Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stephen Meyer, Design Advocate

Stephen C. Meyer is director of Discovery Institute, possibly the most high profile organization promoting the theory of Intelligent Design. The theory (ID) endures criticism from a variety of sources ranging from atheists to theists, and from naturalistic evolutionists to theistic evolutionists. Even some evangelical Christians have taken up the anti-ID cause. Meyer has promoted the Intelligent Design proposal coherently and energetically for the past several decades. His latest important volumes have been Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.

There are differences between Intelligent Design theory and Creationism. Traditional creationists believe the God of the Bible created all things “in the beginning.” Not all Intelligent Design theorists believe the God of the Bible was the Creator and Designer of the ordered features of our universe, but most do. There are other subtle differences between creationism and ID.

Theologian John Ankerberg interviews a wide array of spokespersons commenting on a variety of contemporary issues. Over the years Dr. Ankerberg, founder of the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (ATRI), has interviewed both young earth and old earth creationists. In the past few months he interviewed Intelligent Design advocate Dr. Stephen C. Meyer in a series of programs. Daystar, one of Ankerberg’s television outlets, broadcast seven interview programs with Dr. Meyer from July 2 to August 14. These archived interviews with Dr. Meyer may be accessed at www.jashow.org. Readers are encouraged to review the entire series by searching for “All Broadcasts” and “View Programs” at the website under the Daystar symbol.

Dr. Meyer has degrees in physics and earth science and has a PhD in Philosophy of Science. His doctoral thesis was titled “Of Clues and Causes: A Methodological Interpretation of Origin of Life Research.” Today he is most famous as a spokesman for Intelligent Design. ID as a well known theory has become more popular in the last several decades, propelled by new discoveries in the fine tuning of the universe and discoveries concerning information in living cells in the last half of the 20th century.

Intelligent design is not popular among either secular evolutionary scientists or theistic evolutionary scientists. Our culture has acquired a secular bias. One may look at the increasingly secular turn of our modern society to understand the attacks of scientists who claim that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. This proposal reduces confidence in whether ID is true. The field of science took a secular turn in the years following the Civil War as a result of Darwinism and other influences. Many members of our science community still bask in the delusion that it is improper to connect findings in science with any sort of theological vision. To do so is an improper “border crossing” of science and religion, they claim. This may be a reflection of changing world views rather than the “discovery” among scientists that ID is inherently unscientific.

We recommend a past post which may prove instructive:

We believe the connection Meyer makes between the rich information-bearing properties of cells in living things and the thesis of intelligent design is entirely consistent with traditional operations of science. The disrespect from scientists is rooted in their idea that ID is a mainly a faith-based theory. Meyer has gone to great lengths to dispel this false analysis. Secular scientists are fond of confusing the evidence of ID theory with the theistic implications of the theory. Since ID has implications for theistic belief, it should be rejected and relegated to the realm of religion, they declare.

Meyer has coherently advocated the theory of intelligent design as the best explanation of the apparent order in our universe and in its living things. The conclusion that the cosmos functions as a result of the actions of an intelligent agent is defensible based on (1) a digital code in living cells, (2) the presence of multiple machines in cells, (3) the fine tuning of the laws of physics and chemistry, and (4) the existence of multiple usage of standard scientific reasoning concerning the remote past and the history of life.

An important standard is overlooked in the storm of exchanges over Intelligent Design. Most often scientists fortify their negative views by claiming ID is unscientific. Apart from our view that ID is not unscientific, we remind readers of the far more important question, “Is ID true?”