Intelligent Design vs Evolution

Lets start with going by my definition of Intelligent Design. I postulate that a vastly superior entity beyond my scope of comprehension created a set of physical laws that over billions of years resulted in a universe and a planet with conditions amenable for imperfectly self replicating molecular structures which over time have resulted in a googolplex of molecular masses many of which encompass a googol of cells manufacturing a number of different organic chemicals and organized into a framework of systems of multiple communications and sustinence.

In short, what separates my theory of origin from atheistic evolution is my theory involves a creator wheras the other involves a series of serendipitous chemical reactions that have never been replicated.

Of the two “theories” of origin of life, neither have been successfully scientifically tested although I’m pretty sure that scientists are working on the latter. So why is “atheistic” evolution more scientifically valid than evolution by intelligent design?

If your theory involves God doing this by physical laws, why the emphasis that these chemical reactions have never been replicated? Your theory involves the same reactions, right?

And on what do you base such a bold postulation?

What is your evidence for this superior entity?

  1. “Atheistic evolution” does not address origins of life. The word you are looking for is “abiogenesis”.

  2. Abiogenesis is scientific in that any hypothesis created in an attempt to explain the orgins of life can be tested and thereby potentially falsified. Your postulate of an intelligent creator can never be thus falsified, as it falls outside the realm of scientific inquiry (if it could be proven God exsists, such debates as these would never occur in the first place, after all).

What makes one idea more scientific than another is not whether it can answer the question - it’s whether the prospective answer can be falsified.

Probably the same as your evidence against such a superior entity? Nada. :wink:

You are confusing with evolution with abiogenesis.

The problem with your theory is that it isn’t even a theory. You’re just saying “God did it”. That’s not really an explanation, is it?

Why should I have to come up with evidence ???
He is the one who comes up with the idea that there is some vastly superior entity.
I’m just asking ‘Realy? What makes you think that?’
Then he is supposed to say why he thinks that.
IOW provide evidence…
grienspace is the one making the claim, he should provide the argument why we should believe him.

First of all, the standard premise upon which Intelligent Design rests upon is irreducible complexity; that the mechanisms of life are too complex to have evolved independent of an controlling or integrating supernatural (or external, if you like) intelligence. Your definition merely postulates that the fundamental conditions of the universe are predisposed toward conditions that support life, which is still a presumptive position with respect to abiogenesis (the initial creation of life) but not in line with the popular concept of ID, or indeed, even in contradiction of natural selection. It certainly doesn’t stand in opposition to evolution as an observed process.

Also, your numbers are way off. A google is 10[sup]100[/sup], which is massively in excess of the number of atoms in the universe, much less the number of biological cells on planet Earth. (A googleplex is 10[sup]10[sup]100[/sup][/sup] and is therefore clearly a number of interest only to number theorists and finance speculators.)

A couple of clarifications: there is nothing especially “atheistic” about evolution per se, other that that the evidence for it stands in contradiction to various creation myths, including Judeo-Christian Creationism, and the lack of necessity for supernatural entities to guide or control animal and species development. An acceptance of the evidence of evolution, and even agreement with the theory of natural selection does not stand in opposition to religious belief in toto, just in ways that make inaccurate claims regarding the natural world (i.e. the Earth is only 6000 years old.)

Second, there’s nothing speculative about evolution, which we can observe in laboratory conditions (for microorganisms) and for which fossil, zoological, and genetic evidence exists in overwhelming quantity, any more than there is any question of the existence of gravity. Natural selection (which is the Darwinist theory of the mechanism for evolution) is scientific in that it follows the observational scientific method of creating falsifiable hypotheses and testing these against predictions; for instance, that given two different species separated by a time period in the fossil record, there will be a continuum (or such that can be recovered from physical evidence) for changes from one form to another.

Third, religious (or other) faith is nonfalsifiable; that is, it doesn’t make claims that can be challenged and invalidated, nor does it offer objective, tangible evidence to back its claims; ultimately, it argues to an appeal to authority. This isn’t necessarily wrong; one can postulate, for instance, that all of the things which scientific research has demonstrated are actually a giant confidence trick; that a god buried bones and aged rocks to make the Earth appear older than it really is, but such an explanation is unsatisfying from a cause-and-effect point of view.

Science has offered an explanation for the natural world which increasingly ties all phenomena together into a comprehensive, yet explicable model which, as it becomes more refined offers a greater ability to predict as-yet unseen phenomena, whereas religion is (almost always) limited to a conservative and unchanging (or predestined) view of the world that suffers from ambiguous post hoc rationalizations of why things happen, i.e. “it was God’s will.” The validity of science (if this meets your criteria for superiority) is that it makes predictions about unseen events, and is validates by repeated success in matching those predictions.

It may sound pejorative to refer to science as being more progressive, but in terms of information scope it is; science seeks to reason from an ever increasing (and theoretically unlimited) body of knowledge, whereas religion starts with fundamental principles and studies, and except for the occasional unearthed arcanae and Dead Sea scrolls, reasons strictly from that basis. As an analogy, imagine a physicist who referred only to his sophomore quantum mechanics text as the absolute, comprehensive, and irrefutable authority on that topic, refusing to read articles in Physical Review or perform experiments. Certainly, biblical scholars study and publish, but their studies are based upon the same existent materials, not on testable propositions and experimental data.


Lets start with going by my definition of Intelligent Design…/QUOTE]

As others have pointed out, you’ve changed the standard definition of ID. But let’s let that slide for now.

Propose a series of experiments that would verify your hypothesis (it’s not a theory until you’ve proved it) and then carry them out.

Now, let’s assume we do prove it. What does that get us? The next question we obviously have to answer is, how did the Super-being come into existence? Then, aren’t we right back where we started?

I’ll add to the chorus of "You’ve changed the defintionof intelligent design. It doesn’t mean that.

I’ll add that you’re misusing the word evolution. Or rather you’re engaging in equivocation, whichis worse. Evolution normally refers to themodification ofliife, you are using it to refer to abiogenesis. you really need to clearly state what you mean by evolution before this can go any further.

Having said that…

If you are asking why any theory of ‘atheistic’ abiogenesis is more scientifically valid your hypothesis of abiogenesis then I can answer that. And the simple asnwer is that it isn’t.

The way that ‘atheistic’ abiogensis is studied can be and is more atheistic than the way that your hypothesis has been studied. But all atheistic theories have been falsified or at best failed to be confirmed and logically suportable. And your hypothesis falls into the same basket. None of the hypotheses have any scientific merit, neither yours nor their’s.

Basically there’s no scientific basis to support any hypothesis on abiogenesis. So if we want to be rational we have to look at the purely logical basis.

The atheistic version wins there. Your hypothesis depends on an argument form ignorance (you can’t disprove it therfore it must be true). For that reaosn alone it has to be logically discounted. Moreoever it violates Ockham’s razor in that it requires an entity that does not in fact account for anyhting that can’t be equally explained without that entity.

Your hypothesis may not be any less scientific than atheistic hypotheses but it is logically far less sound.

There is quite a bit of evidence to support the theory of evolution, and apart from that it just makes sense.

But I personally also believe that the mechanism of evolution itself (as well as the laws of physics) required intelligent design.

Hey, that’s great. Let us know how that works out for you.

You seem to be implying that one of the tenets of science in general, and evolution in particular, is the presumption/belief that God does not exist. Please point out where this argument has been made. Science/Evolution is “atheistic” only in that it does not need to invoke God’s existence, as opposed to denying it. Wiseracks like this are putting words in other peoples’ mouths and then attacking something that was never said (except by people who clearly don’t have a clue about science or evolution).

Isn’t this essentially the interpretation that the Roman Catholic Church has taken wrt the Theory of Evolution? That is, it’s a mechanism which God has set into motion?


Not being snarky, I would really like to know. Preferably in your own words.

Well abiogenesis could be the result of design by God just as much by accident . There is no scientific basis for believing one hypothesis over the other.
In light of my OP, I understand your point. If we can kick start DNA in the lab then we’ve proven abiogenesis without God is viable. Still can’t falsify the God angle though. Abiogenesis may be the result of physical intervention requiring such a high degree of intelligence and complexity in order to bring all the required physical factors together that man couldn’t possibly replicate it.

How can abiogenesis possibly be falsified ? Can you give me a hypothetical scenario ?

Who designs the Intelligent Designer?

Makes your brain hurt, doesn’t it? :smack: :smiley:

Just understand that abiogenesis is a distinct (but tangential) issue from evolution and natural selection. Even the Catholic Church, which stuanchly maintains the necessity of God for the creation of life, accepts the premises of evolution and (albeit reluctantly) acknowledges the rationality of natural selection as the mechanism behind it, all the while insisting that it is part of God’s Will or somesuch argument.

Although we have not been able to cause the spontaneous generation of life under laboratory conditions, we have seen the essential amino acids form under both laboratory and natural conditions. The usual argument for against spontaneous abiogenesis is that it is terribly unlikely; what that line of reasoning overlooks is the fact that however unlikely it may have been, it only need to have occured once.

Natural or spontaneous abiogenesis almost certianly didn’t begin with any DNA-based organism, given the complexity of that structure, but rather some far more simple self-replicating protein (probably something akin to an infectious prion), which eventually begat some RNA based, virus-like organism, which eventually developed into a truly independent, self-contained replicating prokaryotic cell, and on up the ladder to alge, vertebrates, and European supermodels. Take a gander at Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker for a more detailed examination of abiogeneis and “blind” evolution.

Who designs the Intelligent Designer?

This falls into the homunculus fallacy, in which one need explain a phenomenon in terms off that phenomenon. A supernatural agency exists outside of the observational universe and therefore requires no explaination other than that it already exists. If this smacks of the kind of reasoning that kept Enron scamming away for so long then, well, it is; but insisting that God, or Yahweh, or Buddha must have parents doesn’t falsify the argument. In true, no appeal to a supernatural force is subject to disproof; this doesn’t make it right (or wrong), but it does set it outside the boundries of scientific analysis.

What I want to know is, if this Designer is so Intelligent, then why the heck did he make women suffer from PMS one week out of the month. Didn’t he realize this would be a real pain for everyone involved? And what’s with the veriform appendix, anyway?


Abiogenesis, per se, can not be falsified because it contains no description or prediction about a purported event. It is simply a word that indicates that life arose from non-living “something.”

Most of the hypotheses, (nothing has made it to the level of theory at this point), simply describe possible scenarios in which different chemical reactions lead to increasingly sophisticated–and eventually self-replicating–chemical combinations.

From that perspective, a divine fiat is every bit as much an example of abiogenesis as any postulation emanating from a lab. However, each of the lab scenarios can be falsified simply* by proposing a particular chain of events, (re)creating the conditions under which they were expected to occur, and watching the outcome.

*(As if any of this would be simple.)

For example, different proposals focus on amino acids interacting in ways that would lead to self-replication. There is interest in the possibility that the combinations of heat and high mineral content surrounding undersea volcanic vents contributed to the necessary actions. In each of these cases (all of which are separate), the testor would need to re-create conditions as nearly as we can ascertain they existed. If, in doing so, the analyst discovers that a particular aspect of the hypothesis is contradicted by the experiment, it would be falsified.

To take the volcanic vents as one example, they are favored by some researchers because they are extremely hostile environments where no life was expected, but life was found. Temperatures are near 100° C, the water is extremely acidic, and a number of minerals that we consider generally toxic to life are present, yet life exists there. This is, in the view of many, the sort of environment that would have existed on the Earth prior to the first living creatures. Now, if a proponent of the sea vent theory discovered in the course of experiments that the life that exists near the vents was a descendant of life that lived farther from the vents and had to have undergone mutations to be able to survive near the vents, this would falsify the vent hypothesis.

There is no “abiogenesis theory” at this point, only an understanding that there was a point at which no live did (or could) live on Earth followed by a point at which life does exist on Earth, leading to the reasonable conclusion that life arose from non-living things. (God could have zapped life into the ecosphere, but that would not be a falsifiable event.)