Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is Design?

If you peruse the Internet long enough you will discover that there are many who have come to the conclusion that evolution is a proven fact. These individuals required no further proof than to believe evolution is the mechanism for origin creation. What's more, most of these individuals will defy anyone who would say otherwise.

To consider the possibility that life as we know it was the product of design stirs anger against religion, a way of life or even parents.

Perhaps it makes sense to ask, "What is design?" Lehigh University Chemistry Professor, Michael J. Behe gives us the answer. "Design is simply the purposeful arrangement of parts. The scientific question is how we detect design. This can be done in various ways, but design can most easily be inferred for mechanical objects. While walking through a junkyard you might observe separated bolts and screws and bits of plastic and glass, most scattered, some piled on top of each other, some wedged together. Suppose you saw a pile that seemed particularly compact, and when you picked up a bar sticking out of the pile, the whole pile came along with it. When you pushed on the bar it slid smoothly to one side of the pile and pulled an attached chain along with it. The chain in turn yanked a gear which turned three other gears which turned a red-and-white striped rod, spinning it like a barber pole. You quickly conclude that the pile was not a chance accumulation of junk, but was designed, was put together in that order by an intelligent agent, because you see that the components of the system interact with great specificity to do something." [1]

Behe provides the description of a man who had been crushed to death. When authorities come to the scene to investigate they begin to compile physical evidence. What they missed in their investigation was an elephant standing n the middle of the scene. The elephant was obvious to those standing nearby, but the investigators were more concerned about the body placement and other issues to notice the elephant.

This is what we see in the exploration of origins. Too many scientists miss the designer because they are so firmly focused on the design itself.

In many ways this relentless pursuit of evolutionary theory is not unlike previous era's scientific elite who were challenged in their beliefs when new facts were discovered. In all of history there always seems to be a remnant of those who are willing to believe a disproven worldview.

This mentality may be no more apparent than the Flat Earth Society who continues to defend their belief that the earth is flat and any photos to the contrary are the work of a Hollywood film studio in concert with a government cover up.

The failing in evolutionary theory is a separation between scientific fact and evolutionary theory. Hypotheses are developed to account for errors while facts remain difficult at best, impossible at worst, to come by while a designer is standing in the midst of a marvelous creation waiting to be noticed.


Ashok said...

I am frankly shocked that a PhD student of physics holds such views. Anyway, leaving aside the merits and demerits of evolutionary theory, how do you think "design" counts as a theory at all?

Don't you think it lazily explains everything away as being intelligently designed? If there was an Intelligent Mover theory of mechanics, it would state that when a force is applied on a body, it accelerates according to the wishes of the Intelligent Mover. This "theory" would give you no answers at all. Think about it.

camus said...

What happened to your blog?
your previous posts are deleted.