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:
Intricate cellular components are often cited as evidence of intelligent design. They couldn’t have evolved, I.D. proponents say, because they can’t be broken down into smaller, simpler functional parts. They are irreducibly complex, so they must have been intentionally designed, as is, by an intelligent entity.
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….?