Intelligent design theory appears poised to challenge the validity and replace the one and half century old Darwinian theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory of the evolution of living species through undirected natural selection might soon lose ground for this newer scientific theory, based upon the basis of intelligent design in the universe as well as in the living species. This new theory proves that the physical world as well as the living species on the earth are intelligently designed, instead of being evolved through an undirected natural selection of random combinations. This debate has evolved in the US in the 1990’s and soon spread in Europe as well; and has now been gaining wide support in the scientific community on the basis of advanced researches. Leaving the issue of evolution of species for a while, we find a more tenable explanation for the fine tuning in the universe in support of the Intelligent Design Theory.
Perfection in Design and Coordination: Beyond Interplay of Random Natural Forces:
A well planned, perfect design and coordinated is very explicitly visible in the whole universe around us and every living being. This intelligent design visible in cosmos and living world is being briefly stated hereunder:
(i) Evidence of Intelligent Design in the Universe:
As already stated above, the universe is perfectly fine tuned, having more than 2 trillion galaxies. Each of these galaxies have more than 100 billion stars with 400-500 billion planets, and yet have a delicate and fine-tuned coordination, wherein each of them revolves around their respective stars. For example our sun has earth, mars, mercury etc. as its planets, which revolve around the sun in our solar system. These planets also have their moon like satellites. All of these have perfect balance in the gravity, mass and velocity of revolution of each of the heavenly bodies with respect to each other. Each of these planets are revolving around their respective stars, and in turn even each of these stars is also revolving in its orbit around a supermassive black hole or so.
Each of the 2 trillion galaxies have also been revolving into their respective orbits. And in turn these galaxies have also been constituting large galactic clusters. These galaxies have also been revolving into their orbits in a very fine tuned manner, severally as well as in groups of numerous galactic clusters. The gravity, mass and velocity of each of these celestial bodies and trillions of their formations in group or cluster are so fine-tuned with each other that their centripetal and centrifugal forces ensure steady movements over billions of years without any collision or escape from their orbits. A slight variance to the tune of 0.0001 percent in their fine tuning with each other, for instance in the gravity of earth, mass of moon and velocity of moon would have either led to the escape of moon from its orbit or collision into the earth. Same explanation needs to be interpreted for the trillions and trillions of heavenly bodies constituting 2 trillion plus galaxies.
Further, the intergalactic space in the vast and limitless cosmos is filled with the dark energy, causing the cosmos to ever-expand continuously to accommodate ever newer galaxies being created ceaselessly and perpetually since time immemorial. The intra-galactic spaces within each galaxy are purposefully and very intelligently filled with a non-visible dark matter to hold each of the stars, planets and their respective moons/satellites etc steadily in their respective places, without a slight variance, over millions of years. This all cannot perpetuate without a well directed intelligent design.
(ii) Perfect Design in each cell, its atoms and complete organism:
Intelligent design is reflected not only in the living species as they exist and operate, but the design miracle of every cell of these species is also quite marvelous in vividly illuminating the evidence that the elements of life were selected and exquisitely fine-tuned by a master intellect, and had to be before the first cell could exist. Michael Dentor has authored a book entitled “The Miracle of the Cell” to explain this intelligent design.
This marvel of fine tuning in the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of every living being would become explicitly clear with a study of how intelligently the eye is designed, not possible by a blind random combination of elements!
Three Examples of Intelligent Design in Human Eye:
Human eye can be taken as a representative example of intelligent design. Otangelo in his article ‘How the origin of the human eye is best explained through intelligent design has well explained the attributes of intelligent design. A brief of it is being mentioned hereunder:
(i) Intelligence in the Design of Human Eye: The human eye according to Ontangelo, consists of over two million working parts making it second only to the brain in complexity. Proponents of evolution believe that the human eye is a product of millions of years of mutations and natural selection. As one reads about the amazing complexity of the eye then, could this really be a product of evolution? Have a deeper view of the design in automatic focus and the visual system.
(ii) Automated focus of eye – a perfect intelligent design: The lens of the eye is suspended in its position by hundreds of string-like fibers called Zonules. The ciliary muscle changes the shape of the lens. It relaxes to flatten the lens for distance vision; for close look it contracts rounding out the lens. This happens automatically and instantaneously without you having to think about it. It cannot arise out of randomness
(iii) Intelligently Designed visual system: Ontagelo further explains that the retina is composed of highly sophisticated photoreceptor cells. When light falls on one of these cells, it causes a complex chemical reaction that sends an electrical signal through the optic nerve to the brain. It uses a signal transduction pathway, consisting of 9 irreducible steps, wherein the light must go all the way through. This pathway happens suddenly to evolve and such a signal is sent to go all the way through. It will have to learn what this signal means. Learning and interpretation again involve a great many proteins in several unique systems. Now the cell, in one lifetime, must evolve the ability to pass on this ability to interpret vision to its offspring. All these wonderful processes need pre-design and regulation. The light-sensitive cells have to be turned off once they are turned on, vision would occur only then. This regulation involves a vast number of proteins and other molecules – all of which must be in place initially for the vision to be beneficial.
Intelligent Design in Every Living Organism:
Like the above example of the human eye, right from birth to end, each plant and animal has common attributes of each of the species and perfect uniformity with a fine tuning of each of its systems, which is the best evidence of a teleological intelligent design. This leads us to a conclusion that every living being, its system, tissues, cells and atoms constituting each cell has a purposefully planned design and attributes.
Creationism based upon Intelligent Design versus Evolution
The theory of creationism is simply an extension of the intelligent design theory and asserts for an intelligent design in the physical world as well as in the living species. One may talk of a designer, who has designed and created the world. So, the intelligent design theory accepts a designer i.e the creator or God as well. Thus, it can well pre-suppose that the matter, various forms of life, and the world, having a specifically planned and intelligent design could be designed or created by a designer or creator This the God. Some talk of an intelligent design scientific creation but avoid to talk of a creator. This creationism endorses the religious faith, in the almighty or parmatma, hitherto ruled out by the theory of biological evolution. Creationism rules out the Darwin’s theory of Origin of Species (1859).
Three Preliminary Arguments in Supporting Intelligent Design
The proponents of Intelligent Design theory, or the theory of Creationism advance 3 simple arguments along with advancing hundreds of explanations in favor of an intelligent design. They say that the irreducible complexity, purposeful design and specificity with a fine tune in everything proves an intelligent design. These three arguments are:
(i) Irreducible complexity in the cosmos as well as in all living beings: There is an ultimate complexity in everything from the galaxies to smallest organs of living species, and all these systems are bound to collapse on elimination of a minor component of the system. This indicates that the complexity in each of them is planned or intelligently designed and not the result of a random combination. The biochemist, Michael Behe in his 1996 book, Darwin’s Black Box defines it as “a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to cease functioning.” He used the analogy of a mousetrap to illustrate this concept. He explained that a mousetrap consists of several interacting parts—the base, the catch, the spring and the hammer—all of which must be in place for the mousetrap to work. Removal of any one piece destroys the function of the mousetrap to trap a mouse. Intelligent design proponents argue that undirected natural selection cannot create irreducibly complex systems, because the selectable function or component is present only when all parts are preplanned and then assembled. From amoeba to an elephant, from the eye of a cockroach to the eye of a human being, everywhere there is an irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity has remained a popular argument among advocates of intelligent design.
(ii) Specified complexity: The aforesaid complexity in every cosmic component and living beings is not random but deliberate, which indicates that the complexity is planned or designed intelligently or purposefully. In 1986, Charles B. Thaxton, a physical chemist and creationist, used the term “specified complexity” while claiming that messages transmitted by DNA in the cell were specified by intelligence, which must have originated with an intelligent agent. The intelligent design concept of “specified complexity” was developed in the 1990s by mathematician, philosopher, and theologian William A. Dembski. Dembski states that when something exhibits specified complexity (i.e., is both complex and “specified,” simultaneously), one can infer that it was produced by an intelligent cause (i.e., that it was designed) rather than being the result of natural and random processes. He argues that Shakespearean sonnet is a complex, meaningful and specified combination of letter.” He states that similarly the details of living things characterized, specified “patterns” of molecular sequences in functional biological molecules such as DNA, which are specific and purposeful.
(iii) Fine-tuned Universe: The believers in intelligent design theory also argue that everything in the cosmos from galaxies to the single atom and from whale to all micro-organisms, everything is so ideally fine-tuned that it cannot work without this fine tuning or adjustment and coordination. This fine tuning cannot be brought without purposeful intelligence. Intelligent design proponents have also occasionally appealed to broader teleological arguments outside of biology, most notably an argument based on the fine-tuning of universal constants that make matter and life possible and which are argued not to be solely attributable to chance. These include the values of fundamental physical constants, the relative strength of nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity between fundamental particles, as well as the ratios of masses of such particles. Intelligent design proponent and Center for Science and Culture fellow Guillermo Gonzalez argues that if any of these values were even slightly different, the universe would collapse.
Perfect and Intelligent Design versus undirected Selection out of Random Forces of Nature:
In contrast to the Darwinian evolution through undirected and random selection of natural attributes the Intelligent Design Theory propounds that the visible matter, various forms of life, and the cosmic world have been created by a designing intelligence. Living organisms must have been created in more or less of their present forms by virtue of an “intelligent design.” Intelligent design theory, formulated since the 1990s in the United States, as an explicit refutation of the Darwinian theory of biological evolution proposing undirected selection of all attributes from the interplay of blind random forces. Building the premise for an argument about intelligent design, the proponents of intelligent design assert that the functional parts and systems of all the living organisms are “irreducibly complex” in the sense that none of their component parts can be removed without causing the whole system to cease functioning or collapse. For example, hundreds of letters jumbled haphazardly cannot connote any meaning, unless they are assembled to form meaningful words, sentences, paras and chapters. Likewise, it is an intelligent design which has resulted into a fine tuned universe and teleologically designed species from their respective atoms to cells, tissues, organs, systems and full organisms.
From this above premise the proponents of intelligent design theory emphatically infer that no such system could have come about through the gradual alteration of functioning precursor systems by means of random mutation and undirected natural selection, as the standard evolutionary believers claim. Therefore, living organisms must have been created all concurrently with a directed intelligent design. To some it may be even by an intelligent designer. This designer according to theologists may be or is the God. But another group of proponents of intelligent design theory stay away from claiming it to be the designer or the God. Whether one accepts the role of the designer or not, intelligent design in the universe as well as in each living being, its tissues, cells and genetic material is visible everywhere.