Food for thought Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Intelligent Design and the Designer – an Opinion

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Eric Hedin writes:

In arguing for intelligent design for the origin of life, exhibited in the millions of species found on Earth, what is the role of the Designer?  Evolution, if merely defined as “change over time,” matches the evidence found in nature. But that doesn’t mean that the “evolution” happened by purely natural mechanisms. Our increasing understanding of the vast complexity of living organisms defies an explanation of their origin by natural causes.

While intelligent design as a scientific theory doesn’t address religious questions about the identity of the designer, as a Christian I obviously believe that the Designer is the God of the Bible. My viewpoint offered here goes beyond the theory of ID and represents my own thoughts on the matter of the origin of species, intended to be consistent with evidence from nature, and consistent with the Bible.

The Bible indicates that the Creator, God, was active in preparing the physical environment to support life, and in creating various forms of life until the creation of humans.  Setting this in the context of Earth’s history implies that God created millions of different species of living things over approximately 3.8 billion years.  I am not here suggesting a theistic evolution model, since that would imply that natural causes are capable of far more than what we actually observe. 

Could God have taken an already-existing organism and modified in such a way as to form a new species or other classification of organism? Human designers do something similar all the time, but the newly designed system still requires intelligent input of information to function properly. Since we find so much evidence for design in nature, the implication is that huge amounts of information were inputted into the biosphere during the history of life by an intelligent agent, whom I identify as the God of the Bible.

Why would anyone invoke God’s intervention to create living things, while acknowledging that normal laws of physics suffice to forms, say, galaxies and stars?  The answer is that this is what science shows: the laws of nature are completely sufficient to form stars (which have a relatively low information content) but are insufficient to form even the complex bio-molecular components of the simplest living organism.[1] The only known cause that can introduce the information required for life is the action of an intelligence. This is why I see intelligent design (consistent with my belief in the God of the Bible as the designer) as the best explanation for the origin of life in all its complexity.


[1] Eric Hedin, Canceled Science, What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See (Discovery Institute Press, Seattle, 2021).

33 Replies to “Intelligent Design and the Designer – an Opinion

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Amen!

    But one has to beyond ID to make this conclusion. One has to have good reasons to believe the Bible is true.

    Eric has gone beyond ID and used the New and Old Testament since he said he was a Christian. A religious Jew who doesn’t accept the New Testament could make the same judgment just using the Old Testament.

    Other religious traditions use other texts to justify their specific religious beliefs. But all can use ID since it does not point to a specific religion, only to a creator of massive intelligence and power.

    Maybe using logic one can justify other aspects of the creator that are consistent with their religious beliefs. For example, the nature of man may indicate what the intentions of the creator were.

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    Motivated reasoning at its best……

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    And for Christians as I’m a Catholic something important of note

    https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/hexaemeron

    God commands the earth and oceans to bring forth all life and seems to only have a direct hand in creating us

    Furthermore, life seems designed to evolve. Lifes ability to do this is akin to built in AGI and life started with this ability. Evolution in general as defined as “adaption” fits perfectly with design. It’s only when you get disciplines like evolutionarily psychology where evolution is used to explain anything and everything is when we run into problems.

    That’s when you start getting wack a doodles that worship some old racist white man with a white beard (thought only creationists worshipped old men with white beards) replacing every instance of the word “God” with “evolution” and coming up with any half baked explanation for phenomena they don’t understand while calling it science.

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 3,

    Boy, you really messed up with your guesswork. No critical thinking in that one. I expected better from you. Do you want to know what the Catholic Church thinks? If you do, read this:

    Communion and Stewardship

    69. … But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2). ‘

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hmmmmmmm

    Third Day.—Verse 9: God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. 10: And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

    (b) Work of Adornment.—Verse 11: And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done. 12: And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13: And the evening and the morning were the third day.

    And

    Fifth Day.—Verse 20: God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven. 21: And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22: And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth. 23: And the evening and morning were the fifth day.

    And

    Sixth Day.—Verse 24: And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done. 25: And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

    And

    From the magisterium

    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/evolution-and-the-magisterium

    So, I have now directly quoted what I was talking about and have shown you where I got my thinking from there’s no level of guesswork involved with this.

    Yes it was only made possible because God said so it was his command.

    But he commanded the earth and the water to produce these things with his word. Also to have a BUILT IN Mechanism to change and adapt to its environment actually implies very good design with the idea that things will change in the future.

    Nor did I mention anything about being random there’s nothing random about it

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    Further reading on the stance of evolution
    https://www.catholic.com/tract/adam-eve-and-evolution

  7. 7
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 5,

    “according to its kind” For the atheists here, it should now be obvious that an elderberry tree or bush produces only elderberries. It cannot produce/invent anything else. That is what kind means. I’m sure the average person understands that birds, for example, know how to deal with high winds. That certain birds, like falcons, can dive and maneuver at relatively high speeds without having to go to school.

    A sugar beet grown in ideal conditions, meaning a certain type of soil and the right amount of sunlight, can produce up to 60% sugar. Those grown in poor soils, and in poor light, will be smaller and produce less sugar. So, adaptability includes a range of built-in reactions to the environment. Human beings can be lean and muscular or grossly overweight. The latter is not a good thing for your body.

  8. 8
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 6,

    That catholic.com article was poorly written and sloppy. I especially take issue with Catholics “getting confortable” with this or that and the Hippie-speak regarding the Church not getting burned after the Galileo thing (man). I plan on writing to Catholic Answers about this, It should have been reviewed by someone competent and who understands what the Church actually teaches. To add to my point, I take you back to 1969:

    “You know man, the Church got burned after this Galileo thing. People were not happy. Then when Evolution came along, the Church had to get smart. You know what I’m sayin’ man? Anyway. The Pope, you know, Pope John Paul II, talked about evolution and,,,” No. Wrong.

    What was egregiously wrong was this reference: “We cannot conduct a full analysis of what the Pope said…”

    Why the Hell not? God knows every atheist was writing: The Church accepts evolution! The Church accepts evolution! That’s CRAP.

    And this about evolution:

    “… Pius XII issued a tentative finding that this was not the case. In the remainder of the century, this conviction strengthened.

    “But nobody has gone to the extent of saying that it is required by the sources of faith. That hasn’t been remotely suggested.

    “Until such time as the magisterium would either reverse its twentieth-century finding that human evolution is not precluded by the deposit of faith or would make a new finding that it is required by the deposit, human evolution as a matter that is free with respect to the sources. It is a matter that must stand or fall on its own scientific merits; it is not a matter of Catholic teaching.

    “The sooner both sides in the evolution debate within the Catholic Church recognize this, the better for all concerned.”

    Pope Pius XII issued no “finding,” tentative or otherwise. Here is what he actually wrote in Humani Generis:

    “36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

    “37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]”

    The Pope gave PERMISSION to look into evolution – for and against. PERMISSION – that’s all. When ex-Hippies are allowed to write nonsense I will report them. Atheists are here, right now, and they are dying to know what the Church thinks. They want to know so they can attack the Church, or better yet, say, “See! See! The Church “accepts” evolution.”

    No. The Church accepts design. It accepts and teaches that God acted in His Creation. That is what is missing in that badly written catholic.com article. Not “You know, man, it’s like, about science. I mean, figure it out, ya know?”

    NO – DEFINITELY NOT. Vagueness is wrong. A lack of specific references to what the Church ACTUALLY said is wrong. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Interesting that there can be such passionate differences within a denomination about what is the correct interpretation of Scripture and the doctrines based thereon, let alone the differences between different faiths. Each adherent is absolutely convinced that their belief is correct and some of the more extreme will apparently go to any lengths in furtherance of their own particular Truth. Is it any wonder that the Founding Fathers prohibited government becoming involved in such matters and establishing a state religion? The more so since we see Trumpism becoming more like a cult whose leader can do no wrong in the eyes of his – often heavily-armed – followers who are already exhibiting alarming tendencies to threaten civil war and even turn to violence in support of their Dear Leader. And, yes, I’m drawing a comparison between Trump’s autocratic cult of personality and those of Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

  11. 11
    relatd says:

    I take issue with the author of the above article. While he deals with living things well enough, he deviates in the following:

    “Why would anyone invoke God’s intervention to create living things, while acknowledging that normal laws of physics suffice to forms, say, galaxies and stars?”

    No scientist – anywhere – has any idea why and how galaxies form. Until recently, black holes did not exist. The writer shows a distinct lack of knowledge. There are varied types of galaxies and stars. It is only assumed that dust – from somewhere – somehow accumulated to form solid objects in space. Planet formation is not fully understood.

    “The answer is that this is what science shows: the laws of nature are completely sufficient to form stars (which have a relatively low information content)…”

    The confusion here is that stars are designed to keep planets warm. So that we, on Earth, can stay warm. So that the oceans can get sunlight and the water can evaporate to form rain. Stars are not just lights in the sky. They are part of a process, a system, that maintains life.

  12. 12
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 10,

    Put a sock in it.

  13. 13
    AaronS1978 says:

    @10 It is OK for people within the same faith to disagreed on how to interpret things, they are in house matters and are fun to discuss, So your observation is something that I am more than happy to discuss with you however when you try to draw parallels to all of that other nonsense like Putin, then I have to agree with Relatd on this which is put a sock in it

  14. 14
    chuckdarwin says:

    Yeah, Seversky—put a sock in it……… 😉

  15. 15
    relatd says:

    CD at 14,

    To use a sock as a gag to prevent someone from speaking.

  16. 16
    chuckdarwin says:

    Relatd
    That’s not going to do you much good since he can still use his keyboard…….

  17. 17
    AaronS1978 says:

    Strong with this one, the troll is…..

  18. 18
    EDTA says:

    Sev @ 10,

    Interesting that there can be such passionate differences within a denomination about what is the correct interpretation of Scripture…Each adherent is absolutely convinced that their belief is correct

    Gotta agree with you on that one. Interpreting the written word is harder than most people think. And more subject to personal biases than anyone thinks. More prone to various fallacious modes of reasoning too. A few pages on the subject: https://thevivisectionofevil.com/appendix-a-interpretation-and-the-bible/

  19. 19
    relatd says:

    EDTA at 18,

    That link was the words of men, not those of the Church.

    “1 With the Bible, there is controversy regarding its inspiration: Is God the only author? Is it some combination of God and man? Fortunately, these questions do not alter the principle being put forth here. We must still seek the original intent of its author(s).”

    The authors. The authors. OR The men. The men. This man-centered approach to interpreting Scripture is incorrect.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    ” II. INSPIRATION AND TRUTH OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

    ‘105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” 69

    “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.” 70’

  20. 20
    relatd says:

    Seversky as a disciple of the Troll Force? Works for me 🙂

  21. 21
    EDTA says:

    Relatd,
    God can speak all He wants to (and I hope he speaks more), but at some point, the words have to hop the fence and be heard by men. That’s where the problems begin. The words spoken can be perfect in every way, but once inside mens’ minds, our sinfulness (among other things) gets in the way.

    If you have a means of interpreting Scripture that does not involve the minds of men in any way, let me know what it is please!

  22. 22
    AaronS1978 says:

    EDTA
    @18
    The observation was fair, my issue with Sev’s statement starts with

    “Each adherent is absolutely convinced that their belief is correct“

    This is an absolute, and is nowhere near correct, I struggle with my own interpretations all the time and it’s part of the reason why I visit sites like this and other places to see how people interpret things and adjust my own.

    My second issue was when he started to politically try to tie Trumpism and all that other nonsense to his observation which would have been worth discussing until he did that.

    @Sev
    I’m sorry Sev but you’ve been diagnosed with TDS(Trump Derangement Syndrome) and I only can ask you to go and seek help for that because it’s annoying

  23. 23
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 22,

    I’m not sure which “interpretations” you’re hoping to get some help with here.

    Atheists have parked themselves on this site to cause trouble and confusion. That’s their job. Their commitment. They have to watch those Christians and make sure that ID does not get into schools. That it does not become a common idea among average people.

    The key problem? Many people will take the idea that living things are designed, including human beings, and it will make them think about God. Can’t have that.

  24. 24
    Fasteddious says:

    Further to the question about how the Designer worked, there is some speculation at:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/02/intelligent-design-speculations.html
    And then there was some more serious look at exploring the evolutionary gaps that need to be filled:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-model-for-intelligent-designevolution.html
    Such speculation is not “science” per se, but it seems about the same level as Darwinian “just so stories” that erroneously get taken as science by so many.

  25. 25
    relatd says:

    Fasteddious at 24,

    The last thing I need is speculative speculation and random thoughts from some anonymous guy.

  26. 26
    Fasteddious says:

    Relatd : well then, don’t read them!
    But there may be others who are interested in how a Designer might have gone about the task.
    That was discussed briefly in the OP, so this speculation seemed appropriate.
    And one small correction, the “guy” at the blog is not anonymous.

  27. 27
    AaronS1978 says:

    @23

    Well I observe what other people say and I take a little bits and pieces from what they have to say and I digest their logic

    Everybody’s perspective has a little bit of an influence on what I think, and not because I can’t help it but because I’m seeking that

    Even the atheists as long as they don’t turn into trolls just sitting there screaming how stupid everybody else’s other than themselves

    Sev actually does have quality things that he says

    The problem is is that he’ll sometimes say something that actually is worth discussing and then end it with one of these three subjects: Christians are bad and evil, God is bad, and evil Trump is bad and evil.

    And there are times were when we discussed consciousness, I cannot agree with him, especially when he brings up the example that there’s 7.2 billion brains with minds but none without them, when we have trillions of examples of living creatures that really do appear to have a mind but have no brain

    But I do you learn normally from everybody here except for when Chuck transformers into trollasuarusrex and starts tossing out one liners

  28. 28
    Seversky says:

    AaronS1978/27

    Christians are bad and evil, …

    No, there are many good Christians who try to live up to the ideals of their faith. Unfortunately, at least here in the US, there are so-called Christians who seem to envisage Jesus as some sort of Rambo-like figure wielding an M60 with ammunition belts draped across his bare chest. For them, the Christian virtues of love, compassion and charity are signs of weakness.

    God is bad and evil

    The problem of evil – reconciling the Christian concept of an all-loving God with all the suffering and death in the world – goes way back.

    … Trump is bad and evil.

    Trump is a narcissist. All he really cares about is himself. In that sense he is neither good nor evil although his actions can be either. He is also a symptom. His power derives from the fact that a lot of ordinary people rallied to him because they were disenchanted – to put it mildly – with what they rightly perceived as the cynicism and corruption of Washington politics. The problem is that all those cynical and corrupt members of Congress were also elected by ordinary voters. This is the problem with democracy and it’s nothing new.

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 28,

    I’ve got another sock with your name on it. Don’t make me use it.

  30. 30
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ Sev
    To reply to your reply.

    1. Where do you live if that’s those are the type of Christian you meet. I think I’ve met two that might fit that description in real life. Visualize a nun or a priest acting like that. I can’t believe a few knuckle heads define your entire perspective of Christians

    2. It’s a problem for some, for me it’s not a problem and I know we’ve discussed that quite a bit and often the answers I feel are ignored.

    3. Ok, but you are now grounded from talking about Trump, no more segwaying conversations about design to trump
    criticisms please, bad Sev bad. https://tenor.com/Ooic.gif

  31. 31
    relatd says:

    It’s segue. Segue. Segueing.

    just trying to help…

  32. 32
    AaronS1978 says:

    It was talk to text I absolutely hate it but it’s so easy to use on the fly

  33. 33
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 32,

    I get it.

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