Atheist Arguments: Intelligent Design Isn’t Needed To Explain Intelligence

Apparently the position to ridicule these days is belief in the Bible as historical fact. 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.

In the 21st century 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?

I’ve never heard an answer to that question.

In addition, if God created Man, as He said He did—in His own image—you’d have to assume an intelligent creature, not a caveman who needed to evolve into a higher form. This current caveman-evolving 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 into decline.

On the other hand you have science which can only postulate an unknown natural phenomenon, sort of like a spontaneous combustion, to explain how we came to be and which can say nothing at all about why we are here, why we have a sense of right and wrong, or what happens after this life. And yet, according to this thinking, Man is smarter now than ever.

But which view sounds the most intelligent? A) an unexplained natural cause yielding complex life and intelligence or B) an intelligent person yielding complex life and intelligence? Never mind that nowhere in the natural world has there every been a caused element that is also itself the cause. No brick builds or designs a house. That takes someone outside the house, not something a part of the house.

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. For the most part, no culture until the 20h century western culture left God, or at least a god, out of the equation when it comes to the issue of origin. But for the last hundred years, we have decided to plagiarize. We steal God’s glory by denying His work of creation.

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.
– – – – –
This article first appeared here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction March 2013

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  1. “But which view sounds the most intelligent? A) an unexplained natural cause yielding complex life and intelligence or B) an intelligent person yielding complex life and intelligence?”

    In a nutshell Becky.
    Science has discovered everything we know about life so far, right? Yes, and science is the first to admit it does not know everything and even adjusts the hypothesis and the well believed ideals and accepted perceptions as new information and discoveries comes to light. Science will deal in what is real, they use peer reviewed quality control systems and they do not deal in anything that can be an unavailable product of human invention.

    An intelligent person yielding complex life described in a book written by men is nothing more than a fictitious book in today’s terms. The men who wrote it were from an ancient bronze age time where they did not understand anything about why natural events occurred or anything about the world or the universe, that much is obvious.

    They, like the many generations of ancient people who existed before the bronze age needed some way to explain their existence and the events that caused happiness and anguish within their primitive lives. Therefore they invented gods and deities with awesome powers, they sacrificed humans and animals to appease these powerful beings exactly as they were doing in the Bible.

    Jesus was likely to be one of the first men to claim he was a God and because of the competition to win religious dominance he was simply put to death and became the first martyr for Christianity, his resurrection story was the attempt to revive Christianity and unproven and unlikely as it is, it seems to have worked a treat.

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    • Now this is hilarious Steve. While no doubt the devil would be embarrassed at your level of ignorance regarding things that are obvious, he’s still happy to have you along for the joyride in the broken buggy called pride.

      It’s pretty bad to attach such stupidity to the angel of light.

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    • Steve, please. You are doing nothing here but stating your opinion as if it is fact. You have no knowledge of “ancient people.” You don’t know that they were not relating to God as opposed to “inventing a god.” You are making this up and yet you say the Bible makes things up?

      To suggest that the resurrection was invented to “revive Christianity” shows a real lack of scholarship. There WAS NO Christianity before the resurrection. Yes, Jesus was considered a Rabbi and had a number of followers, but that was no different from a lot of other rabbis of the day. The difference resides in who He is. If you had read the book of John as you claimed, you would know this.

      Becky

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  2. The fossil record is the go-to that dispels any notion of a young earth.

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    • “Probability” Ark.

      Definition.

      Still waiting.

      You should take it as a good thing Rebecca, that after all this time, Violet’s crew still won’t leave you alone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ark, actually that’s an erroneous conclusion. Again, everything comes back to whether or not there is a God and that He is all powerful. Why would He not create a mature earth? Maybe you’ve heard people spoof creation by asking if Adam had a belly button. Of course he did. He was a grown man, a fully developed human who God gave specific responsibilities. He didn’t have to learn over time how to get along in the world. It’s the same thing as the “argument” about which came first, the chicken or the egg. The chicken, of course. And how about those first trees. Did they have rings which we now look at and see their numbers of years? Undoubtedly, a mature tree would have rings. So why not rocks that look aged when in fact they were newly created? I mean, what would a “new rock” look like?

      In truth the fossil record is not an accurate measure of time, not if everything was created, as opposed to emerging little at a time.

      As I said on the other thread, Ark, our differences actually hinge upon our understanding of who God is. If He’s omnipotent, what can’t He do?

      Becky

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  3. And why on earth would Yahweh create a fossil record? A fossil record that is precisely laid out in accordance with the geological eras.
    A fossil record where no fossil from one era has ever been found in rock strata from another era.
    The so called ”Cambrian Bunny” being as good an example as any.
    Where no human remains have ever been found with dinosaurs.

    I mean, what would a “new rock” look like?/blockquote>
    Oh, for pity’s sake! Really, Becky?
    https://www.ducksters.com/science/rocks.php

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    • You need to get those tags tightened up man.

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      • Indeed. And oh how I ”pray” for an edit facility.
        However, I’m pretty sure you understood the comment, yes?

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    • This is not an answer, Ark. And it seems to me that atheists never answer the question: if an all powerful God exists, what couldn’t He do? Couldn’t He create the universe?

      Becky

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      • While not knowing anything about deities I would have to assume that anything all-powerful could create a universe.
        But that doesn’t answer the question of why would it create a universe?
        And it certainly doesn’t answer the question why it would deposit fossils in the manner that they are? Perhaps you could answer this question?

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        • If I might be so crass as to interject for a moment. The answer to every question any unbeliever could ever ask, is by either declaration or implication given in this article, which incidentally was occasioned by a conversation with Ron at Violet’s place.

          http://tiribulus.com/wordpress/the-problem-with-the-the-problem-of-evil/

          I would be genuinely honored if you would read it. That’s actually a sincere statement.

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          • You make a mammoth assumption right off the bat in the very first paragraph – that ‘God’ is real/exists.
            Demonstrate this with evidence and then I’ll read the rest of it.

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          • Would it kill you to read it? You have no idea how much I’ve read from your side over the last almost 35 years.

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          • I have been reading and listening to apologists for years. Nothing new on the topic has ever emerged. In fact , as each new , bright eyed born-again emerges on the internet scene they trot out the same arguments all over.
            One is given the impression they all go to Apologetics School 101.
            So, to reiterate, demonstrate the veracity of your claim that God exists and you have my word I will read every sentence of your post.

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  4. The kind of demonstration you are asking for can’t even be given for the intelligibility of maths and logic Ark.

    All snak aside, your refusal over these last few years to give me your definition of “probability” illustrates this point.

    You have steadfastly denied to me that ANYthing can be known with certainty, and that “probability” is the best we can hope for. Yet, when I ask you to define “probability,” by your own declaration the bedrock governing principle of your entire thought life, you refuse to do so and instead link me to some vague dictionary definition that we both know is not what’s under consideration here.

    It wouldn’t take much for me to link back to those conversations on Violet’s site.

    I wish you could believe that I am not trying to trap you in order to prove myself smarter or better than you. That never has been and is not now my motivation.

    I’ve been doing this since long before there was a ubiquitous household internet. I’m with you. I haven’t heard an argument for unbelief new to me since the 1980s and there hasn’t been an actually new one since the garden of Eden.

    I say again. Until we can settle HOW we know anything at all, any discussion of WHAT we know is entirely meaningless. That has been the driving epistemological thesis of every word you’ve ever seen me type.

    The truth of the matter is that there is nothing BUT evidence for the God I preach. The whole of His creation, but most especially his human moral agents, bearing His very image and likeness, scream to us that He is and that we are accountable to Him. Our powers of ordered reason and moral awareness being the greatest “evidence” of all.

    The problem is not that God is hidden. The problem is that that divine image is now broken leaving man dead and blind in sin. I can’t fix that for anybody. Only new life in Christ can do that. Anything I can talk you into, somebody else can talk you out of.

    I have made a simple request that you read my article. I can’t make you do that either and therefore I won’t try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all I think it bad manners that you are attempting to hijack Becky’s post, notwithstanding your ”crass” interruption.

      Second, once again you make the presumption that this ”God” exists.
      If you wish to demonstrate the HOW, then go ahead.

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      • And you make the presumption that He doesn’t. A god whose existence can be seriously debated, that is, whose nonexistence is possible, is no god at all.

        The God I love is not subject to our investigation. He is himself the standard by which any investigation is possible. He is to be testified of. Not argued for. There is an eternal difference. Unlike the vast majority of Christian apologists, I put the impossible burden squarely upon you.

        Everybody lives by faith Ark. It’s only a matter of what in.

        End of hijack.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And once more,as you have demonstrated since day one, you have demonstrated you nothing but a disingenuous indoctrinated sheep.

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        • Not feeling the least bit as if you’ve hijacked the thread. The post is about atheist arguments, after all. This is good stuff.

          Becky

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent.Thank you Becky.

    So, where were we, Greg ?
    Let’s see you show us the HOW, then? And if you want a positive response then don’t simply spew forth apologetics.

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    • “So, where were we, Greg ?
      Let’s see you show us the HOW, then? And if you want a positive response then don’t simply spew forth apologetics.”

      What responses I get is not up to me Ark. I just do what I’m told.

      So we’re now back to square one starting from the very first day when Violet invited me over to her site? How many times have we been over this? That’s how we wound up waiting for your definition of “probability” in the first place. Remember?
      ————————————
      Let me tell you this Ark.

      If you are one of His? You WILL come. And you will do it willingly, humbly, gratefully and joyfully.

      Far from being a day for me to gloat, it would be a day of mighty rejoicing because I want you as my brother forever. I really do. I want you to have what I have.

      As abhorrent as that probably seems to you at the momnent, you can. You are not the toughest case the creator and sustainer of the universe has ever handled.

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      • So, no you will not bother to offer an example of HOW.
        Much as I have always thought – you are absolutely nothing but an indoctrinated, disingenuous fool.
        Be grateful you are commenting on someone else’s blog and I have enough courtesy in me not to address you in the manner you deserved when you tried your sneaky little gesture on my blog.
        You are simply a rather obnoxious and somewhat pathetic individual with no integrity.

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        • Ya know, that’s not very neighborly after all we’ve been through together Ark.

          The trouble here is, I use my “blog” as a sort of journal and notebook for my activity on other people’s sites. I have 228 entries there under “Violetwisp.”

          Those are comments of mine I made on her site, many of them quite substantial and detailed, along with links to the original discussions on her site where they are from as well.

          You were included in quite a bit of that. We chased this entire line of reasoning for months, right down to my request for your definition of “probability” a few years ago, which, to this day, you still have not given me.

          Wouldn’t you say, as a thoughtful man of integrity, that the ball is in your court until you give me that definition?

          Accusing me of refusing to answer questions doesn’t pass the snicker test. You know that full well.

          Again, my goal is not to best you in a debate for the sake of it. My goal is to be faithful servant of the living God. What happens after that is beyond my control.

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          • As you have no integrity how would you recognise it in others?

            Again, my goal is not to best you in a debate for the sake of it

            Now that is funny! Based on your blogging history you would not be able to best a lump of damp dough.
            You are the perfect example of someone suffering an overblown ego and a prime example of the Dunning Kruger effect.
            If you refuse to answer simple, straightforward questions then I suggest you take your ”faithful servant” diatribe and stick in in your ear- or, failing that, any other available orifice on your person.

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  6. “If you refuse to answer simple, straightforward questions…”
    ——————————————

    Simple straightforward question.

    Define “probability” please.

    Three years I’ve been waiting for an answer to this simple straightforward question.

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    • You’ll have to refresh my memory. Please link to the post/conversation in question.

      Meantime: You do know how to use a dictionary yes?

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      • Forgive me Ark. I do hereby stand most humbly corrected on this point. I had you confused with archaeopteryx1. It’s been a while. As you know he has tragically passed into eternity, by all reasonable accounts without the saving blood of Jesus Christ. 😦

        The conversation started actually five years ago right in here.

        https://violetwisp.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/no-such-thing-as-deconversion/#comment-13319

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        • So, nothing to do with me then.
          Right …back to the HOW question.
          Please give me a straightforward answer, thanks.

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          • The reason we, and by “we” I mean all people, saint and sinner alike, know anything at all is because we are creations of a personal omniscient God who designed us to think His thoughts after Him as finite replicas of Himself, bearing His own image and likeness. Our knowledge, and the ability to know it, is derived from His.

            Before you ask me the inevitable next question, I hope we can agree that it’s my turn to ask you one now.

            Do you believe that you can know anything with absolute unassailable certainty? If so, what and why? If not, then why do you live every second of your life as if you did? Oh yes you do and that will be quite easy to establish and I’m not even talking about the settled certainty of your uncertainty.

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          • And do you have evidence of your claim, please?

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  7. Arkenaten says : “And do you have evidence of your claim, please?”

    That was the inevitable next question.

    From above:
    “Before you ask me the inevitable next question, I hope we can agree that it’s my turn to ask you one now.

    Do you believe that you can know anything with absolute unassailable certainty? If so, what and why? If not, then why do you live every second of your life as if you did? Oh yes you do and that will be quite easy to establish and I’m not even talking about the settled certainty of your uncertainty.”
    ====================
    You don’t think it’s only fair that you answer my question now that I answered yours?

    You asked me a question. I gave you my answer. I’m now asking for your answer. Yours.

    Like


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