Intelligent cause, or random chance?

Feb16

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” ~ Atheist Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker

Look at this picture.  Are those curvy lines in the clouds a natural phenomenon, or created by an intelligence?  How could you know?

This question is what drives the Intelligent Design movement, which as a former biochemist, is of interest to me.  As a former evolutionary believer, I was amazed to come to find that there are a lot of disagreements about evolution within the scientific community, and more problems with the data and theory than I had ever imagined. 

The ID movement asks, does the specific complexity behind life require information?  Information that must come from an intelligence?  Much of what we know about information theory indicates that such complexity does NOT arise by chance.  Especially when you consider the complexity of the DNA molecule, and all of the secondary processes that exist to copy it, repair it, safely recombine it, and pass it on to progeny.  The more you look, the more mind boggling it becomes.

Contat Remember the movie Contact?  In that movie, they were listening for anything that might indicate intelligent life ‘out there.’  They received a string of prime numbers, and assumed that such a thing was way too complex and specific to happen by accident.

And yet we look at the immeasurably more complex DNA molecules, true blueprints, and think they happened by chance?  

I didn’t see any planes, but I assume that they are what caused the obvious trails in the clouds.  That is the best explanation for such a specific and unlikely pattern in the sky.  But I might be wrong.

When you look at the design, complexity, and beauty of nature, do you see an intelligent mind behind it, or the results of chance? 

Children have questions

Feb03

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom.” ~ Francis Bacon

Each morning, I drive my six year old to school, and we use it as “ask Papa questions” time.  My oldest is really smart (as most first-borns seem to be), and she is asking the hard questions.

Earlier this week, she asked me how God made humans, seeing that He has no body and is invisible (based on our previous conversations).  I explained to her the “God made man from the earth,” but she didn’t seem satisfied with that.  I then explained to her that some people believe that life started in a primordial puddle, then single-celled organisms formed, got more advanced, culminating up with humans.

I also told her that I don’t quite believe that version – I hated to introduce her to the fallacy of evolution, but I figure she might as well hear it from me first.  Partly, I want to teach her how to think, not just what to think, but partly because I don’t want her to think that I kept something from her.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons I came to DOUBT evolution.  When I first met Christians who doubted evolution, I thought that they were a little too fanatical, and besides, I had a science degree, so I knew better.  It wasn’t until I started looking into the counter-evidence that had been kept from me as a science student, that I formed a bit of a rebellious attitude towards evolution and it’s gatekeepers – I had not been told the whole story, and was kept from the counter-indications – told WHAT to think, not HOW. 

Further research proved to me that evolution has many problems, including statistical impossibility, lack of intermediates in the fossil record, lack of any real examples of macroevolution in the fossil record or in experiments (with fruit flies, for instance), no credible genetic evidence for the creation of novel information coding for new proteins, failure to explain the increasingly high level of information in the genetic code, and lack of explanation for regression towards the genetic mean, to name a few. Don’t get me started.

But I digress.  Today, my daughter and I talked about water towers, and how the pressure caused by elevating huge amounts of water pushes the water through our pipes, and into our house.  She was kind of amazed to think about that, so I’m sure she’ll ask to drive up close to see the big pipe coming down from the tank.

I love being the “answer man” every morning, teaching her how to think, giving her as much information as possible, and making her smart.  She’s gonna be a handful for her teachers later on – which, during middle school, might be her home-schooling Dad, I hope.