An essay disputing the Intelligent Design theory
By: Orion Keresztesi
Intelligent Design is a theory put forward by some people who believe that science proves that God exists. The Intelligent Design theory states that the universe could not exist as we know it, and that life could not have evolved without an intelligent force to design them. According to Intelligent Design theory, there are too many highly improbable scientific coincidences that had to come together to make life possible. People who believe in the Intelligent Design theory don't believe that all those coincidences could have come together by chance alone. They believe that an intelligent force, or a God, must have intervened to create a universe that could give rise to life. They don't believe in a God that is particularly interested in mankind, or one that answers prayers or performs miracles. Their God fixed the values of the laws of physics that enabled life to evolve. I think that there are many flaws with this theory, and I just can't make myself believe it.
Examples of the scientific coincidences Intelligent Design theory relies upon include:
- If the force of gravity was stronger than it is, the Universe would have collapsed long ago and life would not have had enough time to evolve. If the force of gravity was even slightly weaker, the stars and planets would never have even formed in the first place.
- The stronger nuclear force is the glue that holds the nucleus of atoms together. If it were even slightly weaker, it would not be strong enough to bind positively charged protons together, overcoming their natural desire to repel each other. If the strong nuclear force was any stronger than it actually is, only hydrogen atoms could exist.
These examples illustrate Intelligent Design theory's basic point: that if the
basic forces of nature were even slightly different, neither the universe, nor life as we know them could exist. The fact that they do exist in the form they exist in could not be an accidental or chance occurrence. It must have been planned.
But I think the mysteries of the Universe may still be better understood through scientific research. Hundreds of years ago, scientists believed that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around it, but scientists didn't stop there, they enquired deeper and corrected their mistakes. Only a short while ago, scientists believed that they had found the smallest possible thing, and that anything smaller was impossible. Then they discovered the atom. I don't see why science can't continue proving the impossible is possible and continue to understand our Universe better.
What is so special and different about intelligent design? When you get down to it, it is the same as any theory or religion that believes that God created the Universe and all it contains. Intelligent Design appears to be trying to bridge the gap between scientific and religious thought. But really, it is still on the religious side. This theory was made by people who can't comprehend the coincidences that came together to make life, so they attribute them to an all powerful being. They are just like the ancients who couldn't comprehend how the sun and the trees and the things around them worked. So they attributed them to a God or gods. Science now has discovered how those things really work. Why can't they do the same for the coincidences that made life?
Intelligent Design theory doesn't explain how the intelligent being, who supposedly tampered with a whole bunch of things to make life, came into existence? If many coincidences had to come together to make life, then certainly just as many coincidences had to come together to allow this powerful and intelligent creature to come into existence. According to Intelligent Design theory, the coincidences that came together to make life couldn't have been coincidences, so, it seems to me, the coincidences that came together to make this intelligent being couldn't have been coincidences either. So it also must have been created by some other intelligent being. And, if so, what made that being? And so it goes on endlessly. Intelligent Design theory doesn't answer the problem of the many coincidences that had to take place to make life, it simply pushes them back another step.
Even if this being could exist, how could it possibly change such fundamental things as the laws of physics and so many other things? Did it just say a few magic words, wave its wand, and 'poof' everything fit together to make life? Even people who believe in intelligent design admit that God couldn't be magical and they are still struggling to answer this question.
In the end, what is more probable? That a powerful being suddenly came into existence, started tinkering with the laws of physics and a whole bunch of other things, to make life for no apparent reason. Or, that some scientifically possible coincidences took place and remain to be discovered?