(From the larger article “What’s the Evidence?“)
Intelligent Design or Blind Chance? It’s a Battle of Worldviews!
Dr. Scott Todd says, “Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” (Correspondence to Nature, September 30, 1999)
So much for truth! However, Todd’s statement clearly reflects the philosophical viewpoint of Naturalism. This belief system teaches that “reality is composed solely of matter and that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes . . .” (David Noebel, Understanding the Times, Revised 2nd Ed, p. 101)
But wait! Who said that all scientific explanations have to be naturalistic? Traditionally, science has been the search for knowledge. According to an older Webster’s dictionary, science is defined as: “systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation.” However, in recent years, science has been re-defined by many to include only naturalistic explanations of physical phenomenon. This “new” definition of science is a clear expression of the worldview of naturalism.
Keep in mind, whoever makes the definition controls the classroom. With the “new” definition, only naturalistic evolution can be defined as science; intelligent design is defined as religion because it demands a designer. Therefore, using the new definition, along with a misapplication of separation of church and state, intelligent design has to be banned from the classroom. Sneaky trick, isn’t it?
Now maybe you can better understand the conflict (and fury) in several states when the state school boards tried to remove the words “only naturalistic” from the definition of science in the state science standards. It’s not really a battle over science – it’s a battle of competing worldviews.
On the surface, this “naturalistic” definition of science seems to be OK. After all, science deals with the natural world, doesn’t it? And isn’t it the goal of science to understand the physical properties at work in this natural world? But look a little deeper. What if there really is no “natural” explanation of something? What if there really is a supernatural realm? Would an objective scientist reject evidence of a supernatural designer just because it wasn’t a naturalistic explanation?
If science is viewed according to the more traditional definition, as a search for truth or knowledge regarding life and the physical universe, then an acceptable “scientific” interpretation of the data should include the proposal of an intelligent designer if the data seems to point that direction. Although we might seek a natural explanation, the key point is we should not be limited in our search to only naturalistic causes. We think this approach makes for better science, and yes, it also fits with our worldview!
Read the following great evidences for creation:
How Do You Recognize Design in Nature?
Some of the clues that lead us to conclude the presence of intelligent design are symmetry, purposefulness (form and function go together), complex interrelationships of parts, and an understanding of how things “naturally” respond to outside forces (e.g. the way in which rocks normally chip or fracture; the way sand grains and sea shells normally fall). We look for patterns “imposed” upon the natural materials – patterns that would not occur “naturally” because of the inherent qualities of the material. All of these clues are clearly evident all around us if we open our eyes to it.
Great Evidences for Creation - Specific Examples
Dolphins’ Radiator System: Like any warm-blooded animal, dolphins need to maintain a relatively stable internal temperature. A thick layer of blubber acts like an insulating coat to keep them warm in cold water. However, this coat could cause serious overheating in warmer water or when a dolphin generates much body heat during times of intense swimming. Fortunately, dolphins have a special system of blood vessels in their dorsal fin that acts like a car’s radiator to keep their blood at just the perfect temperature! If radiators can’t happen by accident, neither did the dolphin’s dorsal fin!
Bombardier Beetles: These unique insects have a highly effective system of defense. They mix special chemicals together within their abdomen to produce rapid-fire explosions that propel 212 degree (boiling water temperature) liquid and gases into the face of an enemy. For this to work, a multitude of components all need to work in unison: the chemicals, storage compartments, mixing chamber, firing tube, sets of valves, and the discernment to know when and on what to use it. Just imagine evolution trying to produce such a system by trial and error! How many beetles blew themselves apart in the process? The whole system looks designed!
Woodpecker: This little “living jack-hammer” hits its head against a tree hundreds of times a minute with a force of de-acceleration up to 1000 times the force of gravity. Why doesn’t it break its neck or knock itself silly? Why doesn’t its beak fold up like an accordion or its eyes pop out of its skull? Woodpeckers have extra strong neck muscles and a special layer of cartilage in the skull that acts like a shock absorber. They also have extremely tough, chisel-shaped beaks and a special film, which closes over the eye, keeping the eyeballs in and the wood chips out. What amazing design! But that’s not all. Woodpeckers feed on insects that live in tunnels under the bark of trees. These insects would escape, except for the woodpeckers’ extra long, sticky tongues. The tongue is 4.5 times longer than its skull! But this poses another problem – what to do with the tongue when it’s not in use? Fortunately, woodpeckers have another special feature – a tongue storage compartment, which wraps around the skull and attaches in the beak region. Which came first, the storage compartment or the long tongue? Without the tongue, the birds would starve; without the storage compartment they would choke on their long tongues. Do woodpeckers look like the product of chance and accident? No way! They look designed by a master designer!
The Mallee Fowl: This “Incubator Bird” digs a huge hole in the ground, fills it with vegetation, buries it with sand, lays its eggs, and then covers them with more sand. This seems like a silly thing to do except that when the vegetation rots, it produces heat, which incubates the eggs. Using its specialized heat sensitive beak as a “thermometer,” the bird then adds or removes sand to keep the nest temperature constant, despite changes in external temperatures and amount of solar radiation. How did this bird learn to do that? Looks like a lot of intelligence designed this bird!
Evolutionary Answer to Design: Mutation and Natural Selection
Mutations are random changes in the genetic structure at the chromosomal level or within the genes themselves. They may impact chromosome structure or numbers, or they may affect the structure of proteins or other biologic molecules. They can occur in reproductive cells (egg or sperm) or in somatic (body) cells. Those occurring in reproductive cells could be passed on to the next generation, while those occurring in somatic cells might affect that particular individual, but would not be passed on. In order for mutations to be a creative force in evolution, there would need to be an abundance of beneficial, inheritable mutations producing something “new.” However, research indicates that many mutations seem to be neutral with no immediate apparent effect on an organism’s fitness. Of those mutations which have a “non-neutral” effect, most have been shown to be detrimental to the organism, causing disease, death, or some level ofdecreased fitness. Even the few that seem to have a “positive” effect in a very specialized situation, appear to decrease the overall fitness if the organism is placed in a more general environment. Thus, mutations do not appear to have what it takes to create the “new” traits and genetic information needed to drive evolution, at least not in the vast numbers needed to explain the diversity of life seen today.
Natural Selection, or “survival of the fittest,” is the other mechanism proposed as an evolutionary force. It seems obvious that those organisms, which are more “fit” in a particular environment or under particular conditions, will be those that survive. However, by itself, natural selection has no power to “create” anything. At best, all it can do is “choose” between organisms that already exist. Thus, it has no power to explain the origin of a new trait. Furthermore, since survival depends upon a whole suite of traits, selection for only one particular specialized trait would be rare. In addition, observations have shown that highly specialized organisms may have an advantage in a very specialized environment, but are much less likely to survive in less specialized environments or under changing conditions. Thus, as an evolutionary force, natural selection does not seem to have what it takes to explain the origin or diversity of the vast array of organisms observed on this planet.
A Creationist Answer to Mutation and Natural Selection
3 Nails in the Evolutionary Coffin