Evolution Vs Intelligent Design G-d Versus Science
What Evolution is • The claim that all living creatures must have a living parent. • Some living creatures are very different from some others. • Simple animals and plants existed on earth long before more complex ones.
What About Intelligent Design? • The Intelligent Design argument, which holds that the development of organic life must be guided by some higher-order intelligence responsible for the incredibly complex designs of particular structures (e.g., the human eye), is entirely compatible with the theory of evolution (although not with Darwin's account of how evolution works). All one has to concede is that the process governing evolution is supernatural rather than natural. This is not a scientific position, of course, since any invocation of non-natural causation in explanations about nature lies outsides the methods of science. But it is one way to believe in evolution without abandoning a faith in god or gods.
What Evolution is not • Evolution is the development of animal and plant species out of other species not at all like them, for example, the process by which, say, a species of fish gets transformed (or evolves) through various stages into a cow, a kangaroo, or an eagle. This definition, it should be noted, makes no claims about how the process might occur, and thus it certainly does not equate the concept of evolution with Darwinian Natural Selection, as so many people seem to do. It simply defines the term by its effects not by how those effects are produced.
Origin of Life Objections • The most common objection to the case made for evolution is the question, "But what about the origin of life?” • Any scientific explanation for the origin of life will, of course, have to involve matter and physical laws, without appeals to supernatural processes, and it will have to generate predictions which can be tested.
The Defense of Genesis as a Scientific Document • The claim that if we read Genesis allegorically, making each "day" a long period of time, then the sequence of creations described matches (more or less) the narrative developed by science. Hence, we ought to ascribe some scientific validity to the Biblical narrative.
Response • The fact that a confirmed scientific theory bears some resemblance to an old story provides no scientific justification for the story. The Greeks had old stories which explained the orbits and positions of many stars. These myths often involved transformations of human beings into celestial phenomena (as a reward or punishment). Science has developed and confirmed different theories for why these stars appear to move the way they do. Even if such ancient stories contain details also found, more or less, in scientific explanations, that confers no scientific value on those stories.
The Objection Based on the Absence of Visual Confirmation • Others reject the notion of evolution outright (without reference to the argument) with the simple claim that it cannot be true because no one has ever seen a complete transformation of one distinct species into another (e.g., fish to reptiles).
Response • Science does not proceed by demonstrating that certain theories are irrefutably true. It demonstrates by repeated testing that they are not false. The more a theory is confirmed, the stronger the probability that the explanation it offers is correct. • Evolution is a theory, just as atomic structures, black holes, electricity, relativity, DNA, gravity magnetism, and so on are "just theories."