An interesting movement within the creation versus evolution debate has been receiving increasing coverage by both the secular and Christian press (e.g., World magazine, Feb. 26).
Called the “Intelligent Design” movement, it is led by scholars who argue that the design of living systems—and even the nonliving elements of the universe—suggest a Designer. While these “intelligent design” proponents have been effective in challenging evolutionary theory, and may indeed be making some inroads in the secular academic world, we’re not sure how effective the movement will be in the long run in changing many people’s hearts—or indeed restoring the foundations of our decaying culture.
Most of the leaders of the intelligent design movement...are not fully Bible-believing scientists and researchers.Because most of the leaders of the intelligent design movement (see short bios below) are not fully Bible-believing scientists and researchers, their primary thrust is not to convince people that the Bible is totally true from its very first verse, including its gospel message. Also, while it is difficult to judge the motives of each one, we don’t see much evidence that these well-intentioned scholars are using their abilities to point people to the most important aspect of who the Creator of the universe is: that Jesus Christ is Savior. In terms of eternity, what does it really profit if a person accepts there is a Creator, but doesn’t recognize that He is foremost Christ the Redeemer (Colossians 1)?
Knowing the sinful heart of man, we believe it’s even possible that the next generation of scientists may come to believe in some sort of vague, New Age designing intelligence that has been manipulating DNA over billions of years—so long as this “intelligence” is not the God of the Bible, who is not only Savior, but also Judge.
At AiG, our commitment is to share the truths and accuracy of the Bible—starting with Genesis, in which is found the foundational logic for all the rest of Christian doctrine—with the hope that people will go far beyond just a recognition that there is a Creator (almost 90% of Americans do anyway, but most are not born-again as the Bible would describe).
AiG faced a situation some four years ago that can help illustrate this point. AiG lecturers were invited to speak in a Muslim country on creation, but a number of restrictions were placed on what we could say. We could not bring up biblical doctrine—especially the gospel message—in any of the talks, and were requested to speak only on the scientific aspects of the creation versus evolution controversy. Even though this would have been a receptive audience (most orthodox Muslims believe in creation), we nevertheless declined their kind invitation.
You see, our purpose as a ministry is not just to convince people that there is a Creator, but that He is far more than that—that the Creator is Christ, and is the only way to be saved.
Furthermore, if we were merely to share with Muslims that their view of origins is correct, it would most likely only solidify their belief in the teachings of Islam, and therefore they would be even less responsive to the gospel message.
In the February 26 issue of World magazine, four prominent “intelligent design” scholars were listed.
- Phillip Johnson, a U.C. Berkeley law professor, is the author of the excellent book Darwin on Trial. In just a few weeks, his new book The Wedge of Truth—which examines the fundamental questions that he thinks people should be debating in the creation/evolution controversy—will be released. Mr. Johnson does not appear, however, to take Genesis as written; in fact, he disassociated himself from AiG’s teaching that dinosaurs and man lived together while appearing on the PBS-TV program “Firing Line” about 3 years ago.
- Dr. Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, has demonstrated that living cells are “irreducibly complex.” That simply means that for a structure to work at all, all parts of it have to be already in place. The slow changes proposed by evolution could not form complex living cells, Dr. Behe argues. A Roman Catholic, Dr. Behe has told us he has no problem with the idea that all organisms, including man, descended from a common ancestor over billions of years. While he does think that a creative intelligence is necessary for explaining the origin of various biochemical systems, and has written devastatingly powerful arguments against the standard evolutionary notion that all this happened “by itself,” it is clear that he does not believe Genesis in the way that the Lord Jesus Christ and the New Testament writers obviously did, as real history.
- Dr. William Dembski of Texas is known as a brilliant mathematician. His best-known work is The Design Inference. Although he believes in a Designer and is a Christian, he tries to discuss the creation versus evolution issue in public without even mentioning the Bible, the source book of absolute truth.
- Dr. Steve Meyer of Spokane, Washington, is a specialist in the philosophy of science. One of the better communicators within the intelligent design movement, Dr. Meyer has demonstrated that there is incredible evidence for design in the makeup of the DNA molecule (his book DNA by Design will be published later this year).
The above scholars are having an impact in exposing the scientific bankruptcy of evolution theory, and their work can be usefully (though carefully) used by creation ministries as an adjunct to the work of truly Bible-believing researchers and scientists. However, it should always be kept in mind that they are merely rejecting evolution (or at any rate the “random” explanation of evolution) in favor of a generic notion of intelligent design, and this does not go far enough. The facts are not put by them into a worldview framework based on the real history of the Bible. In fact, as a movement, it has not presented a unified worldview with which to challenge the dominant worldview of the atheistic, evolutionary scientific establishment.
At AiG, one of our primary thrusts is to build a totally Christian way of thinking, to show believers and unbelievers alike how the world may be properly understood through the “glasses” of the Bible; to show, for instance, that the facts of the real world line up with the Bible’s teaching that the obedient Last Adam shed His blood in death to overcome the curse of death and bloodshed brought in by the disobedience of the First Adam.
All the “intelligent design” theorists we know of do not take a stand on the issue of millions of years, and some openly proclaim their belief in an old world. This undermines the gospel message, because it puts death and bloodshed prior to the First Adam. This gospel message is central to the Bible, and ultimately, it is the Word of God that will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), not the words of scholars who present arguments for intelligent design, no matter how eloquent.