Keith Lockitch presents a discussion of how the idea of intelligent design is simply a dressed up version of creationism. Even though intelligent design is often expressed in more formal, scientific sounding, language, it is not different in its essentials from the version of creationism based on a biblical version of geology, i.e., the world is only about 6000 years old and was created by some supernatural being. Dr. Lockitch says during the lecture:
The argument from design is not a valid argument and not just because of its appeal to the supernatural. It tries to use the fact that one does not know the natural causes responsible for life as evidence that there can be no natural cause. Ignorance about the natural world is somehow supposed to serve as evidence of a mystical realm beyond the natural world.
During the lecture Keith Lockitch mentions how this new version of creationism is rapidly expanding in influence. This was brought home to me today when an article popped up in my Facebook feed. The article, Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God, appeared in the Wall Street Journal and certainly makes Dr. Lockitch’s point. In the article the author makes the claim that because the odds of the factors needed to result in life arising “randomly” are so remote that it implies there must have been a creator. Astronomer Fred Hoyle, who coined the term “big bang” is quoted as saying:
a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology
My response, at least I tried to post it though I am not sure it went through, echoed the quote given above from Dr. Lockitch:
The fact that we currently do not understand all the causes necessary to give rise to life, and ultimately to human life capable of seeking those causes, does not mean that we can create an imaginary being and say, “There is the reason for life.” To attempt to do so is to enter into an infinite regress.
If human life is the result of factors too complex to have been “random” then it certainly follows that any being capable of creating those factors must in turn be the result of a series of factors at least as complex and likely more so. This being in turn then must have a creator for the same reasons that man must have a creator and so on back to infinity. If at any point you claim, “No, the creator (or the creator of the creator of the creator) arose from natural causes, you have short circuited the entire chain and could just as easily, and with less complexity, say it about human beings.
Or as Yaron Brook put it:
But the answer is never ever ever therefore I am going to make up some gremlin somewhere that made this.
The video also includes a 90 minute Q&A with Dr. Lockitch and Dr. Yaron Brook.