Saturday, April 26, 2008


“Intelligence” as an underlying cause of observed natural phenomena is a forbidden word in the academic world of science. Leaders in that world investigate only “natural” cause and effect. The idea of intelligence, or the more formal intelligent design (ID), is said to be a religious concept and therefore out of bounds. However, a startling irony is revealed in the secular SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) movement. For a time SETI was an adjunct of the government’s NASA program. It received some taxpayer money for activities such as microwave surveys of the heavens, searching for indicators of intelligent life in distant space. Budget-cutting removed all government support in 1993, to the disappointment of scientists. It continues, however, with private funding.

If an “intelligent” signal were to be received from outer space, no doubt that signal would be in the form of a code. Scientists would evaluate the code and then agree on the meaning of the code’s message. This would create an instant public sensation. It would be recognized as one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. Intelligence would be “proven” to exist in another part of our universe. If SETI enthusiasts even proved that a microwave signal from a distant galaxy was produced by intelligent beings, that discovery would be hailed as a great scientific achievement.

Before we get too carried away with enthusiasm, let’s return to earth. The DNA molecule contained within the cell is responsible for the nuances of every physical trait and every physical function of each human being on earth. DNA contains coded information responsible for differentiating each human being from six billion others on our planet. That code also differentiates each of the millions of earth species from every other species. This submicroscopic repository of information has no equal. The DNA code is complex beyond comprehension. Codes are always produced by an intelligent agent and are the product of a mind.

When disagreements over issues of intelligent design arise, we must realize that differences in worldview may be at the heart of the disagreement. More people are recognizing that science, evidence-based as it is, may be better-served by admitting design as an explanatory option in some cases. Isaiah 45:18-19 (NIV) is not unscientific because it speaks about the activities of God, the Creator: For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. Isaiah’s statements invite observation and testing.