Intelligent Design: A Validation Of Faith

I thought I was through with this topic but the discussion of Intelligent Design has sparked another interesting line of thinking. Is evolution and the word of God diametrically opposed to one another? Is it important to debunk evolution so not to diminish the God’s role in shaping the universe?

We know that the Bible encompasses the history of the universe into a very small window. By most theologians account, that window is no more than 6000 years. Science on the other hand has noted that Earth is around 4.5 billions years old. That is a significant difference. This is how scientist date the earth:

The most direct means for calculating the Earth's age is a Pb/Pb isochron age, derived from samples of the Earth and meteorites. This involves measurement of three isotopes of lead (Pb-206, Pb-207, and either Pb-208 or Pb-204). A plot is constructed of Pb-206/Pb-204 versus Pb-207/Pb-204.

If the solar system formed from a common pool of matter, which was uniformly distributed in terms of Pb isotope ratios, then the initial plots for all objects from that pool of matter would fall on a single point.

Over time, the amounts of Pb-206 and Pb-207 will change in some samples, as these isotopes are decay end-products of uranium decay (U-238 decays to Pb-206, and U-235 decays to Pb-207). This causes the data points to separate from each other. The higher the uranium-to-lead ratio of a rock, the more the Pb-206/Pb-204 and Pb-207/Pb-204 values will change with time.

Source:
Go There

According to the Bible, the earth is between 6,327 and 6,573 years old. Source:
http://home1.gte.net/bridavis/timeline.htm

My Thoughts:

Rather than get into a scientific argument, which I am not qualified to do, I will approach it for a laymen’s perspective. I believe this argument comes down to one question. Does the belief in the validity of the evolution theory contradict the word of God? For the supporters of ID and believers in the literal interpretation of the Bible, I believe it does. For some us it doesn’t. I noticed that most of ID studies centers around the Great Flood. And it is here where I find the greatest reason not to support the teaching of ID in public schools.

Even with the most scientific approach to the Bible, we are still required to use our faith in the word of God. Evolution challenges several aspects of the Bible that we cannot subject to a scientific model.

Adam & Eve:


The belief in Adam and Eve is paramount to the Christian faith. You cannot get to Jesus without first recognizing the fall of Adam. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (Romans 5:12)

We are all decindent of Adam and Eve. Evolution directly challenges that because we know through science that there is high probability of deformation in the offspring of brothers and sisters. Obviously, Cain had to marry his sister before he entered the land of Nod because there were no other people around. We have no idea how many children Adam and Eve produced so it is a model that cannot be duplicated.



Noah’s Ark:

Noah was commanded to take two of every land dwelling animal on the ark. According to some ID scientist, this did not mean he had to take every species of dog but ‘dog kind’. Meaning he may have taken a dog and when the dog emerged from the ark they evolved into coyotes and wolves ect… There is a detailed explanation
here on the size and how it may have been possible to fit every animal kind on ark. But even with this explanation, it still requires some work of faith. We also have to assume that God provided a means for all of the animals since we know they could not have fed the sheep to the lions.

But even here, there is recognition that some sort of evolution took place since only groups of animal kinds were taken on the ark. Since we know that dogs, coyotes and wolves are of the same species, they evolution would have to have taken place over a very short period.

We also have to assume that human kind was all but wiped out, so redistribution of people and the repopulation of the earth would have had to taken place rather fast as well. So even someone that believes in ID would have believe in some form of evolution. The problem then becomes a matter of the span of time in which animals evolved. Evolutions states that it may have taken millions of years. Creations believe that it happened over a much shorter span of time. So what separates the two? The Bible. So we’re back to implementing religion in the science class.

Stars:

When we see the light of a star we are actually looking at light that may have been generated a million years ago. This is based off of the speed of light and the distance the stars are from Earth. So how is it that there is light that is a million years old in a universe that is only 6000 years old? There is Biblical explanation
here. But even the author noted that there is no clear explanation for this and he falls back to his faith in the word of God. Which I have no problem with, but does that belong in a public school science class?

Here’s the thing. I believe in God and I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in them as much as I believe that I have a mother that birthed me. I believe in the Bible although I do not believe the literal interpretation of it. But on many occasions, the word of God has been my strength and I know that God has answered my prayers and has watched over me. So, I’m not looking for a scientist to validate my belief. I’m not worried if science somehow challenges me on things that I read in the Bible. I can’t feed 5000 people with a loaf of bread. But I believe Jesus did. I can’t part the Red Sea. But I believe Moses did. There are a lot of things that I take at faith value when I read the Bible. And that is good enough for me. But I’m not supportive of placing my religious teachings in a science class.

This is a free country and a person is free to teach their children what they feel they need to know. But ID is simply a scientific way of confirming one’s faith. And that does not belong in the public schools.


 

7 Responses to Intelligent Design: A Validation Of Faith

  1. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden Says:
    11 16 05

    You know, I think I have confused creationism with ID. I don't support ID, I do however believe in a creation! That source was crazy and didn't answer the question. Thx for writing about this.
  2. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    It is my opinion that all of this time and effort being expended to shoehorn ID into science classrooms would be better spent developing comprehensive philosophy coursework (if not separate, than maybe as a significant part of the social studies curriculum) that can analyze these ideas and their relationship with science without making a mockery of the scientific method.
  3. James Manning Says:
    Mahn, I think that is exactly what is happening. I support the belief that God created us. How all of it came to be is academic. We're here. Trying to prove God through science is crazy when God is a work of faith.
  4. Cynthia Says:
    This is a nice summary of this discussion.

    As for me, I don't believe in the bible at all even the Jesus story, but I don't think it is appropriate to force my thoughts upon anyone else. Generally, when I discuss ID, I try not to discredit the bible although there is ample data to show that the bible shouldn't be in the classroom and shouldn't be taken literally.

    When people start saying you are ignorant because you don't agree with them, then I think it is important to show what could happen or should happen if the bible is introduced in the classroom setting. Some of us have learned how Christianity was started and who were the key player involved in the development of the Church and don’t want our children subjected to the myths/fables of the bible. And recently, the same individuals who started this faith have informed people that they shouldn't take everything in the bible literally even the creation story. See this article: The Catholic Church no longer swears by the bible.

    People have every right to teach their kids whatever they want, but those ideas shouldn't be forced on everybody else.

    It is really unfortunate that you have people that want to force others to accept a doctrine that they can’t accept. It doesn’t seem right to me.
  5. Dell Gines Says:
    "People have every right to teach their kids whatever they want, but those ideas shouldn't be forced on everybody else." - Cynthia

    Then why would you find it tolerable to "force" evolution on folks who disbelieve?

    But more to your point James, I have a simple question, which is not sarcastic, but pure in it's intention:

    Why does it matter?

    Hear me out. If there is no God then the nature of creation is immaterial as our existence ceases the moment we die.

    If there is a God, and (to simplify it) belief in God and pursuing 'goodness' on earth is the key to 'salvation' then why does it matter whether a light beam is a million years old or 6000?

    Now, if we frame it from that perspective, then what scientific advantage is gained by teaching evolution versus intelligent design.

    If it has no practical application for salvation, and it has no ultimate bearing on our finality as humans, and a scientist who is studying practical appication of biology, and etiology of disease to determine cures doesn't need the theory to provide new medicine, then why does it matter whether either is taught in school or not?

    This is why. Because, like I mentioned on Rebeccas site, education in any nation is part technical, and part propaganda. It is designed not just to equip and individual for practical life in America, but also to embed values and beliefs. I can expound on that further, but that is it in a nut shell.

    So the ID versus EV debate, which in my mind makes no material difference from a 'final destination' standpoint, becomes a philosophical debate between two competing ideals and the expression of those ideals in a public setting.

    Regardless of what anyone says about it, at the end of the day if ID is such a bunk theory, then allow the kids along with their parents to disgregard it for the supposed nonsense it is. The same way those who reject evolution have been forced to disregard it in public education. An overtly large amount of time does not need to be spent on it, and it doesn't need to be framed in a religiously specific way. But to have so many people vehemently resist that suggest to me that my argument is right. It isn't about people being so concerned with science, but more about people wanting to protect their ideology within the school system. So what is wrong with others trying to do the same?
  6. James Manning Says:
    Dell,

    I think my objection is that there is no way to introduce ID without first introducing the book of Genesis. I can understand your point about kids being forced to learn evolution but some try to equate evolution to a religion I don't think that is the case. To simply believe a scientific theory is not religion, but to have a scientific theory based on religious belief is.

    You ask why would it matter if a light beam is a million years old or 6000 years old. Well, if were to build a rocket to get to a star, i would first want to measure the distance. Now, one scientist tells me that the star is a million miles away based on the size of the universe and the speed of light. The other says its only 6000 miles away because that is when God formed the world.That's a big difference.

    If I'm a earth scientist and I'm studying glacier movements and rock formation to get a better understanding to tectonic plate movement and erosion. I have one scientist telling how it took millions of years for certain things to happen and based on that model we can predict such and such. I have another scientist telling me that everything happened in a matter of months after God caused the great flood, I can't predict a thing because I can't recreate a miracle. That is the difference.

    But how are kids and parents going to debunk ID. Heck, scientist can't even do it. Based on my limited research, I don't buy much of the ID theory, but I can't debunk it. And I have yet to understand how do you teach ID without teaching kids the premise... the book of Genesis.
  7. Cynthia Says:
    James: You can't debunk the theory that God exists, but you can debunk the book that people are using to base their information on about the existence of God. This has happened and is happening.

    Dell, I'm not sure why you are acting like evolution is a religion. Surely, you must know the difference. If you don't know, this says a lot about who and what you are. I find this type of reasoning disturbing coming from an adult. Wow!!!