Quiz – Evolution or Intelligent Design


Having come across Ed Brayton’s post , “Answering the ID Quiz”, I decided to spend a little time there myself. To be honest, however, I really do not think much of the quiz, but I couldn’t come up with anything better to do, so…

Being a former classroom teacher, I will answer these questions with a public classroom setting in mind.

1. On a scale of 0 (diehard disbeliever) to 10 (firm believer), how would you rate your level of belief in Intelligent Design? (Minimal Definition of Intelligent Design: The idea that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and not by an undirected process.)

1. My belief in Intelligent Design would be at a 10. Both  our common and intellectual senses point to a designer. In the material world we know that there is always intelligence behind design. Those who do not accept this sometimes end up in an institution. In the realm of science and in the spiritual realm it follows that design and purpose would have a designer. Students are not stupid. They have ideas and thought processes regardless of how much information is left out of a text-book and in spite of what teachers are not allowed to say. Students notice that the universe has order and design.

2. What do you regard as the best argument for Intelligent Design?

Intelligent Design arguments are numerous and it is hard to choose one that excels above all others. For believing Christians the fact that God has told us repeatedly that he created the earth, the universe, matter, and all that exists is a convincing argument; but that doesn’t convince non-believers and it isn’t allowed in a classroom, so the best argument for students is probably the statistical argument. The  probability of all things evolving together at the right pace and in the right order for all forms of life to exist together as they do on planet earth (anthropic coincidences) is so statistically improbable that no rational person would ever believe this could happen if that person were to encounter these odds in any other realm.  Someone who is as intelligent and educated as a scientist certainly would not believe something so wildly improbable if there were not factors affecting their judgment of which they may be totally unaware. This argument might be against evolution but not necessarily for Intelligent Design.  So, to argue for Intelligent Design I would suggest that the argument would be that intelligence is required for an organism to develop systems (from simple to complex) that always support life rather than destroy life.

3. What do you regard as the best argument against Intelligent Design?

Mutations that are harmful to the host would be the best argument against Intelligent Design. If the question were worded, ‘what is the best argument against Creation as given in the Biblical account” I would say the age of the earth.  We are not considering the Biblical account at this time. The age of the earth argument doesn’t hold up when trying to disprove creation because if life took as long to evolve as evolutionists insist, the probability of a catastrophic event wiping out everything &  requiring the process to start over makes it statistically impossible for life to have evolved as evolutionists teach.  This is an argument that can also be used with any evolutionary theory. The evidence for design far outweighs evidence against it.

4. I’d like you to think about the arguments for Intelligent Design. Obviously they’re not perfect. Exactly where do you think these arguments need the most work, to make them more effective?

Evolutionists like to say that ‘Intelligent Design’ has no place in the classroom because it is unscientific and cannot be proven to be true or false. If this is the case, evolution should not be in a classroom either. I think this is a point that should be made. Both evolution and intelligent design are conclusions reached by those who look at scientific data; therefore, they should both be considered in a classroom. The order and stability of the universe is a scientific fact that points more toward a Designer and away from an explanation that evolution is responsible for life as we know it.  There is much evidence against evolution producing a superior species of living organisms due to mutations even if probability were not a factor. Also, I think that ‘irreducible complexity’ should be taught in a classroom. It is wrong to keep these fields of thought and information away from students.

5. Now I’d like you to think about the arguments against Intelligent Design. Obviously they could be improved. Exactly where do you think these arguments need the most work, to make them more effective?

Those who argue against Intelligent Design take a two-fold approach. The main focus of attack is against the messenger. The scientists who find fault with evolution or who point out weaknesses are dismissed. The second major focus seems to be the focus on what is described as placement of artifacts. Evolutionists argue that the placement of artifacts support evolution. When one actually reads what is known, however, the record is extremely confusing. It seems to me that evolutionist should focus on something other than the messenger and artifacts if they really want to be convincing.

6. (a) If you’re an ID advocate or supporter, what do you think is the least bad of the various alternatives that have been proposed to Intelligent Design, as explanations for the specified complexity found in living things and in the laws of the cosmos? (e.g. The multiverse [restricted or unrestricted?]; Platonism; the laws of the cosmos hold necessarily, and they necessarily favor life; pure chance; time is an illusion, so CSI doesn’t increase over time.)

Does specified complexity prove that there is an Intelligence behind the design of our universe and world or are there other explanations for specified complexity? (I had to reword the question in order to be able to answer it correctly.) Is there an explanation when a complex event or design develops under random circumstances other than a designer was involved? I find that evolutionist have written volumes attempting to explain this phenomena in evolutionary terms. None of this seems satisfactory in my opinion, but I am sure that those who long to believe evolution are willing to accept some or at least one of these explanations.

(b) If you’re an ID opponent or skeptic, can you name some explanations for life and the cosmos that you would regard as even more irrational than Intelligent Design? (e.g. Everything popped into existence out of absolutely nothing; the future created the past; every logically possible world exists out there somewhere; I am the only being in the cosmos and the external world is an illusion requiring no explanation; only minds are real, so the physical universe is an illusion requiring no explanation.

I am not an opponent or skeptic.

Recently a headline entitled ” More evidence of Intelligent Design Shot Down by Science” appeared on in “Wired Science” by Brandon Keim. Brandon says:

But new research comparing mitochondria, which provide energy to animal cells, with their bacterial relatives, shows that the necessary pieces for one particular cellular machine — exactly the sort of structure that’s supposed to prove intelligent design — were lying around long ago. It was simply a matter of time before they came together into a more complex entity.

My thoughts when reading this were first and foremost, how does this prove anything? If all the parts needed to make a computer were placed in a box and they remain there for a billion years who believes a computer will form? But the real question here (in my opinion) isn’t, “Is it possible?” The real question is, “Why are there so many who go to so much trouble to attempt to prove there is not a Designer?” Why….?

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About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
This entry was posted in evolution, Intelligent Design, Our World Today. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Quiz – Evolution or Intelligent Design

  1. paolosilvl says:

    Species have come into and out of being over time. Case in point, the Dinosaurs, the Sabre Tooth Tiger, Mastodons, and the Neanderthal (early humans). So far, evolution is the accepted scientific theory based on the evidence. The fact that there is water on Mars should make us wary of grand speculations.

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    • jlue says:

      Haven’t heard from you in a while. How are you? I have been busy and a little on the ‘not well’ side.

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    • jlue says:

      Most people, even many scientist, will admit that change over time doesn’t rule out a designer. When the subject of origins arises, however, that is a different topic altogether. Scientist have to be careful what they print about origins.

      You are right that ‘scientist’ have accepted the theory of evolution. I think it is they who make “grand speculations”.

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      • Jabinaise says:

        What of your grand assumptions?
        God is purely a conceptual hypothesis. To say there is evidence for design is to show that you have put the pieces together in your pattern finding mind and put god into the world a priori. Real science does not make grand assumptions. There is no evidence that stacks up to show that there has to be a god or a designer. That is an assumption based assertion.
        The reason that there are so many God concepts is that we try to find reasons for everything. I pray to Asphaulta when I pull into a parking lot. A lot of the time I get spaces up front. I could attribute those spaces to a pleased Asphaulta, and attribute a poor space to my displeasing Asphaulta by speeding. I could assert that Asphaulta is absolutely real. You wouldn’t be able to dispute it because the circumstantial evidence adds up to her existence.
        The problem Asphaulta, and every other god concept, runs into is that it is an inference based on experience. If you break it down, a person who never prays to Asphaulta will get the same random parking spaces, some up front, some further back. There is no reason to say that Asphaulta actually exists beyond human inference. It’s a disheartening realization for us believers in Asphaulta and other gods… it’s true though.
        The funny thing about this is that, even after realizing the reality of the matter, there is a little part of me that actually believes that Asphaulta makes a difference when I do happen upon a space up front. It shows a common trait in humans to attribute coincidence to a design, or a larger reason.
        You may discredit this because of the absurdity of my parking lot goddess. I probably would too. Please realize though that the God I speak of is no different in conceptual structure than yours, or any others’, god.

        One more thing… To say that evolution doesn’t rule out a Designer is true. To go on and say that implies a definite, undoubted designer is a leap of speculation. A grand speculation.

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      • jlue says:

        As I read your comment I wonder if you would prefer to believe in a God who created the heavens and the earth and who cares for you or would you rather believe that there is nothing more than what you know about this life?

        There is nothing to indicate the god you hypothesize about when you pull into a parking place – nothing.

        There is a book written many years ago that teaches about a Creator-God. There are many prophecies fulfilled that was written there. We know that Jesus Christ was a man who walked this earth and there are those who testified to his death, burial and even to his resurrection. So what you are saying isn’t entirely true that what you are saying is just as likely to be true as what I believe.

        Have you read the Bible or the new testament through for yourself or do you rely on what others tell you?

        The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3

        Everyone will not believe, but some will.

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  5. Jabinaise says:

    Actually many people believe in such things. They are called Wicca. My Grandma was one. I found it silly, but she loved it and I honor her for it. I’m not a religious man though. It was an example that clearly you missed the point of. You must remember that, while Jesus may have walked this earth, he was also a believer of a book. He was given his position by other believers. He was destined to live the life he did because of written prophecy which people then followed because they were believers in the said prophecy… Prophecies that are put into writing are interesting things. They have a tendency to either be interpreted by their believers to have transpired, or they are facilitated by their believers and made to transpire.
    There is nothing more than oral, and later written lore, to back up the god concept. All gods are conceptual. The interesting thing is that even when the nature of the concept is spelled out it still seems to survive… I illustrated this in telling you that there is a little part of me that wants to believe Asphaulta really does make a difference. In reality I was creating the “grace” of Asphaulta by putting the pieces together as I hoped they would be. It is an interesting thing, the mind.
    I have read a good portion of the bible… I have also taken comparative religion courses. This neither validates or invalidates my authority. Authorities are often wrong. The belief in the bible is authoritarian belief. You believe it because you are told it is true. There is no solid real world basis for the belief so you are left with faith.
    I see religion for what it is. I don’t waste my time trying to disprove scripture. The god of the bible is limitless and leaves little room for dispute only due to the nature of the character. Religion altogether is an ideological cultural phenomena. It has a strength in that it gives us a sense of protection and, in religions with afterlife myths, a cure for that horrible problem of mortality. It also draws strength from empathy because parents have an urge to tell their kids that everything will be OK. In the end though it is only philosophy. A philosophy that has survived for a long time because no other better philosophy has been accepted. There are many philosophies about god. Most of them are similar because of the nature of the concept. Based on the nature of reality and the physical world that we actually can know most of them are extremely far fetched and delve into the world of metaphysics. Metaphysics are conceptual, for they can currently not be shown to exist.
    The likely truth is that all of our concepts of our origins are flawed in some sense. The major flaw in the god concept is that it requires an assumption; God exists. In science we are to only gather data, make an hypothesis, test the hypothesis and either accept the findings or throw them out for a new hypothesis. Since I can’t obviously convince you of the conceptual nature of god I will give you this question and obvious nature of the only answer. If everything that exists needs to have a creator, who created god? Endless regress is what we come up against with this hypothesis. There can be claims made about it, though with only speculative basis. You may even say that faith is necessary, and we all know about the problem with faith. You are left with an assumption. A grand speculation…

    The following is only to illustrate my point further:

    “There is nothing to indicate the god you hypothesize about when you pull into a parking place – nothing.”

    There is nothing to indicate the god you hypothesize about when you read your bible – Nothing.

    Clearly there is something that I can give you to indicate that Asphaulta exists. I get parking spaces up front all the time! All the time! But you wouldn’t believe me. You have to know the love of Asphaulta to understand. You have to experience it for yourself.

    Jesus is your parking space.

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    • jlue says:

      You say you won’t waste your time trying to disprove scripture, but you are spending a lot of time here for some reason. Man has always looked for something or someone to believe in and reached out and up for something bigger than himself. It is only in Christ and the love of God as shown through Him that we find God reaching down to mankind. Christ is a person, yet more than a person. In him we are able to find meaning in this life.

      For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

      Some will come to believe and some will not. You are correct that we come by faith.

      Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1

      For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

      We are, however, given much more than faith, but the first step is faith.

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      • Jabinaise says:

        I haven’t even mentioned scripture. I agree that man has always looked for something bigger than him. This is why there are so many god concepts. It is only recently that we could take a step outside, with the understanding of the mind, and realize the true nature of our claims and wants. You lose me when you say that you know the one true way. I understand the psychological benefits of a god concept. The reality of it is a different thing altogether. The problem I have with any claim of “the one true way” is that it harbors group thought. Group thought is often without skepticism. People often follow along just because they either think it will please their god, or it will please their flock. This is a boon on society as a whole.

        P.S. did I mention scripture?

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