Evidence for Design in Nature

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by BobRyan, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    The Bible argues that God Himself is speaking in the work of His own hands - in Nature.

    In an effort to find out where our evolutionist friends on this board 'draw the line' - I would ask what you think of the argument from design.

    Bob
     
  2. Travelsong

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    God made it all and His glory is manifested through His creation. As much as man may try to suppress it, this fact is blatantly visible.
     
  3. Deacon

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    Bob, I'm not sure what "line" you are looking to draw.

    Travelsong concise and to the point. Well said.

    The modern revision of Paley’s watch theory is based partly upon the concept of "irreducible complexity". Most, if not all of the initial philosophers in this recovery of the Design argument were Old Earth Creationists. It is because these men have chosen to carefully conceal their OEC beliefs that Young earth creationists have felt able to join them in this interesting philosophic argument for a Creator.

    Rob
     
  4. The Galatian

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    Does anyone have a particularly convincing bit of evidence for "design"?

    Paley used a watch, but that seems rather pointless; we know people make watches. Is there anything that obvious in nature?
     
  5. ColoradoFB

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    Bob,

    I too am not sure what you mean by drawing the line. I would say that I don't believe the argument by design is not negated by evolution. However, I don't buy the argument by design myself.

    I'll give you an example...

    One could say that the fact that the earth is just the right distance from the sun, and has the right conditions, to support life is evidence of a design. I would say that we evolved to fit the environment, not that the environment was designed for us. It may seem that it was, simply because it is the right conditions for OUR form of life. If life has evolved on another world, it could be very different from us, and live under very different conditions.

    This would make an interesting poll...do you believe there is extraterrestrial life in the univererse? Maybe I'll start it! [​IMG]
     
  6. Meatros

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    Uh...Perhaps I don't have as good of a handle as I had previously thought on what your views would be, but I figured you'd be against the design argument too, seeing as it also involves an old earth and evolution.

    Then again, if your not against it, then I'll chalk it up to learning something new everyday.
     
  7. Helen

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    The design argument has NOTHING to do with the age of anything. It has NOTHING to do with who the designer is, if there be one. It has NOTHING to do with the step-by-step process Galatian associates with design.

    The design argument has to do with the concept that, since we can tell that a bridge is designed and a tree fallen across a creek, although it ends up having the same function, is not -- at least for that purpose, are there some criteria that can be used to tell design in nature? We can look at a pile of stones and a fountain made of stones and we know one was designed and the other accidental. Why?

    How do we know?

    That is the crux of the design argument. It is basically asking the question, "Is there a way to tell whether or not something in nature has been intelligently and intentionally designed to be the way it is, or is it a result of time and chance?

    There are a lot of arguments about whether or not this or that test is valid, but the question in back of them is. It arises, essentially, from the idea that you can look at a painting of a pansy and know an artist did it. But when you look at the reality of the pansy, in its three dimensional complexity, are you (generic) willing to say this just happened by chance?
     
  8. Paul of Eugene

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    Chance alone would never do it. There would have to be some kind of selection process -

    If you randomly vary something - then intelligently select from that in the direction you want it to go and then allow more random variation and then intelligently select, eventually, just by the laws of chance, plus your intelligent selection, you could get anywhere the materials you have to work with can take you, won't you? (pause for response)

    Breeding dogs for example gives us a lot of variety of dogs, all based on intelligent selection.

    But as for the intelligent design idea, I have no doubt that behind all the universe is God who is both omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He used evolution to get us where we are today, as we can tell from the fossil and genetic and physiological and astronomical evidence. Its an open question how much He needed to directly intervene here and there to bring us about, and irrelevant, because He did it all either by providing the groundwork - the Universe and all its laws - that made it possible or by doing that plus intervening afterwords here and there.

    It is my faith that He has in fact intervened rather spectacularly in the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, for example.

    I hope that is a start towards answering the lead question for this thread.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Well we learned something here.

    Colorado and Galation are not "buying" the idea that the infinite complexities of the single celled organism show "intelligent design" any more than a blob of gas floating in space.

    On the 'other hand' other evolutionists here DO admit to "intelligent design" witnessed in the system - (of course even the atheist Richard Dawkins admits to at least the "appearance" of design).

    But back to those who object to "design" - how then do you deal with scripture that states that God's own hand MADE all that is seen - and that nature is declaring HIS handiwork - IF what it is really "declaring" is "purposeless random interaction".

    Contrast that to the works of God's HANDS

    However on the up side, I am really glad to see that at least "some" of those evolutionists on this board who are Christian ALSO still hold to these truths about the Hands of God creating and so His creation SHOWING the inteligent DESIGN of their "CREATOR".

    Bob
     
  10. Travelsong

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    Creation works exactly as God intended it too. God is completely sovereign over all of His works, so there is no randomness. From our perspective, things that don't operate according to a set of laws appear random, but God is fully in control.Your problems with OEC's are completely fabricated.it seems to me like all you're doing is fishing.
     
  11. ColoradoFB

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    I would say that lack of a "design" is apparent within our own bodies. Vestigial organs & remnants of evolutionary processes remain. However, that does not mean that God did not plan for things to work this way, and that he may have put the processes of randomness & natural selection into motion. Who can say if this is not the way he exercises his creative power? If he is omniscient, he would know the outcome of such processes.
     
  12. Helen

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    You are not actually arguing for lack of a design, Colorado, but for lack of a design YOU approve of!

    First, there are no vestigials in terms of evolution in our bodies.

    Second, He told us plainly that special creation is the way He exercised His creative power. You don't have to believe Him, but that is HIS testimony.

    Third, please remember that time has taken its toll on the human body. We are not what we were created to be!

    Fourth, the lack of design is 'not designed.' Are you trying to say the human body is NOT designed?

    And, lastly, who are you to judge God's work? I have a feeling it is the quality you are trying to say something about, not the fact of design itself.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    I would say that lack of a "design" is apparent within our own bodies.

    If the infinite complexities of a single cell are "too far beyond today's science" to duplicate or even fully comprehend or to "cause to come together artificially" AND the massively complex aggregation of cells into organ systems is also "beyond science" to fully understand or duplicate -

    Arguing that this is "your typical lump of dirt" in terms of information and design - would seem to be the Atheist extremist view of biology rather than the Christian evolutionist view.

    "Supposedly" The Christian evolutionist DOES believe in a God that DOES create - (intelligence, design, purposefully) but does so by the mind-numbingly dumbed-down process defined by evolutionism's mythologies. (A stretch in logic that even the atheist Dawkins finds incredulous). HOWEVER going BEYOND even that low standard and arguing that in fact "I believe in God that used evolution to CREATE - and oh by the way - life shows no signs of having someone INTELLIGENT behind the wheel - not even the wheel of evolutionism" is ludicrous in the "extreme".

    Bob
     
  14. ColoradoFB

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    You are not actually arguing for lack of a design, Colorado, but for lack of a design YOU approve of!</font>[/QUOTE]Not so...my approval or disapproval (which I have neither) is irrelevant. Nor is yours.

    Tell that to my tailbone! On another note, why do men have nipples? [​IMG]

    Special revelation is not evidence. These are claims as interpreted by human beings to mean many different things.

    I agree that we are very different than our distant ancestors. Overall, we are much better suited for our environment, due to the powerful intervention of natural selection.

    See #3 above. Natural selection at work. It is "design" of a type, but not "intelligent" design, other than the fact that God knew the outcome of the processes he himself created.

    Who says I am judging God's work? We are what we are. I am not demanding a "perfect design" at all. Otherwise, if we were perfectly designed, we could regenerate lost limbs, regrow teeth, and other things that "lesser" animals are inherently capable of. I am merely observing.

    To take the tone of your last comment, who are you to limit the ways in which God can perform his work, based upon your interpretation of Scripture? Can we not debate without the personal interjectives?
     
  15. Helen

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    Your judgment, then. When you said there was no evidence of design you were making a (to me, rather ignorant) judgment.

    Tell that to my tailbone! On another note, why do men have nipples? [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]The tailbone helps anchor muscles, helps you sit up straight, helps you go to the bathroom....
    Sure, you can live without it, but you can live without your arms and legs, too, and I doubt you would consider them vestigial! As far as the nipples go, that is an extraordinarily ignorant 'argument.' Women have little things at the appropriate places on their bodies which would be testicles if we were men. It's part of the design of the human being. Not all parts are used for men. Not all parts are used for women. Nor could nipples on men POSSIBLY be vestigial unless you are going to point me to a male mammal which actually uses them so that, in descending from that mammal, we could call our men's nipples vestigial!

    Special revelation is not evidence. These are claims as interpreted by human beings to mean many different things. </font>[/QUOTE]Don't confuse 'special revelation' with an eyewitness report! People can 'interpret' any way they want, but the words from God in the Bible are quite clear and precise. It takes no interpreting to read them that way; however it does take a great deal of interpreting to get away from the straightforward meaning of what is being said!

    I agree that we are very different than our distant ancestors. Overall, we are much better suited for our environment, due to the powerful intervention of natural selection.</font>[/QUOTE]No, actually, we're a lot worse than we used to be! We can't even figure out how the Pyramids were built! The abilities of ancient civilizations never fail to astonish those who don't take the Bible seriously. And these accomplishments were not made by sickly, weak, stupid beings! In comparison to them, however, although we may have a decent amount of technology, that does not make up for the fact that, next to them, we would probably be considered the sickly, weak, stupid ones.

    See #3 above. Natural selection at work. It is "design" of a type, but not "intelligent" design, other than the fact that God knew the outcome of the processes he himself created.</font>[/QUOTE]Natural selection is not any way to improve anything. The death of a decent proportion of any given population robs that population of genetic variety. This makes it harder and harder for that population to maintain in changing environments. When it gets bad enough, through enough bouts with natural selection, what we have on our hands is not a robust species, but an endangered one.

    It should also be noted that every time natural selection selects for one trait, a certain percentage of the population without that trait is eliminated from the breeding pool. Select for a second trait in addition to the first one, and there goes a little more of the population. Dr. John Sanford, whose work and name are noted here:
    http://www.news.cornell.edu/Chronicle/98/2.19.98/fruits.html
    has said very specifically that even with plants, whose genomes are quite plastic compared with animals', a maximum of three traits at a time can be selected for before you destroy the population you are working with.

    Natural selection does not even have the intelligent manipulation of scientists to help it along -- so in the catch-as-catch-can of the wild, to assume that natural selection can actually improve anything consistently over time is a farce.

    Who says I am judging God's work? We are what we are. I am not demanding a "perfect design" at all. Otherwise, if we were perfectly designed, we could regenerate lost limbs, regrow teeth, and other things that "lesser" animals are inherently capable of. I am merely observing.</font>[/QUOTE]no, that is a judgment. Of course, if evolution happened, isn't it strange that we LOST so many advantageous features?

    Sure, quit mocking creation science and that will be a good start.
     
  16. ColoradoFB

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    Helen,

    Questioning, challenging and debating are not mocking.

    CFB
     
  17. NeilUnreal

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    (Slightly OT, but I once learned to read some basic hierogylphics and have followed Egyptology ever since).

    Unraveling the "mysteries of the pyramids" is fast becoming a done-deal in the world of Egyptology:

    National Geographic

    PBS - NOVA

    Catchpenny Mysteries Explained

    They are indeed astonishing, but no more or less so than the technological marvels of our own time like computers, microwaves, automobiles, and anitbiotics. Here is an amusing site about megalithic societies in general:

    Megaliths

    -Neil
     
  18. Helen

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    1. Ramps wouldn't have worked -- too much ramp material required for the height. In fact, here is a quote from the Catchpenny site you linked which disagrees with the National Geographic article you linked.
    The ramps likely took the form of an inclined plane at the beginning of work, but the configuration in later stages has long been a matter of conjecture. Some Egyptologists propose a straight, gently sloping, linear ramp, some propose a steep staircase ramp, and others propose a ramp that spiraled up the four sides of the pyramid. In most ramp scenarios, the volume of the ramp exceeds the volume of the pyramid structure itself, raising the possibility that the stones of the upper reaches were placed using levers, or perhaps a modified ramp of some sort. In the case of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the upper half of the total vertical pyramid height represents only 12.5% of the mass of the entire pyramid. The mass of the top quarter of the pyramid's height is a mere .0386% of the whole. Thus the mass of the ramp is in inverse proportion to the mass of building material it is meant to convey. Extending a ramp to the upper reaches of a pyramid to service such a small volume of stone would appear to be inexpedient.


    2. The Nova link only talks about who built the pyramids (it is a very well-done interview, by the way..), and how the stones were delivered -- but not how they were put in place. Here is a quote from the page you linked:
    "No, we're not recreating ancient society, and ancient pyramid building 100 percent. And probably not even 60 percent. But we are showing some nuts and bolts that are very useful and insightful, far more than all the armchair theorizing." And yes, that was done, and it is very interesting! But HOW the pyramids were built he admits he is 'glossing' over.

    3. The Catchpenny site is interesting, but disagrees with both of the others on a number of points.

    Therefore I would say that the secret of the pyramids is NOT a 'done deal.'
     
  19. ColoradoFB

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    Technological & engineering acheivements have nothing to do with evolutionary adaptation as a species. Even if we never know the exact procedure that was used to build the pyramids, the ancient Egyptians could not have built the WTC towers, the Golden Gate bridge or landed a man on the moon and returned him safely to the earth.
     
  20. Elena

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    EF Well, here's where we disagree. The Egyptians had access to all the spaceships used to transport the building material for the pyramids. Can there be little doubt that after drinking a bit too much beer (their best invention by the way), a few summoned up the drunken courage to hijack one of the spaceships for a free ride to the moon and mars? Heck, I think a couple of them sketched a crude smiley face before returning.

    [​IMG]
     

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