Thursday, July 23, 2009

Even Creationists don’t use Intelligent Design Techniques

Here’s something written by Jonathan Sarfati from the Discovery Institute (the primary mouthpiece for the Intelligent Design movement)[1]:


As pointed out in previous chapters, "Teaching about Evolution" frequently dismisses creation as "unscientific" and "religious." Creationists frequently point out that creation occurred in the past, so cannot be directly observed by experimental science - and that the same is true of large-scale evolution. But evolution or creation might conceivably have left some effects that can be observed. This chapter discusses the criteria that are used in everyday life to determine whether something has been designed, and applies them the living world. The final section discusses whether design is a legitimate explanation for life's complexity or whether naturalistic causes should be invoked a priori.


People detect intelligent design all the time. For example, if we find arrowheads on a desert island, we can assume they were made by someone, even if we cannot see the designer.

“There is an obvious difference between writing by an intelligent person, e.g. Shakespeare's plays, and arandom letter sequence like WDLMNLTDTJBKWIRZREZLMQCOP. There is also an obvious difference between Shakespeare and a repetitive sequence like ABCDABCDABCD. The latter is an example of order, which must be distinguished from Shakespeare, which is an example of specified complexity.

“We can also tell the difference between messages written in sand and the results of wave and wind action. The carved heads of the U.S. presidents on Mt. Rushmore are clearly different from erosional features. Again, this is specified complexity. Erosion produces either irregular shapes or highly ordered shapes like sand dunes, but not presidents' heads or writing.”

However I also found this at the Answers in Genesis web site[2] on a web page titled “Controversy over ‘early Paleolithic’ stone ‘tools’ in Canada continues”:

“Have you ever wondered about those stone ‘tools’ that evolutionists discover? Sure, some of them are obviously of human origin—even works of art. Others look more questionable.”

Wow! Jonathan Sarfati says that tools (such as arrow heads) can be identified as “Intelligently Designed” by searching for “specified complexity”. Answers in Genesis talks about a controversy over whether or not some stone tools were intelligently designed. AIG and the DI are allies in suggesting that intelligent design can be found in nature.

It sounds like a perfect fit!

Surely the Answers in Genesis web page promotes the use of some of the techniques advocated by the ID people, right?

Shockingly, the answer is NO!

AIG doesn’t talk about either specificity or complexity. They completely ignore anything that Sarfati talks about.
What possible explanation is there?

Obviously ID is simply a ruse. It has absolutely NO practical value. The only conceivable explanation for AIG utterly ignoring everything that the DI talks about is that ID is simply a political movement intended to allow creationism to be taught in schools.

[1], referenced on July 23, 2009
[2], referenced on July 23, 2009

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