I was given the opportunity to do a paper in my English class on Intelligent Design. I only had 2 1/2 hours to write it and this is what I came up with. I had very limited use of the internet and it was NOT a research paper. The professor is (I think) Christian and knows that I am an Atheist. She was very excited to read my paper. I am posting it here because I would like feed back on the arguments I presented. I told her without proper research my ideas might have a few holes in them and she understood completely, again this was for an English paper.
Any help on the ideas I presented would be greatly appreciated :) I hope this is in the right forum.....
Is Intelligent Design Really Intelligent?
Is life on earth the result of intelligent design or did it all happen by chance? Intelligent design (or ID) is the theory that a superior being put the universe into motion. The majority of people who believe in intelligent design also believe it goes further than that, that God has a hand in our every day life. A smaller percentage believe that we are here due to evolution, that everything happened by chance. From my point of view Chance seems more logical. The ideology of Intelligent design does not justify birth defects; it can not be proven in the science lab; and is not an adequate argument for “gaps” in science.
A disturbing problem with the theory of Intelligent design is the overwhelming amount of birth defects, both structural and functional/developmental. Birth defects are caused by defects in our genes as well as environmental hazards. Intelligent design, with the accompanying belief in God, is that humans should be perfect. We were made by God in his image. Perfect. If that were true then our genetic code would not mutate. Hence there would be no birth defects and/or genetic mutations/mishaps. This however is not the case. The Center for Disease Control states that 120,000 babies in the United States are born with birth defects each year. If you look at this situation through the scope of evolution you will see that mutations in genetic code fit very well into the science of evolution.
The way our species has evolved over time has brought us to become a science dependant race. Everything from understanding our place in the solar system, to the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies, to the types of foods we can safely ingest, we got from scientifically testing theories, which is the reason we have the answers to those questions. Intelligent design is not a probable or acceptable theory due to lack of being able to test it which is why the scientific community does not recognize it.
There are some who view science as a great tool of the human race, however they can not let go of the emotion that accompanies Intelligent Design. They see the gaps in science as unexplainable and therefore attribute these unexplainable instances to ID. This is called using the God of Gaps rationalization. Using this argument is not conducive to science because everyday science is understanding more and more about the universe and the world in which we live. At one point in time science thought the earth was flat, but due to exploration, we came to the conclusion that the earth was in fact round. This is the way that science works.
Intelligent design, as fascinating as it might seem to some, is not a theory of scientific measures at this point in time. It simply plays on the emotions, as opposed to the intellect, of humans. So in the words of Christopher Hitchens I leave you with this “Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.", and Intelligent Design does not give exceptional evidence.
Thanks for responding :) Even if she is in fact a christian, she said (repeatedly in class) that she likes being the "devils advocate" which to me says she will always ask questions about the subject at hand. I spoke with her several times about the content of the paper and she understands that the paper is viewing ID as * Assuming ID is a theory - is the theory intelligent? I.e., is it sound, falsifiable, scientific, supported by evidence? * This paper was to be my point of view and informative.
I love the other angles you have posted and I will be sure to think of them if I ever get another chance to write a paper about ID.
Intelligent design really just comes down to lack of interest in reality.
I couldn't agree more :)
Here is a good video to watch. It slaps AIG in the face. Serves them right for hiding those fronkeys from me :-)
Joli, that was a pretty good essay and you raised some good points. The only thing I would have tried to do is expand you criticism of ID beyond humanity.
Perhaps why an all powerful intelligence placed a run of the mill star in the center of our solar system. Something we know forms naturally. Why not a giant cosmic light bulb powered by an invisible nuclear reactor. I'd say that would be a clear sign that it was created and not natural.
What about the fact that the sun will eventually balloon in size and roast the Earth? That isn't a trivial oversight in a design that supposed to be intelligent.
Why is it that we get a sunburn or even cancer from prolonged exposure to our planets power source.
The fact that our bodies are full of useless vestiges or amazingly poorly routed/designed systems.
How about the fact that our Milky Way galaxy will one day collide with Andromeda?
If we're designed so great, why do so many creatures have so much better eyesight than us, the ability to see additional spectrums of light, better hearing than us, etc, etc, etc.
If our world is so perfectly designed, why is so much of it inhospitable to the majority of the species alive. Or what about the fact that 99% of all the species that have ever existed are extinct?
There are of course several more examples one could give, but I think you did a good job on your paper none-the-less. :)
Thank you :)
All of these are really great :) I may actually write a research paper on ID one day when I'm more knowledgeable. There are many that you mentioned that I thought about as I was trying to define my paper but I was only allotted so much time and not much internet. So I had to go with what I knew the most about :) Thank you so much for posting. I enjoyed the read :)