INTELLIGENT DESIGN – SILENTLY GROWING

Last November, Philip E Johnson, author of the best-selling book, Darwin on Trial, and other anti-evolution works, died at age 79. The Christian Post has since interviewed Intelligent Design proponents, as well as critics, to discuss Johnson’s legacy and the current direction of the movement.

A longtime law professor at the University of California-Berkeley, Johnson was credited with helping to ignite the modern Intelligent Design movement through his books and debates.

Douglas Axe, Maxwell Professor of Molecular Biology at the School of Science, Technology and Health at Biola University

Douglas Axe, a professor of Molecular Biology at Biola University’s School of Science, Technology and Health, told The Christian Post that Philip Johnson influenced his decision to join the movement.

“I’ve been suspicious of Darwinism as far back as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I started connecting with other Darwin-skeptics that I was able to place my own thinking within the larger body of thought that became known as Intelligent Design,” Axe recalled.

“Phillip Johnson was instrumental in this. I met Steve Meyer in 1990 and Bill Dembski in 1992 and then many others, including Mike Behe, at a meeting organized by Phil in 1993. It was at that point that I realized a movement was in the making.”

Axe believed that the “first phase of research” within Intelligent Design was centered on “settling the question of whether life really is designed.”

Considering that question basically resolved, Axe told CP that the “current phase of research is focused on developing a new design-centred way of thinking about biology.”

“For example, former Google coder Dr. Winston Ewert recently published a peer-reviewed paper that provides striking evidence that genomes have been designed in a way that resembles how humans design software,” he continued.

Dr. Michael Egnor, Professor of Neurosurgery at State University of New York in Stony Brook, has just described with mathematical precision how engineering principles are used masterfully to smooth out the heartbeat pulse in order for the capillary flow in our brains to be smooth.”

In an interview with CP, Egnor said he believes there is “abundant evidence for intelligent agency,” labeling Intelligent Design “a valid inference.”

“There is in nature very clear evidence for intelligent agency in some aspects of biology,” he said. “The intricate nano-technology that exists inside cells, the clear evidence for purpose in cellular metabolism, in physiology, in multi-cellular organisms.”

Egnor believed that, regardless of whether one believed in evolution, it was a challenge to do scientific research without presuming that there is design in nature.

“If you look for example at the genome, at the DNA inside a cell. You think of it as a computer program, as software. That helps you quite a bit in understanding how it works. If you didn’t have that inference, it would be much harder to understand what the DNA is doing,” Egnor continued.  

“We really can’t study the human heart unless you begin with the premise that it’s a pump. If you begin with the premise that it’s a pump, then the whole thing makes sense. The muscle in the heart and the valves, the chambers, all of it adds up. But the idea that it’s a pump is a design inference.”

Dr. Brian Thomas, research associate with the Institute for Creation Research, an organization that supports biblical creationism, told CP that he believes current scientific finds “bolster” Intelligent Design and creationism claims.

“Despite claims that the human genome is littered with useless evolutionary leftovers, geneticists keep confirming that almost all human DNA is used in one tissue or another at some point during growth and development,” said Thomas.

“Genome usage and sophistication continue to boggle investigators’ minds and baffle non-intelligent origins options. Even fossil discoveries keep confirming fully formed creatures at their lowest appearance.”

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross of the Christian apologetics group Reasons to Believe explained in comments emailed to CP that he believes the movement is taking a “two-pronged approach.”

One prong involved groups like Reasons to Believe developing an alternative creation model that could be tested while Johnson and groups like the Discovery Institute were devoted more to rebutting evolutionary claims and attempting to be inserted into public education.

“I’d have to say the ID prong is working well among Christians, though not especially well among skeptics, those within or influenced by secular academia,” wrote Ross.

“The RTB prong has met with receptivity in the opposite areas. Despite some resistance within the evangelical community, our creation model and presentation of evidence for our Christian faith have opened doors in universities and beyond, especially among skeptics and doubters influenced by secular academia and media.”

Ross added that he believes each of the prongs pursues “its mission wholeheartedly, and each is sustained by the generosity of those who care about their cause.”   

Silently growing?

ORIGIN OF FIRST SELF-REPRODUCING CELL?

A huge problem for naturalistic evolution is how life with its complex coded information could have arisen spontaneously in evolution’s very first living cell. I would suggest it is adequate proof for an Intelligent Designer and a good reason to take a look at the Bible’s account of Creation in Genesis. We learn God created a perfect world and humans made in the image of their Creator. Man’s SIN is the reason for death and suffering in this world. The Good News is that our loving Creator has provided the solution to restore our relationship with Him and overcome death. Jesus is His name.

Image result for picture of dna replication

Extract from editorial in Creation Magazine Vol 30 No.4 2017.

We have previously written about how scientists have attempted to determine the simplest self-reproducing cell (see creation.com/simple). This hypothetical cell was said to require a minimum of 256 genes. The problem for
evolutionists is that they cannot appeal to natural selection to explain the first cell. That’s because natural selection requires a living, reproducing cell to pass on any trait selected for! Further research in 2006 increased this figure to 387 protein-coding and 43 RNA-coding genes.
In 2016, the minimalist genome was once again increased with the creation of a synthetic self-reproducing bacterium: this time, to 473 genes (531,560 ‘letters’), including 65 whose function are unknown but which were essential for the survival of the cell. This is not much less than Mycoplasma genitalium (482 genes, 582,970 letters)—which itself is a parasite of even more complex organisms.

How then can evolutionists explain the origin of the very first self-reproducing cell? It is a mathematical impossibility for just one gene to have arisen by chance—much less 473.

The Bible says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the WORD” and of course we now  know that every living thing has at its nucleus, DNA, a word of thousands of letters controlling all the functions of each cell. What follows in John 1:1  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Research highlights, Nature 439(7074):246–247, January 2006 | doi:10.1038/439246a.
Glass, J.I. et al., Essential genes of a minimal bacterium, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103(2):425– 430, January 2006 | doi:10.1073/pnas.0510013103.
Hesman, T., Scientists build minimum genome bacterium, sciencenews.org, March 2016.

EVIDENCE OF COMPLEX DESIGN

The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. The impossibility of this ever having evolved and from what, is convincing evidence of intelligent design, and yet universities and schools can only teach evolution. Why? The only reason is not sound science, it is because “they” claim science can only deal with the natural not supernatural and intelligent design requires a designer who is outside of his creation. Science should take us to wherever the evidence leads.

Watch this 2 minute video explain why only design explains this incredible organism.

Image result for picture of caterpillar turning into butterfly

Does God give us a picture of this ugly caterpillar being changed into a beautiful butterfly that is now capable of so much more, imagine flying, to give us a glimpse of what He has promised us – resurrected bodies capable of so much more than those we now occupy.

SCIENCE AROSE OUT OF BELIEF IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

This post is extracted from a great article – Christian theology and the rise of Newtonian science—imposed law and the divine will by Dominic Statham in Journal of Creation 32(2):103–109, August 2018

“At the heart of scientific enquiry is the faith that the world is orderly and behaves consistently from one day to the next.1 One might ask, however, how this belief arose. According to Peter Harrison, formerly Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, it was, in a large part, “the theologically informed assumption that there are laws of nature, promulgated by God and able to be discovered by human minds (emphasis added)”.2 Eminent Philosopher of Science Alfred North Whitehead would agree. He wrote: “My explanation is that the faith in the possibility of science, generated antecedently to the development of modern scientific theory, is an unconscious derivative from medieval theology.”3

Platonic thinking was antithetical to science because it detracted from the view that the world could be understood by learning from observations. In contrast, biblical thinking pointed to this as the only way of discovering reality. The Bible teaches that God is omnipotent and was in no way constrained to create according to any prescribed pattern.

The rejection of Greek thinking by the founders of modern science is exemplified in Roger Cotes’ preface to the second edition of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy):

“Without all doubt this World … could arise from nothing but the perfectly free will of God directing and presiding over all. From this fountain it is that those laws, which we call the laws of Nature, have flowed; in which there appear many traces indeed of the most wise contrivance, but not the least shadow of necessity. These therefore we must not seek from uncertain conjectures; but learn them from observations and experiments.”

Newton himself, in the very first sentence of his preface, wrote of how modern thinkers, having discarded “[soulish] substantial forms and occult qualities have endeavoured to subject the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics”. A committed biblical creationist, he also rejected the Greek view that God would have been constrained in His acts of creation in any way. He wrote of God:

“ … we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion … and a God without dominion, providence, and final causes [i.e. design], is nothing else but Fate [i.e. necessity] and Nature.”20

Newton also wrote:

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God or Universal Ruler.”27

Plato taught that the cosmos created by the Demiurge was a living organism, that the world had a divine soul, and the stars and planets were gods. In a similar vein, Aristotle taught that stones fall to the ground because they have a yearning for the centre of the universe (which he believed to be the centre of the earth). Such thinking was an obstruction to science because it attributed causes of motion to motives and inner compulsions, rather than to impersonal, external forces.21

In contrast, the Bible clearly distinguishes between the Creator and the creature (i.e. that which was created). God is spirit (John 4:24) and is a being separate from the world.

The lawgiver

The God of the Bible is the lawgiver in both the moral and physical realms. He gave the 10 commandments to Moses (Exodus 20:3–17) and wrote the requirements of the law on the hearts of men so that they “by nature do what the law requires” (Romans 2:14–15). He is the one who gathered the waters together (Genesis 1:9) and “assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command” (Proverbs 8:29). He “made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder” (Job 28:26). He created the sun to govern the day and night (Genesis 1:16), “commanded the morning … and caused the dawn to know its place” (Job 38:12). He created the stars to mark the seasons (Genesis 1:14), knows “the ordinances of the heavens”, and established “their rule on the earth” (Job 38:33). He continually “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

Picture of the father of mathematics Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

rene-descartes

He stated that “the rules of nature are identical with the rules of mechanics” and, in his Le Monde (The World), he asserted “that God is immutable, and that acting always in the same manner, He produces always the same effect”. These laws, he said, are not immanent but ‘imposed’ on nature by God.39 

The courses of the planets, the oceanic tides and the universe in general are regular and predictable because they are determined by the God of the Bible who is faithful and sure. Descartes’ contention that the natural world is governed by an unchanging God, and hence behaves consistently from one day to the next, was an essential step in scientific progress.

The belief that there are laws imposed upon a world by an orderly, faithful, and immutable God caused philosophers to see the universe as a designed mechanism, rather than an eternally existing organism. This, in turn, led to the belief that the workings of God’s creation could be investigated, understood, and described mathematically. All this hung on the Christian doctrine of creation, as articulated so clearly in the Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.”

INCREDIBLE DESIGN OF THE HUMAN GENOME

Marine Biologist Rob Carter explains the four-dimensional genome and what this means for design.

The latest evidence on the four dimensional genome, which includes dynamic programming, makes intelligent design the only possible explanation for its existence. Evolution by random chance is nonsense. Listen to the excitement in Rob’s voice as he explains the amazing complexity of the four dimensional genome. The level of design is “mind blowing”. It can only make you think how amazing is our God. He is worthy of our praise and adoration.

Why does  academia, the establishment, reject intelligent design and all that entails? There is only one possible answer: they cannot countenance God, their creator and all that entails.

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LIFE: OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE FOR DESIGN

Stuart Burgess is a Design Engineer. In this short video he presents the case for our planet being the result of intelligent design. Evolution is a failed theory to explain the complex systems that make up this universe. There is no mechanism to go from GOO to YOU. Natural selection can only choose from what is already created. It does not create any new structures. Mutations are loss of information not adding new information. Moreover, DNA that controls all the functions of cells is complex information and complex information has only one source intelligence.

HOW BIOLOGY CONFIRMS LIFE BY DESIGN

I have abbreviated the review by Joel Tray, Creation Ministries International, of the book Undeniable: How biology confirms our intuition that life is designed by Douglas Axe. For the full review go to http://www.creation.com.

undeniable

The book is written for the non scientist. For this reason, much space has been devoted to the use of elaborate analogies in order to simplify complex technical details. Interwoven between these analogies are personal stories and an overall narrative approach to the book. At times, this causes the book to come across as slow, repetitive and unnecessarily drawn out.

By comparison Jonathan Sarfati’s By Design (2008) is far more concise and easy to understand.—both books discussing design—the feel is that one chapter of Undeniable would have the same amount of scientific content as two or three pages in Sarfati’s book. Apart from the excessive wordiness, the science contained in Undeniable is sound, though it falters when it comes to its philosophy of science. However, this book will prove to be a challenge for those who hold to naturalistic evolution.

Unfortunately, as it is with most ID books, Undeniable comes across as somewhat naive from an epistemological  viewpoint. Axe correctly draws a distinction between creationists and the ID movement. At times throughout the book, Axe even appears to hold to contradicting philosophical positions. For example, he rejects scientism on the basis that our intuition tells us that design requires a designer (p. 49) yet at the same time rejects the inference to God by creationists since “Intelligent Design takes a minimalist view”, and there is a jump from intelligent designer to God (p. 50) that goes beyond science.

But if one cannot infer beyond science, then how is one not stuck with scientism? Either we infer beyond science, or we are stuck in scientism (which Axe also rejects). A naturalistic intelligent designer is still a designer within naturalism. But if the designer is not naturalistic, then one must infer beyond the boundaries of mere science. Worse, towards the end of the book, Axe himself does what he says creationists ought not to do, by saying that the designer only makes sense if it is God.

DECONSTRUCTING DARWINISM: A THEORY GONE BAD, A WORLD GONE MAD

The author of the book Charles Darwin : Victorian myth-maker, A.N.Wilson was former professor of medieval literature at Oxford University and a highly acclaimed biographer.

Wilson was a Darwin believer when he started research for his book. His conclusions were unexpected, both to others and most surprisingly, to him. What may have begun the firestorm against his book was Wilson’s prelude, in which he said,

Darwin was wrong. That was the unlooked for conclusion to which I was inexorably led while writing this book

Charles Darwin : Victorian Mythmaker - A N Wilson

He added that this conclusion “certainly was not my intention when I began detailed reading for this book”. But the result of his historic research was “to part company from the mainstream of scientific opinion which still claims to believe, the central contentions of Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of the Species.

Wilson’s conclusion was based on the fact that “there is no consensus among scientists about the theory of evolution”, even the central parts of the theory. He added that until he began his research he had assumed “scientific opinion accepted the truth of Darwin’s central theories, and that objections to it were motivated not by scientific doubts but…. most likely religious ones”

He then illustrates this contention by quoting the leading evolutionary scientists, including Harvard’s E.O. Wilson and Oxford’s Richard Dawkins. One familiar with the field will recognise most of the heated evolution controversies which Wilson accurately relates.

A major problem Darwin had which is still true of Darwinism today was coming up with evidence for his view that nature changes little by little. If this was true , all life would be ” in a state of infinitely slow evolution into something else”, and as Darwin taught, taxonomy classification would only be temporary – a condition the fossil record simply does not support. This problem is why some leading evolutionists argued for punctuated equilibrium, in which life forms, in geological terms , change rapidly while at other times they are in a state of stasis.

Wilson documents that the discovery of the laws of genetics were “lethal to Darwinism”. The reason it was a lethal nail in the coffin for Darwin was the problem that Mendelism created for Darwin’s gradualism. We now know that because nearly all mutations are near neutral or lethal, and variation is not unlimited as Darwin proposed his theory is without foundation.

Wilson also documents that Darwinism has become a religion. Evolution is the doorway to atheism. It was spoken of as a faith, and those that rejected the view that the origin of humans was purely natural, including the co-founder of the theory, Alfred Russel Wallace and St George Mivart were excommunicated from the tribe, the loyal circle of Darwin supporters.

Regardless, there is no doubt that it is Darwin, more than any other man, that persuaded much of the academic world that “special creation” was wrong and ‘evolution’ was right. Furthermore, “Darwinism as is shown by the current state of the debate, is resistant to argument because it is resistant to fact”.

IS GENESIS HISTORY?

IS GENESIS HISTORY is an important resource for Christians. You need to get this series for you library to show to at least to your family and friends.

The complexity of the DNA is mind boggling, it’s amazing and if we are honest we must conclude that God (The Ultimate Designer) is necessary for the incredible complexity we see in just DNA. Listen to marine biologist Rob Carter explain how DNA works in four dimensions. You will repent as I did for taking God’s creation for granted. Can this all happen by chance? NO it can’t!

DNA PROOF OF CREATION

Paul Nelson and Del Tackett explore the complexity of languages and compare it to DNA

Proof indeed of the complex design in this universe that cannot be explained by any naturalistic method. Watch this four minute video and be astounded at the level of complexity in DNA as compared to complex computer software programmes.