Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Intelligent Design" not "Creationism"

"Intelligent design" implies just that. It implies structure and mathematical order that make sense. But it need not involve "creationism," or the belief that some external God imposed this order from outside the molecules. And it certainly need not imply a god such as the primitive, anthropomorphic Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures. Used correctly, the term implies this complex structure-- that it unarguably does exist, but need say nothing about the source or origin of this design in the "external mind" of a "creator." When people begin to infer that an anthropomorphic (human-formed) deity, such as the Hebrew god Jehovah, was in charge of a "creationary" process, then, they have clearly stepped into the field of faith and speculation, well outside the realms of real science.

Design does exist, and it is astoundingly intelligent, especially in the complex biostructures of multicellular life-forms. Intelligent, even mathematical and symmetric, design is also a part of the cellular and atomic structure of every unicellular "simple" living being.

Nevertheless, it is by no means necessary to presuppose the existence of any external "god"-- much less, the primitive god of the early Bible. Intelligent design can as well be explained by natural tendencies for patterns of attraction to exist among the atoms and molecules of the cell. Could not this intelligence, which is intracellular, not have partly guided, and been partly the result of, evolutionary processes?

Intelligent design clearly exist within the cell. About one-hundredth the size of the period at the end of this sentence, it is more complex than New York City! Literally millions of biomolecules perform highly synchronized and choreographed orchestrations of unimaginably complex "dances" that sustain life, repeated every second

To reject or deny the intricacy, even beauty, of these incredibly inexplicable complexities is to descend into another variety of superstition, the anticreationist, which can be as fiercely visceral and unscientific as creationism. This is the result of some highly emotional evolutionists, since the example of the nineteenth-century T. H. Huxley, who have made "evolutionism" an alternative religion. Their illogical shouts and screams, as well as dogmatism and closedmindedness, have worked to transform evolution from a scientific paradigm into a religious spectacle. They have worked to transform "evolution" into "evolutionism." Some are as angry, stubborn, and unscientific as creationists.

What is recommended is the "evolution-design integrative theory," or "edit," which, accepting evolution, still recognizes intelligent design. It is simply silent as to the identity of any designer. If we simply call the source "nature," and forget about gods and god-images, perhaps we can get on with solving the real problem, which is producing children who are not illiterate!

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