a religious objection to intelligent design 9.20.2005

Suppose the Intelligent Design people are correct, and the complexity and variety of nature suggests strongly an Intelligent Designer--God--which created the Universe. Most people who advance I.D. then object to scientific evidence of evolution as distracting from the notion that the universe was indeed created by an Intelligent Designer--and place themselves as opposed therefore to evolutionary theory.

However, if there was a God and He was an Intelligent Designer, what would His process of creation look like?

Set aside for the moment the stories of the Bible in Genesis, which suggest a process of trial and error and the creation of a flawed creation, complete with evil trees and disobedient women. Assume, for a moment, that God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. What would such a being who creates a Universe--how would that process of creation look to us mortals?

Well, when I design software, I engage in a process of trial and error. Creation for me--writing software--takes time, as I'm not omnipotent. Further, it takes time for me to refine my creation through a process of trial and error. It's the familiar "edit/compile/debug" cycle where my limitations (or rather, my lack of omniscience) forces me to use a compiler to test my code, and trial and error to debug my code.

Now as I've gotten to be a better creator, the time it takes me to write software has shorten dramatically. I can write software about 30 times faster than most beginners, and write more complex and complete code. As my skills become more perfect, my speed increases, the complexity of my creations increase, and the amount of time I spend fixing flaws in my imperfect creations shorten.

Now imagine this taken to it's logical limit. The creation gets ever more and more complex, the time it takes to create shortens, the time spent fixing flaws goes to zero.

What would the Most Perfect's creation process look like to us mere mortals? It would be most complex, perfect (though the process would be too complex for us to understand), and created in zero time.

It would look like a Big Bang.


Most Intelligent Design advocates make the mistake of putting a limited and imperfect face on God. A God which takes time to make His Creation and which has to adjust his creation as he goes is a limited god; he's not the Most Perfect, but just really really good at what he does. And so the necessary question that comes about from such a limited god is "so, who created God?"

In order to discredit evolution, I.D. commits the blasphemy of creating a finite creator. It's really not their fault; most people who advocate Intelligent Design simply are so bent upon overthrowing the scientific paradigm that they suffer a lack of imagination. They cannot conceive the Infinitely Perfect or the Infinitely Fast, and they think Faith must have Proof. The Infinite is too big for them, and the idea that an Infinite God would create the Universe in a single flash, a single bang, which then unfolds to a multi-billion year design is too large for them. God is shrunk, therefore, to a Titan: a Zeus who stands not infinitely tall but just very tall, and who is not infinitely Good, but who is somewhat good, though with flaws and foibles.


In the introduction to a later edition of his book "On the Origin of Species" Darwin answered critics who never listened to him by explaining that he believed he was not explaining away God, but explaining how God could create the incredible variety we see in the world around us. That is, to Darwin, Evolutionary Theory was an attempt to better understand the Mind of God.

It's a shame that the Intelligent Design folks failed to listen--and are so bent on their own political agenda that they have shrunk God to a midget and turned people of Faith into characatures of evil.

posted by William Woody at 10:12 AM

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