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The theory of Intelligent Design in nature postulates that in the face of the organization of our universe at the astronomical, biological, and organic levels, it becomes evident that behind it all, there is irreducible complexity, that is, that it is impossible to imagine that some complex systems such as living beings or some coincidences in cosmic and planetary laws are caused by chance and that the development and organization of complex systems from simpler organizations imply the existence of a Design, and therefore the existence of a Designer. At the same time, it implies that everything has a purpose, which is not often speculated about.

What is Intelligent Design in Nature?

Sunset over Mount Rushmore Memorial
Intelligent design in nature is the field of study which investigates signs of intelligence; it also identifies those features of objects that reliably point to the action of an intelligent cause, to see what we are talking about, consider Mount Rushmore, the evidence for the design of Mount Rushmore is direct, eyewitnesses saw the sculptor Gutzon Borglum spend much of his life designing and shaping this structure. But what if there was no direct evidence for the design of Mount Rushmore? Suppose humans went extinct and extraterrestrials visiting Earth discovered Mount Rushmore in substantially the same condition as it is now.

In that case, what about this stone formation would provide convincing circumstantial evidence that it was the product of an intelligent designer and not simply wind and erosion? Designed objects such as Mount Rushmore exhibit characteristic features or patterns that point to intelligence; such features or patterns constitute signs of intelligence.

Science or Creationism?

Dictionary definition of agnostic
It is very tempting to draw theological conclusions from the ideas of intelligent design, for it seems natural to identify the great designer (or designers) with an all-powerful god (or gods). In contrast, orthodox science today limits itself to explaining the phenomena of nature according to the scientific method. It avoids drawing philosophical or theological conclusions, which are clearly outside its business.

However, it is necessary to stress, contrary to what has been said on many occasions, that the theory of Intelligent Design isn’t creationism, but merely an effort to detect empirically whether the apparent design seen in nature, admitted by virtually all biologists, is indeed simply the product of an undirected process, or design (the product of an intelligent cause) such as natural selection, acting on random variation. Creationism is focused on defending a literal interpretation of the Genesis account, including the creation of the Earth by the Biblical God thousands of years ago. The theory of Intelligent Design is agnostic, unlike creationism about the source of design, and does not claim to defend the literalness of Genesis, the Bible, or any other sacred text. Honest critics of Intelligent Design recognize the difference between Intelligent Design and creationism. This imprecision in language, on account of authors who in other fields do spin very fine lines, is evidence of a rhetorical strategy of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without giving it any merit. This is believed to be the easiest way to discredit Intelligent Design.

Natures Intelligent Design

Intelligent design in nature is found in the composition of an atom
We see intelligent design in nature, all around us, from the composition of atoms to the order of constellations in space, based on two arguments that explain how amazing it is:

  1. Irreducible Complexity
  2. Specified Complexity

Irreducible complexity

A mouse trap which Michael Behe used as an example of irreducible complexity
Irreducible complexity is a term used when describing a characteristic of certain complex systems that need all their individual components in the right place in order to function. In other words, it is impossible to reduce the complexity (or simplify) of an irreducibly complex system by eliminating any of its component parts and still maintain its functionality.

Professor Michael Behe of Lehigh University invented the term in his seminal work Darwin’s Black Box, 1996. He popularized the concept by presenting the common mousetrap as an example of irreducible complexity. A typical mousetrap consists of five essential parts: a trigger, a spring, a hammer, a clamping bar, and the base. According to Behe, if a single one of these parts is removed without a like-for-like replacement (or the major restructuring of the remaining parts), the entire system will cease to function.

Specified Complexity

Crystalline forms of snowflakes seen under the microscope, shows intelligent design in nature
The concept can formalize a property that distinguishes patterns that are both specific and complex. A specified pattern is one that admits brief descriptions, while a complex pattern is one that is unlikely to occur by chance. The fact that specific complex patterns can be found in living things indicates some guidance in their formation, which indicates intelligence.

Final Thoughts

Intelligent design is today becoming a reality in the hands of humans. It is certainly another intelligent design, but the point is that humans are now capable of designing living things, as well as habitats or systems, that obey an intention. This is nothing new; since the beginning of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, humans have been modifying plants and animals to achieve a deliberate result, thus altering the mechanism of natural selection. Domestication modified or created some species through genuine artificial selection. Or, to take a more concrete example, the castration of bulls produced tame oxen much more suitable for agricultural work, which can be considered a rudimentary technique of biological engineering.
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