Monday, September 22, 2014

Denigrating Design

Intelligent Design and creationism have been relegated to non-science by the majority of the world science establishment. The perception of ID and creationism publicly suffer from this relegation. These concepts are assigned to a place of low esteem during discussions on origins. Church members frequently refer to the topic of origins in connection with their studies of the biblical Genesis account. Those groups consider themselves creationists. According to scripture, the world and its living things, including man, originated in a transcendent miracle. In contrast, secular world scientific discussions on origins only permit naturalistic explanations of phenomena in the natural world. When evidence indicates a possible miraculous origin, scientists beg the question—only a naturalistic explanation is permitted.

William Paley in 1802 penned a famous work entitled, “Natural Theology; or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity.” Paley’s work is frequently cited as an early expression of belief in the Intelligent Design concept as well as a devotional statement of worship. Historically, many theistic writers have recognized design in the natural world as an expression of God’s handiwork producing order and grandeur. Only in the last two or three decades has ID been more actively proposed as a formal concept to recognize the work of a Designer-God along with the more traditional theological concept of Creator-God. In early legal challenges brought by citizens opposing the teaching of evolution in public schools, the first formal mention of intelligent design occurred in 1997 in a case from Louisiana. In Dover, Pennsylvania, the term received frequent mention from a ruling judge in 2005.

Intelligent design and creationism have both acquired a bad name among the science community, purportedly because they are not scientific concepts. The ideas are raised in connection with cause and effect explanations. Naturalistic scientists desire to offer their explanations of phenomena in the natural world without introducing the concept of God or religion. When education authorities are challenged concerning the teaching of evolution, their legal teams proclaim that ID or creationism are “not science.” Rather, the lawyers claim ID and creationism are “religion.” Evolutionists win such cases on the strength of the constitutional “separation of church and state” principle. The science profession has succeeded in painting creationism and intelligent design with the brush of “non-science.” In the past few decades there have been a number of notable court cases where the “separation of church and state” model has transcended recognition of evidence for supernatural events in the world of nature.

Discovery Institute’s websites describe intelligent design as “a scientific theory.” The establishment science community rejects this claim because as a whole, they reject the proposition that a divine hand acts in the world of nature. Discovery Institute elaborates on scientific theory. The scientific method is defined as follows: A four-step process involving observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. Intelligent design produces complex and specified information (CSI). Not everyone has exactly the same view of science methods. Discovery Institute claims a scientific theory should elevate traditional scientific method over naturalistic philosophy. 

We must analyze our beliefs about the interface between objective truth and personal philosophy. If we assign undue importance to definitions of science and science philosophy, we may be bypassing the truth concerning physical causality. What are the causes of what we observe in the natural world? Did God design? Did God create? In any case, we ask if observed phenomena are natural or supernatural? The Creator has given us ability to discover truth about his actions.