The modern Intelligent Design (ID) movement generally is held to have had its beginning in the early 1980’s. The Mystery of Life’s Origin by Thaxton, Bradley and Olson was published in 1984 as well as Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis in 1985. So thinking in an ID direction was mounting! During the early 1990’s, spurred by writings of lawyer Phillip Johnson and mathematician-scientist William Dembski, the movement exploded and has impacted the world community.
Now we recognize on the basis of universal human experience that the concept of ID is prominent in the thinking of everybody whether they realize it or not. Evidence of order and useful complexity point toward ID. In a person’s home or office virtually everything one sees has been intelligently designed and created—chairs, clocks, windows, pencils, and rugs. This is inescapable! My wife and I used to live near a region formerly inhabited by American Indians, and we would look for arrowheads. These intelligently designed and chipped artefacts could be distinguished virtually without exception from stones worn or broken by forces of nature.
An excellent example of ID from biological science is the origin of life even with its most basic composition. Currently the most simple living thing (a mycoplasma) has 468 proteins each consisting of an average of about 250 units. According to all that is known concerning reactions in chemistry and physics, not even one protein could be formed just by the forces of nature. To synthesize 468 “cooperating” proteins can be compared to the probability of winning 468 lotteries simultaneously! In addition to proteins, large nucleic acid molecules (DNA and RNA) and complex carbohydrates are needed in all living cells. We can say without hesitation that on the basis of all we know from science today, life could not originate by natural forces. Something more would have been required.
This may not absolutely prove that life could not have originated only by forces in nature, but to any reasonable person the implications clearly are that something else is necessary. It is absolutely logical within a scientific framework to recognize that Intelligent Design and creation are involved. Some scientists today are resisting this idea because they seem to think it is an argument from ignorance (or only gaps in current knowledge). I admire scientists who are working on this issue. I myself have spent years doing basic research with the “chemicals of life.” Now I recognize that the evidence for ID is compelling, but many of the thousands of scientists who also believe as I do, think that the general scientific community needs to become more realistic and at least admit ID as a possibility.
Other examples involving ID are the human brain, precise distance of earth from the sun (closer we roast, more distant we freeze), and even forensic investigations. When American Airlines flight 587 crashed on 12 November 2001 was it because of natural aerodynamic forces or sabotage (ID)? In this particular case evidence showed it to be the former, thus falsifying an ID hypothesis.
“Intelligent Design” thinking is unquestionably a human attribute, and the current ID scientific emphasis is making us all more aware of this fact. Think about it!!!
Darwinism under the microscope, Gills & Woodward © 2002 Charisma
The design revolution, Dembski © 2004 InterVarsity