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No faith in ID

By: Daniel Palos, Contributing Writer

Posted: 4/24/07

Over the course of the past three weeks or so, The Daily Campus has been publishing numerous articles regarding Intelligent Design. Most of what has to be said deals with whether or not ID is a scientific argument. I would like to add to the list of why ID is not a scientific argument, but with a different approach. I am going to show the faith in the ID argument that makes it no more scientific then the flying unicorn in the sky.

I attended the Lee Strobel Conference this past weekend and I was not surprised by what I heard. Lee Strobel used the same evidence any typical creationist would: complexity of DNA, the complexity of a cell, the precise location of the Earth, the theory of gravity and the theory of evolution. Most would say that all of the above come from science, and I would agree, but what Strobel and the other scientists do is nothing but stating facts, such as "that pen is red" or "your hair is blonde."

Stating facts is not science; it is merely stating facts. Using the scientific method to verify a hypothesis that can be tested in the material sense is science-this has been said many times in the past weeks. You cannot test for supernatural things in the material sense. Therefore, you cannot prove that there is an intelligent designer behind the complexity of the universe and call it God. This is why there is faith, no? Why does Strobel even need to prove that there is an intelligent designer and that designer is God? Anyways, time for the new approach.

One thing Lee Strobel repeated numerous times at the conference was that the only logical conclusion one could make, given the "scientific" evidence, is that there is an intelligent designer behind everything, and that designer is God. So, which God is Lee Strobel talking about? Allah? The Celestial Teapot? Hindu gods? The Jews' God? The answer is the Christian God. So wait, Lee Strobel is saying that the intelligent designer behind ID is the Christian God? Yes. How does he come to this conclusion? It meshes with a belief system that he holds prior to and above the science he claims to be using. Without that belief system, he could not arrive at this conclusion. He has, in other words, determined the outcome not on evidence, but on a belief that precedes any evidence.

It cannot be scientifcally proven that the Christian God is the designer; therefore, you are using faith to come to that conclusion. Also, you cannot say that God is the only logical conclusion because it isn't. If I were Muslim, I would say the designer is Allah. If I were Richard Dawkins, I would say the designer is the Flying Unicorn. This is somewhat like C.S. Lewis' classical argument of Jesus as the literal Son of God.

Lewis says there are only three "logical" choices as to whether Jesus was the literal son of God: (1) Jesus was a liar, (2) Jesus was a lunatic or (3) Jesus was the literal Son of God. So, are those really the only three logical choices? Of course not. It is possible that the idea of Jesus as the literal Son of God was added after his death or is a misinterpretation of something he said. Some say it is quite possible that the Jesus presented in the Christian New Testament never existed. These are all "logical" possibilities.

To Strobel, what is logical depends on his faith. In turn, one can now see how ID depends on one's faith. So which religion's intelligent designer is right? No one can say because every single one of those ideas is based on faith. No one can scientifically disprove any one of those logical conclusions because all those ideas are faith-based. Science cannot disprove faith because they are two totally different types of discourse. Science is science and faith is faith; you can have both, but you cannot mix them together in the material and scientific sense.

About the writer:

Daniel Palos is a finance and economics double major. He can be reached at dpalos@smu.edu.
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