Intelligent Design Suggests . . . , Well, Intelligence

Earth from spaceApparently the position to ridicule these days is belief in the Bible as historical fact, not as a collection of myths mixed in with some principles of spiritual value (or as complete fantasy, as I’ve heard some atheists say). The most obvious point of attack is creation, but other stories in Genesis are also fair game–notably, the flood (see “Updates on the Creation Wars”).

The thing that catches my attention most is the idea that people today, because of the wonderful discoveries in science, are smarter than people of long ago who believed in supernatural claptrap–really just a form of superstition.

Now we KNOW. We know the world couldn’t possibly be created in six days. We know there was no such thing as a worldwide flood. We know that people didn’t really live for nine hundred years. We know animals didn’t live on a big boat for a year. We know serpents don’t talk. In other words, we know the Bible isn’t meant to be read as historical–at least not most of it.

And how do we know all this? Because we’ve never seen such things. They don’t fit with the observable scientific data we have.

Problem is, all these Biblical events hinge on one central point–God acted. If you posit a Supreme Intelligent Being who is omnipotent, then what could He not do?

And if He created Man, as He said He did–in His own image–you’d have to assume an intelligent being, not of the caveman variety who needed to evolve into a higher form. This view of Man is a complete contradiction to the picture Romans 1 gives of a natural world deteriorating as a result of sin.

On one hand you have Creator God saying all He made was good, that sin entering through Man’s disobedience started a downward spiral which has Humankind confusing good and evil and falling further into decline.

On the other you have science which can only postulate an accident–which probability says is incredible–to explain how we came to be and can say nothing at all about why we are here or what happens after this life. And yet, according to this thinking, Man is smarter now than ever.

But which sounds the most intelligent: A) an uncaused accident yielding complex life and intelligence or B) an intelligent person yielding complex life and intelligence?

I’m not sure what there is to debate.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Rom 1:19-23

Or, as is the case today, unbelieving people bypass the images and go straight to giving glory to mortal man.

Imagine an island where all the people ignore their sense of hearing. Instead of talking, they learn to communicate by signing. In fact their ability to hear begins to fade as they grow older.

One day a hearing person arrives. He soon learns to communicate with them, but when he tries to remark about the crash of the waves on the sand or the chirping of birds or the wind rustling the leaves, they say he is making up stories.

At first they humor him, but when some of the children start to say they think they also can hear these sounds, the adults turn angry. You’re deluded, they sign. You’re making up stories and confusing the children. Be gone.

Sadly, he sails away.

What a fool he was, the island people sign to one another. Sounds. What a horrible thing that would be, to hear the cry of the wounded and dying. How glad we are that we’re not like that foolish, deluded man who made up stories about sound. We’re too smart, to learned, to believe such an impossible tale.

Advertisements
Published in: on March 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

6 Comments

  1. Hear, hear! I love to hear the voice of reason in the age of non-reason!

    Sneaking a peek at the incendiary article to which you referred, I noticed that the writer mentioned Ken Ham should have discussed the human and editorial aspects of the compilation of Scripture. If he was referring to the “JEPD Theory,” there is absolutely nothing to discuss!

    No J, E, P, or D document has ever been found, to prove the theory that someone on earth edited the Bible. What has been found, that has blown this theory to smithereens, is the Dead Sea Scrolls, dated by the usual ( and yes, it is true, fallible) Carbon 14 dating. The Dead Sea Scrolls are still considered verified to have been written by a certain date, because of their location in Qumran, near the Essene community that had existed at that time. Among them is a wonderful artifact, the book of Isaiah, so astonishingly like our present day version that it blew the theories about a later editor out of the water. Why? Because so many of the verses referred to highly specific data, identifying Jesus Christ, Who was still to come, years afterward, and everything happened, just as Isaiah had prophesied it. Not one thing was different.

    Regarding the homeschooling mom who was horrified to see a picture of a saddle on a dinosaur, I do think this is taking things a little far. In fact, the Bible specifically infers, in Job, that “Leviathan” could not be tamed.

    However, I am probably one of the few people who has had the opportunity to see a wonderfully down-home version of a scientific excursion in Texas, where the Paluxy River Valley was sandbagged, to find out if the dinosaur and human footprints did, in fact, appear in the same strata of bedrock, underneath the river. At that time, Dr. Jack Murphy, a geologist who was teaching, at the time I saw this, at the University of Wyoming, where there are many wonderful fossils and actual bones of dinosaurs, large and small, discovered after glacial ice subsided there, found and showed this film to those of us who were interested.

    The film showed the dinosaur footprints, clearly formed in the mud many years before. There were other smaller, and much narrower footprints, that were too long for most of our feet to fit. They were assaulted by accusations by other scientists that these could not possibly be human footprints. But the truth is, they didn’t look like any other kind of print. The toes looked exactly like human toes, today, and the heel looked like our heels, today. The scientists who had sand-bagged the river postulated that the prints could be so long, because humans were sliding in the mud, or they could be that long, because the humans at that time were giants (mentioned in Genesis).

    To find out if the giant theory was plausible, they took a plaster cast of one of the clearest of the footprints to the famous and friendly Mr. Wadlow (I believe this was his name), from the Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brother’s Circus. He had agreed to try on the cast and see if it would fit his foot. He ducked, when he came into the room and appeared to be absolutely jovial; a really nice man. He put his foot into the impression, and it was an amazing fit! They concluded that, although there was no way to know for sure, it did look as if it were possible that those were, indeed, human footprints, in the same strata of stone as the dinosaur prints.

    Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction!

    Like

    • Great addition to this discussion, Peggy. Thanks.

      I thought the saddle on the dinosaur was a bit much, too, but also the mom’s reaction, as if she knew with certainty what had taken place all those years ago.

      People visit natural history museums all the time and see displays of animal life and plant life as some contemporary person imagines it, and we call it history, but let a Christian put together something that would fit the Biblical narrative and suddenly we’re trying to be Disney.

      I find it troubling that we can’t actually debate and study without this kind of automatic discrediting of fact gleaned from the Bible.

      At my church, as part of Vacation Bible School, I think, they calculated the dimensions of the ark and marked the length starting from the sanctuary and moving toward the parking structure. Honestly, I was amazed at the size. The ark was not the little boat so many think of!

      Becky

      Like

  2. I want you to visit my island and by signing, by pantomime, or by marking symbols in the sand, show me the way to create wondrous analogies like yours above. Like your crashing waves, chirping birds, and rustling leaves, I can almost, but not quite, hear, see, and feel how to make them. That is a rare gift that I pray for. Meanwhile, I read, study, and marvel at such as you and Mr. Lewis. Oh, my! Most excellent work, Becky!

    Like

    • Len, you must have the gift of encouragement! Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Becky

      Like

      • That is true. And it gives me joy. 🙂 You’re most welcome.

        Like

  3. What amazing arrogance we have today, to say that we know better. Scripture warns that in the “last days”, knowledge will increase but understanding will not. There is, as Peggy touched on, a growing body of evidence that the science hidden away in the Bible is both plausible and verifiable, but this is drowned out by an ever “busier” avalanche of useless noise from the world. And because certain “scientific” claims are held as sacred truth, this debate becomes one of faith instead of fact. And if I can’t be argued out of being a Christian, I should not expect to argue someone out of their faith in “science.” (Even if we both claim that science is objective and rational…)

    One thing I find curious about the “naturalistic” worldview is this belief (and I don’t use that word lightly) that people are better now than they were a hundred or a thousand years ago. As though evolution has improved humanity’s social collective conscience. In every ancient society, they believed the opposite. The educated theory was that man had once been almost perfect, and that subsequent generations and kingdoms were increasingly poor in both substance and scope. And those were secular thoughts at the time–no study of Scripture.

    Like


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: