Where it all began
What is Intelligent Design?
The web site, dictionary.com defines intelligent design or ID as, “the theory that the universe and living things were designed and created by the purposeful action of an intelligent agent.”
The Discovery Institute defines intelligent design in the following manner:
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
In a practical sense, ID is both a new scientific paradigm, and a different way of thinking about the world that we live in. Are we here because of some great cosmic random events, which formed the universe, our planet and the life on it spontaneously? Or, are we here because there was an intelligent designer, who caused the universe to come into existence? Since ID is essentially agnostic, it can be embraced by either an atheist or a religious person.
DARWIN SPOKE ABOUT INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Most people do not realize that Charles Darwin himself talked about ID in his book On the Origin of Species, in editions 2-6. Here is what Darwin (1876/1998) said,
There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that; whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
THE CO-DISCOVERER OF DNA BELIEVED IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Francis Crick was the co-discoverer of DNA, and Nobel Prize winner with Watson and Wilkins, in 1962. He was a brilliant scientist and an atheist. Crick points out that all life on Earth is not random, it is in effect biased at the molecular level. Crick (1981) states, “The first great unifying principle of biochemistry is that the key molecules have the same hand in all organisms” (p. 43).
This principle is called chirality and I discuss it further in the discussion page of this site. Imagine flipping a coin the amount of times equal to every cell of every living thing on planet earth, and always arriving at the same side of the coin. That is what chirality is, all life is biased to the left, in the amino acids of every living thing on earth!
This led Crick (1981) to make the most remarkable observation about life:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.(p. 88)
Crick (1981), faced with this dilemma concludes that life got started on Earth through a process called Directed Panspermia – the notion that “the roots of our form of life go back to another place in the universe, almost certainly another planet . . . and that life here was seeded by microorganisms sent on some form of spaceship by an advanced civilization” (p. 141).
In other words, Crick was saying that an intelligent cause, got life started on Earth! One can therefore conclude that since ID is agnostic, that Crick supported intelligent design.
Crick, F. (1981). Life itself: Its origin and nature. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Darwin, C. (1876/1998). The origin of Species: By means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life (6th ed.). New York: The Modern Library.