted to be.), but in essence is promoting a religion as well. Religion? Well, atheism is a religion. It requires faith to believe there is no God. Evolution has its followers. It requires faith to believe in its tenets, bc they can't prove it. I realize that's a simplified form but at 61 you learn to get down to the brass tacks. I myself look at the odds of evolution (as the main theory holds), & as you mentioned, the odds of even the most basuc, simplest protein molecule being formed have reached the impossibility level.

      In my limited sojourning on this planet, as well as learning (including studying science at the UW & a private college...microbiology was my favorite), I've encountered 2 types of atheists.

      The one, which you might call an agnostic of sorts, does not believe in God, but also accepts, acknowledges the fact that they don't know everything, & it's possible that there might be something more than what they see. They do research w an open mind to seeking the truth, answers, as best they can.

      The other is the close-minded sort who, no matter what the evidence shows, absolutely refuse to believe even the remote possibility of something greater, a designer, whatever you want to call it. They cd be standing vis-a-vis with God & still deny Him. Sadly they are spoken of in the bible. I'm reminded of those who still deny the holocaust. I mention this bc there you have the evidence of an event from our time & people in denial of it. If they can delude themselves of the existence of such an event, then it is not inconceivable to imagine those who can deny God even if He were right in front of them. These individuals (I'm just going to refer to the scientific community) have tainted their research before they even start. The very principles of the scientific method require us to keep an open mind about the results. But if we have formed in our minds one & only one conclusion, outcome, despite the actual findings, then we have violated those principles of scientific discovery. That's my take on it anyways. If one is afraid of ID being taught in the schools, then in my view they border on hypocrisy bc they are doing the same thing they accused the "right" (I'm just using that as a reference, starting point, example for the sake of argument) of doing when some were trying to ban certain books "back in the day" as they put it nowadays.

      We should accept the fact that we don't have all the answers, that teaching other theories does in fact not violate the presumed separation clause (if only they taught history these days, & not the PC revision history...maybe they should call it creative history, to go along with the creative math & creative spelling schools promote these days...& then they wonder why these poor kids...& adults, can't give you the correct change when the register fails...). But opponents of ID, if you look at what happened, didn't argue based on science, but rather tried, & unfortunately (bc ultimately the students lost out) succeeded by trying to make it a religious issue. They didn't argue from the science POV bc they would have lost that argument. In its purest form ID is totally as scientific as...the theory of evolution. That is, if we don't look at the consistent, ongoing failures of Darwinism to provide a scientific answer to the origins of life (which it does continue to fail at, as new scientific research shows), if we just look at their basic premises, each a theory that attempts to explain the origin of life, then they are, in this sense, equal.

      Now I'm sorry if those of you who are proponents, or followers as I sometimes call them, of Darwinism are offended by my statements. I try to be civil. Sure, I cd blame it on the ADHD, but that wd be, honestly, an evolutionary ploy, whereas I believe I'm responsible for my actions. Which includes proofreading my comments before posting, which sadly, despite numerous attempts, I've failed to acquire such skills, often to my demise amongst emails to my closest friends who have lovingly endured me. However, as I've mentioned earlier, I have tried in earnest to follow the logic of most evolutionists, without success. Their logic not only defies logic, it defies plausibility & possibility. I apologize for not having examples at the moment bc most of my books are still in storage from my move here. I can only remember Richard Dawkins offhand. I have a few others I've attempted to read & understand but as I said, w/o success. On the other hand, as I've been plodding thru Dr Meyer's recent publication, "Darwin's Doubt," I find the arguments he presents regarding the attempts to downplay the Cambrian explosion (as well as the pre-Cambrian findings) quite understandable, not to mention logical.

      Having said that, I myself wish that therr would be, not only ID taught along side evolution (thereby not only giving students the fact that there are opposing ideas, but letting them learn to discover, come to answers themselves...), I wish there would be ongoing lively debates in the schools from both or all camps, civilized drbates, each side presenting their views, their evidence, etc. Too often I've seen debates where one side simply dismisses another side as "pseudoscience" without actually scientifically debating or debunking it, w facts. They throw out some vague, unsupported stmt as "fact" when it's not. I've run out of space.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Deb

      Sorry I missed you comment earlier. I'm glad you found the piece informative as that's chiefly what I was aiming for.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Karthikkash

      I can see where you are coming from with your statement. What I find interesting about Intelligent Design is that it's from scientists who have looked at the evidence and come to the conclusion that there must be a 'designer' behind the process!

      I can understand your idea that it's in the Human species and not necessarily the rest of the animal world but the theory holds true for all of life!

      Intelligent design says that when the first life came into being there had to be data input from and external source to start that life!

      Many evolutionary scientists admit that this is necessary and some say that it happened that way, but where we differ is whom the source was in that people like Richard Dawkins and Fred Hulme say that it was a prior (possibly alien) civilisation that 'seeded' life on our planet and we got going from there.

      The problem there is that Intelligent Design advocates point out that at every stage of 'evolution' there seems to be an influx of data into the genome as so far every experiment done to try and get it to happen by 'natural selection' has only worked when the scientists intervened and many of them acknowledge that four billion years (the proposed age of the earth) is too short a timespan for even one step of evolution to take place when changing the genome, hence the idea that while evolution played a role in diversity of the species it was Intelligent design of each species to the creation of each one!

      The big reason that Creationists don't like Intelligent design is because the proponents of 'ID' say that this process possibly did take billions of years but it had a 'guiding hand'

      Thanks for the visit

      Lawrence

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Shahidur

      Thanks for the visit and the information you put up, I'm reading up about Quantum mechanics and the possibilities at the moment.

      ID doesn't have a problem with the 'process' of evolution as such but the point it makes is that for life to start there had to be an 'infusion' of information, that information is carried by DNA and can only be sequenced one way (the proteins can only be assembled one way)

      The chances of this happening 'at random' are so slim that many in the field reject it and go for alternative possibilities! (RNA first. Intelligent design etc)

      The idea of this hub is to shoe that Intelligent Design says that the infusion of information came from an outside 'intelligence'

      Many do see this as being God creating but I tried to stop short of that as not all ID proponents accept it was God.

      I'll reply more fully later

      Thanks again for the visit

      Lawrence

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 19 months ago from India

      I do believe in Intelligent design theory.. Not for the complete creation of organisms though. But my theory is limited to the evolution of human beings. I believe that it is far more logical than the creationist and evolution theories. I also believe that it is the only theory that can reconcile evolution and creation theories.

    • profile image

      Shahidur Rahman Sikder 19 months ago

      The God/Nature: Only single name for the absolute place or Nature or God or Dark energy or absolute time sole dimension or sole dimension of power of the things of the universe, great space or the location the center of the connectors between the great world or the great universes, location of the beginning or ending or the most deepest place, same location of place period or the matter, location of the big black hole or primordial black hole or before big bang, huge reserve of the natural force etc, is Nature (The God).

      Big Bang: At the time of the beginning of the creation or from the absolute zero of time or from the God or big black hole or a black hole or Nature, part of the power of the Nature became divisible as a result of the big bang. The part of energy had been divided in the beginning of creation from the large field of energy, which is below 50% of total energy. In the most of natural power reserved in big black hole from which, the world of gravitation become influenced. See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/05...

      Evolution: “Everything of the world of matter including the present visible unit is the result of evolution from the big bang”. The changing function of everything in the universe is going on always. The present scenery was not similar with past and also will not resemble with the future, the present and past space-time energy absolute zero of absolute time. As per formula of evolution; See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/01...

      See- God or Dark Energy, Big Bang, Evolution and Early Universe, My DEMO Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYcnbwUKUEM New Discovery of the Universe: can be found at http://lnkd.in/Sn6wPK the Universe creation or creator or religious- can be found at http://t.co/OQDPbAg

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Emge

      Thank you for the visit and for the compliment. It is a difficult topic but it's the fact that it is difficult that makes it interesting!

      For me looking at something like this is a chance to learn, if we take that attitude then a lot of the arrogance that comes from being dogmatic in our views disappears.

      Thank you

      Lawrence

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 19 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I won't get into it, either, other than the fact that science is connected to everything. This was a great piece, as both sides are included here.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 19 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Very interesting and professional article. You have covered a difficult topic very well. Thank you.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 19 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks, Lawrence! I look forward to reading more, and hopefully one of these days, I'll have another hub of my own for people to peruse! :-)

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Paladin

      Sorry for the confusion on the name, you're right I did mean Sir Fred Hoyle (only realized what I'd done about an hour ago).

      I did emphasise the roles that non believers have played in the theory (maybe stretching it for some) and even within the intelligent design community there's a discussion going on as to who the designer might be!

      You're right that it's the creationists use the arguments most, but that's because they don't always read the fine print!

      Stephen Mayer has said that while he does believe'Goddunnit' he also accepts the earth to be billions of years old (he's a geologist) and some degree of micro evolution taking place.

      By the way I don't think anyone has any problem with people joining the debate at different stages so feel free to raise any points you want to as wecan all learn from them.

      Lawrence

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 19 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Sorry to visit your hub so late in the game, Lawrence. It's been a very busy last couple of days!

      Unfortunately, it's kind of late for me to jump into the discussion that's already grown here. However, I do have a couple of items to note:

      First, I may be mistaken, but I suspect you've used the names "Fred Hulme" and "Fred Hoyle" interchangeably. If I recall, Fred HOYLE is the physicist who was the most notable proponent of the "steady state" universe, and who mockingly coined the phrase "Big Bang" for the alternate (and now predominant) model.

      Second, I would argue that it is far and away creationists who most widely champion "intelligent design," and I fear you've overemphasized the role of atheists in its formation. In fact, in the Dover case you referenced, it was discovered -- through an editing error -- that the "intelligent design" textbook that was being used ("Of Pandas And People") contained, almost verbatim, the same verbiage that an earlier, creationist text used, merely replacing "creation" with "intelligent design." I don't remember the particulars of the error, but I could probably find it if anyone's interested.

      Most opponents of "intelligent design" perceive it (and, I believe, rightly so) as an underhanded means of getting around the legal precedents (based upon the Establishment Clause) that have outlawed the use of "creationist" (explicitly religious based) textbooks in the past -- a 're-branding' of a dogma that doesn't pass the constitutional smell test.

      Aside from that, I applaud the work you've put forth on this hub. Though I disagree with some of your conclusions, I say "good effort!"

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 19 months ago

      Thank you Lawrence, I find that you contribute some very valuble hubs of thought, as you can see I am more direct in my comments , It is a wonderful veriety of people here on HP, thanks for your kind and encouraging reply.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 19 months ago

      Thank you Lawrence, I find that you contribute some very valuble hubs of thought, as you can see I am more in my comments , It is wonderful veriety of people here on HP, thanks for your kind and encouraging reply.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Kiss and Tales

      Thank you for the visit. Personally I'd agree with you, but that would be my faith talking!

      I wanted to ask whether it was possible for someone who doesn't accept the need for God to still believe in this argument and I was surprised when I read Stephen Meyer's book that it was Sir Fred Hoyle (a noted atheist) who encouraged him at the time to persue the idea that there might have been a designer! His exact words were "Now that would make more sense!"

      I will add the statement that Sir Fred didn't accept that it was 'God' though.

      Thanks for the visit and like I said I personally agree with you.

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      Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again

      "(whatever we propose for the distant past needs to be shown to happen today)"

      In the case of the origin of life however we have early Earth conditions, atmospherically especially, being very different than they are today. We're also talking about a process that took around a billion years to take place, so it is likely not something that happens every day and even if it was happening who knows where it's been happening on Earth. Every time we send a science team to the jungle or down to the depths of the ocean they come back with new species to report, who knows what microbial developments they've missed because no one is looking.

      "but for life to be the product of 'chance' is too much a stretch for me!"

      Surely you understand though that chance is just a euphemism you're using. Nature isn't pure roiling chaos, it is observed to behave in certain ways, one of the ways that chemicals naturally behave is called life.

      An ancient person 10,000 years ago may have felt the heat from the sun, watched plants in the sunlight grow while plants in shade wither and die and not felt comfortable that the sun was there by chance. After all, if it was by chance why should it be there at all?

      Here's a video that might offer some food for thought about nebulous ideas like design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVbnciQYMiM

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      Genna East 19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is a wonderful article. And I agree with Jodah in that science and religion can find a middle ground. I firmly believe that all things exist in relationship. I don't know, but perhaps evolution is part of the grand design.

      I've known more than one scientist who believes in God though their belief is more spiritual and they truly believe that "God is love." We have no concept of time, or the symbiotic relationship of all living things. It breaks my heart to see how we are hurting the very environment that supports us, and each other. One is inextricably linked to the other.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Titen

      Taking up the point you say about RNA and the possibility that some form of RNA came about first, I think it was Francis Crick that proposed that model and so far (as far as I'm aware) no one has been able show this even in experiments and the words used to describe it are 'Hypothesis' and 'Could have'.

      We can't discount it altogether but with Sir Fred Hoyle's calculations and the principles that Darwin himself used (whatever we propose for the distant past needs to be shown to happen today) we can say that it's highly unlikely!

      I'm not using the word 'accident' as an analogue for 'natural causes' but for the idea of undirected chance which is the model that we are presented with in the present form of evolution.

      For me, I'm happy that evolution did play a role in the development of animals once things 'got going' within the species, but for life to be the product of 'chance' is too much a stretch for me!

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I appreciate where you're coming from. Would you believe at school I hated science! (thought I was no good at it).

      This stuff *as I've said before) isn't essential to belief but for me I'm following what Einstein replied when he was asked why he became a Physicist, his reply was "Because I want to know the mind of God"

      Hope you enjoyed the hub at least.

      Lawrence

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      Kshitiz Gaur 19 months ago from India

      First of all congratulations you have done a good job. Big bang theory is indeed the starting of the universe and it all happened because god did it. Everything didnot came into existence out of nothing it came into existence out of the supreme soul. This is my view point. You can agree or disagree. One more important point is that god is not something that you can prove in a lab, it will never work this way. God is in you and you have to start praying to find him or in our culture we do advanced meditation to find god and understand him fully. You can do as you wish but if you do not try then you will never ever prove god in a lab. Again great hub.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Titen

      Just seen your comment about the 'junk DNA' and looked up the answer. Healthandtime.com has articles on the subject and tells of over 30 research papers written on the subject. I'm away from my pc at the moment but will endeavour to puta link up later today for people to check the info out, though I may have been optimistic with my figures as they say it's now 80% of human DNA and not the 99% I said (sorry for that)

      Lawrence

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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Tsad

      I agree with you that the theory doesn't 'prove God exists' but felt I needed to address the idea as that's the most common criticism (often saying "it's bad science because it allegedly presupposes the existence of God").

      The argument is that our universe us too complex to have come about by random chance or life evolve from undirected mutations in DNA!

      I think it is a major pointer to design and an intelligence behind what we see but for me to go any further is to step away from the science and head into philosophy cum religion (I'm happy to go there but it's not science as it can't be 'proved' in the traditional sense).

      Thanks for the visit.

      Lawrence

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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      You're talking about 'infinite' regression as it's called. A circular argument that always leads back to the same point of "who started it all?"

      It's also thr point where the argument leaves science behinf and becomes philosophical , personally I think there can only be one conclusion. Glad you enjoyed it

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      Kiss andTales 19 months ago

      Very professional very good hub, I have to say that we are given the name of the designer, it was written long ago, no one else claims being the designer but him.

      De 4:35 You yourselves have been shown these things so you will know that,( Tetragrammaton YHWH) Jehovah is the true God; there is no other besides him.

      Isa 45:12 , I made the earth and created man on it. I stretched out the heavens with my own hands, And I give orders to all their army.”

      So if man can make robots, androids with the imperfection of the human mind,

      Then it surly would not be impossible for a perfect genius who is way ahead of us in creating all the things of order , when we arrived here through the order of birth, for he is a God of order.

      remember man uses what God has already made to create with, the materials were already provided. So what did man create ?

    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again

      "the fact that it's been shown that it's impossible for DNA to have self assembled by chance,"

      I don't think you'd find many scientists who say that it's IMPOSSIBLE that a self-replicating molecule like DNA emerged naturally. Keep in mind that RNA, which is admittedly more simple than DNA but is similar, has been produced in experiments using conditions that would have been present on the early Earth. It is not a huge leap at all, from this, to say that it's possible DNA could have formed.

      I also do not understand the use of the word chance here. I assume you're using it as a substitute for "through natural processes". Nature is not chaotic or random, it behaves in certain ways that scientists document and study, there is an order to the way it behaves. So it's not as if life would have assembled by random chance.

      You say ID isn't fallacious because it isn't a full conclusion but that is irrelevant. ID makes a claim, namely that an intelligent agent is involved in the origin of life. It puts forth this claim with the only piece of real evidence being "life forming on its own is improbable" (you say impossible). Such a claim is an argument from ignorance.

      "but in the last five years the amount of 'Junk DNA' we have is actually less than 1%."

      I assume you are referring to the fact that some of our junk DNA does in fact code for things or serve a function. I would like to see where you get the 1% number as I have not heard it. Is there a body of scientific evidence for that number? Much of our DNA IS junk, some of it is viral DNA from viruses that have basically sewn themselves into the human genome over the course of our evolution.

      Either way the amount of junk DNA is irrelevant to whether the earliest lifeforms were designed or evolved naturally.

      "but the experiment was found to be faulty in that it presupposed an atmosphere of Ammonia, Methane and Hydrogen but later research showed that the earth's early atmosphere was actually Nitrogen based"

      By no means was that experiment the last one of its kind performed. Later experiments fixed the atmospheric discrepancies. Either way, whether they got the ingredients in the atmosphere correct or not, they showed that the basic building blocks of life could form NATURALLY.

      Now you might say to that, "but an experiment isn't NATURAL". I disagree. In this context we are talking about supernaturalism vs naturalism and which one best explains the origin of life. Nothing the experimenters used was outside the bounds of the natural. Unless you are going to advocate for aliens being the ones to create life (although they themselves would need an explanation).

      "ID's main argument isn't that one or the 'other' made it but that the whole system is too complex to have come about by accident!"

      Again we have the word accident being used as an analogue for "by natural causes".

      We have two arguments here, either some supernatural agent created life OR life arose naturally via natural processes. Given that life is natural, that life on Earth is made up of the same stuff Earth is, and that experiments have shown amino acids and other basic building blocks can form naturally I see absolute NO reason to invoke any external agency.

      To throw up our hands and simply declare "it's just TOO COMPLEX" seems premature doesn't it? We can't possibly think of another explanation so we're going to say that some nebulous designer swooped in and made the first cell and then disappeared?

      See here's the thing, we know how evolution works. What ID proponents who accept evolution are saying is basically, "We're okay with going from single cells to a human in three billion years but we're not okay with going from simple organic chemicals to a bunch of single cells in a billion years."

      I'm sorry but a lack of knowledge, a gap in our understanding where things look too complicated, is not an excuse to plug in something so nebulous, ill-defined and impossible to falsify as a "designer".

      "If you prove that it did happen by accident then the theory would fall over"

      Perhaps you are misunderstanding the very nature of the claims we are looking at. We're talking about an event that happened 3 and a half billion years ago. There is no proving for certain exactly how it happened with an event this far back. Basic structures like RNA, DNA, they don't produce fossil evidence, our earliest fossils are of single celled organisms.

      This isn't the sort of thing that could be easily proved or disproved. What scientists are doing is showing HOW it COULD or MIGHT have happened. They are showing that it is POSSIBLE to do with the natural ingredients present on Earth at the time. And I don't know of any scientist, at least one without ulterior motive, who would say that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" to get DNA.

      Basically such a scientist's claim would amount to DNA being a synthetic molecule, something produced in a lab (even a heavenly one). Short of finding the ancient science lab that invented DNA and pulling out the patent file such a claim seems, to me, worthlessly unfalsifiable and built on fallacies not on scientific facts.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 19 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Doesn't sound pragmatic at all, way too much to lose to wait till it's too late.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always interesting to read these discussions. I'm a bit more pragmatic....I guess I'll find out when I die and the mystery will be solved. :)

      Have a great week!

      bill

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 19 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. That is all it is and all it is meant to be.

      As far as concluding anything about any "god" or "The God of the Bible" belief in the theory of intelligent design can tell you absolutely nothing about either other than, if the theory is true (not whether you believe it is) and the universe IS best explained by an intelligent cause, NOT an undirected process such as natural selection, the cause is not by chance but by design.

      This is why I had to answer your poll question "Does an argument like Intelligent design 'prove God' to you?" NO, because it doesn't prove God at all, but if true could be used as one evidence for God. One clue does not solve the problem of who or what God is. Ultimately, only HE can do that and he has in His Word which science, over and over demonstrates that it is the truth. http://www.eternal-productions.org/101science.html

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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I always like the alien theory because it just leaves you with "what created the aliens?" and does not solve a thing. Your article lays out what I understand which is that we, as of yet cannot understand it. If there is ID then I don't think it matters much, really, what you call the designer. That just seems to be the passion of the one naming it.

      I know what I call the designer.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      I wasn't trying to criticise the Big bang theory as such, though to bring out Fred Hulme's point of view I needed to say what he said.

      His argument was basically that undirected Darwinian evolution simply hasn't had long enough to be able to build the simplest molecule let alone create life!

      I've read some of the stuff from the creation websites and personally I think they've got a lot of good things to say but here I stuck mostly with Stephen Mayer and Michael Behe's writing.

      I think folks know my personal opinion on 'whodunnit' but I wanted to show Intelligent design as a viable theory and not just 're-hashed creationism'

      Glad you enjoyed the hub, it took a couple of re-writes before I was happy with it.

      Lawrence

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      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I totally 100% believe in Intelligent Design. Things like symbiotic relationships where one species could not exist with out the other being designed in perfect sync. is too widespread to be a random occurrence.

      To me the "Big Bang Theory" is just a TV comedy show.

      Whether all life on Earth was created by a God or an Alien race I have no way of knowing, but it as intelligently engineered.

      The "Creation" website and magazine offers very interesting articles and points of view where science and religion can often actually find a middle ground. Great hub, Lawrence.

    • lawrence01 profile image
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      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Titen

      Thanks for the input here, I'd have to disagree with your conclusion with regard to it being a fallacy.

      The argument isn't an argument from 'ignorance' as it recognises that our knowledge in the future will change as we study more and more and slowly uncover more about the universe that we live in. What the argument does it looks at the things that we have looked at and have come to an explanation that says it can't have happened by chance!

      The argument is primarily from the evidence of DNA and the fact that it's been shown that it's impossible for DNA to have self assembled by chance, yet all of the DNA needs to be in place for any of it to work!

      Up to about two years ago evolution used the argument that our 'Junk DNA' spoke of evolution as 90% our DNA was thought to be 'left over relics of evolution' but in the last five years the amount of 'Junk DNA' we have is actually less than 1%.

      The experiments you mention are the Miller Urey experiment that I did have origially in the hub and was conducted in the early 1950s but the experiment was found to be faulty in that it presupposed an atmosphere of Ammonia, Methane and Hydrogen but later research showed that the earth's early atmosphere was actually Nitrogen based (like it is today) and when they were run with Notrogen the experoments didn't work! Jonathan Wells has a chapter on it in his book 'Icons of evolution'

      ID's main argument isn't that one or the 'other' made it but that the whole system is too complex to have come about by accident!

      If you prove that it did happen by accident then the theory would fall over, but if you can't prove that then you have to take into account that there might (probably is) be design behind the universe even if the idea of who designed it might be different to whom I might claim it is!

      As for saying that it can only say "it's possible" isn't that what all theories do? If we can't know for sure then all the theories should be on the table and the theories that say "Chance" look more and more remote in their possibility with each new discovery!

    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again

      Intelligent design isn't a satisfying hypothesis because, as you point out, it stops short of telling us ANYTHING about the designer. This makes it not only a fallacious argument from ignorance but also LESS coherent than the Creationist version that actually names a culprit when they claim the Biblical God did it.

      It's not that life COULDN'T have been designed it's that there is simply no evidence suggesting this. Arguments from irreducible complexity are merely arguments from ignorance, they are sticking this nebulous designer into the areas we don't have an explanation for yet.

      All of the chemicals and processes that make up life today are perfectly natural, they operate well within the established parameters that nature is observed to behave within. We're made up of mostly the same stuff the Earth is, not from any exotic or hard to find elements. Perhaps if we were all made of lead we could call it a miracle that we are alive and start looking for a God that spontaneously brought us to life.

      Experiments have repeatedly shown that amino acids and even RNA can form naturally from the same sorts of ingredients that would have been present on early Earth. Given that the chemical reactions of life are all natural and the ingredients and conditions necessary to drive them toward self-replicating molecules were all present it is not a huge leap to say that life arose naturally through a series of non-living chemical systems that became increasingly complex.

      Of course we don't know for sure, we can only prove that it's POSSIBLE it happened that way. The problem with ID is that we can't even establish it's plausibility because it is too ill-defined and offers no real evidence in it's defense.

      While some may see the fact that ID doesn't name GOD as the culprit is a strength in actuality it is a weakness that leaves the idea nebulous, ill-defined and unfalsifiable. Falsifiability is a prerequisite to any good idea in science.