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.
Wow, that is an awesome essay!
Nice work, I'm impressed for only having 2.5 hours to write it. I bet it made your teacher think a little more in depth about his/her beliefs.
Hitchens did use the line in his debate with Blair recently without citing Sagan. Circa line 30.
It is worth bearing the following in mind when debating ID: Creationists who accept the I.D. theory use it to explain how life started on Earth - that is called the Theory of Abiogenesis. They use it to refute the Theory of Evolution. However the theory of Evolution does not claim to explain how life on Earth began any more than the Theory of Gravity does. It only attempts to explain (proven as far as I am concerned) how life evolved after it was created. Neither scientists nor Atheists claim they know how life began. Creationists however claim this knowledge. This point is subtle enough but gives you an immediate advantage in debating creationists once it is understood. They always say (to me at least) that they have studied and rejected Evolution because it does not explain how life started by chance or could be created from nothing (yada yada). Then I explain this point to them and watch the reaction. I usually then tell them that the bible is not a great science book – e.g. Isaiah did not know the world was round and then I take the floor to explain it to them. Keep up the good work.
@Doone and Adriana – please check my “homework” above as I don’t wish to misinform anyone if there is anything wrong in my reasoning.:-) Thanks.
My point is simply that in the beginning God did create us and the Earth perfectly, but because they chose to sin, there was a curse, not only for Adam and Eve but for all the Earth and those that share it, innocent or not.
You have no proof of that. That is a chosen belief which cannot be substantiated.
Yes, I choose my point of view just as you have chosen yours.
Yes, but the difference is that my point of view is to reject claims that cannot be substantiated. Yours is to accept them without evidence.
I'm willing to believe things when there is eviendence for them, but not until then.