“Bill Gates said, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created” (as cited by DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 6). How can something that “is the most densely packed and elaborately detailed assembly of information in the known universe” that is “far more advanced than any software…ever created” and that is located in living forms be undirected and come through natural forces? However, the complexities of the bacterial flagellum and DNA were not known in Darwin’s time. Charles Darwin even said himself that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down” (as cited by Adams & Allen, 2003, 28:55).”
In 2012, I wrote this college paper arguing that Intelligent Design should be taught in public schools. Here it is with edits.
“A co-worker of mine once told me that her high school teenager said that her “school was making her an atheist.” Why would the public school system teach young minds to be atheists? Is our government indoctrinating children to believe that God does not exist?
At this point, Darwin’s theory of evolution is the only theory allowed to be examined in public school biology classes as the explanation for the origin of species. As stated in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, “Darwin argued that all life was the product of purely undirected natural forces. Time, chance and a process he called natural selection” (Adams & Allen, 2003, 5:51). If we are going to educate students on a theory that claims that the origin of life is undirected and only through “time, chance and a process called natural selection,” then we infringe on the religious beliefs of thousands of American children and their families.
It is challenging to believe that life came from nothing intelligent and from undirected forces. Where did the “forces” come from? Who designed the universe and every living creature? Who put life into all of the various forms of creatures? You can have a computer with all the data, information, and the right parts, but it will not work unless someone turns it on.
According to DeWolf (1999), “Design theory holds that intelligent causes rather than undirected natural causes best explain many features of living systems” (p. 5).
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to show how intelligent design explains the origin of the universe and species, how scientists, philosophers, and other scholars are unable to refute evidence of a Designer, and how public school students are unable to evaluate the evidence for a Designer fairly because of the published works of reputable scientists are not allowed to be included and evaluated in their studies.
Because the public school system only offers the theory of evolution to be taught and not the data, evidence, and published works of credible design theorists and biochemists, intelligent design should be taught in public schools.
Intelligent Design Theory Explains Origin of Universe and Species
Intelligent design theory explains the origin of the universe and species, unlike Darwinian evolution. No other explanation provides a better answer for the origin of the universe and life other than intelligent design. A definition of intelligent design given by Meyer (2005) provides that “living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause” (para. 19). Evidence of intelligent design is seen in many ways.
For example, there are fossil records that provide empirical evidence of how many different species came about at the same time, and “reveal[ing] a “biological big bang” near the beginning of the Cambrian period 530 million years ago” and “fifty separate major groups of organisms… (including most all the basic body plans of modern animals) emerged suddenly without evident precursors” (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 7). DeWolf et al. (1999) also note “not only does this pattern [of the fossil record] directly contradict the “bottom-up” pattern predicted by neo-Darwinism, but as University of San Francisco marine paleobiologist Paul Chien and several colleagues have argued, it also strongly resembles the pattern evident in the history of human technological design, again suggesting (i.e., intelligent) design as the best explanation for the data” (p. 6). However, I am not going to debate an old Earth and young Earth, and the fossil records could be dated incorrectly, and be from the great flood. Nevertheless, God created all things. Scientists and the public school system should not discount any evidence that points to God, our Creator.
Also, intelligent design explains the complexity and purpose of life, where Darwinian evolution theory does not. We consider ourselves complex creatures. So how do cells in living bodies become so complex and purposeful? Can complexity with purpose come from nothing? According to Bruce Alberts, “like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world…protein assemblies [in cells] contain highly coordinated moving parts” and “molecular machines strongly resemble machines designed by human engineers” (as cited by DeWolf et al., p. 6). Their complexity and the deliberate function of the internal workings in living organisms are motivated and moved by something.
For example, famous biologist Michael Behe found out just how complex the bacterial flagellum is in E-Coli. Behe states that “[the] molecular motor-includ[es] a rotor, a stator, O-rings, bushings, and a drive shaft-requires the coordinated interaction of some forty complex protein parts” and that “the absence of any one of these proteins would result in the complete loss of motor function” (as cited by DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 6).
Also, according to DeWolf et al. (1999), “Natural selection selects functionally advantageous systems. Yet motor function only ensues after all necessary parts have independently self-assembled, an astronomically improbable event” (p. 6). These machines in living forms need all of their parts to function and serve their purpose. Darwin’s theory of evolution cannot explain this complexity.
Also, DNA, “[a] large molecule within the cell [that] stores instructions for sequencing the amino acids and proteins,” contains a “chemical code…called the language of life….[and] it is the most densely packed and elaborately detailed assembly of information in the known universe” (Adams & Allen, 2003, 40:08)!
Interestingly, Bill Gates said, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created” (as cited by DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 6). How can something that “is the most densely packed and elaborately detailed assembly of information in the known universe” that is “far more advanced than any software…ever created” and located in living forms be undirected and come through natural forces?
However, the complexities of the bacterial flagellum and DNA were not known in Darwin’s time. Charles Darwin even said himself that, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down” (as cited by Adams & Allen, 2003, 28:55).
Further, according to Dr. Michael Behe (1996) in his book, Darwin’s Black Box, “[evolution] does not explain molecular life” (p. 7). “Darwinian theorists have long acknowledged that biological organisms “appear” to be designed” (DeWolf, Meyer, & DeForrest, 1999, p. 4). According to atheist and zoologist Richard Dawkins, “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose” (as cited by DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 4). The time has now come for scientists to recognize the appearance of design for what it is, design by an intelligent source.
Darwinian evolution provides only a theory for the origin of species and does not answer how life first came about. Charles Darwin’s theory argues that life came from one cell. Where did the first cell come from? What gave it life? What moved matter together to make it work and provide all of the information necessary to form life? We are told that, “Darwin had little to say about how life originated from non-living matter” (Adams & Allen, 2003, 30:42).
However, it is common knowledge among scientists that the theory of evolution breaks down as you go back to the first mass of cells that Darwin claims species evolved from. According to DeWolf et al. (1999), biologist and former “leading evolutionary theorist,” Dean Kenyon, tried to explain “how complex biomolecules such as proteins and DNA might have “self-organized” via strictly chemical forces” in his book Biochemical Predestination (p. 6). However, he “began to doubt that proteins could self-assemble without DNA” once a student asked him where the information came from (Adams & Allen, 2003, 40:30). According to Dr. Kenyon, “the problem of the origin of genetic information itself” made him “have to reassess [his] whole position regarding origins” (Adams & Allen, 2003, 43:41). Dr. Kenyon is now working in collaboration with other design theorists.
Therefore, the explanation that an intelligent source designed us and gave us life explains the universe’s origin and life, as opposed to Darwinian evolution.
Intelligent Design Theory is Irrefutable
Scientists, philosophers, and other scholars cannot refute that life was not designed. Not only can they not disprove an intelligent designer’s existence, but many others are offering empirical evidence and publishing works that support intelligent design. Scientists, philosophers, and other scholars, such as Michael Behe, Biochemist; Dr. William Dembski, Mathematician; Dr. Dean Kenyon, Biologist and former Evolutionary Theorist; Dr. Paul Nelson, Philosopher of Biology; and Dr. Stephen Meyer, Philosopher of Science, should be recognized for their work. These men are brilliant, reputable, and have just as much of a right to have their “work…discussed in public school classrooms” (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 7). Further, other scientists are unable to refute that life was not designed.
Interestingly, even some famous non-religious scholars have acknowledged that it is possible that a creator exists and designed us. In “Hawking: Space is Our Future,” Hawking said himself, “I’m not religious in the normal sense. I believe the Universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws” (as cited by Klotz, 2007, p. 2).
Further, even former atheist and “late Harvard scientist and evolutionist,” Stephen Gould, said, “Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs – and equally compatible with atheism” (Keller, 2008, p. 94). He could not discount the possibility of a Designer.
Even atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel stated, “that conscious experience, thought, value, and so forth are not illusions, even though they cannot be identified with physical facts” (Keller, 2008, p. 95). Many scholars cannot refute a Designer. Some of these men have even converted from atheism because they observed the evidence of a Designer.
For example, “Francis Collins [who] published The Language of God…[and] is an eminent research scientist and [the] head of the Human Genome Project…believes in evolutionary science and critiques the Intelligent Design movement that denies the transmutation of species. However, Collins believes that the fine-tuning, beauty, and order of nature nonetheless point to a divine Creator, and describes his conversion from atheism to Christianity” (Keller, 2008, p. 91). Collins is not the only scholar that has converted from atheism. After examining the theory of intelligent design, Anthony Flew, a British philosopher, is no longer an atheist (Meyer, 2005).
Some atheist scientists or philosophers even provide their opinion on who God would have to be if He did exist. “In McGrath’s experience, most of his atheist colleagues brought their assumptions about God to their science rather than basing them on their science” (Keller, 2008, p. 94). However, interestingly, one opinion formed by an atheist zoologist, Richard Dawkins, about a Designer is supported by the Christian Holy Bible (hereinafter referred to as the “Bible”).
According to Du Toit (2009):
“Richard] Dawkins…mentions that some see the dependence of cumulative selection on machinery of replication as the ultimate proof that there must originally have been a designer, not a blind watch maker, but a far-sighted supernatural watch maker. This is, according to Dawkins to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like God was always there, and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say DNA was always there, or Life was always there, and be done with it. (p. 1296).” Remarkably, the Bible states that God has always been there when He says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13, KJV), and “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1:3, KJV).
Therefore, Richard Dawkins is right on target when he says that a “supernatural watchmaker” would have always had to exist. Further, Deem (n.d.) gave a great explanation as to why the Designer has always existed, “God has no need to have been created since He exists either outside of time (where cause and effect do not operate) or within multiple dimensions of time (such that there is no beginning of God’s plane of time. Hence God is eternal” (para. 12).
Also, according to Du Toit (2009), “philosophy, design-arguments were questioned by Hume who ridiculed claims about detecting the intention of God from the nature of the world. Since the world is full of evil and suffering, one might legitimately infer a wicket [sic] designer” (p. 1291). However, the Bible explains how evil entered the world and why it is still here today. Hume could have understood God’s character if he had read the Bible. Hume did not know God’s character or explain why things are the way they are; therefore, he did not understand, and you cannot debate or explain away what you do not understand.
Others want to know about the Designer’s character whenever they are confronted with intelligent design theory. Because Dembski had stated that “[intelligent design] detects intelligence without speculating about the nature of intelligence” this led “[Gregory] Peterson…[to say that], an intelligent-design theory that refuses to say anything about the designer is either confused or incoherent” and “brings him to the conclusion that ID theory, lacking a theological science to complement its biological science, is limited to a negative approach that explains by not explaining,” and “conclude[s] that ID theory is an ideological agenda masquerading as science” (Du Toit, 2009, p. 1298).
Peterson cannot have it both ways. First, he complains that there is no information about the Designer’s character and then states that since design theorists will not infer who the Intelligence is, then “ID theory is an ideological agenda masquerading as science” (p. 1298).
From reading various opinions of scientists in the evolution-religion debate, it is well-known that theological science cannot be brought in to complement biological science without design theorists being told, “ID theory is an ideological agenda masquerading as science” (p. 1298). Therefore, it appears that Peterson will complain either way design theorists go. It is a Catch-22. Design theorists cannot win by the “rules” their critics have put into place. In any event, the very character of Intelligence is sometimes raised when design theorists are confronted.
Consequently, it is extremely difficult to support or refute opinions about an intelligent source from atheist scientists or even religious scientists and philosophers without discussing what the Bible says. Some scientists want to explain God away by talking about His character, yet they do not know His character. So, their very arguments do not hold much weight because their explanations can be explained away, dealt with, or even supported by what is already contained in the Bible.
Intelligent Design Theory not being Evaluated in Public Schools
By keeping intelligent design “theory” out of public schools and only offering the theory of evolution, students in public school classes cannot fairly evaluate the evidence of a Designer. Intelligent design theory has been kept out of biology classes because some scientists state that intelligent design theory is not science because it cannot be explained by natural law.
As DeWolf et al. (1999) notes, the “five-point definition of science” used by Michael Ruse, an expert witness in McLean v. Arkansas, prevented creation science from being taught in the Arkansas public school system (p. 8). Ruse said, “for a theory to achieve scientific status it must be: guided by natural law, explanatory by natural law, testable against the empirical world, tentative, and falsifiable….Ruse further testified that scientific creationism-in part because it invoked the singular action of a creator as the cause of certain events in the history of life-could never meet these criteria. Thus, he concluded that creationism might be true, but it could never qualify as science” (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 8).
Therefore, based on this definition, science must say that the origin of species came about by undirected processes because if science said those processes were directed, those very same processes could no longer be explained by natural law. Thus, the study of such would no longer be considered scientific.
Problems with the “five-point definition of science that provided allegedly normative criteria for determining whether a theory qualifies as scientific” that was used by the Court in the McLean v. Arkansas case were disputed (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 8).
According to DeWolf et al. (1999), “many prominent philosophers of science including Larry Laudan and Philip Quinn…(neither of whom supported creation science’s empirical claims), soon repudiated Ruse’s testimony on the grounds that, as Laudan argued, it “canoniz[ed] a false stereotype of what is and how it works” (p. 8).
Additionally, DeWolf et al. (1999) state:
“As Laudan noted, philosophers of science have generally abandoned attempts to define science by reference to abstract demarcation criteria. Indeed, they have found it notoriously difficult to define science generally via the kind of methodological criteria that Ruse and the court promulgated in the McLean case- in part because demarcation criteria have inevitably fallen prey to death by counterexample. Well-established scientific theories often lack some of the presumably necessary features of true science (e.g., falsifiability, observability, repeatability, and use of laws-like explanation), while many poorly supported, disreputable or “crank” ideas often meet some of these same criteria. (p. 8).” Therefore, DeWolf et al. (1999) note, “philosophers of science have increasingly realized that the real issue is not whether a theory is “scientific” according to some abstract definition, but whether a theory is true or warranted by the evidence” (p. 9).
Also, intelligent design theory should not be disregarded by the public school system because the origin of the universe and species is explained in the Bible. Interestingly, according to DeWolf et al. (1999), “Nothing in the Supreme Court’s decision in Edwards [v. Aguillard] forces local school districts, the states, or the federal government to bar teaching about design theory” and “the Court was careful to point out that its decision in nowise excluded the teaching of other theories about biological origins…. the Court even stated that teaching a variety of scientific theories about origins ‘might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction’” (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 13). DeWolf et al. (1999) noted, the State in Edwards had a religious agenda; therefore, the State lost.
However, evaluating whether we were designed through science is not a religious act; it’s a matter of examination. According to DeWolf et al. (1999), “Behe’s critics claim that to infer an intelligent cause for the origin of these complex systems, as Behe does, “goes beyond science” (p. 6).
According to DeWolf et al. (1999), “Even though Edwards encourages the teaching of other scientific theories, and even though design theory might qualify as being scientific, these critics [of design theory] have argued that design theory is nonetheless a religious view and must therefore be excluded from the public school science curriculum” (p. 10).
However, “in reviewing the intelligent design textbook Of Pandas and People,…Jay Wexler concedes that design theory could, for the sake of argument, be classified as science…Nevertheless, he argues that teaching design theory would offend the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment” (p. 10).
However, “design theory does not fit the dictionary definition of religion, or the specific test for religion adopted by the Ninth Circuit in its recent cases concerning the establishment of religion” (DeWolf et al., 1999, p. 10).
As DeWolf et al. (1999) contend:
“Design theory seeks to answer a question raised by Darwin as well as contemporary biologists: How did biological organisms acquire their appearance of design? Design theory, unlike neo-Darwinism, attributes this appearance to a designing intelligence. To be sure, design theory is consistent with theism and adds plausibility to the classical design arguments for the existence of God…But this compatibility does not make it a religious belief. As Justice Powell wrote in his concurrence to Edwards v. Aguillard: “A decision respecting the subject matter to be taught in public schools does not violate the Establishment Clause simply because the material to be taught ‘happens to coincide or harmonize with the tenets of some or all religions. (p. 11)”
Unfortunately, critics of intelligent design theory have still managed to keep it from being taught by the public school system. Teaching students that we came about by undirected forces is stating that there is no Designer and is, therefore, teaching atheism, which is non-belief in God. How can scientists use the word “undirected” without addressing where the first cell originated from, without being able to explain complex molecules, and without being able to disprove that there is an intelligence force? Therefore, the very use of the word “undirected” falsely teaches students that there is no intelligence behind the origin of life, and therefore, is teaching students to become atheists. You cannot have it one way. You cannot say there is no Designer without allowing students to examine the evidence for design.
Also, DeWolf et al. (1999) note that “[Michael] Ruse has openly argued that evolutionary theory has often functioned as a kind of “secular religion” (p. 10). Further, DeWolf et al. (1999) notes, “many major biology texts present evolution as a process in which a purposeful intelligence (such as God) plays no detectable role. As Miller and Levine put it, the evolution process is “random and undirected” and occurs “without plan or purpose” (p. 12). DeWolf et al. (1999) note, “some texts even state that Darwin’s theory has profoundly negative implications for theism, and especially for its belief in the purposeful design of nature” (p. 12). How does this statement not turn public school science students away from believing in the existence of a Designer?
Again, our government cannot, on the one hand, say that evaluating the existence of intelligent design theory is religious while educating children on a theory that claims that there is no God. They are teaching secular religion thereby teaching students to be atheists.
Who is our government to teach atheism to our children, especially when it cannot be proven? No wonder critics of intelligent design theory want to keep the published works of design theorists out of the public school system. The critics have an agenda and argue that intelligent design theory should be kept out of school due to its religious connotations and teach students that there is no Designer, even when they have no evidence to support such a claim. They say that atheism is not a religion, but how is turning students away from a Designer, with zero evidence, not a secular religion?
Atheism is a “secular religion” with an agenda and dangerous consequences because it will not allow for evidence contradictory to its claims to be evaluated in an educational setting. This is an infringement of our rights, especially when brilliant scientists publish works that provide actual evidence for intelligent design that Darwinian evolution cannot explain.
These atheists are accusing proponents of design theory of doing exactly what they are doing. Promoting a religion; however, this “secular religion” will be the only one known, as long as its proponents can keep out evidence of Intelligent Design.
Therefore, all of the evidence should be examined by public school students, and the use of the words “undirected” and “natural” that is used to describe forces should be removed from the vernacular of public science school teachers because those very forces were put into place by Someone. Who are we to say they are “undirected natural” processes? No one can disprove that these forces were put into motion by an Intelligent Designer; therefore, to say otherwise is untrue. Science should not be allowed to say “undirected” since words inferring a Designer allegedly go outside its scope. Therefore, words inferring there is no Designer go outside of its scope, as well.
Therefore, because intelligent design theory explains the origin of the universe, the origin of life, is irrefutable, and it is not being evaluated in the public school system, demonstrates that there is a great need for students to review the published works of famous design theorists and biochemists and evaluate all of the evidence themselves.
“A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth and allows the evidence to speak for itself” (Adams & Allen, 2003, 1:01:50). Therefore, intelligent design theory should be taught in public school classes.
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