For Atheists: Intelligent Design Suggests 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.
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This article first appeared here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction March 2013

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Published in: on October 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 Comments

  1. Thank you for reposting rhis now.

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  2. Your only access to this god, is via the bible.
    So the onus is you to demonstrate its veracity before you can expect anyone to take what you say seriously.
    Simply positing a god into the picture to explain talking donkeys and snakes merely sets up the foundation for a circular argument.
    This is why the religious require faith. Faith allows you to believe such things and still feel good about yourself without suffering cognitive dissonance.
    Although, religious people generally scoff at the supernatural claims of every other religion.
    This is how the game is played and doctrine and dogma have been carefully crafted to cater for each different belief. Indoctrination of each successive generation has taken care of the rest. Mostly …

    However, since people are now, in the main, free to exercise critical thought and are not subject to the disgusting depredations of such institutions as the church then the religious establishment is having to fight tooth and nail to hold on to its adherents.
    One only has to look at brutal theocratic regimes to see the truth in this.
    And , yes, in many ways it was similar in times past under Christian rule.

    Now, the claim that just because people are less inclined to believe does not negate the truth of the religious argument brings us, once more, back on the merry go round and the onus for the likes of you, Becky to demonstrate the veracity of your claims.

    You would not countenance an aeronautics engineer who claimed the brand new paper plane he had built was capable of carrying passengers unless you witnessed it in flight. Even then, after years of commercial air travel in standard jetliners I venture you would be dubious to the point of ridiculing such a thought as travelling in a paper plane, no matter how credible the engineer seemed.

    So if you wish to be taken seriously then the onus is upon you to provide the evidence for you claims. Not only to convince the average atheist, but also the millions of people of other faiths.

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  3. Arkenaten, your opening presupposition is wrong. God announced Himself first through creation, but humankind has rejected Him, much as you are doing. But His fingerprints are all over this world—in the complexity of DNA, the intelligence and freewill of humankind, the beauty of a rainbow and a sunset, the power of waves crashing onto the beach, and the majesty of rocky spires atop a mountain. Even more is the place inside us that recognizes beauty and truth, good and evil. All that and more is the first revelation.

    I suspect, Arkenaten, that you put the onus on me to prove God’s existence because you know it’s impossible to prove He does not exist. I’ve been in enough discussions in the past to know that whatever I offer as proof, even what I wrote above, you will discount. You want physical evidence, God showing up and saying, here I am. Oh! Wait! He did that too, and people still rejected Him.

    Since there really is no evidence you will accept, there is no onus on me. You have given your verdict beforehand. I could show you eyewitness accounts and you would call them myth. I could show you fulfilled predictions about what God would do in the world and you’d say they’ve been post-dated, I could show you miraculous happenings and you’d say they were made up or imagined or fraudulent.

    In other words, you have predetermined that God is not an option—something I find to be so anti-science, it’s hard to imagine why an atheist like you thinks you hold science to be true. If you really believed science, you wouldn’t rule out any options beforehand.

    Becky

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    • You have no evidence of any announcement. And certainly not by any god.
      I have determined based on the evidence presented.
      The situation becomes even more untenable when you try to place your man-god, the character, Jesus of Nazareth into the picture. Something which you have not a scrap of evidence for either.
      As I have said before, what you believe is up to you. Just don’t preach it as truth especially to children and don’t damn those that don’t believe in your sky daddy.

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