but for me the universe seems to have too much structure and complexity for it to be the product of random chance, so I choose to believe it is the product of design.
One of the 'leaps' in reasoning for me about the whole notion of design was the realization that evolution makes complete sense (after about a year of reading up on evolution) and then what that implies. I am a professional engineer, and designing things is my job - it feels natural that things should be designed, but it was realizing that simple chemicals can replicate, and then going on up through the understanding of the process of replication/inheritance/mutation/selection through to DNA (the replicator for life as we know it). It wasn't easy - but once I got my head around all of that - then you start to realize that complexity does indeed arise out of simplicity when certain rules are in place - and I assure you, it is NOT random chance.
Furthermore, free market economies themselves boast amazingly elaborate production, distribution, and communication systems that allow your fav candy bar in almost any drugstore, your brand of spag sauce in every supermarket, and your size and style of jeans in every neighborhood. Who designed this marvel of complexity? Which commissar decreed the number of packets of dental floss for each retail outlet? The answer, of course, is that no economic god designed this system. It emerged and grew by itself over time. No one argues that all the components of the candy bar distribution system must have been put into place at once or by random chance or else there would be no Snickers at the corner store.NOW HERE IS THE BIG POINT
- upon accepting the above, I realized that the whole need for the concept of the ultimate designer or the arguments of who designed the designer all go away. As amazing as it is - systems can increase in complexity with the appearance of design 'without' a designer!
As for the whole idea of "intelligent" design - I found that the more I looked the less intelligence there was in design of nature. If God 'designed' the Earth as his home for the creation of life, and he design life, then why did he allow for the extinction of more than 99% of all species that have ever lived. However, this species extinction process makes perfect sense in the light of evolution. Also, when we look at the natural world, we see extraordinary complexity, but we do not see optimal design. Our own bodies testify to the inefficiencies. As embryos, we produce tails, gill sacs, and a full coat of apelike hair. Happily, most of us lose these charming accessories before birth. This bizarre sequence of morphology is readily interpreted in evolutionary and genetic terms; it is an utter mystery if we are the products of intelligent design. Men have a urinary tract that runs directly through the prostate gland. The prostate tends to swell throughout life. Consequently, most men over the age of sixty can testify that at least one intelligent design leaves much to be desired. A woman's pelvis has not been as intelligently designed as it could have been to assist in the miracle of birth. Consequently, each year hundreds of thousands of women suffer prolonged and obstructed labor that results in a rupture known as an obstetric fistula. Women in the developing world who suffer this condition become incontinent and are often abandoned by their husbands and exiled from their communities. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that more than two million women live with fistula today (http://www.unfpa.org/mothers/fistula.htm
). The cure for obstetric fistula is, as it turns out, a simple surgical procedure - not prayer. Additionally, the human respiratory and digestive tracts share a little plumbing at the pharynx. In the United States alone, this intelligent design feature lands tens of thousands of children in the emergency room each year. Some hundreds choke to death. Many others suffer irreparable brain injury.
That's all I can type tonight. Perhaps I'll try to address the argument from the anthropic principle next time.
If you have time, may I recommend this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE