Saturday, December 16

The Intelligent Design Controversy: Concepts of God or Form

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H. Allen Orr Devolution stated that Darwin’s theory of evolution aimed to explain the complex features of living things like beaks and brains without the aid of a designing mind. In the Theory of Evolution, Darwin claimed that evolution is a product of random mutation and natural selection. The random mutation is responsible for the slight improvement of the function of some organ of an organism. The improved version of the organism then becomes more common in the succeeding generations. This process is called natural selection. Over time this process of repeated improvement or mutation could lead to the creation of a better organism that looks as if they were designed. This is the essence of Theory of Evolution as developed by Darwin.

On the other side of the coin, Intelligent Design theory makes use of the basic thought that the complexity of nature’s “design” that operates for complex purposes indicates the existence of a purposeful natural or supernatural designer/creator. Hence, what we refer to as God.

Concept of God or Form

The intelligent design controversy revolves around the concept that the universe and all the living things of the planet came about due to an ‘intelligent cause or agent, as opposed to an unguided process such as mutation and natural selection”.

Proponents of the said thought believed that the irreducible complexity, information mechanisms and specified complexity manifested in the living things require a “design” from a Superior Intelligence or God.

Irreducible complexity pertains to the complex design of the irreducible system that renders the organism functional. Without this system in place, the living thing would not be capable of performing.  Adherents to Intelligent Design or I.D. believe that the functionality of the irreducible system of a living thing was in place before mutation took place. And that should mutation occur as claimed by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, it would be in micro-levels only.

Specified complexity of living things pertain to the details being similarly characterized such as ‘patterns’ of molecular sequences in functional biological molecules such as in DNA  that are too specifically complex and could not possibly be a result of physical law and chance.

These complex mechanisms could not have come about by ‘mutation and natural selection’ as contained in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  Those in favor of Intelligent Design believe that a Superior Intelligence or an Intelligent Designer is behind all the wonderful creations.  It is the concept of God as opposed to Form.

The idea of God responsible for creation of the universe and all living things is the core of the Intelligent Design argument.  Richard Milner & Vittorio Maestro’s Intelligent Design? stated that this reasoning prevailed until Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859.  Darwin patiently accumulated evidences to prove his claim that evolution by natural selection best explained the diversity and complexity of life. In defense of his theory, Darwin wrote in 1868 “I cannot possibly believe that a false theory would explain so many classes of facts.”

Philosophical Analysis of the I.D. Issue

The debate between God or Form has continued to cause a stir among adherents to each view.  Both views provide ideas that are to some extent true and verifiable.  In the case of Intelligent Design theory, evidences pertaining to the presence of an ‘Intelligent Designer’ are not exactly visible. Still, the effects are highly observable.  The signs of intelligence point out to the fact that a Superior Intelligence was behind the controversial ‘design’. These signs are the determining factors that lead for some to believe in an Intelligent Designer: irreducible complexity, information mechanisms and specified complexity.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution provides scientific bend to the whole story of creation. It is hard to overlook the fact that evolution theory could be a possible cause. Evolution could have equipped living things with the necessary make-up to adapt to their environment perfectly as if purposely ‘designed’ for that end. But, it is hard to discount the possibility that the alternative Intelligent Design theory which espouse the idea of a Superior Intelligence (we aptly refer to as God) could be behind the exquisite majesty and complexity of all living creations. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that we are not mere ‘accidents’ of nature. We are here by ‘design’.


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