Sunday, May 08, 2005

Intelligent Design Has Missing Link

The intelligent design proponents say that life is too complex to have evolved naturally so it must have a designer. Their favorite example is an ordinary watch. If you find a watch on the beach, they say, you know it is too complex and its purpose too intentional to be a random creation of nature - therefore it must have been designed by some sort of intelligence.

But you know the watch is designed precisely because you recognize it is not natural! You can see it is not a product of nature. Nature doesn't produce such things. Nature produces things like mountains, rivers, planets, solar systems, gravity, electricity, nuclear forces, animals, insects and all manner of living things. Nature does not produce watches. You can look at a watch, see it is not natural and therefore conclude it was designed by an intelligence.

The missing link: How do you look at nature and conclude it is not natural so it must be designed? How do we jump from: "a watch is not natural so we know it must be designed by intelligence" -to- "nature is complicated so it must be designed by intelligence"? There is simply no analogy whatsoever between these two things.

The intelligent design argument really just boils down to this, "hey dude, nature (aka reality) is complicated and I don't understand it so I will assume there is a god that created everything."

The funny thing is, many natural things are complicated yet we don't assume a supernatural creature is behind them. For example, have you ever seen a dust devil? They are like miniature tornados and I've seen many of them in Phoenix. They are amazing! In the middle of an otherwise normal day you can sometimes see one of these phenomenon spinning about seemingly with a mind of its own. What could possibly motivate the air to gather up from all around in a rapidly spinning funnel for no visible reason? I don't know exactly why it happens. I think it's random chance having to do with temperature and humidity and wind currents. If I hadn't seen one I would never have believed it possible. Yet it happens in nature by random natural events and no one outside a mental institution would say it is created by invisible beings.

The intelligent design proponents think a god is the only possible explanation for the existence of the universe but they can't explain where god came from in the first place anymore than anyone else can explain where matter and energy came from. We simply don't know. So, why does the intelligent design proponent stop with just one god? If there is one, there could just as easily be many. Perhaps there is a whole plethora of gods with some more powerful than others. Or perhaps they are all equally omniscient and omnipotent. But if they are all omnipotent, could one of them kill all the others? Maybe one of them is an evil bastard and killed all the other gods and that's why there is only one wacko god creature who feels the need to have insignificant humans worship him. He's an unethical ego maniac. Perhaps the one remaining god died and that's why we haven't seen hide nor hair of him in several thousand years.

If we continue contemplating the possible existence of one or more gods, will we ever figure out an answer? Nope. So what's the point in wasting intellectual energy on something that may or may not exist but for which there is no evidence and which is unprovable and untestable? The world and the universe seem to work according to natural laws that, as far as we know, have never been broken. If there exists a supernatural creature with supernatural powers who is not subject to the laws of nature, why don't we wait until he shows himself before we start making all kinds of assumptions about his possible existence and the existence of others like him?

And if some people say this supernatural creature has already shown himself as Jesus Christ, then where's the proof? The christian bible says that if a person has even a tiny bit of faith the size of a mustard seed and asks god to move a mountain, the mountain will be moved. The christian bible also says (Mark 16:16) that if a person believes in Jesus Christ and is baptized he will be able to heal the sick by a mere touch with his hands. Funny that christians don't question why the catholic pope is unable to heal his own Parkinson's disease. So, in the presence of all these claims of supernatural power yet in the complete absense of any demonstration of supernatural power, I challenge the christians to show that their faith is true and that god exists. Let's set a date and time and do a demonstration on national or worldwide television. Let's get the pope, president Bush, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, all the religious leaders and all the believers in all the world to pray for one simple little demonstration that god really exists. Let's have 4 billion people simultaneously praying for the same little thing. Let them pray and ask god to levitate a penny just a few inches above the ground. If the penny levitates, then god exists. If not, then they can still believe in their mythological god but at least they won't be suffering under the illusion that prayer actually works. Of course, the pope and the president and all the believers will not accept this challenge. They know deep in their hearts it won't work. They'll say we're not supposed to test god even though their god supposedly would move a mountain for them if they asked.

See also: What is Science?


At 5/09/2005 08:55:00 AM, Blogger jazzgtr said...

Truly. And if the designer is "intelligent" what's with all the bad designs? What of the birth defects, mental retardation and incurable diseases.... not to mention my aching back. How about those exploding toads last week? How freakin' intelligent was that?
And why should there be only one "intelligent designer"? Why can't there be a whole team of 'em? Surely one of them could get something else right more often than cock roaches and sharks?
How long do you think that watch on the beach is going to go on working, anyway? 10 years? 100 years? Is there a warranty with that?

At 5/11/2005 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the "intelligent designers" believe they were designed by an (even more) intelligent designer. But who designed him? Circular argument, anyone?

At 5/14/2005 09:53:00 AM, Blogger vjack said...

Great blog! I've got your RSS in my aggregator now, and I'll add you to my BlogRoll. Keep up the good work.

At 5/24/2005 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Sometimes, wouldn't it feel great to roll up all government bums and their christian friends into a big fat blunt and have george dubya smoke it until it blew out his ass?

At 10/18/2005 04:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would look at a watch on the beach and think.. losing a watch is not the sign of intelligence.. but the sign of an idiot..

At 11/26/2005 11:18:00 PM, Anonymous g said...

For one who seems to feel he/she is so intelligent, you miss the most basic point of Christianity.
God is love..true, unconditional love. Because this is true, absolute proof of his existence destroys the opportunity to reciprocate. It is only through faith that one can experience God's love. It is easy to bet on a game you know is fixed, but it takes faith to bet on your team when the odds look that vein, God came here, told us who he was, showed us who he was, died for us and came back to show that even death cannot defeat love. We either believe it or we don' is that belief, really that conviction that determines our own faith and love for Him. Do you REALLY know if your spouse is faithful? Not unless you follow her/him around 24/7. This would show you do not love/trust your spouse, so...on faith and hope, you build a life together and hope, believe, whatever, that they are what you think they have faith that that they are..there is not 100% proof, but you can still KNOW if they are faithful to you....simple as your kids love you? How do you KNOW? THis very simple.
It is not easy, as it defies what we understand to be logic...but it is very simple. I hope you will take a chance and have faith that God is real, that He loves you and has a purpose for you. All I can say is, every time I do what HE wants me to, life works out...when I don't, it doesn't...people die, bad things happen and it hurts, but God has never not done exactly what He said He would do. Good luck.


At 11/27/2005 11:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the previous poster: "g".

The point was missed by you, not the author.

We all understand that the premise, indeed the only possible premise for any religion, is that you must believe without evidence. In other words, you must believe what another person has told you and suspend your disbelief regardless of a complete absence of evidence.

Keep in mind, everything you think you know about "god" was told to you by another person, either a superstitious ignorant trash-rag author 2000 years ago or your parents when you were young or your proselytizer today. All without a shred of evidence. And even worse, claims are made that fail to be demonstrated, such as the claim that a little faith could move a mountain and countless others claims of "power" and whatnot in the bible.

Clearly, christianity (all religions in fact) bear all the signs of a scam, a fairy tale, or whatever you want to call it.

Your analogy with a spouse's fidelity and your kids love was interesting. At least you know your spouse does exist! And you know your kids do exist! After that, you have to apply reason and good judgement to decide if you believe your spouse is loyal and your kids love you based on their actions and all the other evidence you have at your disposal. You do NOT apply blind faith. Blind faith NEVER does any good whatsoever. Blind faith is stupid and should be reserved for plants and those who are brain dead.

"g", there are a lot of superstitions competing for your belief and patronage. There are tons of religions along with astrology, "crystals", dianetics and charismatic scam peddlers on every street corner. Do you believe in them? Do you believe in aliens? Why not? By what reasoning do you dismiss the other scams that want your patronage yet continue to devote yourself to your one favorite - christianity? Christianity has no more evidence going for it than any of the other superstitions so why do you choose it over the others?

Most likely, the answer is simply that you grew up with christian parents. It's the same reason most muslims believe in islam and most buddhists believe in buddha etcetera.

"g", it's not easy but I've done it and so have many others. Sit down one day and ask yourself if you're the type of person who can believe in something that's not real just because it's popular and just because you are afraid of the pain that's promised in an afterlife if you don't believe. If the answer is yes, then enjoy your belief. If the answer is no, then free your mind and pay attention to reality and check the evidence with a clear head and clear eyes. You'll find that you believe simply out of fear and simply because you were told that you need to believe. There's a brave new world of reality out there waiting for you. It's not easy and there are no promises of eternal joy and happiness in an afterlife but at least it is real.

At 4/19/2007 12:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh what primitive primates we humans are still...

I wish it was mandatory for every person to watch at least 10 hours of natural chimp behavior in the wild. Anyone who does this can easily see the similarities, and without much imagination, can see a pure form of what drives OUR behavior.

I feel so sorry for the weak minded all over the world who are unable to resist the religious programming they have been bombarded with since birth. After all, the book of genesis has been 100% disproven by science. We know that it is absolutely impossible for the earth and all creatures upon it to have been created within 1 week, yet still they believe...

For me, the only proof I need that the god described in the christian bible does not exist is to spend 2 minutes in the pediatric cancer ward of any hospital...

At 2/29/2008 12:31:00 PM, Anonymous Nate B. said...

Big Bang Theory = a theory based on scientific evidence that the world and universe was created from a random explosive act.

Intelligent Design = a belief based on the Holy Bible, historical evidence, and FAITH that God created the universe.

What do these two things have in common? They both happened a long time ago with absolutely no REAL PROOF OR EVIDENCE. Our beliefs are based on assumptions using history as our base. Everything from there is a leap of faith. No one is more correct than the other.


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