For me, the real argument for intelligent design has always been extremely simple, and doesn’t require any advanced mathematics or microbiology to grasp. The video below makes this argument in the simplest, clearest way I can make it. My uncle Harry and aunt Martha like the video, and can’t understand why so many intelligent scientists aren’t impressed by this very simple argument.
Of course the problem is, the argument is just too simple, most scientists aren’t interested in arguments that their uncle Harry and aunt Martha can understand, they are looking for arguments that require some advanced technology, that show some understanding of evolutionary theory or microbiology that sets them apart from uncle Harry and aunt Martha. And indeed, most of the important scientific advances in our understanding of our world have required advanced technology and advanced degrees to achieve, but it is the curse of intelligent design that the strongest and clearest arguments are just too simple to get much traction in the scientific world. Of course there are many good arguments for ID being made now which do require advanced technology, and advanced degrees to understand, and I’m very grateful for the scientists who are making them: it’s clear to me if ID ever becomes widely accepted in the scientific world, it will be because of their writings, and not because of the simple arguments I am making. If I could figure out a way to use some more advanced mathematics in my arguments, if I could figure out a way to restate the basic point in such a way that uncle Harry and aunt Martha couldn’t understand it, I might make some progress (I don’t really have an uncle Harry or an aunt Martha, by the way, but many people do). Perhaps it would help if I linked to my resume, or to my finite element program, to show that I am capable of doing more advanced mathematics, even if I haven’t used any of it in this video.
The arguments for ID which require advanced science to understand are powerful, but never completely definitive: they look at small portions of the picture through a microscope. To make the completely definitive argument you have to step back and look at the big picture, but, alas, then the picture becomes too clear, and too simple.
As I expected, a couple of commentors are trying to make the issue more complicated than it is. Rather than try to answer each objection one at a time, I would refer readers to this ENV post, where I point out that every attempt to argue that the spontaneous rearrangement of atoms on a barren planet into computers, books and airplanes does not violate the second law, can equally be applied to argue that a tornado running backward, turning rubble into houses and cars, would not violate it either. So unless you are willing to argue that tornados running backward would not violate the second law, don’t bother. And even if you are, it is obvious that a tornado running backward would violate some basic law of Nature, if not the second law as formulated by humans, then at least the basic natural principle behind the second law, and what has happened on Earth would clearly violate the same law, whatever it is.