Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 24, 2013

6. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Logical

Every living cell is a complex of sophisticated machinery for communication, electronic transmissions, transport of nutrients and waste, energy production, force generation, mobility, and reproduction. Man does not even understand how all this machinery works. Is it logical to believe that such intricate mechanisms developed by random chance?

This is the Argument from Design: a design implies a designer.

NeuronCellDiagram

Neuron Cell Diagram

This simplified diagram of a nerve cell illustrates the complexity of Creation. Scientists still don’t fully understand all the constituent parts of a nerve cell. Is it logical to conclude such integrated and operational complexity happened by chance?

If asked for evidence of God’s existence, I would start with the Argument from Design. A video of a well-known creationist debater inadequately answering this question from a sixth-grade atheist stimulated this Evidence for God series.

The Argument from Design is the best argument to give when asked for evidence of God. I have 3 reasons for making this best argument claim:
1. The Argument from Design is Simple (see previous blog post)
2. The Argument from Design is Logical (topic of this article)
3. The Argument from Design is Biblical (see next blog post)

2. Design is a Logical Argument

Innumerable examples of complex design pack the universe, ranging from the sub-atomic to the extra-galactic. Despite decades of research, man still does not understand the sub-atomic structure of nature. On the other end of the scale, astronomers have discovered that even galaxies are organized into large-scale structures, which are themselves organized into even larger structures.

The many examples of complex design we see in nature offer strong evidence for a Creator. Complex designs require a Designer to produce them. The kind of information the designs contain can only come from an intelligent Agent. No other logical explanation exists.

Every living cell is a complex of sophisticated machinery for communication, electronic transmissions, transport of nutrients and waste, energy production, force generation, mobility, and reproduction. Man still does not understand how all the cell’s machinery works. A human being is a wondrous example of integration of complex systems.

The Design Argument appeals to human reason and experience. It is so self-evident that the denial of it appears as flagrant nonsense.

Even rabid propagandists for evolutionism cannot escape the megaphone of design. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins admits,

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
(Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1986, p. 1)

Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, wrote,

“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
(Crick, Francis, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, Penguin Books, London, 1990, p. 138.)

Why should biologists have to keep telling themselves design is an illusion? Because otherwise the reality of design is obvious and inescapable! Crick was describing the cumbersome mental gymnastics required to maintain belief in evolution. To argue that what looks like design in the universe is merely the “appearance of design” flies in the face of all human experience and knowledge, and turns a blind eye to innumerable examples of ingenious complexity.

The argument from design is based on what we know. No one can know these examples are not designed. Therefore to claim they only appear to be designed is to make a claim based on what is NOT known; that is, it is an argument based on ignorance.

The fundamental issue is this: Can random genetic mutations and natural selection generate the complex functional organization and information-rich structures found in living things? Simple logic says “No!” Biological systems cannot be explained by undirected natural causes. The staggeringly complex biochemical systems of molecular biology provide myriad examples. Design is the “elephant in the living room” that evolutionists cannot ignore.

The burden of proof is on those who deny a designer. They must show how complex information-loaded biological structures could develop through a random process, with each incremental stage conferring a survival advantage to the organism. No such example is known, and no one has even formulated one theoretically. All known instances of design involve a designer. There are no known instances of “designer-less design.”

It is illogical to deny universal human experience and hold to a tenet (designer-less design) with no empirical support. Thus it is reasonable and logical to conclude that Life has a Designer. It is illogical to insist it all happened by chance.

Therefore to say a complex design is evidence of a designer is certainly logical and based on broad human experience.

Design is the Oldest, Clearest, Most Reasonable Argument

Philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) said in his major work Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787) that the Argument from Design

“…always deserves to be mentioned with respect. It is the oldest, the clearest, and the most accordant with the common reason of mankind.” (my emphasis)

Kant is right. The Argument from Design is the simplest (clearest) and most logical of the many arguments made for the existence of God.

As Kant said, it’s also the oldest argument, for it was used by God Himself at the dawn of history. The next post 7. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Biblical will conclude the case that the Argument from Design is the best argument for the existence of God by showing that it’s the primary Biblical argument.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Why is a logical argument for the existence of God valuable?
  2. Is it legitimate to support faith in God with logical reasoning?
  3. How would you reply to the contention that the universe and man only appear to have been designed?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the sixth post in the Evidence for God series that discusses the question,
“Is There Evidence for God?”
Read the prequels:
1. Evidence for God – Can You Answer a 6th-Grader?
2. Evidence for God – Design
3. Evidence for God – Experience
4. Evidence for God – Can You Prove God Exists?
5. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Simple

Read the sequel for another reason why the Argument from Design is the best argument to use for the existence of God:
7. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Biblical

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday July 24, 2013 A.D.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

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Responses

  1. Many excellent points made, which I will use in my apologetics. I have to chuckle as you say: Emanuel Kant is correct in his assertions. I guess a blind chicken finds a crumb every once in a while. All I remember learning about Kant was that he was one lost cookie. His theories about the autonomy of humanity really stinks in my opinion. I guess he found out by now, who was correct: he or God.

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    • Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words.

      I included Kant’s quote, not because I generally agree with his philosophy (I don’t), but because he is a well-known and highly-respected philosopher who still influences the thinking of many today. And he was correct in what he said about the Argument from Design being ancient, clear, and logical.

      The opinion of such a distinguished philosopher of reasoning about the Design Argument should carry substantial weight in the secular world.

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      • Very true, I understood it that way. Doubters are intelligent people and it is not their “fault” their eyes are blinded by truth. Should they however decide to SEEK God, then He is happy to be found. Keep up the good work!

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  2. Excellent article. I believe the Blble can be taken in a straightforward manner in regards to creation and the flood and the earth’s age. It’s too bad scientists don’t pay more attention to this eyewitness account that we have, but unfortunately they have assumed that it is fiction, and so they are forced to come up with the elaborate stories of chance processes to explain what they see.

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    • Thanks for reading and for commenting. I agree with you.

      The Bible is primarily a historical record of past events with explanations of what they mean for mankind and instructions how man should respond. As a history book and instruction manual, it should be taken at face value and interpreted literally. This will lead to a clear understanding of earth’s origin and history and to saving faith in Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe.

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  3. With all due respect your argument for design is based on the assumption that complex structures have to emerge whole and complete. The evidence I can see in the world doesn’t support that assumption.

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  4. Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment.

    The interpretation you give to the evidence you see is colored by your evolutionary worldview. I see the same evidence, but I give a different interpretation based on my Biblical worldview. Our different worldviews result in different interpretations of the same evidence.

    I don’t assume that “complex structures have to emerge whole and complete.” I do argue that at every stage of a purported evolutionary development, complex structures had to be functional, and every minute incremental stage of the developing structure had to confer a survival advantage on the possessing organism. This is too big a “leap of faith” for me to make. The complexity is simply too great. Often all component parts have to be present for the structure to be of any use.

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    • I apologize for my incorrect assumption. Darwin assumed everything changed incrementally, but as more evidence has been gathered, it’s clear that there have been changes that show this Darwinian hypothesis doesn’t hold for all evolutionary changes.

      May I point out you’ve also made an assumption about my worldview. I’m a pragmatic agnostic. I question everything, a habit I developed at an early age thanks to my mother. I should also thank my mother’s mother for the education she gave my mother as a child, and for what my grandmother showed me while she was still alive.

      I don’t accept anything on faith alone, and this sets me apart from those on both sides of this debate who do.

      Correct me if I’m wrong but you believe there is a god, that this god is the god of the bible, and that this god created everything, and apparently everything was created in more or less its present form less than ten thousand years ago.

      Like

      • I apologize, Simon, if I incorrectly concluded you are an evolutionist.

        As a “pragmatic agnostic,” is it your position that you don’t know whether there is a God or that you can’t know whether there is a God?

        What a blessing to receive good training from your mother and grandmother.

        I too question everything along with a desire to find correct answers to the questions. This blog is an effort to share some of the answers I’ve found with fellow travelers on life’s road.
        Almost nothing can be proven with absolute logical certainty, so for me there’s almost always an element of faith or trust involved. Most things that I accept are based on plausibility and reasonableness. I think that’s true of everybody. We can’t verify everything, even if we wanted to do so. For example, when we sit in a chair, we usually don’t validate its sturdiness ahead of time. We sit based on a reasonable expectation that it will hold us.

        With respect to Christianity, faith is important of course, but so is historical evidence. God does not expect us to abandon the minds He gave us. He provides ample evidence for those willing to honestly consider it. For example, Acts 1:3 says, “To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Jesus didn’t expect the disciples to believe in His Resurrection without abundant evidence.

        You are essentially correct in your conjecture as to what I believe. I believe the God of the Bible is the Creator of the universe. I believe Creation occurred over the course of six consecutive regular days about 6,000 years ago. I believe a worldwide Flood destroyed the world about 4500 years ago as described in Genesis.

        However, I do NOT think everything we see today was “created in more or less its present form.” I believe there has been substantial and significant degradation from God’s original creation due to sin and the Flood. I believe the world was a far different, better, and more beautiful place before Sin and even before the Flood. Flora was lusher and more abundant, animals were bigger, man was smarter and healthier. We live in a broken world, decimated by the effects of sin and judgment.

        But I also believe the good news of the Bible. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. I believe He came to redeem and rescue man and creation from sin and death. I believe He died on a Roman cross about 2,000 years ago to atone for sin. I believe that God physically raised Him from the dead after 3 days with the result that whoever places his trust in Jesus will be justified with God.

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