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A case for Intelligent Design

Fri, Aug 26th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

There are some common misperceptions about the Intelligent Design (ID) theory. It is not an attempt to prove the validity of scripture. Moreover, it doesnt even have a particularly religious basis.Historically, the question about earth and its origins boiled down to an act of faith. We wont know and cant know simply because we as individual human beings have limited intelligence, experience, and life spans. Since we are finite, we will never know the infinite who is God except as to how he reveals himself to us.The act of faith is also true for atheists who worship the holy trinity of Me, Myself, and I in the cosmic church of the congregation, Whats Happenin Now. St. Darwin is, of course, its patron saint. Atheists too, must commit to an act of faith every bit as deep, and in many cases more deeply, then the most committed Christian. Welcome to the world of faith, faithful brethren.ID theory has profound implications. Worshippers of St. Darwin dont like that. As Dan Peterson notes in the most recent edition of the American Spectator, Darwinism has essentially become a faith in naturalism that is immune to refutation by any sets of facts. This faith, known as fact to the faithful, isnt supposed to be questioned. Moreover, we are all supposed to believe that this all began with one horrendous explosion from a singularity of almost infinite density. Even assuming the big bang as fact, questions remain. What was before, how did it get there, and whats or whos behind it? Afterall, in terms of infinity, the 14 billion year life span of the universe is but a speck of a speck. At a minimum, as an exercise in intellectual inquiry, these questions or those like them ought to be discussed in our schools. Not according to St. Darwins proselytes though.For those who arent familiar with intelligent design proponents, perhaps we ought to highlight who the leading theoreticians are. They include William Demski, Ph.D. mathematics, Ph.D. philosophy, and Master of Divinity; Micheal Behe, biochemistry professor; Stephen Meyer, Ph.D. history and philosophy of science; Jonathan Wells, Ph.D. molecular and cell biology and Ph.D. religious studies (and scored double 800s on his SATs); and Phillip Johnson, first in his law school class and currently law professor at UC Berkeley. Intellectual light weights? I dont think so but I suppose if you were a retired high school teacher from a small rural Minnesota community you might conclude otherwise. By the way, a recent survey conducted by the University of Chicago found that 68 percent of American scientists and 76 of our physicians believe in God.Disciples of St. Darwin have some huge problems. First, they cannot explain the Cambrian Explosion. During that relatively short 5 million year timeframe, major life forms appeared without the intermediate types expected in Darwins theory. Of the 40 phyla now on earth, at least 19 and up to 35 appeared during this period. They showed up virtually at once.When one considers that even the fruit fly of today has 120 million DNA base pairs, as the American Spectator puts it, the odds that this quantity of information could be generated by random variation filtered through natural selection quickly surpass any reasonable tests of probability. Given that DNA information is complex specified information it is highly questionable that it could occur as a consequence of unintelligent natural causes. Especially over such a short period.Another area where St. Darwin falls flat on his face is in the area of complex biochemical systems. St. Darwins proponents point to the fossil record in attempt to prove his theory as fact. There is a mighty problem though. No one anywhere has ever proposed a detailed model by which a complex biochemical system might have been produced in a gradual, step-by-step Darwinian fashion.This is particularly important because some biological processes are irreducibly complex. That means that if a fundamental part of a system, composed of many other parts, is missing, then the process will not function. Take, for example, what is called the blood clotting cascade. There are about a dozen specialized proteins plus intermediate forms generated when a cut in the skin occurs. It is a complex reaction but if one of these proteins is missing, blood will not clot or it will grossly malfunction. These proteins have no other function. To evolve, this integrated unit would have to have developed all at once. All that very specific information just by chance mind you.Another example is that of the flagellar motor in some bacteria. It runs at up to 100,000 RPM, can reverse itself in a quarter of a rotation, and is 1/100,000th of inch wide. There are thirty proteins in this irreducibly complex system that exist only in the flagellum and are not found in any other living system. Do you expect me to believe that a random evolutionary process could produce these 30 unique proteins? In addition to all sorts of other irreducibly complex processes? And all at once in each of them?If you do, I have this theory I would like to sell you. Its about an almost infinitely dense singularity that just happened to exist somewhere and it somehow managed to explode. To make a long story short, some 14 billion years of evolution later, I, a higher form of naturally selected protoplasm, am sitting at this keyboard responding to many of the faithful. I am random, undesigned, and wish to sell my theory at a very high price.

Stan Gudmundson lives in Peterson.

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