Seven Reasons for Intelligent Design in Nature 2018
By Kenneth S. Sumerford
Copyright © 2018 by Kenneth S. Sumerford
During the last 70 years, there have been many reasons why intelligent design is evident in nature (the natural world.) This document presents seven reasons why we know that intelligent design is found in the physical world, especially on planet Earth.
The first four of these reasons were presented by C S Lewis more than 50 years ago. They are summarized here in my words.
The first reason is the argument for intelligent design from Beauty. The beauty in the natural world suggests a higher level of existence. Beauty is above matter and energy. What created that beauty? If we human are only a collection of molecules, then why do we appreciate beauty?
The second reason is the argument for intelligent design from morality. If the universe is evil and cruel, where does morality come from? I.D. (intelligent design) might be the explanation. There would be no morality from the survival of the fittest or from molecules. According to evolution’s survival of the fittest, each Homo sapien should take advantage of their resources without regard to any so-called morality.
The third is the argument from Reason. Why do we think that reason, including math, comes from non-rational causes? How can you get intelligence from that which is non-intelligent? Why would molecules in the brain be able to reason? Perhaps the answer is that the Creator programmed intelligence and reason into animal brains. God created humans on a high level and He designed and programmed reason into them.
The fourth reason is from Complexity. Lewis said that like we need to go beyond the physical steam engine to find its originator, we need to go outside of nature to find the originator and designer of natural things such as animals. The automobiles and trucks of 2018 are rather complex. Engineers designed these complex systems. The extreme complexities of automobiles point to intelligent design by human engineers. While even simple bows and arrows have little complexity, we do not believe that the combination of bows and arrows developed or evolved during millions of years. And yet bows and arrows are made of natural products such as wood, animal sinew or string, and bird feathers.
The fifth reason is from the fine-tuning of the physical universe. These fine-tunings of matter and energy make life on Earth possible, but they do not produce life. There are more than 90 variables that are fine-tuned in matter and energy that make life on planet Earth possible.
One set of variables is the amount of matter produced during the Big Bang and the rate of expansion of the universe. Scientists tell us that there was almost an equal amount of matter and anti-matter during the Big Bang. The quarks and the anti-quarks met and annihilated each other, producing a photon of energy. There may have only been one or two quarks in a billion more than the anti-quarks in anti-matter. So one or two in a billion is a small number.
The initial expansion (first few seconds) of the universe depended on the total mass and energy of the universe, which was dependent on the very few quarks surviving. “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size. . . . if the rate of expansion had been greater by even one part in a million, stars and planets could not have been able to form.” (end note #1) Was this fine-tuning by chance? Very probably not.
You could believe that the number of quarks remaining and the initial expansion of the universe was a lucky shot. This is not reliable. Another possibility is that there are a nearly infinite number of universes and life on Earth happened to develop in our universe. This belief in a nearly infinite number of universes is called the multiverse or the Landscape theory. I have written a whole article about the multiverse belief, so it will not be repeated here. One big problem with this belief, which is not a scientific theory since it is not backed up by evidence and independent tests, is that there is no evidence. If there were another universe in the void of space, then it might not intersect with our universe for more than 1 billion years. Also, there may only be a small number of universes such as 100,000 (which is 10 to the 5th power.) This would not be enough to explain the fine-tuning of more than 90 variables in physics. A 1 chance in 100 million would be 1 in 10^8 (which is 10 to the 8th power.)
One very major problem with believing that the Creator did not intelligently design our universe for life on Earth is the variables needed for life are all fine-tuned. These variables seem to be independent of each other. Let us suppose that the fine-tuning for each variable cannot vary by more than 1 in 1 million to have the possibility of life. For a test case, let us take only 8 variables. The probability that these 8 variables would have the correct values is equal to 1 in 1,000,000)^8 or 1 in 1,000,000 to the 8th power. This can be represented as: (1 in 10^6)^8 which is 1 in 10^48 which is 1 in 10 to the 48th power. For comparison, the number of atoms in planet Earth is roughly 10^50. Imagine trying to find one atom in our planet.
You could believe in the multiverse. But suppose the multiverse, if it exists, has 10^90 (= 10 to the 90th power) universes. You might expect to find that these 8 variables would have the correct values for life on one of their planets. However, each universe is separate from the others. In one universe would all 8 variables have the correct values? These 8 correctly-tuned variables might be in two different universes. Also, the variances in all the universes might be rather small. Consider that the variable X23 must have a value of 250 with a variance of only 2% which is 2 in 100, not 1 in 1,000,000 for example. So values for X23 must be between 245 and 255. Now suppose X23 across all universes varies 690% around a value of 18. So the range would be 0 to 124.2 (=18 x 6.90.) Even the highest number of 124.2 is much less than the required number of 245, therefore no life is possible.
The sixth reason for the intelligent design is the structure and coding of DNA within living cells. This sixth reason is explained with details and a few examples in my book Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear, Blue Sky. Here I will give one example. The DNA must have biological code to send an instruction set through RNA to the Ribosome to make a small protein or string of amino acids to create 49 amino acids in a certain order. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids in a living cell. Therefore, the probability of getting the right amino acid in the correct place is about 1 in 20. The chance probability of getting only 4 in the correct sequence is therefore (1 in 20) x (1 in 20) x (1 in 20) x (1 in 20) = 1 in 20^4 = 1 in 160,000 = 1 in 1.6 10^5. This is a slight possibility but still possible. The probability of getting all 49 amino acids in the correct order is only 1 in 20^49 = 1 in 1.7x 10^64 or 1.77x 10^ -64 (which is 10 to the minus 64th power.) Remember that the number of atoms in planet Earth is roughly 10^50. The number of seconds in 41 million years is 1.29 x 10^15. If you had 1,000 times the number of atoms in planet Earth you would have 10^3 x 50^50 = 10^53 atoms, which is much less than 10^64. There is no natural selection of the amino acids. The reason is that some intelligent entity would have to know the end result to properly select each amino acid in sequence; and the protein strand of 45 amino acids might be a small section of a protein of more than 900 amino acids.
For example, how did non-intelligent molecules create DNA in the living cell? How did the DNA know to instruct RNA to build molecules of proteins out of amino acids and a few substrates? Why would the DNA, made of 4 nucleic acids, produce a protein made of 20 amino acids?
Some atheists say, “Giving millions of years, almost anything can evolve.” Is this true? If you had 300 million years that would be about 10^16 seconds. The number of atoms in planet Earth is about 10^50. Therefore, if all the atoms in Earth combined with each other once per second for 300 million years, then the combinations would be about 10^16 x 10^50 equal 10^66. The chance probability for 120 amino acids forming in the correct sequence (for a useful function in a living cell) is about 1 in 20^120. This is smaller than 1 in 10^120 (= 1 in 10 to the 120th power.) And 10^120 is much larger than 10^66. For comparison, 100 billion is 10^12. If you multiply 10^66 x 10^12 you get 10^78 which is still much smaller than 10^120. Therefore the belief that “Giving millions of years, almost anything can evolve” is Not true. Remember that evolutionist scientists tell us that living cells evolved from simple molecules within 100 M to 300 million years on Earth.
Notice that all these statistics are isolated to our solar system. Earth may have obtained some amino acids, small chains of carbon and some other small molecules from planet Mars, but the hostilities of outer space make it impossible to get proteins from other solar systems. Of course, this negates any argument about the Landscape influencing life on planet Earth. By the way, a chain of 400 amino acids (for example) would be worthless unless it fits into the correct protein molecule. This specific protein molecule could have to be arranged in a certain sequence, the chance probability would be about 1 in 20^400 (which is 20 to the 400th power.)
Many atheists deny that probability theory applies to evolution. Probability theory applies to other areas of biology such as medicine and agriculture. They might as well say that mathematics does not apply to the evolution of life on Earth.
The seventh reason for intelligent design is the existence of Good. The random variations and survival of the fittest in biological evolution, make the existence of Good impossible. During 1942 it seemed that the Evil in Nazi Germany would destroy at least 98 percent of the Jews in Western Europe, except in Britain and Ireland. But the Allies won World War Two and the Jews survived. And in May 1948 Israel was established as a nation, even in the midst of hostile countries. Of course many on the Left politically do not believe in Good and Evil. But that is another discussion.
There are at least several major consequences with ignoring intelligent design. Suppose that I am a world-famous painter and a person entered an art museum and destroyed one of my famous paintings. The person has destroyed what I painted with my intelligence and abilities. If the unborn baby is aborted/destroyed, then the work of the Creator has been destroyed and the Creator has the right to take vengeance against the destroyer.
Early scientists looked for laws and designs in nature, because they believed nature had a Designer. This propelled science forward.
The laws of nature cannot create complex things, these complex objects require directions from outside the physical objects. For example, a hurricane can hit a group of bricks, lumber, nails and electrical wires. The force of the wind cannot build a house. Building the house requires a designer, intelligent agents to build it, and information in the blueprint. The living cell in an animal is thousands of times more complex than a house.
It seems to me that most Americans, including Christians, care little about God’s intelligent designs for such areas as marriage, politics and raising children. As the country gets further from the Creator’s designs, the people become more troubled and vulnerable.
These are 7 reasons for intelligent design. There are other reasons such as (1) many genera and species have not changed/evolved during the last 40 million years and (2) tissues and organs have evolved together in such animals as apes, so this points to intelligent design for the items evolving together in a functioning manner through millions of years. These reasons point to an intelligent agent, God, who designed and programmed the natural world.
- The Language of God by Dr. Francis S. Collins; Copyright © 2006 by Francis S. Collins; Free Press; pp. 72-73.