by Emily Morales
January 5th, 2020
Some months back, Norwegian ship-owner and engineer Einar Johan Rasmussen stirred up some controversy with a 1.6 million dollar contribution to the intelligent design organization BioCosmos. BioCosmos is calling for a more open debate on the power of materialistic processes in generating a highly ordered and fine-tuned universe, and life itself.
As expected, the usual cast of characters expressed their discontent: Martin Jacobsen, theologian at Ansgar Theological College remarked that naturalists are best suited to tell us about nature; and theologians, about God. I think most would concur. Might we further this brilliant line of thinking, acknowledging that engineers (such as Mr. Rasmussen) are supremely qualified to tell us about designed and engineered systems? For more on this story and a rationale as to why the billionaire philanthropist has the ideal credentials to opine on designed systems, check out the article below:
Having grown up in a family of engineers, and being an instructional designer myself in the sciences, there is something to be said for having the innate ability, and training for recognizing systems that are designed, as opposed to structures lacking design. Now note, that I did not say, “as opposed to systems lacking design,” because the term “system” denotes something that is highly ordered. Whenever any of us encounters something that is highly organized, we correctly assume there was a designing intelligence behind it – at least this is the assumption of reasonable people.
Even very small children have the capacity to recognize that highly organized systems are designed. Instinctively they know that sentient beings design and build complex things, which is why it is particularly challenging to teach them at a young age that purely materialistic processes gave rise to them! The language you need to use to teach them this is awkward. Little kids also do not readily receive this to the chagrin of many in contemporary science education; rather, children intuitively know that someone made them.