Thursday, October 1, 2015

Intelligence Discovery

Discovery Institute’s Stephen C. Meyer and ATRI’s John Ankerberg produced a series of interview programs on the John Ankerberg Show in July and August 2015. Meyer is Discovery Institute’s Executive Director. In that role he is a well known, articulate spokesman for the concept of Intelligent Design in our physical universe, including its life forms. That our universe and its life forms are not the product of a naturalistic process, but instead have been produced by an intelligent agent, is a truth of utmost importance to all humanity as we refine our worldview.

We point out an interesting feature of the Meyer/Ankerberg interview series. Dr. Meyer does not discuss the Genesis creation account. The Genesis account is a theological commentary on creationism: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Dr. Meyer does not wish to be known as a creationist, even though he is a Christian. Describing features of our universe and its life forms as an example of intelligent design leans more toward a scientific topic. Meyer believes ID is scientific. Most scientists in the secular science profession do not. 

The concept of a Divine Designer is somewhat distinct from God’s broader role as the Creator. Describing God as the Designer of all physical characteristics of the universe and its life forms is, however, one of the chief descriptors of God as Creator. Comparing the concepts of create and design is not a matter of deciding which is superior. God is both Creator and Designer, but the concepts are not synonymous. References to God as Designer is only one of many descriptive terms for Him.

Intelligent Design theory is primarily evidence-based. Early in the television series, Meyer instructed viewers concerning the wonder that novel Cambrian animals appeared so suddenly in the fossil record. Observing that Cambrian animals appeared in a geologic blink of an eye is evidence that an intelligent agent acted to produce them. In the second half of the series, the focus was on the production of coded new information—also evidence of the actions of an intelligent agent. The weight of evidence is one of many ways in which ID adheres to the traditional standards of science.

We trust our current series of posts helps readers clarify subtle differences between creationist beliefs and intelligent design theory. Creationism is a more faith-based concept. Intelligent Design is more evidence based. Agnostic doubters have attempted to conflate these terms in an effort to diminish believers’ confidence in both. We will attempt to discuss Dr. Meyer’s presentation in more detail in upcoming posts. 

Dr. Meyer has said that endorsing the concept of Intelligent Design has world view, philosophical, and religious implications. He has also said that ID is theistic friendly, religion friendly, and faith friendly. We hasten to add that at the conclusion of his Ankerberg sessions, he confidently acclaimed God as the intelligent agent and Designer of all features of this universe and its life forms. Dr. Meyer, of course, is a Christian. His ministry is more focused on scientific findings which demonstrate evidence for an intelligent designer.