Essay: Theology and Intelligent Design

Pages: 2 (721 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Theology  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … scientific theory can include positing intelligent design at some level? Or must natural science presuppose a purely naturalistic view of the origin and development of living organisms?

In general, there are two theories about nature -- one, that life as we know it has evolved as a result of natural selection or the random survival of certain traits or the religious view that there is an intelligent, overreaching hand behind the biological processes that make up our world. Author Michael Behe writes that even if there may be an identifiable intelligent design this does not negate the value of scientific theory or a scientific perspective of the world. He believes that there are biological processes which are functioning within all animals that can be explained by science but that there still can be an intelligent hand shaping and guiding those processes. Behe takes the theological perspective that natural selection is not simply based upon the ability of the best-adapted to survive and pass on their DNA to their offspring.

One of the most controversial aspects of Darwin's theory was the question of how something as complex as the eye evolved slowly over time, based upon some slightly better-adapted animals surviving versus others. Darwin wrote "if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications my theory would absolutely break down" (Behe 260). Even cilium or flagellum on very simple one-celled organisms are very complex and people seem to have had less trouble accepting that these were the result of evolution although Behe sees these complex methods for simple organisms to propel themselves as just as complex as the eye. Darwin does not provide an example for how these could have evolved, states Behe. Behe argues that scientists have taken natural selection on faith just as theologians have taken God's presence on faith. In Behe's estimation, both the human eye and the cilia on bacteria look like they were designed by an "intelligent agent" (Behe 265).

But Darwin -- or scientists in general -- do not need (nor could they) demonstrate how each and every animal, body… [END OF PREVIEW]

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