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Intelligent Design Theory

Intelligent Design Theory

OK, where am I with all this? What's this rising concept called "Intelligent Design Theory"?

Evolutionary theory declares that everything has a mere appearance of design. Richard Dawkins, author of The Blind Watchmaker and a professor at Oxford University (U.K.), is probably the leading proponent of evolutionary theory since the death of Stephen Jay Gould.

Dawkins writes:

    Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. 1
He goes on to say:

    ...the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker...2
Nevertheless, Dawkins is an atheist who staunchly maintains that the design we see is merely an illusion -- that these amazingly complex systems are an accidental product of natural selection.

Interestingly, in all other fields of human endeavor we find that "design necessitates a designer." Thus, design detection methodology is a prerequisite for many disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, forensics, criminal jurisprudence, copyright law, patent law, reverse engineering, crypto-analysis, random number generation, and SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). In general, we find "specified complexity" to be a reliable indicator of the presence of intelligent design. Chance can explain complexity, but not specification. A random sequence of letters is complex, but not specified (it is meaningless). A Shakespearean sonnet is both complex and specified (it is meaningful). You can't have a Shakespearean sonnet without Shakespeare. 3

Remarkably, the SETI project, a multi-billion dollar effort to scan the cosmos for some indication of intelligence, is based on one simple notion. If we find radio waves that contain any type of ordered sequence of sounds, then we've discovered intelligence somewhere in the universe! Think about that? The whole premise of these scientists is that you can't have ordered sound (such as the blips and dashes in a Morse code transmission) without an intelligent force behind them. To me, that's huge!

Charles B. Thaxton, PhD in Chemistry and Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, agrees:

    …an intelligible communication via radio signal from some distant galaxy would be widely hailed as evidence of an intelligent source. Why then doesn't the message sequence on the DNA molecule also constitute prima facie evidence for an intelligent source? After all, DNA information is not just analogous to a message sequence such as Morse code, it is such a message sequence. 4
So, where is this going? It appears to me, if we shed our prior preconceptions and logically examine our organic world -- like we do most everything else -- we start to see things differently...

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1 Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, ch. 1.
2 Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, ch. 2.
3 William A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, 1998.
4 Charles B. Thaxton, The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, Philosophical Library, 1984.

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