The heart of Dr. Meyer's argument is found in this scientifically-loaded passage: "Neo-Darwinism seeks to explain the origin of new information, form, and structure as a result of selection acting on randomly arising variation at a very low level within the biological hierarchy, mainly, within the genetic text. Yet the major morphological innovations depend on a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. Yet if DNA is not wholly responsible for body plan morphogenesis, then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely, without regard to realistic probabilistic limits, and still not produce a new body plan. Thus, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA cannot in principle generate novel body plans, including those that first arose in the Cambrian explosion."

Designer Needed

In simpler terms, the mechanism of natural selection, central to evolutionary theory, cannot possibly account for the development of so many varied and complex life forms simply by mutations in DNA. Rather, some conscious design, thus requiring a Designer, is necessary to explain the emergence of these life forms.

In the remainder of his paper, Meyer attacks the intellectual inadequacies of evolutionary theory and argues for what is now known as the "design Hypothesis." As he argued, "Conscious and rational agents have, as a part of their powers of purposive intelligence, the capacity to design information-rich parts and to organize those parts into functional information-rich systems and hierarchies." As he went on to assert, "We know of no other causal entity or process that has this capacity." In other words, the development of the multitude of higher life forms found on the planet can be explained only by the guidance of a rational agent - a Designer - whose plan is evident in the design.

Meyer's article was enough to cause hysteria in the evolutionists' camp. Knowing that their theory lacks intellectual credibility, the evolutionists respond by raising the volume, offering the equivalent of scientific shrieks and screams whenever their cherished theory is criticized, much less in one of their own cherished journals. As Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Discovery Institute explained, "Instead of addressing the paper's argument or inviting counterarguments or rebuttal, the society has resorted to affirming what amounts to a doctrinal statement in an effort to stifle scientific debate. They're trying to stop scientific discussion before it even starts."

When the Biological Society of Washington issued its embarrassing apology for publishing the paper, the organization pledged that arguments for Intelligent Design "will not be addressed in future issues of the Proceedings," regardless of whether the paper passes peer review.

Is Intelligent Design Creation?

From the perspective of panicked evolutionists, the Intelligent Design movement represents a formidable adversary and a constant irritant. The defenders of Intelligent Design are undermining evolutionary theory at multiple levels, and they refuse to go away. The panicked evolutionists respond with name-calling, labeling Intelligent Design proponents as "creationists," thereby hoping to prevent any scientific debate before it starts.

Intelligent Design is not tantamount to the biblical doctrine of creation. Theologically, Intelligent Design falls far short of requiring any affirmation of the doctrine of creation as revealed in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a useful and important intellectual tool, and a scientific movement with great promise. The real significance of Intelligent Design theory and its related movement is the success with which it undermines the materialistic and naturalistic worldview central to the theory of evolution.

For the Christian believer, the Bible presents the compelling and authoritative case for God's creation of the cosmos. Specifically, the Bible provides us with the ultimate truth concerning human origins and the special creation of human beings as the creatures made in God's own image.

Thus, though we believe in more than Intelligent Design, we certainly do not believe in less. We should celebrate the confusion and consternation now so evident among the evolutionists. Dr. Stephen Meyer's article, and the controversy it has spawned, has caught evolutionary scientists with their intellectual pants down.

 


R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to mail@albertmohler.com.