If we found a watch on the ground and considered its complex inner workings, its parts, usefulness, and precision, we would assume it had a designer. 1 Nature has much more complex design; therefore, it too must have a Designer. 2 3
As a side note, evolutionists sometimes agree that life seems to be designed, 4 5 though they argue that nature is the designer. However, this leads to some very odd inconsistencies. For instance, when speaking of a remarkable wasp that builds pots (the “potter wasp”), Richard Dawkins says that the pots are not really designed, because the wasp is merely acting according to its genes, which are the result of unguided evolutionary processes. Yet he says that humans are capable of designing things. 6 If humans are also the result of evolution, then technically nothing we make should be “designed” either, since we are acting according to our genes. This is an inconsistency in evolutionary theory and our everyday experience.
Evolutionist: Sometimes we can’t tell whether an object was designed or not. For instance, we may find a stone that looks somewhat like an arrowhead.
Response: The amount of design affects the argument. For instance, so-so designs (like a rock that looks somewhat like an arrowhead with some imagination) is only so-so evidence for a designer. However, extreme design, such as the design of an F-16 fighter jet, is extreme evidence for a designer. 7
Evolutionist: Ice crystals are beautiful and orderly, but they are not intentionally designed.
Response: Ice crystals are very simple mathematically. Design is both orderly and complex.
Evolutionist: If I pour a bucket of sand on the table, that is very complex. It would take several volumes to write down the position, shape, and orientation of every sand crystal. But this pile of sand is not designed.
Evolutionist: Life has bad design which a capable designer would not use (Claim #E923)
Response: The curse on creation for man’s sin has resulted in deteriorated design. Besides this, some designs are “odd and curious,” not bad. A good Designer would show creativity, not just rigid adherence to efficient perfection. (Read more…)
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ReMine, W. J. (1993). The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory. Saint Paul, Minn.: St. Paul Science.
Meyer, S. C. (2013). Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life And the Case for Intelligent Design. New York: HarperOne.
Coyne, J. A. (2009). Why Evolution Is True. New York: Viking.
Dawkins, R. (1996). Climbing Mount Improbable. New York: Norton.
Sarfati, J. D., & Matthews, M. (1999). Refuting Evolution. Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
- ReMine, 1993, p. 14 ↩
- ReMine, 1993, p. 40: “Paley’s theory: An intelligent designer is necessary for the origin of life from non-life.” ↩
- Meyer, 2013, p. 38 ↩
- Coyne, 2009, p. 115: “Everywhere we look in nature, we see animals that seem beautifully designed to fit their environment, whether that environment by the physical circumstances of life, like temperature and humidity, or the other organisms–competitors, predators, and prey–that every species must deal with. It is no surprise that early naturalists believed that animals were the product of celestial design, created by God to do their jobs.” ↩
- Dawkins, 1996, p. 6: “Designoid objects look designed, so much so that some people–alas, most people–think that they are designed. These people are wrong. But they are right in their conviction that designoid objects cannot be the result of chance. Designoid objects are not accidental. They have in fact been shaped by a magnificently non-random process which creates an almost perfect illusion of design.”
p 6: “[The pitcher plant] gives every appearance of being excellently well designed, not just to hold water but to drown insects and digest them.”
p 16: “Actually, to be fair, I cannot know for certain that wasps lack creative volition and true design. It is enough for me that my explanation works even if they do.”
p 17: “The skyscrapers of Figure 1.8 were made by Australian compass termites. They are called compass termites because their mounds are always lined up north-south–they can be used as compasses by lost travellers … We could be forgiven for thinking the termites had designed this clever trick themselves. But the principle by which their building behaviour appears intelligent is identical to the principle by which the jaws and legs of the termites appear designed. Neither of them is designed. Both are designoid.”
p 19: “Often were are stunned by the resemblance between a living structure and a man-made device that does the same job. The ‘mimicry’ between human eye and man-made camera is too well known to need illustrating here. Engineers are often the people best qualified to analyse how animal and plant bodies work, because efficient mechanisms have to obey the same principles whether they are designed or designoid.” ↩
- Dawkins, 1996, p. 19: “The human pot is conceived and planned by a creative process of imagination in the head of the potter, or by deliberate imitation of the style of another potter. The wasp pot gets its elegance and fitness to its task from a very different process–from exactly the same process, indeed, as gave elegance and fitness to the wasp’s own body.” ↩
- ReMine, 1993, p. 39: “Obviously, the argument from design depends on the extent of the design. When the design is marginal so is the argument, but when extensive so is the conclusion: clear-cut design is clear-cut evidence for an intelligent designer.” ↩
- ReMine, 1993, p. 39: “Design is concerned with a pattern of ordered complexity. It is neither simple and ordered (like a crystal), nor chaotic (like the random distribution of sand grains).” ↩
- Sarfati, 1999, p. 118: “We can also tell the difference between messages written in sand and the results of wave and wind action. The carved heads of the U.S. presidents on Mt. Rushmore are clearly different from erosional features. Again, this is specified complexity. Erosion produces either irregular shapes or highly ordered shapes like sand dunes, but not presidents’ heads or writing.” ↩
- Sarfati, 1999, p. 120: “The design criterion may also be described in terms of information. Specified complexity means high information content. In formal terms, the information content of any arrangement is the size, in bits, of the shortest algorithm (program) required to generate that arrangement. A random sequence could be formed by a short program …” ↩