In recent times the media has projected the debate over intelligent design versus Darwin’s theory of natural selection as a blind force in evolution as some sort of a scientific debate. It has been accused that intelligent design is is an attempt to sneak creationism back through the back door, as for over 200 years not a single strand of evidence to prove Darwinian evolution wrong has been presented.
It has been stated by design theorists that : “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.” (1) In particular the sub-cellular domain of complex proteins the performing highly specialised tasks has been pointed out by biologists like Stephen Myers (2) as ‘irreducibly complex’. Does that mean that the complexity of life at the sub-cellular level the is so high that a supernatural creator has had to intentionally design it, perhaps molecule by molecule ? If that is so, then it leads to the definition of a Creator God as a macro-molecule and protein designer. In addition, intelligent design theorists have stated that the theory is still compatible with evolution, and only certain features of the biological world are judged to be so complex that they possibly could not have evolved through natural selection.
The problem with considering the above view as even remotely scientific is that there is simply no evidence that certain features are more complex than others in biology. If molecular motors are complex enough to be especially designed, how can we be sure that relatively simple things like the flight of birds or the formation of ant colonies too were are not designed by a special act of creation ? This arbitrariness of the choice of complex creation does not appear to be an intelligent interpretation of intelligence itself. In fact the very contrary can be argued, that in fact it’s simplicity itself that is the hallmark of intelligence that any designer might employ.
The area where the theory of intelligent design attacks evolution is that natural selection is often described as a directionless blind process. As we have unravelled the genetic subunits that make up the parts of the proteins that make up a complex molecule motor, it has often been questioned , how can the subunits evolve ‘on their own’ if someone wasn’t there to put them together as part of an overall pre-determined design ? This in effect is at the heart of the problem with supernatural design: if someone did actually design the molecule motor right from ground up, what means would they have had to employ to implement the design in practice? By completely redesigning previous genomes or just by inserting certain sections of the DNA code that would allow such complex protein structures to form ? If any of the above required a special creator called God, who would have to be extraordinarily skilled in coding DNA, a serious logical problem arises.
If there was indeed a highly skilled DNA creator God, why would it take him speciation over billions of years to arrive at a functionally perfect form such as a human or even a rabbit ? Could he not have bypassed evolution altogether, instead of producing intermediary forms (as evident from fossil strata), even if He used a highly ‘directed form of evolution’ to arrive at today’s life forms ? Does it not in effect limit God’s intelligence in design to only the cellular level, implying that God ‘lost interest’ thereafter to create completely new and unique instances of DNA design ?
Intelligent design perhaps suffers from this major flaw : it selectively picks out certain complex biological events arbitrarily, assigning them ‘special case’ status while ignoring the lesser seemingly mundane areas and therefore declare itself ‘compatible with evolution.’
Theologically too therefore it relegates God to a ‘special case’ status.
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