Christian critics of Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) said it amounts to designing God right out of the creation equation.
Proponents of IDT accept that Earth is billions of years old, but argue that the complexity of living things proves that life on Earth is the work of an “intelligent designer.” This intelligent designer is not given an absolute identity.
Henry M. Morris, founder and president emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research, said the theory falls short of presenting an accurate view of the origin of life because it abandons the biblical explanation which includes God as the creator. This abandonment of God’s role in creation, and the Bible’s record of it, is exactly why Morris said IDT “won’t work.”
In an article titled “Design is not Enough” on the Institute for Creation Research’s Web site, Morris wrote that the idea behind IDT was to avoid controversial subjects such as the biblical doctrine of creation.
“Any discussion of a young earth, six-day creation, a worldwide flood and other Biblical records of early history will turn off scientists and other professionals, they say, so we should simply use the evidence of intelligent design as a ‘wedge’ to pry them loose from their naturalistic premises,” Morris wrote. “Then, later, we can follow up this opening by presenting the gospel, they hope.”
Morris made the argument that many scientists and writers have noted the evidence of design in nature without ever attributing it to God.
“The various ethnic religions (Hinduism, etc.) all accommodate design, and so do the modern ‘New Age’ cults and movements,” Morris wrote. “They agree that there must be some kind of cosmic consciousness in nature–call it Mother Nature, perhaps, or Gaia (the Greek goddess of the earth)–that enables the earth and the cosmos to organize themselves into complex systems.”
While Morris said IDT will do little, if anything, to draw people to the truth of creation, “a goodly number of atheists may convert to pantheism” through design arguments.
Morris said evangelists should reject using IDT as a means of arguing against naturalism and Darwinian evolution.
“We must go to the Scriptures for salvation,” Morris wrote. “The scientific evidence for design and creation and the Creator are vital to present to those who do not know or believe the Bible … but then they must go to the Scriptures if they would learn about the true God and His work of creation and redemption.”
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.