Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Do We Recognize the Evidence of Intelligence?

Why do scientists become so excited when they discover stone tools together with bones in a cave? The stone tools speak of intelligence! The scientists recognize that these tools could not have designed themselves - they are a product of intelligent input. Thus, the researchers rightly conclude that an intelligent creature was responsible for making these tools.

In a similar way, one would never look at the Great Wall of China, the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., or the Sydney Opera House in Australia and conclude that such structures were formed after explosions in a brick factory!

Neither would anyone believe that the presidents' heads on Mt. Rushmore were the products of millions of years of erosion! We can recognize design! We see man-made objects all around us - cars, airplanes, computers, stereos, houses, appliances and so on. And yet, at no time would anyone ever suggest that such objects were just the products of time and chance. Design is everywhere. It would never enter our minds that metal, left to itself, would eventually form into engines, transmissions, wheels and all the other intricate parts needed to produce an automobile!

This "design argument" is often associated with the name of William Paley, an Anglican clergyman who wrote on this topic in the late eighteenth century. He is particularly remembered for his example of the watch and watchmaker. In discussing a comparison between a stone and a watch, he concluded:

...that the watch must have had a maker; that there must have existed, at some time and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use.

Paley thus believed that just as the watch implied a watchmaker, so too does design in living things imply a Designer. Although he believed in a God who created all things, his God was a Master Designer who is now remote from His Creation, not the personal God of the Bible.

Today, however, a large proportion of the population, including many leading scientists, believe that all plants and creatures, including the intelligent engineers who make watches, cars, etc., were the product of an evolutionary process - not a Creator God. But is this really a defensible position?

Sign of Design: Real science depends on measuring or watching something happen, and checking it by doing it again.


Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Wow, I like the pictures you used for this post. This is an amazing creation! I had heard of William Paley, but I hadn’t read before that he wasn’t a Christian. That is sad. He did come up with a good illustration though!

Keith M. said...

Yup, I agree! How can man have a conscience by chance? That completely crumbles evolution! (miracle by C.S lewis)

Kaitlin said...

Amen Zachary! I don't understand how things just "appeared" once upon a time. Great post and awesome pictures!!

Keith M. said...

Yeah, It's kind of like a tornado going through a junkyard and gathering all the junk up into a heap and forming a car.